After the 10 days are over, it is so important to remember everything you have learned and to minimize added sugars in your diet each day.

Stick to real, whole foods

Minimize heavily processed foods with more than five ingredients and ingredients you cannot pronounce.

Read food labels

Remember the importance of reading food labels and choosing items that don’t have sugar in the ingredient list. If they do, you want sugar and any other words for sugar to be as close to the bottom of the ingredient list as possible to limit your intake.

Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store

Remember to look for healthier, unprocessed options. This will continue to be essential for good health.

Have a balanced plate

Your lunch and dinner plate should have half of the plate filled with nonstarchy vegetables, one-quarter with lean protein and one-quarter with carbohydrates. Aim for two to three servings of fruit a day and remember to incorporate heart-healthy fats into your diet daily and drink plenty of water.

Whatever you have with you is what you will eat

Make wise choices when purchasing food at the store and when packing snacks and lunch for the day.

Reintroduce products into your diet that do not exceed more than the daily sugar recommendation

Remember, the American Heart Association recommends a maximum amount of added sugars daily: 6 teaspoons (24 grams) for women and 9 teaspoons (36 grams) for men. If possible, avoid adding back sodas or diet sodas if you have successfully gone 10 days without them! Your body is thanking you and is running much more efficiently without them.

Satisfy sweet cravings with dark chocolate

Make sure the front of the label says the percentage of cocoa. Try not to choose anything less than 70% cocoa. A square of dark chocolate will satisfy a craving for desserts and help you avoid a Snickers bar or piece of cake.

Incorporate natural sweeteners into your diet

These include raw honey, pure maple syrup, pure stevia (without any sugar alcohols or other additives in the ingredient list) or dates. Dates are a great sugar substitute when baking.

Novant Health is here to help with lifestyle and nutrition services, sports medicine, and primary care physicians and clinics backed by caring support teams ready to help you live your best life.