Have you decided to eat less sugar?

Great idea! This is one of the best ways to improve your health, vitality and happiness.

First the shocking sugar statistics:

200 years ago Americans ate an average of two pounds of sugar a year.
In 1970 Americans ate an average of 123 pounds of sugar a year.
Today the average American eats 152 pounds a year. That is 3 pounds, or 6 cups, a week! Yikes!

Eating too much sugar is deadly for your health. By sugar, I am also referring to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which is, at best, a form of very concentrated sugar.

Too much sugar causes or contributes to the following:

Accelerated aging of skin
General inflammation
Heart disease
Aching joints and muscles
Low energy, chronic fatigue
Colds and flus
Mood swings
Anxiety, panic attacks
Cravings for more sweets (the more you eat, the more you want)

Two hundred years ago sugar was a treat food, used sparingly and for special occasions. If we ate it like that it today, it wouldn't be a problem.

Instead we are poisoning ourselves with it. Our food industry spends millions of dollars a year convincing us to eat and drink sugar and the diet industry spends millions of dollars a year selling us diets that have low long-term success rates.

How crazy is that?!

You don't need to diet. Ever again.

You do need to follow healthy principles and to find self care strategies that work for you.

Principle number1 to help you feel better, look better, age well and find and maintain your best weight: Cut back, way back, on sugar, including High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

(Do not substitute artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda or Nutrasweet!
These are also damaging for your health and don't help you lose weight.)

7 Super Self Care Strategies for Eating Less Sugar

1. Cultivate healing attitudes:

Be kind to yourself.
Believe that you can create positive changes in your life!
Imagine yourself feeling and looking great!
Congratulate yourself for every little step and every small change you make.

2. Enjoy foods in their natural state.

Fruits and vegetables have natural sugars, delicious flavor, nutrients and variety, and are your best natural healing medicine.

3. Eat plenty of high-quality protein and good fats.

Eating these will ease your cravings for sugar and will give you sustained energy over time. When you do eat sweets, eat some protein and good fat first. You will feel more satisfied and will metabolize the sugars better.

4. Save sugary foods for an occasional treat and let yourself really enjoy them!

No need to ever eat guilt and shame again. Whatever you eat, savor it with love and gratitude.

5. Every day spend some time outside in the natural daylight.

You will feel better, boost your metabolism and reduce cravings.

6. Do things you love!

Sugar craving is often a request from your body for serotonin, the "Feel-Good Chemical". Serotonin is also produced by doing anything that makes you feel really happy.

7. Experiment with some of the healthier sweeteners.

My favorites are Xylitol, Eryythritol, Stevia and Agave Syrup.

These four natural sweeteners are low on the glycemic index. Simply, this means they don't cause your blood sugar to jump up and then crash and they don't cause the health problems and cravings that sugar and HFCS do.

Xylitol and Erythritol

Xylitol and Erythritol are both plant sugars, low glycemic, antibacterial (so they actually help fight infections and tooth decay) and metabolized in a separate channel from insulin, so they are safe for diabetics and all of us wanting less blood sugar impact

Xylitol is sweeter and very good in small amounts, like a spoonful or two in tea.
Too much- at least at first- and many people have abdominal cramping and the runs!

This is now commonly found in chewing gum and mints. Just be sure to read the label to make sure it does not also contain sucralose (Splenda) or aspartame (Nutrasweet).

Erythritol is great for baking and using in larger amounts, like in a smoothie or berry sauce.

Xylitol and Erythritol tend to be expensive. I buy them in five pound http://www.emeraldforestsugar.com; for a very low price.

Warning: Xylitol and Erythritol are poisonous to dogs.
Stevia is a lovely herb-- I grow it in my garden in summer --with tiny leaves and sweet white flowers. I dry it and use it in tea. It is available commercially as an extract; you only need a few drops.By itself it has a slightly bitter after-taste. I like to add a few drops along with the erythritol for baking. Stevia is very concentrated and can be purchased at any natural foods

Agave Syrup is a natural, delicious, but slightly higher glycemic option. It is a thin syrup, similar to honey or maple syrup but has much less blood sugar impact than they do. My sweetheart loves it in his tea and I like to use it for baking.

Remember, you don't have to do it all at once. Begin today; pick one or two of these self-care strategies to eat less sugar and you will notice a big difference in a short time. Many of my clients have lost many pounds and dramatically improved their health and moods simply by cutting out soft drinks.

Congratulations on taking this important step toward your vibrant health and happiness!

Author's Bio: 

Start each week replenished and let your life flourish! You can’t save the world if you’re running on empty!
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Soul River Guide, Lea Houston, M.A., helps heart-centered entrepreneurs, artists and healers replenish their souls so they can bring their greatest gifts to the world.