Black coffee is terrible! That's what 50% of folks respond with when asked if they would kick the sweetener habit. And I agree, sort of.
For the past 4 weeks I have been phasing sweeteners out of my daily coffee routine. Why would I do something so crazy? The simple answer is that sweeteners aren't good for me.
CAN SWEETENERS HARM YOU?
The American Heart Association strongly recommends limiting added sugars. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and those extra pounds can lead to a string of health problems. In addition to obesity, it can increase triglyceride levels, a risk factor for heart disease.
It hasn't been easy, though. My palate has been well-trained and I enjoy the sweet taste of a caramel creamer in my coffee. But I am determined to kick the habit.
To make this happen I challenged myself in the only way that made sense, phasing out the sweet additives with a long-term goal of going straight black coffee in 4 weeks.
I didn't quite meet the 4 week mark, but I'm close. 'A' for effort?
MY 5 STEP PROCESS
Before I started the challenge I was putting 2 mini creamer packs in 2 coffees a day for a total of 4 creamer packs. That is a lot, so I knew it was going to be a tough road.
Here's what I did:
- Step 1 - Drop to 1 creamer pack per cup.
- Step 2 - 1/2 creamer pack per cup
- Step 3 - No creamer. 2 packets of sweetener per cup
- Step 4 - 1 packet of sweetener per cup
- Step 5 - 1/2 packet of sweetener per cup
- (not yet here) Final Step - No more additives
This is a simple taste bud retraining exercise, or hack for the kids out there.
Eventually my tastes buds will prefer the taste of black coffee as opposed to sweetened and I will have set myself up for a healthier life.
World Health Organization found that decreased intake of added sugars significantly reduced body weight, whereas increased sugar intake led to a comparable weight increase.
Next week I will be "off the stuff" completely, that doesn't mean I won't treat myself now and again. What are weekends for if not breaking the rules?
What about you?
Would you take the 5 Step Challenge and dump the sweeteners?
Tell us in the comments.