A guide and printable to help you reach your goal of limiting added sugar sweets.
Hello All! Welcome to 2021 on The Farm Chicken. Though it was kind of a strange year it went fast. At the beginning of the year I had a little baby and now a cruising toddler at the close of the year. I’m excited to share this post on limiting added sugar sweets.
‘Tis the season for New Years’ resolutions.
In my opinion you shouldn’t wait until the beginning of the calendar to make changes or start doing something good. With that being said it can be just what a person needs to give a good boost of determination. Just remember – don’t wait for the New Year to make a positive change. There is no time like the present!
Limiting Sweets Not Eliminating Sweets
I am going to talk about something that possibly, all of us have struggled with at some point…limiting sweets. It seems the more that you eat the more you want. Sweets can be addicting and can leave you feeling unhealthy and blah; when eaten in an overabundance. That is why this post is about limiting not eliminating. As a general rule treating yourself is fine and really making a change like this shouldn’t be dreaded.
Side Note: God has given us something sweet, fruit, that not only tastes good but has so many of the necessary vitamins and antioxidants that our bodies need to function well.
Let’s try a mindset shift…
It’s hard to think we choose the super sweet empty calorie options over the nutrient dense beautiful fruit. Friends, fruit is so good! Juicy peaches, sweet watermelon, crisp apples and tart pomegranates. Try not to crave it right now as you’re reading this…. you’re welcome! (Maybe take a break here and go grab some fruit to snack on while you read this.) In abundance, fruit is truly better than added sugary treats.
I had so much fun putting together the printable that goes along with this post. I hope you guys have fun using it and find it to be a successful tool to reach your goal. You can either print it off or download it and type in your information.
Here is the Printable Link for Limiting Added Sugar Sweets:
Here is a breakdown of how to use the printable:
(It might be easier to get the printable at this point so that you can follow along with what I am talking about. Up to you! To get the printable just click the link above and either print it out or download it to your device and add the info in that way.)
The printable includes a:
- Sweet Tracker
- Goal Setter
- Nature’s Sweet Guide
- Rewards Page!
How to Use the Sweet Tracker
Fill out a box each day with the sweets that you consume. There is a handy list of some of the sweets you might encounter to give you an idea of what is included in a sweets serving. Here are a couple more that I wanted to expound on:
Yogurt can be misleading. It can be part of a balanced diet but be mindful of what yogurt you are choosing. Some yogurts are chock full of added sugar. As a rule most Greek yogurts contain less sugar and are a pretty safe bet when it comes to lower sugar intake per serving.
Yes, you can have a serving of fruit juice if you’d like but watch the label. Look for 100% juice options. A lot of juice is labeled as a juice drink and only contains like 4% juice…you guessed it these just have a lot of added sugars.
After 4 days you will add up all these sweets and divide them by 4 to get an average. I would recommend including at least one day during the weekend as this is generally when the sweets temptation can be the highest.
NOTE: This in no way is to make you feel guilty from how many sweets you eat. It is intended to get an idea so you can see where you are at and decide where you would like to be. As a general rule sweets are just fine to enjoy; just think moderation. My favorite word in the nutrition world!!
How to Use the Goal Setter
Great! You made it through your Sweet Tracker! I hope you enjoyed that process. Do you have any ideas of what you want your goal to be? How many sweets do you want to eliminate per day?
In this step we get to each set a goal for ourselves, write it down and work towards it! The process is guided through the first 3 weeks and then you will be on your way to making it a habit and sticking to it. So exciting!
The best kind of changes to make are those that improve you, directly, that way you are more effective in how you live your life and help others.
It takes 3 weeks to create a habit.
Let’s talk about your goal. I feel like each person will be a little different here and that is okay. Do what will work for you but make sure it is a little out of your comfort zone.
Remember this: It is best to start small and work big when you are working towards something. You are way more likely to become discouraged if you try to eliminate too much all at once. This is why the 3 weeks on the Goal Setter are gradual.
Here is an idea if you need something to spark your goal:
2-3 Added Sugar Items a day
Ways to help reach the goal:
Give Yourself Options When You are Craving Something Sweet
Here is where that mindset shift comes in again; if you are craving something sweet. Guess what? You can have something sweet! Yay! You have 2 options:
1. Use one of your added sugar treats for the day
2. Grab some sweet fruit and reap the reward of feeding your body nutrient dense food!
Keep Fruit Around and Convenient
Steps to do this better:
- Add it to your grocery list for the week.
- Pick one day out of the week for fruit prep – wash it and portion it out if you can so it is convenient
- Set it on the counter in a cute basket where you can see it (Maybe your reward for reaching your goal could be a cute fruit basket? More on a reward down below!)
- I have included a seasonal fruit tracker in the printable to give you ideas of what fruits are best to have during different seasons. I think it turned out pretty cute…
- Be willing to try new fruit. You might surprise yourself with what you’ll like.
Keep (to many) Added Sugar Treats Out of the House
Another point I can’t stress enough! If you don’t want yourself to eat it why are you keeping it in your house? No, really stop and think about that for a second. If you identify the reasons it might just help you reach this great goal you set for yourself! Yay, again!!
I have personal experience with this too so I will share.
Growing up we had a candy/treat cupboard. Which don’t get me wrong is not a bad thing but what it was, was so much easier to have sweets. My parents set rules when we were growing up to limit how much we ate so it worked for our family.
As I got older though and moved out I realized what I found to be a normal candy cupboard was not necessarily the norm or necessary. Now in our home we don’t have a candy cupboard. And the less I keep in the house the less added sugar sweets I eat. Does this make us better than people that do have candy cupboards? No, but it has helped us keep our extra sweet intake down and guess what guys?! When we do eat a dessert or go out for a treat we actually really appreciate it and enjoy it. It’s what works for us and maybe could help you.
We do keep a couple treats in the house. Usually its cookies in the freezer and maybe ice cream or pop-tarts.
Try to avoid keeping sweets that are easily accessible in the house. If we want a sweet we have to make it, defrost it, go get it out of the freezer or toast it. It takes work and can discourage the impulse of just eating it because it’s there.
When we do have something like M&M’s or little candy bars sitting on the counter they just don’t last long; even with the best intentions to save them for company. Ha!
Limiting yourself is not a bad thing and does not have to be seen as a negative experience.
The last page of your printable is the Reward page. Print this page off and put it somewhere as a good reminder as you are working towards your goals. Maybe next to your candy cupboard if you have one.
Only one suggestion here; make your reward something other than food! Write it down in the fun box and work hard for that goal! (Maybe this fruit basket?) Make sure it is something good! When you are feeling discouraged think about that thing you want and it will be just the nudge you need to keep working toward your goal.
Do You Notice the Difference?
Yay! As you consume less added sugar sweets I hope you notice the difference in the way you feel and how your “cravings” change to other things.
I will be doing this challenge this month over on my Instagram. Come follow along and we’ll have a great time doing this together, we can keep each other in check and I will do my best to help you and answer any questions you have along the way.
You can also drop any questions or comments below!
Mariah Nienhuis, NDTR
*Note: This program is intended for the general healthy population. It is not personalized nutrition advice and if you are in need of this please visit with your doctor.*
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. Genesis 1:29