Do you look forward to your morning coffee each day? I know I do. Coffee is often an essential part of our day’s and sets the tone of the rest of the day. For some of us, coffee is how we wake up, how we get out the door, or how we get motivated to respond to that pesky email when we sit down at our desks at work. There’s no doubt that coffee is important to many. Me included! But is our coffee crux making us fat, sluggish and addicted to something more than just caffeine?
The thing is for many of us, it’s what we’re putting into our coffee that’s the problem. Highly processed sugars are often the culprit for many of our health woes, and it’s not easy to stop using the stuff, once it’s become apart of our daily routine.
We add sugar to our coffee sometimes out of habit, because we think it makes it taste better, or because that’s the way we’ve be bought up. But cutting back on sugar in your coffee can be done, and it’s not as hard as you might think.
Cutting Back On Sugar In Your Coffee – Let’s Kick The Habit!
Years ago, I was having 2 cups of coffee a day, each with 2 teaspoons of sugar. It was a habit I had got into. The truth is, I wasn’t sure I even really liked the taste of coffee, but I kept on drinking it and putting sugar in every time. Why? Because growing up, adding sugar to everything was normal, because sugar made everything taste better.
I’ve now been 5 years without any sugar or sweetener of any kind in my coffee, and I love it. In fact, I’ve never even been tempted to go back to my old ways. These days, I not only love my coffee sugar free, I actually look forward to it each day more than I ever used to.
- I can taste and appreciate the coffee more
- I drink less coffee
- I avoid the sugar spikes, and sugar crashes
- My tastebuds prefer less sweetness overall in other food and drinks
- No sugar in my coffee, is another step to helping me maintain my weight
- I feel better knowing that I’m not consuming bad addictive sugars
10 Ways to Cut Back On Sugar In Your Coffee
1. Become Aware of How Much Sugar Your Using
If like me you’re having 2 cups of coffee a day, with 2 teaspoons of white or raw sugar, that's 14 teaspoons of sugar you’re eating per week. Grab a bowl and put 14 teaspoons of sugar in there and look at it for a bit. Take a moment to notice how it makes you feel, knowing that you are putting that much of something so addictive into your body each week.
Sometimes all it takes is taking a moment and tuning into our awareness of what our habits are to see whether or not they are good for us.
2. Cut The Amount Of Sugar In Half
If you’re having 2 teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, cut back to one teaspoon. If you’re having sweetener in your coffee, try halving it.
3. Have One Less Coffee per day or per week
If you’re having 2 cups of coffee a day with 2 sugars, try cutting back to one cup of coffee and drinking more water instead.
If you have one cup of coffee in the morning, try skipping it on weekends, or one day during the week. Consider replacing it with a herbal tea, or hot chocolate.
4. Change Coffee Brands
Sometimes the coffee we’re drinking is quite strong, or overly bitter so adding sugar tames in down. Why not try a different brand of coffee if you’re making it at home, or try a different coffee shop if you’re buying it
5. Switch From Sugar To Stevia
I like stevia because it’s a natural sweetener and this is a good alternative, if you’re looking to cut back on sugar, and also reduce your calories.
6. Switch From Sugar To Raw Honey
If you find it hard to stomach a natural sweetener, grab some raw honey from your farmers market or health food shop to add to coffee you make at home. Make sure to buy raw honey that is straight from the hive and has not been processed. Even if you buy your coffee, these days many coffee shops have good quality honey on hand to sweeten coffee.
Generally, if you’re used to having 2 teaspoons of white sugar, try swapping it with 1 ½ or 2 small teaspoons of raw honey.
7. Change Your Milk
Did you know that different milks can affect the sweetness of your coffee, even before you add any sweetener? For example, skinny milks and low fat milks can often contain added sweeteners or sugars to make up for the lack of fat content. For this reason, I now only drink full fat Lattes and Cappuccinos. The added benefit, is that they also keep me fuller for longer thanks to the higher protein content in the full fat milk.
8. Add a little Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
This is a great tip if you like chocolate, as much as you like coffee. Unsweetened cocoa powder is usually available form mainstream supermarkets. Sometimes in the baking aisle, or maybe in the health food section of the store. A little bit of unsweetened powder shaken on top of a flat white is just enough to take a strong and slightly bitter coffee to a whole new level – with adding additional sugars.
9. Add a little Ground Cinnamon
When I’m not feeling in the mood for cocoa powder, I’ll use ground cinnamon which works especially well on top of the frothed milk, stirred into the coffee. The cinnamon adds a hint of sweetness without being too overpowering.
TIP: Make sure not to use “cinnamon sugar” as this is still processed sugar.
10. Add a little Vanilla Essence or Almond Essence
Vanilla or Almond essence are also great natural sweeteners to keep on hand and it’s super easy to add a teaspoon to your favourite coffee for a little added sweetness and flavour.
How To Replace Sugar In Coffee - BONUS TIP
If you always buy your coffee from a coffee shop on the way to work, or you nip out on your morning break to your fave coffee shop, grab your coffee without sugar and add your own sweetener. Keep a little stash of ground cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla or almond essence in your work drawer.
How do you stop sugar in coffee Completely?
Do an Experiment for 3 Weeks with no sugar or sweeteners in your coffee. Give yourself 21 days to test whether or not coffee without sugar is something that you want to make a lifelong habit.
If you’re an all or nothing type of personality, this might be something you’d like to try.
This is a great way to retrain your brain to notice things about you morning coffee ritual that you might not of noticed before. Things like:
- The different colours in the coffee
- The aroma of the coffee
- The warmth of the coffee cup as you hold it in your hand
- The taste of the coffee and what it reminds you of
- How the coffee makes you feel
A study conducted by the journal of Health Psychology actually found that people who quit cold turkey having sugar in their coffee and instead practiced mindfulness when they were drinking it, were more effective long term at giving up sugar in their coffee, than those who tried to gradually reduce their sugar.
This is how I kicked my sugar in coffee habit. Cold Turkey and by applying simple mindfulness practices like those above.
The Wrap Up
Cutting back on sugar in your coffee can be a great way to start your journey to cleaning up your diet overall. Rather than trying to make a complete shift in your diet in one go, start with something small, like reducing sugar in your coffee.
Not only will you notice your tastebuds start to change and adjust you might also start to look for other areas to reduce sugar in your diet, like cutting back the number of diet soft drinks or sodas you have each day, or looking for a breakfast cereal that is lower in sugar.
Eating less sugar will make a difference to your moods, how you feel and how you clothes fit, and once you’ve mastered cutting back on sugar in coffee, it’ll become easier to look for other ways to cut back.