With a book and an A-list body to his name, James Duigan knows what he’s talking about. Here he discusses how cutting out sugar could be the key to getting thin, healthy hair and glowing skin. We’re all ears…

In Clean and Lean you discuss the ‘evils of sugar’ and suggest cutting it out completely, do you have any tips for our readers on steps they can take to cut out sugar effectively without going cold turkey?
Starting the day with sugar will make you crave sugar for the rest of the day. Start the day with some organic protein, some healthy fats such as avocado, and some healthy carbohydrates, such as spinach or blueberries. Have a scoop of Body Brilliance as soon as you wake. It’s full of fiber, Chromium and cinnamon, which help to regulate your blood sugar levels.

What alternatives to sugar would you suggest?
Plenty of wholesome, organic foods such as leafy green vegetables, healthy fats such as coconut oil and seeds and oily fish such as salmon that is full of healthy fats.

Is honey better for you than sugar?
Yes, In MODERATION. Same as fruit, honey has some health benefits, but the key is that this makes up only a small part of your diet.

What benefits do you feel your clients reap from cutting out sugar?
Fat loss and less bloated; Improved energy levels; Sleep quality Improves dramatically; Skin and hair start glowing.

Do you have any tips to beat the sugar cravings?

• Take a good quality fish oil such as omega brilliance. Its an incredible source of omega 3’s that helps curb sugar cravings.

• Take a scoop of Ultimate Clean after breakfast and dinner. Fiber helps you feel full and not hungry.

• Always carry a healthy snack such as a small bag of mixed nuts.

How do you feel about artificial sweeteners – are they a do or a don’t?
A don’t… Especially the artificial ones, which are made from toxic chemicals.

Are there any hidden sugars that we should look out for?
Anything that ends in “ose”, such as maltose, lactose, dextrose and fructose. Another common name is “syrup”, such as “High Fructose Corn Syrup”, which is found in many sweets, cereal bars and fruit drinks.

I heard that orange juice, once pasteurised, may as well be refined sugar?
Yes, your body will be far better off if you have real fruit, such as some blueberries or raspberries.  Food is always better when it is consumed as close to its natural state as possible.

Are there any other things we should be aware of like this?
Consuming “low fat foods”, which are generally full of sugar and sweeteners.

Apart from weight gain, what other effects does sugar have on our bodies? 

•Ages our bodies

•Ruins our energy levels

•Causes you to crave sugary foods like cheesecake

•Depletes your body of vitamin B

•Sugar wears out your organs by causing your internal organs to try and cope with changes in your body chemistry.

If I replace a sugary item in my diet with one that is more wholesome but has more calories (for example replacing a bag of sweets with an avocado) – won’t this just also lead to weight gain?
Not at all…Wholesome foods such as avocados, nuts, organic meats and vegetables are much more nutrient dense foods that provide your body with essential minerals.

What are your top five healthy low-fat snacks?
Low fat? Why low fat? Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugary foods and excess carbohydrate consumption can make us fat. If you want healthy low fat snacks, go for organic cold cuts, such as slices of roast turkey, a Body Brilliance smoothie, or organic veggies, such as slices of peppers, asparagus or cucumber wedges.

What would your advice be to someone who is embarking on a no-sugar diet but wants to remain social and enjoy drinks out with friends etc?
Go for sparkling water with a slice of lime or lemon. If you HAVE to drink, have a glass of Red Wine or Vodka with mineral water and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Does sugar put weight on in a particular area of our body?
Yes; our love handles, tummy, bottom, thighs and hips

And finally, please could you suggest three exercises that help target this part of the body? Or that are compatible with a low sugar diet?
Exercise that use lots of muscles such as burpies, disco lunges and push ups and don’t focus on just one muscle.