The World Health Organisation recommends limiting sugar intake to 6 teaspoons of sugar a day (which equates to about 25g). However, research has shown the average Australian consumes more than double the recommended amount, consuming an average of 60g of sugar each day, or the equivalent of 14 teaspoons of sugar.
Being aware of how much sugar you are consuming is a key part of ensuring that you consume a healthy and nutritious diet. Cutting back on sugar doesn’t have to be hard, follow the below steps, to kick start a healthier lifestyle.
Create a new 'normal' for yourself
Have you ever attempted a new ‘quick fix’ diet only to find that you simply could not stick to it? We have all been there, and the reason why they don’t work out is that they fail to provide a realistic and long-lasting plan to replace the previous choices a person is trying to move away from. Instead, try to focus on creating a collection of low-sugar and nutritious foods that will leave you feeling satisfied and your sugar cravings forgotten. This way, you will feel fuller longer and not wanting to reach out for sugary items as much.
Cleanse your kitchen from sugary foods and drinks
One of the best ways to help cut back on sugar is quite simple: eliminate the temptations from your kitchen! Your kitchen is the centre of your journey to cutting back on sugar, but knowing that there’s a packet of Tim Tams hiding in the pantry is a sure way of giving in to the temptation of sugar. Start by clearing out the obvious culprits: soft drinks, bakery items, biscuits, chocolate and other sweets. Then, begin to scope out the less-obvious items by looking closely at their nutrition labels for signs of the other names sugar goes by, such as fructose, dextrose and maltodextrin. The full list can easily be found with a quick Google search (there’s a lot more than you think!).
Develop a low-sugar plan
Adopting a mindful and focused mentality towards eating will help you to sustain long-term in cutting back on your sugar intake. Instead of making food and drink choices while on ‘autopilot’, start listening for the cues your body makes on what it really wants, and you will then find it easier to make healthier choices that don’t feel like they are being forced onto you. Plan your meals in advance using whole foods that are not processed, and you will not find yourself at the mercy of cravings from not being prepared!
Learn how to beat your cravings
There are easy ways to beat your cravings. By ensuring you drink enough water during the day, along with eating small amounts of food every 3-4 hours, will keep your hunger at bay and prevent cravings from overwhelming you. Other ways to beat cravings including getting exercise, getting enough sleep at nighttime, and finding a positive hobby that you can invest your effort into as a distraction.
You’ve got this, don't let any setbacks make you think you have failed. Learn from it, get back up, and try again!
 Fayet-Moore, F.; McConnell, A.; Kim, J.; Mathias, K.C. Identifying Eating Occasion-Based Opportunities to Improve the Overall Diets of Australian Adolescents. Nutrients 2017, 9, 608.