What are some easy steps I can do to lose weight and reduce sugar in my diet?

Here are 6 simple and easy steps you can take right now to lose weight and get started on a healthier lifestyle.

  1. Drink 1 less sugar based drink a day — with the goal of no longer having it as part of your daily diet.
  2. Downsize your drink.  Ask for a small instead of a large.  For example, a super-size soda contains the equivalent of 4 or 5 regular 12 ounce cans, which contains about 48 packets of sugar and has 720 calories.
  3. Replace one sugary drink with water every week. Substituting water for one 20 ounce sugar-sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.
  4. Switch from fruit juice to real fruit.  Fruit juice has added sugar.
  5. Stop drinking energy or sports drinks.  Water is all you need to stay hydrated, even when you exercise.
  6. If you are a parent, don’t buy sugar-sweetened drinks.  It is a lot easier to avoid drinking sodas and sugary drinks if they are not in the cabinets at home.

Reducing intake of sugar-sweetened beverages is one of the simplest ways to reduce intake of added sweeteners.  And, given the strong association of sugar-sweetened drinks with body weight and obesity, it is also a very simple way to reduce calorie intake and therefore lose weight.

Certainly, it is most optimal to cut out sugar-sweetened drinks entirely.  However, just by eliminating one sugared sweetened beverage (SSB) a day, you will be well on your way to better health.

Read the AMA Council on Science and Public Health Report on sugar-sweetened drinks.

Russell Kridel, MD

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