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Lump sugar in a transparent glass sugar bowl, on a wooden table or background, at home, in a cafe, cafeteria or restaurant. The concept of poor nutrition and lifestyle.

Source: Aleksandr Zubkov / Getty

By now we’ve all heard the benefits of consuming less added sugar – weight loss, regulated blood sugar, aided organ function, and improved oral health, for example.

The suggestions of how to consume less sugar, though, can be intimidating. It often includes a routine that requires you to quit cold turkey or commit to a diet that just isn’t sustainable.

Excess sugar in a diet can lead to diabetes.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reported that in the United States, 9.7 million adults have undiagnosed diabetes, 29.3 million have diagnosed diabetes, and 115.9 million have pre-diabetes. Black Americans account for 12% of those reported to be diagnosed with diabetes. Gone unmanaged, diabetes can cause damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. It also makes it difficult to lose weight and kick a sugar habit.

Warmer weather is approaching.

With warmer weather approaching, people are incentivized to cut back on sweets in order to get the “summer body” they desire in addition to remaining healthy. Understandably, they want to do so without feeling deprived of the treats they love.

According to an article by Health.com, the best way to consume less sugar is with incremental changes. Because of the addictive nature of sugar, it is possible to experience withdrawals when removing it from your diet. You may notice mental and physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue, lack of motivation, happiness, and the ability to concentrate. Fortunately, by swapping added sugars for natural sugars, like those found in fruit, the body eventually adjusts.

Beverages are a main way people unintentionally consume excess sugar. The AHA recommends men have no more than 150 grams of sugar per day and women no more than 100 grams per day. For perspective, one grande Vanilla Bean Frappuccino from Starbucks contains 52 grams of sugar. One can of Coke contains 39 grams of sugar. Consuming one of these subtracts a large portion of the suggested daily intake for both men and women – and it’s not uncommon to have both of these in one day. Not to mention, this does not include the sugar naturally contained in meals.

Here’s a hack that can help.

If one were to start incrementally reducing their sugar intake, it seems beverages would be a great place to start. Luckily, there’s a new hack that could help do the trick. When having a drink where you like to add sugar, be it coffee, tea, boba, or juice, skip the syrups and sweetened flavors and line the rim with sugar instead.

This works by giving the satisfaction of the sweet taste you crave minus the harmful side effects. Plus, the amount of sugar added to the rim is a fraction of what is usually added to the drink itself. If sugar is already cut from your diet, its substitutes will work as well.

Discovering the method of consuming less sugar that works best for you can take time and effort. Try this hack to meet your goal with the added bonus of preventing the crash of withdrawals or deprivation.

Use this Sneaky Hack to Consume Less Sugar  was originally published on elev8.com