Creating Healthy Habits: Moving More on Less Sugar

Like many women – and men – around the country, I would like to lose some weight and in general be be more healthy in my day-to-day life.

In the past, I’ve done Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach and probably a variety of other diets that I’ve forgotten. And I’ve done a variety of workout programs. I’ve been successful on all of them – but not long term. I think diet-wise, that I had the most success on Weight Watchers, but before I go back to that I want to embrace simplicity and create a few “simple sparkles” for my health.

So to that end, I have two goals that I want to start with:

Creating Healthy Habits: Reducing Sugar
Sugar” by Moyan Brenn / CC BY 2.0

1) Reduce my overall sugar intake. I have a huge sweet tooth but increasingly evidence is mounting that excessive sugar intake may be behind a lot of the health problems facing our population. And I know I eat more sugar than is healthy. So my goal is to reduce my overall (added) sugar intake. I put in “added” because sugar from whole foods (fruit, veggies) isn’t metabolized the same way.

Dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association and World Health Organization recommend no more than 9-12 teaspoons of added sugar (that’s 36-48 grams of sugar). I’d like to keep my added sugar intake below that level at least 5-6 days per week (allowing for an occasional treat).

I’m going to start tracking my daily sugar intake to see where I’m at now and try to reduce it steadily until I’m at that level. I know it’s going to be difficult sometimes to differentiate between added and natural sugars but I’m going to do my best! My one question that I need to do more research on is  whether or not I should count sugar from fruit that I put into a smoothie? (Not juicer – but smoothie!) Any thoughts/input would be appreciated!

2) Get at least 30 minutes of *added* activity, 5 times per week. This one is pretty straightforward, I want to get at least 30 minutes of added activity (so outside of chores, normal activity) at least 5 times per week. Eventually I’d like to increase this or get more specific, but I think this is a good place to start.

One of the first ways I want to do this is to add an extra walk for our dog every day. We have a loop in a park near our house that takes about 30 minutes. So I’m going to try to add one of these walks every morning.

I think I’m going to use MyFitnessPal to track both sugar and exercise (one stop shop!), at least for now. I’ll try to report back progress soon and hopefully I’ll be able to describe a more healthy me! Wish me luck!

About Lindsey

Hello! I'm a 30 year old, newly married, lady living outside of one of the best cities in the USA! I work in communications, love to read, recently purchased an RV with my husband (yay for road trips!) and am looking forward to starting a family soon-ish. I love to smile and hope to make other people smile too!

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