To jump on the low sugar bandwagon would be one of the greatest things you could do for your health. In fact there isn’t a bodily system that wouldn’t reap benefits from kicking the sugar for good. Who doesn’t want clearer skin, increased energy and a trimmer figure? The bitter truth is that quitting sugar is no easy task. Your apparent lack of will power when finishing the tub of ice cream is not your fault. Sugar is highly addictive and the effects can literally highjack the brain making us want more and more.
Sugar-free queen, Calgary Avansino states, “Consuming sugar does absolutely nothing good for our bodies, our health or our mood; it is empty calories, contains no nutrients and sends us on a rollercoaster, in which we eventually crash desperate for the next ‘fix’. From 2009-2010, we consumed 154.1 million metric tons of sugar globally. Fast forward half a decade to 2014-2015, and worldwide consumption has exceeded 176.83 million tonnes. We are eating WAY too much sugar!
However, with a few tricks up your sleeve, it’s totally possible to finally quit sugar for good! If lockdown’s turned you into a sugar monster, follow our 10 steps and say hello to an all-round healthier you…
Yes, it is frustrating that something so tasty can be so addictive. The more we eat, the more we want. Sugar prompts the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine stimulates the same reward pathway as cocaine and heroin. No wonder it’s so hard to resist!! The best way to go about banishing sugar is to treat it like a drug. Go cold turkey for a month. This allows you to recalibrate your taste buds and dramatically reduce cravings.
Detox your home and desk
Out of sight, out of mind really does help. Why torture yourself with the site of chocolate every time you open your fridge? Make things easy by clearing the kitchen cupboards and desk space of all temptations. This is particularly important if you’re working from home!
Tell your family, friends and co-workers
By confiding in friends and co-workers about your plans, they will be less likely to wave the office cake tray under your nose. You never know once they see you reaping the benefits, they may even want to join you!
Read every food label
Hidden sugar is found in the strangest places!! But sometimes reading food labels can be a bit of mind field. To make things easier just follow this simple rule: If the food product contains more than 15g per 100g, this will be in the red zone of the traffic light label – this should ring alarm bells.
Kill your cravings with a low sugar treat
If you really need a sweet fix, try whizzing some berries in a blender with natural yoghurt and seeds. The protein and healthy fats will keep your blood sugar levels stable and you’ll still get the sweetness your craving for. We also highly recommend having healthy, yet satisfying snacks to hand. Homemade energy balls or bars are fantastic and a big batch can last a good week in the fridge. Try these Carrot Cake Bliss Bites or Almond Caramel Popcorn Clusters.
*Top tip – add a pinch of cinnamon to curb the cravings even further
Cook from scratch
This is the easiest way to control sugar intake – say goodbye to hidden sugar, additives, colourings, chemicals and flavourings.
Eat protein and healthy fats at each meal
Protein and healthy fats are great for balancing blood sugar levels. They keep you fuller for longer, prevent energy dips and reduce sugar cravings. Eat lean meats, fish, nuts & seeds, tofu, avocado, cold-pressed oils, beans and pulses, natural yoghurt, eggs, nut and seed butters.
Up your chromium intake
If you struggle with intense sugar cravings then it may be worthwhile supplementing with chromium. This mineral helps to keep blood sugar levels stable and cravings at bay.
Flex your ‘I’m not eating sugar’ muscle daily
Each time you flex your ‘I’m not eating sugar’ muscle you are forming a new neural pathway in the brain – over time this will form into a healthy habit. Each time you resist sugar, don’t think of it as a burden – think of it as a strengthening exercise.
Indulge in life, not sugar
Don’t use sugar to change your mood. Instead, use nourishing life pleasures – have a bath, get a massage, laugh with a friend, watch your favourite film –the list is endless.