How to cut out corn syrup, sugar and other sweeteners from your diet

October 27, 2015

Plenty of foods that are sweet enough on their own. So how can you cut out added adding sugar, corn syrup and other sweeteners for a more balanced diet? Here are some hints.

How to cut out corn syrup, sugar and other sweeteners from your diet

How to cut out corn syrup, sugar, sweeteners

If you've been indulging your sweet tooth a bit too much lately and want to make a change, cutting out added sugars, corn syrups and other sweeteners are a great way to start. You don't really need these in your diet to maintain a healthy, balanced way of eating, and cutting them out one by one is easier than you think.

The First Week

Day 1: Go a little easy on yourself on the first day you're decreasing the amount. The goal is long-term success that's built up gradually, not a sudden cold-turkey approach that may increase the chances of relapse. On the first day, start with these small steps.

  • Add 25% less sugar to your coffee or tea each time you make a cup. If you've been adding sweeteners to your coffee or tea, switch to brown sugar instead.
  • Increase the amount of water you're drinking so your body has a chance to flush out the existing added sugars.
  • Try removing sugary or sweetened snacks out of your home or office. If you have a tough time with this, at least put them in cupboards or shelves so you can't see them, or consider switching to a less-sugary alternative.

Day 2: You've made a lot of big changes on the first day, and the second day is meant to not only carry over that momentum, but keep building on your successes.

  • Go shopping for fruits to add to your diet as you rotate them in place of the existing treats. Cherries, apples, pineapples, grapes and strawberries are very naturally sweet, so you can get the flavour boost without nearly as many detrimental effects.
  • Take time to read the hidden code in nutrition labels so you can avoid shopping for artificially sweetened foods on your next shopping trip. The food industry has a whole bunch of words that mean added sugar, which include: sucrose, fructose, agave, corn syrup, cane sugar and more. They're all sweeteners, not naturally-occurring sugars.

Day 3: Just like quitting smoking, the third day is often a plateau you can reach to have confidence to keep going higher and higher. If you've made it this far, you're starting to enter habit-forming territory and it's time to make cutting out sweeteners part of your life.

  • Pick up an active hobby that you enjoy, whether it's swimming laps, playing squash, joining a running club or a recreational soccer league. The key is to get moving and become part of a social community so you both stay active and find support.
  • Focus on sleeping better so your body is better able to handle the decreased amount of added sugars in your diet.

The Second Week

Continue to build on the success you've had in the first week, adding these next tips to keep you going.

  • Explore new meals to cook, and let yourself discover how spices can jazz up a dish so you don't feel the need to add artificial sweeteners to your food.
  • When cooking, focus on incorporating fats and proteins to richen the food's flavour. As long as they're healthy sources, fats and proteins can help to regulate your blood sugar levels naturally.

The Third Week

If you can make it this far, then you've officially created a habit. Avoiding sweeteners and artificial sugars will start to feel natural at this point, so it's okay to go out of your comfort zone even more.

  • Talk to your doctor about various supplements or multivitamins you can incorporate into your diet to really take it to the next level.
  • Spend some time exploring various emotional issues that may be related to your adding artificial sweeteners to your diet. It may be there's a root cause behind it that, once dealt with, can help you make an added sugar-free diet easier to manage.
  • Make sure to eat regularly so your blood sugar levels are always at good levels. Letting yourself get too hungry can throw your body into disarray, making it harder to resist adding artificial sugars and sweeteners.

Cutting out artificial sugars like corn syrup or sweeteners will take a bit of time, especially if you've been used to it for a long time. Be patient with yourself and don't get discouraged if you take a step back, reminding yourself it's all about long-term success.

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