We are staying at home and keeping our social distance to protect our health. It is something we must do to protect ourselves from transmitting the COVID-19 virus. Unfortunately, staying at home can also leads to more sedentary behavior and worsening diets.
The stay-at-home orders requires us to stay at home. Home is not a place where we are used to being active. We can set up workout areas and exercise but what about everyday activity? We sit or lie down most of the time we are at home. We stand up and walk around the house some as well, but not nearly as much. A sedentary lifestyle can easily lead to overeating. Food manufacturers make it easy to eat their snack foods. Pop open a bag, unscrew the cap or pop the top. It is so easy to eat junk food. The food tastes great and is fun to eat. What’s more fun to eat, carrot sticks or potato chips?
Eating too much sugar makes you lethargic and can eventually lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The average American consumes 82 grams of added sugar per day which is three times the daily recommendation of the American Heart Association for 25 grams per day.
There are 39 grams of sugar in one 12oz can of regular Coke. Drinking one Coke in a day puts you over the recommended limit of daily sugar.
Only about 30% of Americans eat less than the recommended amount of sugar each day. About half of the added sugar comes from beverages such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, sport and energy drinks and alcoholic beverages. About 30% of added sugar comes from snacks and sweets.
Here are a few tips to turn the tide on sugar intake:
Cut back on the table sugar. White and brown sugar, syrup, honey and molasses are the main culprits in the war on sugar. Do not buy them. If you are a regular user than cut back. Work on cutting your sugar intake in half.
Swap the soda for water. Sugary sodas contain a lot of sugar. Swap the soda for water. Sparkling water with some flavor can be a substitute for soda. Add another glass or two of regular water as well.
Eat more fresh foods. Processed foods often contain more sugar. Eat a fresh peach versus a peach in a syrup from a package. Introduce more fresh fruits and vegetables slowly into your diet to replace your processed foods.
Cut back on your portions. The number of sugary foods you eat can contribute greatly to weight gain. You can eat some foods with sugar if you cut back on the amount you eat. Limit the portion size. Have one soda instead of two. Eat one donut instead of two or three. Start by cutting the number of sugary items you eat in half.