Thanks to our resident fitness chick, Henrietta for guest blogging today on the hot topic of sugar free! Is this something you'll give a go??If there is just one thing you can do that will instantly increase your health and make those pesky few ‘extra’ kilos disappear – it’s giving up sugar.
About six years ago, I went to see a naturopath because I was suffering from anxiety and did not want to go the anti-depressant route. As soon as I walked in the door and before I’d even sat down, from just one look at me, she said she could tell I was addicted to sugar – she was right.
So began a week of ‘cold turkey’ sugar rehab withdrawals, headaches, cold sweats, the works – but after that week, I felt ah-mazing! All of a sudden I felt like I was awake, that the fog had cleared from my eyes and, bonus, I’d lost about 3 kilos and significantly reduced my anxiety levels.
If you have done a ‘no sugar’ diet for any period of time, you would know how surprising it is to find out that its in almost everything – all the staples like bread, milk (in the form of lactose), soy milk, breakfast cereal, some cheeses – especially processed ones, savory biscuits, chips and pretty much anything that comes in a packet.
It’s interesting to know how much tastes have been shaped by what food companies sell us and make us believe is nutritious and delicious – and yes I agree that chocolate is delicious – but like when you give up smoking and after a while the smell of cigarette smoke makes you feel sick – the same will happen with sugar, after a while you will wonder how you ever ate that whole packet of lollies as your taste buds will grow much more sensitive – and also not crave it as much.
So what to do?
1. Commit to doing it. Find a friend or colleague to do it too so you can have someone to winge to (because trust me you are going to get a bit grumpy in that first week!) and support you along the way
2. Read the labels on everything – look for things like, sucrose and corn syrup.. it all means sugar in some form.
3. Wean yourself off soft drink – even the diet kind! And change it for something like a homemade ice tea (check out T2 Tea Australia Wide or Oriental Tea House in Melbourne – they have an amazing Raspberry & Lime tea which is totally bursting with sweet fruit flavours – and ZERO sugar!)
4. Get rid of everything in your cupboard and fridge that might tempt you – just chuck it out and as you do this mentally picture yourself getting rid of your extra kg’s as well!
5. When you’re at the supermarket, completely bypass the lollies isle and, this is a great trick, make sure you don’t go to the supermarket hungry (or angry funnily enough) as that’s when you tend to buy all the high calorie things that are full of sugar.
6. Drink lots of water to flush out your system, most importantly have a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning (sometimes it makes it easier to drink if its at room temperature so keep a bottle out overnight)
7. Keep the nurofen handy as its likely you’ll get a dull headache in those first few days!
8. PS – note I haven’t said give up wine, even though alcohol converts to sugar, which is something to keep in mind, we all need a wine once in a while....haha!!
For me, I found the hardest meal of the day to not have sugar was, surprisingly, breakfast. Ideally it would be great to have an omlette in the morning but who the hell has the time to do that, or a maid for that matter to make it?!! Pretty much all cereal is packola’d with sugar – however there are some good ones out there that aren’t – mostly natural muesli’s or oats. It may also be an option to go for seasonal fruit and a natural yogurt, this is both Low GI and sugar-free! Plus the natural yogurt gives you good bacteria to combat bloating!
So why go sugar free, apart from pretty much instant weight loss, it stabilizes your blood sugar which means less mood swings, increased energy, concentration and alertness. Moreover the long term effects mean reduced chances of diabetes and other diet/weight related issues.
Now don’t stress, giving up sugar doesn’t mean you cant ever have it, of course if chocolate is the only thing that will get you out of a pms crisis once a month then that’s fine, but its more making the conscious decision to significantly reduce your intake and improve your health.
You can do it!!
Some great links to get you started: