Alright folks, it’s time to buckle down and get on with a bit of real talk. When we were deciding on putting together this month’s challenge, we mulled over the idea of making it easier, making it shorter – we even tossed out the idea of not doing it at all, strictly due to the fact that even we aren’t sure about whether or not we can put ourselves through a month without that sweet, sweet white stuff…but alas, that’s why it’s called a challenge so here we are.
Our hesitancy to embark on this task just goes to show that sugar is far too prevalent in what we eat these days (on average, we consume about 22 teaspoons of sugar…each day!) so we’re putting ourselves to the test and if you’re ready to do the same, tell us your start date in the comments below and let’s get started!
The No Sugar Challenge
Eliminate all added sugars from your diet for 30 days.
1. First and foremost: NO ADDED SUGARS! Natural sugars like those found in fruit and dairy are fair game – we are not anti-fruit! We’re only concerned about added sugar here, and that means no refined sugars and no natural or artificial sweeteners.
2. Determine if a product contains added sugar by reading the ingredients list, not the nutrition facts…most foods will have naturally occurring sugars in them and these are allowed in this challenge, it’s the added sugars (the ones that will show up in the ingredients list) that are being kicked to the curb this month.
3. No quitting. If you slip up, just shake it off and keep going. What’s done is done, don’t let it ruin the rest of your hard work by giving up. You can do this!
4. If you are unsure if a medical condition you have may interact with a dietary change like this, please speak with your doctor before starting this challenge.
First Steps for Starting the Challenge
We want you to be successful in this change (if not for life, at least for the 30 day challenge), so take these three steps prior to getting started to give yourself a little head-start:
1. Know your sugar
Manufacturers use an abundance of names to refer to the sweeteners they add to their products so if you’re going to be cutting out added sugar, you had better know what you’re actually looking for when you scour the ingredients list. To make it easy, we’ve compiled a list of common names for sugar that can be found in packaged products.
2. Prep the kitchen
Armed with your new knowledge of the names sugar disguises itself as, have a look through the products you currently have in your kitchen to see how your stock stacks up. If you don’t want to get rid of the sugar-added foods entirely (like if your kids think you’re nuts for cutting out the very thing they just spent all night trick-or-treating for), simply place a sticky note on the products that are sweetener-culprits to remind yourself not to consume them during this challenge.
3. Restock with the good stuff
Plan a big grocery shop to stock up on good, healthy food. Start by tackling the outside of the grocery store, buying single-ingredient items like fruits, veggies and meats that you know won’t have added sweeteners. From there, move onto the dairy products and breads, checking the ingredient list for added sugars. Try to limit the items you buy from the inner aisles of the grocery store (the packaged foods section) as that’s where you’re going to run into the hardest time finding no-added-sugar foods.
Not sure where to start? Check out our list of no added sugar food options.
Need a little support?
We know we do, so chat with us on Facebook to let us know how it’s going!