We are 1/3 of the way done with January and this Healthy Living Challenge. Those of you that have been following along have been doing phenomenal. Shoutout to my cousin Donna, who has already lost 4 inches! She’s proof that it’s possible to change your habits and lose weight without following a ridiculous diet.
Yesterday was a fun challenge for me because I shared a recipe and asked you to all go meatless again. Obviously I’m a vegetarian so I go meatless everyday, but I think it’s a really great thing to add to your repertoire once a week. As we move on, these challenges will get more difficult. But my hope is that you are feeling healthier overall and are up for more difficult tasks. Today, I have a 2-day challenge. I would have made this a whole week, but I think you would hate me…
Day 12 & 13: Skip The Added Sugar
Sugar is hidden in many processed foods, like bread, sriracha, pretzel crisps, cereal, yogurt and most crackers, and overeating these foods often leads to weight gain. Recent research has actually found that sugar in refined carbohydrates, such as cookies, cakes, donuts, pastries, sodas, etc. contributes more to heart disease than saturated fat found in red meats.
Sugar is found naturally in certain foods, like fruits, vegetables, grains and dairy. But, sugar is also “added” to many foods, and that is the sugar that I want you to avoid. The reason this is two-day challenge is because I want you to become familiar with reading the ingredients on food labels to look for added sugar. Sugar has many names, which makes it difficult to pick out on a food label. Some of sugar’s aliases are high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose, honey, raw sugar, malt syrup, rice syrup, xylose, molasses, corn sweetener, fruit juice concentrate, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, cane sugar, crystalline fructose, barley malt, beet sugar, and caramel. Avoid any product with these ingredients for the next two days. I know this might seem difficult, but think on the bright side…at least it’s not two weeks!
If you need some inspiration, see this post on 15 no-sugar added snacks. Good luck!
And, don’t forget how to win 3 free nutrition counseling sessions: Follow along with as many Challenge Days as possible and let me know that you did by either commenting on my blog, Tweeting (@nutritionalanat) at me, posting a picture to my Instagram (nutritionalanat), or writing on my Facebook page.