When it comes to shedding unwanted pounds, it's not counting calories or shrinking your meal portions that will do the trick. The most efficient way to lose weight without ever feeling hungry? Ditch added sugars.
Yes, just cutting back on sugar (and its sinister sidekicks— refined carbs and artificial sweeteners) causes those excess pounds to melt off effortlessly.
"For anyone struggling with weight issues, lack of willpower, or even just fatigue and low energy, cutting out sources of added sugar can be a great way of boosting health," says Max Lugavere, a health researcher I interviewed for my new book Sugar Free 3. Curbing sugar intake—even just for three weeks— can help you reset your palette so you crave sweet foods less. You'll also be consuming fewer empty calories since sugar has no nutritional value. You'll be making up for the sugar you aren't eating with whole, delicious foods — and you'll feel more satisfied.
Think about how many calories you can save just by cutting out two sodas a day, that coffee with cream and sugar, and your afternoon chocolate fix. (Let's be honest, can anyone really stop at just one square?) Plus, when you eat sugar, you tend to crave sugary foods. Once you eliminate foods with added sugars— including certain breads, sauces, yogurts, and even salad dressings—your hunger will naturally regulate and you'll end up eating less— and that will help the unhealthy pounds melt off. Sugar Free 3 —the book and the companion video series—reveals all the sneaky places sugar hides so you can gain control of your consumption. "Giving up sugar helps with weight loss in many ways," says registered dietician Keri Glassman. "Sugar equals extra calories, and extra calories eventually turn to fat to be stored if they aren't needed for fuel by the body.
Easy ways to kick sugar to the curb:
- Swap out soda. Drink seltzer water flavored with fresh-squeezed lemon or lime or mint. Plus, staying hydrated quells cravings.
- Opt for whole-grain breads. Look for the words "whole wheat" not just "wheat" — for starters.
- Use healthy sweeteners: Stevia and monk fruit are plant-derived and don't impact your blood sugar, so are fine to use in moderation, say, in your morning coffee.
- Eat whole fruit: Berries or sliced apple with cinnamon are naturally sweet and also healthy because they contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
For more tips on how to cut back on sugar, crush cravings, easily read a nutrition label to spot hidden sugars, make simple, healthy recipes and more, check out Sugar Free 3.
Michele Promaulayko is an influential voice on health, wellness and beauty. She is an award-winning editor and journalist who has led world-class media brands, such as Women's Health and Cosmopolitan, delivering life-changing advice to millions of readers.