Sugar Challenge

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

I challenge you to cut back on the amount of added sugar you are consuming. Harmful sugar / Healthier sugar is still sugar. In excess, it still does harm to your body.

I have done this the last few years with my pre-k families. The response has always been very positive. After our nutrition unit I had a little girl hold up her snacks in her hands and say, “Teeeacherrrr, I don’t know what to eat, my mom packed two junk foods.” If 4-5 year olds can grasp the concept of too much sugar, I’m sure you’ll do quite well.

This one shocked me! 42 grams of sugar in one serving. Holy cow, that's 3 1/2 days of sugar in one drink for that little 4 year old.
This one shocked me! 42 grams of sugar in one serving. Holy cow, that’s       3 1/2 days of sugar in one drink for a little 4 year old.

First, see how much sugar you or your family are really consuming. You may be surprised. Write down and keep a total of the grams in your typical diet for 3-4 days. Pay attention to serving size, because come on, who really eats one serving? If you have a cup of ice cream you need to double the sugar, because a serving is usually only 1/2 cup. Do you really know how much a 1oz. serving is? I was way off in my estimation. Borrow a food scale from a friend.

If you eat out frequently, restaurants often have their nutrition information on their websites.

There's 13 gms of sugar in 2 T of this barbecue sauce.
There’s 13 grams of sugar in 2 T of this barbecue sauce.
This barbecue sauce only has 6 grams for the same amount.
This barbecue sauce only has 6 grams for the same amount.

Look for hidden sugar in processed foods (ketchup, tomato sauce, salad dressing, chicken nuggets, etc.) even some milks add sugar. Sugar is in places you wouldn’t expect, so check everything. Don’t forget those fancy coffees and teas.

10 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup of this tomato sauce.
10 grams of sugar in 1/2 cup of this tomato sauce.
Only 3 grams of sugar in this tomato sauce.
Only 3 grams of sugar in this tomato sauce.

Next, cut back on sugar a little at a time. Sugar is addictive and there can be withdrawal. So gradually is good. Set a goal for yourself.

For example, you can cut back sugar by 25%, cut it in half,  or perhaps cut down to the recommended amounts.

Substitute healthier items. The easiest substitute is water for juice. Juice is junk food. It is mostly sugar. 8oz of grape juice can have 30g of sugar! That is 2 ½ days’ worth of sugar for children’s little bodies in one drink! It’s even more than 1 day’s sugar for a woman.

Fruit on the Bottom yogurt seems healthy, but it is sporting 30 grams of sugar.
Fruit on the Bottom yogurt seems healthy, but it is sporting 30 grams of sugar.

If you really want to kick the sugar habit, cut out added sugar all together for a few weeks and allow your body to reset itself. Be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms. Don’t worry they go away by day 4. You will come out the other end better off. I don’t know of anyone who didn’t survive cutting out sugar.

I’m confident you will survive it, although at the time it won’t feel that way. When my family cut out sugar for a few weeks, some of my children were sure they weren’t going to make it. My daughter claimed she didn’t have the energy to lift her arms up to go shopping. No drama in our house….ever…

This healthy apple bar - 17 grams sugar
This healthy apple bar –
17 grams sugar

Keep in mind you are only cutting back on added sugar right now.  You are still getting more than enough sugar that occurs naturally in foods. That can be over done as well. Go easy on the fruit consumption. Bananas and other fruits have quite a bit of sugar. Berries contain the lowest amount of natural sugar.

You up for it?

Sugar Challenge

  • Difficulty: moderate but worth it
  • Print

Typical Sugar Consumption:

Day 1 ___________________                   Day 3 _________________

Day 2 ___________________                   Day 4 _________________

Our Goal:

_________________________________________________________________

Food Changes We Will Make:

__________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________

New Totals:

Day 1 _______________                  Day 6 ________________

Day 2 ______________                    Day 7 ________________

Day 3 _______________                  Day 8 ________________

Day 4 _______________                  Day 9 ________________

Day 5 _______________                  Day 10 _______________

Give it a try. Let me know how you do!

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