This week, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services updated the official Dietary Guidelines, and there is some bad news for dessert lovers: Apparently Americans are consuming way too much sugar. The average person consumes 12 teaspoons of sugar a day. The new guidelines are calling for a cut-down to 12 percent, or less than 10 percent of daily calories. Considering sugar is in everything from bread to wine, cutting back is no easy feat. Luckily, there is a slew of new books out this month serving up plenty of tips. A few here:
Get your friends on board
Actor and writer Lisa Kotin wrote a whole book (“My Confection") about getting over her addiction to sugar, and one of the things that helped her the most was joining an Overeaters Anonymous support group. Sure, it may be humbling, but Kotin says, for her, the first step was admitting she had a legit problem, and then finding people who could help her overcome it. And it makes sense. If you hang out with a bunch of junk food junkies, chances are, you’re going to indulge yourself. Be upfront with your friends about your goal to cut back on sugar. Then, find new ways to bond, whether it be baking some sugar-free treats, hitting up a yoga class or going to a book reading.
Related: Detoxing: Necessity or nonsense?
Switch up your baking game
If you love sweets but are trying to cut back on sugar, you need some new recipes. Luckily, there’s a new book out this month that’s full of them. “Sensationally Sugar Free” has more than 100 yummy recipes for everything — from ice cream, muffins, cakes, party treats and everyday snacks. Giving up sugar does not mean giving up dessert.
Wait two minutes before you eat a sugary snack
We often indulge in junk food are when we are bored or upset. This is known as emotional eating, and “The Whole Health Diet” by health care practitioner Dr. Mark Mincolla has tips for how to stop. If you find yourself reaching for a sweet snack when you’re not even hungry, stop and think about what is triggering it. The good news is that most cravings disappear after 2 minutes. So just take a beat and think about if you really, really want it. Chances are, you don't.
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