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? If you’re still craving sugar after the festive season, we’ve got you.
The bitter truth is that quitting sugar is no easy task. Your apparent lack of willpower when finishing the tub of ice cream is not your fault. Sugar is highly addictive and the effects can literally hijack the brain making us want more and more. What’s worse, there’s not much it’s good for. Of course, we all need sugar in our diet. It is an important energy source after all. BUT in excess, it can cause digestive, sleep and mood disruptions and could even be the root cause of those pesky breakouts you can’t seem to budge.
However, with a few tricks up your sleeve, it’s totally possible to finally conquer the sweet stuff. Follow our 10 steps and say hello to an all-round healthier new you…
- Go Cold-Turkey
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 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.
- 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 sugars are found in the strangest places!! But sometimes reading food labels can be a bit of minefield. 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. *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 sweet 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 the sweet stuff 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.