Sugar Survival Secrets

When I consult with new clients, a recurring theme I often find is that clients are eating too infrequently and consume MUCH more sugar than they should. Eating too infrequently is quite obvious, but the sugars are often hidden, and most people have no idea how much sugar they consume on a daily basis.

Americans are addicted to sugar. On average, we consume 355 calories per day, from sugar alone. That’s approximately 22 teaspoons!   When you think about lining up 22 teaspoons, you say “I don’t eat that much sugar”, but trust me, you do. There are hidden sugars in so many places that you don’t even realize. Just look at your morning breakfast cereal and milk.

4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar.

A serving of milk is 1/2 cup, but I don’t know of anyone who only uses a 1/2 cup. Most people use closer to 1 cup. 1 cup of skim milk has 12g of sugar, which equals 3 teaspoons. Add a cup of Special K Red Berries and there’s another 10g of sugar, which equals 2.5 teaspoons. With that “healthy” breakfast alone, your at 1/4 of what most Americans are consuming for sugar. It only gets worse from there.

So, what do you do? The first thing to realize is that sugar is addictive. The more of it you eat, the more you crave it. Sugar is like a drug, it really is! Too much sugar is bad for your heart <3

So how much sugar SHOULD you consume? According to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than 6 teaspoons a day, and men should consume no more than 9 teaspoons a day. That sounds like nothing…guess what, it is! Think of all the added calories you’ve just eliminated. At the end of the day, that equates to less weight to lose. You’re already closer to your goal weight :)

Sounds simple enough, right? Well it can be, if you follow these simple steps.

1) Instead of cereal and milk for breakfast, try egg whites and old fashioned oatmeal. If you really need to sweeten your oatmeal a little, add Stevia/Truvia and some cinnamon.

2) Read ALL labels – my cardinal rule is, stick to single digit sugars PER SERVING. If the box says it’s 6 grams/serving, you’re ok. If the box says 10+ grams per serving, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.






3) Even easier than label reading is to limit your consumption of foods that come in any box. When grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store. There you will find your fresh fruits and veggies, meats and other non-processed foods. Almost all foods in a box or wrapper will not meet the under 10 grams of sugar rule.

4) Eat whey protein – it WILL reduce your sugar cravings.  Go to your local health food store and ask for a low sugar, low carb, good quality whey and your sales associate should be able to help you find one.  Just one scoop of protein per day will help keep the sugar cravings away 😉

Most importantly, remember – everything is ok in moderation. If you can add one of these rules into your lifestyle every week or two, you’ll be reaching your health and fitness goals in no time. Good luck, and keep me posted on your success!



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About Rachel Ettinger

Rachel has been competing in the NPC for 7 years. In the last 3 years, she's competed in 9 NPC Bikini competitions across the US. She holds the following certifications: ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, ISSA Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, and Adult CRP & AED. She believes that every family can easily live a healthy lifestyle and looks forward to contributing to your health and success! You can visit Rachel at