Lose weight and have more energy by taking the refined sugar out of your diet.
Step 1: Recognize sugar code words Stop eating refined sugar, and products made with it, by avoiding anything with the following ingredients: sugar; brown sugar; fructose; sucrose; glucose; maltrose; succinate; molasses; date, beet, grape, corn, or cane sugar; corn syrup; carob or sorghum syrup; fruit-juice concentrate; sorbitol; barley malt; caramel; malodextrin; dextran; or dextrose.
TIP: Many foods you might not expect often contain sugar: bagels, soy sauce, fruit-flavored yogurt, potato chips, and bacon.
Step 2: Ditch the artificial stuff Ditch artificial sweeteners, too. That means no aspartame, saccharine, sucralose, or acesulfame.
TIP: If you must have something sweet in your coffee or tea, use a small amount of the natural sugar alternatives stevia, agave, or xylitol. The next best option is unprocessed raw honey or 100 percent pure organic maple syrup.
Step 3: Start with a smoothie Replace your usual breakfast with a nutritious smoothie. Find recipes at SpentMD.com.
Step 4: Cut cravings Curb cravings by taking 1,000 milligrams of the amino acid glutamine every four to six hours, or as needed. It tricks the body into thinking it is getting glucose, which reduces the desire for sugar.
TIP: Eating unprocessed foods rich in nutrients will naturally curb your sugar cravings.
Step 5: Satisfy your sweet tooth Satisfy sweet cravings with a piece of fruit, an ounce of 70 to 85 percent dark chocolate, or a cup of organic plain yogurt with a teaspoon of stevia, raw honey, or agave syrup. Do this only when necessary, and no more than three times a day.
Step 6: Drink water Drink lots of water, plain or sparkling. It helps reduce sugar cravings.
TIP: Add fresh mint or a slice of lemon or lime to your water for flavor.
Step 7: Cheat occasionally Have a small treat made out of real sugar every fifth day or so if you need it. It will help prevent a sugar binge.
Step 8: Stick with it Stick with it! The first three days are the toughest; after that, you'll feel lighter and have more energy. Hang on for another ten days, and your hunger for sugar should dramatically diminish.
FACT: There are 15 calories in one teaspoon of sugar.