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We Tried It: Ditching sugar before school starts

I’ve gotta confess: I have a total sweet tooth! I’d take chocolates and cookies over real food any day of the week, Halloween is my fave holiday and my after-school snacks have more than a li’l sugar. But after I read that sugar had some toxic long term affects, I decided it was time for a change. Plus, my sugary snacks were just empty calories, and had me crashing an hour later. So I packed away my candy and decided to go two whole weeks without chowing down on the sweet stuff.

At first, it was majorly annoying – I didn’t know what to eat to replace my formerly fructose-filled foods. But since going hungry wasn’t an option, I did a little research and replaced my unhealthy eats with mini meals of complex carbs, proteins and fruits and vegetables. I ate more at meals since I wasn’t filling up on junk food. By eliminating empty calories, I was full for longer and I felt great.

And after two weeks? Instead of grabbing a tub of ice cream and making up for lost time, I’m now eating sugar in moderation. While my everyday diet has limited sweets, I’ll indulge now and then in a special-occasion treat. But honestly, I don’t even crave sweets that much anymore. I’m switching candy for cheese-sticks and soda for water with lemon. I have more energy to get me through the day.
Here are some tips if you wanna go sugar free:

1.  Pick a realistic amount of time – if you know you won’t make it past a week, don’t promise yourself a sugar-free month. You’ll just end up frustrated! If at the end of a week, you wanna keep going, then you can set another date.

2.  Don’t forget to replace the calories you got from sugar with healthy eats. Hunger = almost guaranteed failure, so make sure you eat enough.

3.  Talk to your parents for support, or buddy up with your bestie to make it a team effort. They’ll keep you on track and support your goals.

BY SARAH GOLDBERG ON 8/14/2011 9:00:00 AM

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