Ever wondered why you couldn’t lose weight, or couldn’t seem to stick to a diet? It’s likely that you were roped in by a sugar addiction and didn’t even know it. Here’s a five-step plan to help you cut cravings for the sweet stuff and start filling up on whole foods. Eating this way won’t just help you kick sugar to the curb—you’ll feel better, lighter, and more energized. And you’ll find it so much easier to stick to your weight loss goals.
Phase 1: Eliminate Sugary Beverages
Time: 1 to 2 weeks
Why: There are many culprits: soft drinks, sweetened waters, coffee drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks, and even apple juice. In fact, apple juice can be a combination of apple flavoring and 100% sweetener derived from concentrated fructose from the apple, so it can be called 100% apple juice.
One problem is that the size of these beverages can be deceiving; they also can be a way in which more sugar and calories can sneak into your diet without your knowledge. A conventional 12-ounce serving of a typical sugar-sweetened carbonated beverage, for example, is approximately 150 calories. But people rarely drink one serving. In fast-food chains, convenience stores, and movie theaters, these beverages are offered in portions that can contain around 300 to 500 calories.
Even cutting just one serving per day has been shown to produce a weight loss of 1.1 pounds at six months, and 1.4 pounds at 18 months. That might not sound like a tremendous amount, but remember that many people are not drinking just one 12-ounce serving per day. Approximately half of Americans drink sugary beverages “on a given day,” and within this half, about 25% derive 200 or more calories from them.