Let this nutritionist advice be your guide
It seems that experts and talking heads everywhere are preaching the benefits of cutting sugar out of our diets. Doing so is said to improve brain function, heart health and even reduce the risk of dementia in the long-term. We spoke with Nikki Ostrower, nutritionist and founder of NAO Nutrition to get her easy and effective tips on how to limit your sugar intake.
Maintain normalized blood sugar levels
If you’re a morning person, it can be very easy to get into the routine of rolling out of bed, throwing on your gym clothes, and heading right to class without eating beforehand. But working out with no fuel can cause your blood sugar to drop and quickly lead to poor health choices following class. “It may be cliche, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day,” Ostrower says. She recommends eating wholesome, high-protein foods such as hard-boiled eggs or Greek yogurt before heading out the door to help stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings.
Prepare your next day’s meals at night
Ostrower suggests overnight oats as an easy way to keep you full the majority of your morning. By switching from the packaged store-brands to store-bought ingredients, you avoid processed sugars that often accompany oatmeals of the instant variety. And by preparing ahead of time, you set yourself for success even on busy days.
Our favorite: Combine chia seeds, steel cut oats, cinnamon, one peeled medium apple, and one cup almond milk. Blend and let refrigerate overnight. Eight hours later and voila! You have a caramel apple in a cup!
Incorporate low glycemic fruits into your shopping cart
Cherries, pears, and grapefruits are all packed with antioxidants and prevent spikes in blood sugar, satisfying your sweet tooth, while keeping your processed sugar cravings at bay.
In contrast, super sugary foods or foods high in carbohydrates amp up glucose levels in your bloodstream. Carbs aren’t all gloom and doom, however, as they can aid in a quick recovery following a vigorous workout. Just remember, balance is essential!
Crave a healthier lifestyle rather than a strictly regulated diet
“2017 is all about lifestyle, rather than resolution,” Ostrower says. Actively seeking nutrient-dense meals rather than empty calories, are much easier goals to aspire to and achieve, than just cutting out sugar cold-turkey. Start small and make minor adjustments.
Written by Victoria Lamina. This post was originally published on ClassPass's blog, The Warm Up. ClassPass is a monthly membership that connects you to more than 8,500 of the best fitness studios worldwide. Have you been thinking about trying it? Start now on the Base Plan and get five classes for your first month for only $19.