We love a good sugar-free challenge here at Hip and Healthy and we were so delighted to see so many of you join in our last challenge back in November, that we decided to do another one! We’ve teamed up with Natvia, the natural sugar alternative, to inspire you to kick-start your life with out sugar. Of course we know this isn’t a challenge without its obstacles, but don’t panic, we’ve compiled some our top tips that we turn to when the sugar cravings take control!
Cold Turkey – Time to show your body some tough love! Start as you mean to go on and empty your life of anything that contains sugar. Also be sure to check labels for any hidden sugar that you may not be aware of. Look out for any ingredients ending in “ose”…fructose, glucose, sucrose and many more, are all secret words for sugar!
Caffeine No-No – Seems like a funny thing to give up right? Well caffeine can have troublesome effects on our blood sugar levels, and often causes it to drop dramatically after a cup of coffee (or two!). Our body then sends distress signals to our brain that says we need sugar. What a nightmare! We recommend swapping your morning coffee for a herbal tea instead!
Preparation is Key – Sugar cravings are inevitable when you cut it out of your diet, but being prepared is what makes all the difference! It’s so simple – spend a few hours on Sunday food shopping and prepping meals and snacks for the week ahead. Next time your meeting runs over at work, you’ll know that a quick trip to the vending machine won’t be necessary!
Become a Sleeping Beauty – Getting your beauty sleep does more for you than just your looks! Our bodies need sleep to repair and to regain energy for the next day. Lack of Zs can cause havoc on our energy levels and when we feel tired and lousy, we tend to reach for the sweet stuff to give us a quick pick-me-up. Try to aim for at least 7-8 hours sleep a night for a energised and happy body!
Protein Punch – Protein is your best friend on your sugar free quest! Firstly, protein helps slows down the absorption of sugar entering our blood stream, which is great for preventing those energy highs and lows. I always snack on a handful of nuts before eating fruit to make sure my energy levels are sustained for a longer period of time. Secondly, protein aids in stabilizing our blood sugar levels, which helps reduce sugar cravings. Getting some protein in your breakfast is a really effective way to curb sugar cravings later on in the day. Eggs are so versatile and go really well with rye bread and avocado, but if you’re vegan, try adding some nuts or hemp seeds into your breakfast smoothie for a fibrous, protein boost.
H&H Sugar Substitute – A life without sugar doesn’t mean a life without fun too! You can still enjoy mouth-watering desserts with out the guilt. We love Natvia as a natural alternative to sugar and it’s really easy to bake with. It also tastes much sweeter than sugar so you need a lot less. Keep your eyes peeled this week for some heavenly sugar free desserts! Buy it here..
Words by Molly Jennings