I’ve been refined sugar free for nearly four years and it has completely changed my health.
If you think your sugar addiction has got out of hand, and want to know how to quit, for good, then read on.
My problem with sugar came to a head when I was on holiday in France a few years ago and suffered from really bad night sweats. I thought I was going through an early menopause and did a bit of googling to see what I could do about it.
I soon frightened myself to death with the stories of mood swings and depression, lack of sex drive and weight gain. I didn’t fancy any of that and decided the menopause wasn’t for me so I looked at ways to minimise the effects and came up with a nutritional answer. For years, I worked with food as medicine and decided that I would seek an answer in my diet not at the doctor’s surgery.
I’m not going to go into all the remedies you can adopt for the menopause here, I’ll do that in another post, but suffice it to say when I cut sugar out of my diet my night sweats stopped. And so did my headaches, my lethargy, my irritability, my moodiness, my inability to concentrate… the list goes on and on!
Eliminating refined sugar can be a challenge, especially if you have a sweet tooth. So, I’ve put together my top tips for quitting sugar to give you a helping hand.
Don’t reward yourself with sugar
When you realise how bad sugar is for you, you won’t want to reward yourself with it. Since when was eating something that will make you put on weight, irritable, bloated and age quicker a treat? If you need a treat buy yourself a good book or a spa treatment – your mind and body will thank you so much more for it!
Make your own
Start to make your own sweet treats with a more natural sugar like dates, coconut sugar, maple syrup and honey.
And add cinnamon to your shakes and smoothies too - cinnamon has been found to help regulate blood sugar levels which boosts energy levels but stops cravings. I love to add cinnamon to my shakes and smoothies or to a bowl of porridge.
Eat lots of good fats
Essential fatty acid found in oily fish, in supplements like Arbonne’s Omega 3 and in healthy nuts, seeds and avocado can all reduce cravings too.
Include protein in your diet
Sugar cravings can often come from a lack of protein in your diet so up your protein intake. Proteins from darker meats like chicken legs and beef or lamb will often have a better effect too as they contain more purines which have more satisfying nutrients than light meats like fish and chicken breast. Dr Oz in the US has also found that adding a plant based protein to your diet can reduce cravings and fills you up for longer. Try Arbone’s Protein Shake in Chocolate or Vanilla flavours.
Take a supplement
If you’re really struggling then the amino acid Glutamine can help as it squashes cravings. You can buy it in health food stores. Simply add it to a glass of water and drink it when you get the urge to go on a sugar binge.
Crowd out the bad stuff with the good stuff
If you fill your cupboards and fridge with healthy snacks and protein then when you experience the crash, and are reaching for a quick fix, you’ll hit upon the good stuff first and hopefully stop there.
I always have pre-soaked nuts in the fridge. Pre soaking them allows the natural enzymes to be more readily available to the body. Homemade hummus, nut butters and avocado are also great stand buys to have on hand.
Once you get into new habits and make sure you’re dealing with cravings in healthier, more sustainable ways with better alternatives you’ll soon see a big difference and refined sugar will be a thing of the past!
If you need support cutting down on sugar, or other advice about clean eating, please don’t be shy and get in touch, I’m always happy to have a chat.