How to Stamp Out Sugar
These four principles can help anyone cut down on sugar intake:
1) Eat no more than 24 grams (or six teaspoons) of added sugar in 24 hours. One teaspoon/cube equals four grams. When you see sugar grams on a label, divide by four to get the number of teaspoons. A packet of oatmeal can have 12 grams of sugar — that’s three teaspoons, or half of what Sugar Savvy Solution recommends for the day. Yogurt can have more than 24 grams — your whole day’s allotment. High Voltage recommends that everyone track his or her sugar intake for one week. Many women echo what test panelist Aris Pacheco, 35, said after she did so: “Once I learned how much sugar was in all those things, I didn’t want them anymore.”
2) Kick out trigger foods. Think of those that send you into a state of out-of-control eating, says High Voltage. You want just one spoonful of Nutella, and suddenly you’re scraping the bottom of the jar. You intend to have a few french fries, only to end up eating them all. You probably have some idea of what foods may be problematic for you, but the food-triggers quiz on the previous page can help you zero in. Get these foods out of your kitchen, out of your purse, and out of your office snack drawer.
3) Hydrate correctly. Proper hydration gives you energy, but not if your drinks are loaded with sugar and chemicals. By eliminating soft drinks and other non-diet beverages, the average woman can lose a pound a week. Sugar Savvy Solution calls for drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Adequate water intake may quell your appetite, boost your metabolism, and combat bloating.
4) Fuel every two to four hours.“People complain that they don’t eat all day and still can’t lose weight,” says High Voltage. “If you come home starving, you eat anything and everything, and your body puts it straight into storage because it’s afraid you’re going to starve it again.”
The book ($24.99, available wherever books are sold) is a six-week plan to kick sugar and transform your mind, body, and spirit. You’ll learn to spot hidden sugar, identify trigger foods, and enjoy 40 delicious recipes and sample menus.
Reset Your Taste Buds
The Sugar Savvy Palate Cleanse is a powerful way to jump-start healthy eating while wiping your taste buds clean from the dulling effects of sweetened and processed food. It’s not a fast; High Voltage worked with registered dietitian Jessica Issler to make sure the cleanse was nutritious and healthy (though it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before making any major diet changes).
The secret is soup—or what High Voltage calls Soupalicious!—which floods your body with energy-boosting and nutrient-packed whole foods so you’ll learn how good they make you feel. Test panelist Nancy Barthold, 51, says the Palate Cleanse stopped her desire to constantly hunt for food: “It made me acknowledge true hunger as opposed to just wanting to eat.”
How to do it: Make a batch; eat one to two cups every two hours or so for three to five days. Drink water with and between meals. (If it seems boring to have only Soupalicious Soup all day, experiment with different combos of veggies and spices — get more ideas in Sugar Savvy Solution—or try it chunky instead of pureed.)
SPICE ‘N’ NICE SOUPALICIOUS SOUP
1 1/4 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
12 cups water, divided
1/3 cup coconut or olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes (about 5 inches long), peeled and chopped
2 large bell peppers, any color, chopped (about 11/2 cups)
1 small jicama, peeled and chopped (about 11/2 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 11/2 cups)
1 small bunch chard, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
1 to 2 tbs. chopped cilantro
4 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of onion powder and ancho chile powder to taste
1. Rinse beans thoroughly. In large pot over high heat, place beans and 6 cups water. Boil; reduce heat; simmer for an hour, or until beans are tender.
2. Add remaining ingredients (including remaining 6 cups water); simmer for an additional 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
3. Puree in blender or with immersion blender.
Recipe makes enough soup for 2 days.
farbled/ShutterstockSUGAR SAVVY SAMPLE MEALS
On the Sugar Savvy Solution plan, you’ll eat five times a day: four small, nutritious meals built around vital veggies (leafy greens and nonstarchy produce) and supercharged carbs (whole grains and starchy veggies like sweet potatoes). A daily power drink (made with fruits, veggies, yogurt or a nondairy milk, and a healthy fat) is an easy and filling way to amp up nutrition.
Power Meal 1: Homemade Granola with Greek Yogurt Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine 1/4 cup dry rolled oats and 2 walnut halves, chopped, with 1/2 tsp. melted coconut oil on baking sheet. Bake until oats are lightly browned (about 5 to 10 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool. Top 9 oz. fat-free plain Greek yogurt with granola and 1/2 cup strawberries.
Power Drink 2: Kale-Apple-Pear Power Drink Combine and puree in blender until smooth: 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, 1 cup chopped kale (ribs removed and discarded), 1 cup baby spinach, 1/2 cup sliced apple, 1/2 cup sliced pear, 1/2 small banana, 2 tbs. flaxseed meal, and 1 tbs. chia seeds.
Power Meal 3: Sweet Potato & Chicken Salad Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine 2 cups halved Brussels sprouts and 1/2 cup peeled, cubed sweet potatoes; mist with olive oil, and roast for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Mix warm vegetables with 2 cups baby spinach and 2 tsp. tahini. Serve with 2 oz. grilled chicken breast (pictured).
Power Meal 4: Veggie Stir-Fry In 1 tsp. olive or coconut oil, sauté 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 cup water chestnuts, 1/2 cup broccoli, and 1/2 cup snow peas until tender. Add 3 to 6 oz. light tofu fortified with calcium and vitamins D and B12; heat through. Toss in 2 cups baby spinach; cook until spinach is just wilted. Add 1/2 cup cooked brown rice; stir to combine all ingredients.
Power Meal 5: Portobello Cheesesteak Preheat broiler. In 1 tsp. olive oil, sauté 1 medium (4 oz.) portobello mushroom, sliced, 1/4 cup diced yellow onion, and 1/4 cup chopped, roasted red peppers until softened. Top 1 slice toasted whole grain bread with 1/2 cup salad greens, 1/4 cup mashed black beans, and mushroom mixture. Top with 1 slice (1 oz.) low-fat provolone. Broil until cheese melts.