If you are trying to lose weight and want to cut down on the amount of sugar that you are consuming, a good place to start is with your tea and coffee. Especially in during the winter months when our consumption of hot drinks tend to increase.
After all, this is sugar that you are manually adding to your hot drinks, rather than sugar that is found in foods or drinks.As part of The Healthy Mummy 28 day weight loss plans, we recommend limiting your sugar intake to natural sugars such as those found in fruit, vegetables, dairy, honey and natural sweeteners.
Today we have 7 tips to help you to gradually cut back your sugar in your hot drinks, with the hope that eventually you can enjoy them sugar free.
Not all of them will work for everyone, so try to find the ones that sounds doable for you, and go for it.
1. You could visualise it
Think about how many teaspoons of sugar you are adding to your hot drinks each day and then multiply that by 7 days. So if you are adding a teaspoon to your tea twice a day that’s 2 teaspoons x 7 days which is 14 teaspoons per week. Measure out 14 teaspoons of sugar and put them in a bowl. Think about the fact that this amount of sugar is being purposefully added to your diet each week.
For some people, this visual reminder could be enough to rev up their motivation to begin reducing their added sugar intake.
2. You could try to gradually reduce it
Rather than going cold turkey, try to halve your intake for a week before halving it again. So if you currently add 2 teaspoons of sugar to your morning coffee, try having 1 teaspoon in your coffee this week. Then next week, make it ½ a teaspoon. By gradually reducing the sweetness it gives your body time to get used to the new taste.
3. You could try sweet alternatives
Why not try adding some honey to your tea instead of sugar? You could also try adding cinnamon or cocoa/cacao to your coffee. Or how about a sweetener such as Stevia which you only need a small amount of? You could also try adding sliced lemon or orange to black tea as a sweet alternative to sugar.
4. You could reduce your caffeine intake
Another idea (mostly aimed at those consuming 3 or more hot drinks per day) is to reduce the number of hot caffeinated drinks each day. For instance if you are having coffee first thing, and then a coffee at morning tea and a tea in the afternoon – try cutting out the tea and you have already reduced your sugar by 1/3 per day.
5. You could incorporate some herbal teas
Most people don’t feel the need to sweeten herbal teas, so why not try switching out some of your regular tea or coffee for a herbal tea instead?
Often just the process of brewing tea and sitting down to drink it is where people get their enjoyment (whether it’s herbal or caffeinated tea).
6. You could try using different milk
Switching out your cow’s milk for almond milk, soy milk or even rice milk could add the depth of flavour that you might feel that you are missing.
7. You could change your current brand
Some people find that switching to a different brand can be a good way to break the sugar habit. For instance if you can find a coffee that tastes smoother or less bitter than your current fave, it might make it easier to reduce the amount of sugar that you add to it. Or you might change from a regular black tea to something like Earl Grey which has a different flavour that you might be able to better enjoy without sugar.
You can learn about sugar alternatives here