Ten Tips to Shun Sugar and Gain Food Freedom
I have had countless people tell me they don't want to quit sugar because it seems too difficult and overwhelming. I get it. When you look at a giant mountain, you can hardly fathom taking the first step.
But what if you could take small steps to a healthier, sugar -free you? I've put together a list of things you can try to help you shun sugar for good. You can do them all at one, or you can pick one this week and try another next week. You do you! But here goes...
1. Clean out your pantry and refrigerator and recognize sneaky names for sugar
I have a list of names for sugar that you can stick to your fridge so you can easily check your labels.
2. Stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
Often when we are dehydrated we reach for a quick fix for energy in a sweet treat.
3. Fall in love with fat!
Healthy cell walls made from high-quality fats are better able to metabolize insulin, which keeps blood sugar better regulated. The right fats also increase fat burning, cut your hunger and reduce fat storage. Eating the right fats helps you lose weight, while eating excess sugar and the wrong types of fat can contribute to fat retention and weight gain. Avocado, organic nuts and seeds, quality fish, eggs, coconut oil, are amongst my faves. Read this list for more.
4. Avoid processed, packaged and low-fat foods
These are our biggest enemies when it comes to our weight loss and fitness goals. They are packed with chemicals, synthetic substances and tons of sugar. Avoid 'fat-free' products as it usually means they've replaced the fat with sugar to give it flavor.
5. Experiment in the kitchen with whole foods and new recipes.
Eat REAL food. When was the last time you saw a head of broccoli with a nutrition label on it? Opt for fresh, whole foods that are closest to their form you'd find in nature. That is what we're designed to eat. And if you're not a whiz in the kitchen (like me!) eat simple, fresh foods.
6. Try replacing your morning coffee sweetener with cinnamon or stevia.
This can be our hardest habit to kick! Yet you can start by reducing your sugar teaspoons and then eventually move over to adding stevia or cinnamon. Avoid syrups, flavoured coffees and honey - these small amounts of sugar daily all add up! (Also, experiment with herbal teas. There are some teas on the market that are naturally very sweet and very good for you!)
7. Prepare your meals ahead of time.
They say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. If you prepare your meals in advance, you're less likely to grab a snack that is not good for you, and you'll be less likely to reach to your 'hangry' threshold. Perhaps spend a Sunday afternoon prepping a few quality proteins and vegetables so you can grab and go in the mornings.
8. Stay active.
Being active helps balance blood sugar levels, boosts energy and reduces tension which will eliminate the need to self-medicate with sugar!
Need a personal trainer? Contact me!
9. Get great rest.
Sleep. It's your body's best form of recovery. If you're fully recovered and well rested you'll be less likely to grab sugary snacks as a form of quick energy. Set a goal for what time you'll head to bed, find a breathing practice to help you calm and grab some lavender oil to dab on your wrists. Catch those quality zzz's and rejuvenate!
10. Find a mindfulness or meditation practice.
Often when we slow down, breathe, smell the roses and get really grounded, we can focus on what we really want rather than being on auto-pilot. I am naturally quite quick-moving, busy, high strung and anxious. But when I meditate - my life is dramatically different and improved. My favourite app to meditate is here.
Ok, I couldn't resist. Here's one more for you..
11. Decode your cravings.
Sometimes when we reach for a quick fix there's something deeper we're yearning for. Develop your self awareness to know why/when you turn to the sweet treats and your emotional triggers. I am challenging myself on this one. I have started journalling and stopping to breathe, meditate and sip tea to think about what's affecting me when I feel like an emotional food binge.
I'd love to hear what you have tried, what you're struggling with and/or your own insights on shunning sugar.
Have any other questions, comments or feedback? Email me, I'd love to hear from you: email@example.com.