10 ways to start giving up sugar
As we kick off the Sugar HIIT bootcamp this month, I’m more confident than ever that women should strive to eat a low sugar diet. All I’ve seen this week is posts on Facebook about over consumption of Easter eggs, people feeling guilty about eating too much and people starting off those awful punishment not nourishment diets. Women having fears about weigh ins and sadly turning against themselves for demolishing the things that they didn’t really want but can never seem to get enough of.
• What if women didn’t have to live this way?
• What if women could start every Monday avoiding the self-loathing?
• What if women started the New Year thinking about something more important than losing a stone?
• What if women could actually stop thinking about food all the time?
• What if women could easily say no to the foods that they consistently self-sabotage with?
I have a secret that solves every single one of these and about a hundred more and I’m going to share it with you.
It’s called giving up sugar.
It’s called getting real with health. It’s called let’s turn our backs on the industries and manufacturers that are trying to keep women fat, on diets for life and addicted to food.
Here’s 10 ways to start giving up sugar
1. Start the day without sugar. Swap smoothies and fruit juices for a vegetable juice and swap sugary cereal or fruit salad for a savoury breakfast like one slice of rye bread, full fat hoummas and either avocado or sliced cucumber. If any of you are reading that and having palpitations about the amount of points that means, that is a sign you have been brainwashed!
2. No fruit. Yes, it has nutrients, but unfortunately it feeds sugar addictions, you get used to the sweet taste so want more, it is loaded with fructose AND if eaten with other fruits or after meals, it sits and ferments in your gut. I used to be a fruit addict and when I gave it up two things happened; I beat all bloating and stopped thinking about sweet things. Eat vegetables instead – all the nutrients but without the side effects.
3. Only eat savoury things (and ideally raw food) at 4pm. Crudites and full fat hoummas, ½ an avocado with some full fat French dressings (more palpitations no doubt), a mini salad, or some nuts and seeds. Raw foods are full of enzymes that give us life. We need life at 4pm, not a latte with some lemon cake!
4. Sort your stress levels out. Many people don’t realize the powerful (and physiological) link between stress and sugar cravings. When our adrenals kick off, which is our fight or flight survival system (designed to help us run fast if we need to get away from a tiger), our body instructs us to crave sweet / high energy foods. Today, people’s adrenals are going off all the time for emotional reasons and our poor little adrenals respond like there’s a tiger coming at us 247!
5. Sort your tiredness out. Our body works incredibly hard to always help us survive. So when we are tired, of course it wants us to consume that quick / fast energy to help us out. It also slows down our metabolism. So combine tiredness with sugar cravings, with a slower metabolism, it is of no surprise that women who are tired, tend to eat more and be more overweight. When I had my twins, I knew that sleep was the biggest part of me losing my baby weight. I was in bed by 7pm most evenings for the first few months and even now, I like to be in bed asleep by 930pm. The other week I had 4 late nights with work and only had 5 hours sleep per night. The result? Sugar cravings, lethargy and weight gain, YUK! It is of no coincidence that I find it easy to keep weight off and sugar cravings down. It is due to me not being stressed and having lots of sleep as well as making the right food choices consistently.
6. Know what your trigger foods are. Then avoid them! These are foods that you know when you eat, you won’t be able to stop. For some it’s ice-cream, for others particular biscuits, for some it is certain fruits or sweeties. When I gave up sugar, raisins were my weakness (I used to eat ½ a kilo a day). I knew that if I could get these out (even if temporarily I was eating something else sweet), a key addiction food would have been beaten.
7. Try to work out when you started to use sugar as an escapism / fix / comfort. When you comfort eat, that means you are uncomfortable. What are you uncomfortable about? Upset about? Emotional about? Try to do / tell yourself / allow yourself the thing what you actually might need to do, i.e. change something, cry, rest, sleep, get support, deal with an emotionally open wound.
8. Drop the carbs (and ideally make them wheat free). 1 piece of rye for breakfast, a small sweet potato at lunch, 30% of rice at your evening meal, that kind of thing. Or, just have a small carb like 1 rye for breakfast, eat delicious low carb meals like main meal salads for lunch and roasted veggies and salmon for dinner and snack on crudités/hoummas/nuts and seeds in between. You see most women are overfed and undernourished so fear light eating. Light eating and smaller portions also really help beat sugar, especially as when you are full, for many that signifies ‘treat time!’
9. Eat some more fat. You should be having essential fat at all meals. Use coconut oil for cooking, a little bit of organic butter is also fine, drizzle olive oil over most meals (along with some fresh lemon too) and make sure if you have a salad you leave that horrible ‘diet-friendly’ low fat / high sugar balsamic dressing out. Ever wondered why a massive salad with balsamic vinegar leaves you wanting more food 2 hours later?! A small carb like some quinoa or some sweet potato chunks in a salad, some fresh herbs to flavor it and choosing an olive oil / lemon dressing will leave you more satisfied and literally wiping out the sugar content of your lunch.
10. Stop talking about sugar! Don’t post about it on Facebook, don’t get into sugar chats with your friends and stop focusing on the fact you have to give up sugar. All that does is feed the sugar chat and sugar consumption! Focus on what you can have, think of empower not will power and keep focusing on how amazing you will look and feel when you get sugar down (or out!) and how much easier it will be to manage food and how that amazing body of yours will thank you for it short term and long term!
The Sugar HIIT bootcamp starts on the 29th January, so if you want to work alongside a group of women (with the guidance of me!) who want the same thing, we’d love you to join us!