“The secret ingredient to quitting sugar for life is eating more fat and protein.” – Sarah Wilson
This time last year I started my journey on ditching the white stuff…best decision ever! It wasn’t until I had M.E. that I realized exactly how much of an effect the fuel we feed our bodies has an effect on us short and long term.
As I explained in my post ‘My Top 6 Reasons For Cutting Down On Refined Sugars.” There are many health benefits and reasons why people cut down on and quit sugar.
When my body was recovering from M.E. I learnt to be patient. It was extremely frustrating that I didn’t have control over how well my body was at that stage in my life. I decided to focus on what I could do to help my body regain its strength instead of worrying about what I couldn’t do.
The two things that I could control was what I fed my body and what I fed my mind.
This was the beginning of a wonderful journey that has led me to my body and mind growing stronger everyday.
The first step was educating myself in what was good and what was bad. Finding the knowledge and experience of other people who had succeeded in quitting sugar. I read Nicole Mowbray’s ‘Sweet Nothing’. This gave me a greater understanding of why and how you should give up sugar.
I kept it simple and drew up a list of foods to AVOID:
Goodbye alcohol & fizzy drinks.
No processed foods i.e. bread, sweets, biscuits, cake…
Extremely limited amount of fruit.
Zero artificial sweeteners as they form cravings for the real thing.
I get my nutrients from having plenty of vegetables and when possible I avoid refined carbohydrates – pasta, bread, white rice, potatoes and refined cereals.
Basically all foods that score high on the Glycemic Index. Fueling your body with high GI Foods releases a rush of insulin that turns sugar into fat. Its not at all beneficial for the waistline, brain or body.
Here Are My Top 7 Tips For Cutting Sugar:
1. Two Teaspoons Of Cinnamon A Day – This wonderful spice not only tastes good but it helps keeps your blood sugar levels consistent throughout the day. And it is known for curbing sugar cravings. Perhaps sprinkle over your breakfast. I love it mixed in my porridge.
2. Bin The Bad Stuff – So maybe you don’t have to go through your cupboards and chuck everything but a friend or neighbor would appreciate a bag sugary foods you’re throwing out for your detox phase. If you don’t have sugary foods in your house you are less likely to crack during your quitting sugar journey.
3. Step Away From The Sauces – 2 years ago I was GUILTY of having a little bit of dinner with a whole lot of ketchup! Here’s a fun fact, one serving of tomato sauce has four grams of sugar! I swapped sauces for cooking with spices and herbs. I prefer the taste so much more now.
4. Goodbye Juice – Another GUILTY moment…I used to drink juice by the gallon. Then I found out a 200ml carton of pineapple juice has 6 teaspoons of sugar in it..OOPS!
5. Keep In Mind: IT ONLY TAKES A FORTNIGHT OF YOUR LIFE – Fourteen days of NO sugar and you will see yourself that you no longer crave it. It’s important to keep this in mind because it is not easy.
Warning! You will get withdrawal symptoms. Everybody that I have spoken to who has quit sugar has had varied withdrawal symptoms. The most common is headaches, nausea and irritability. But don’t cheat! It is utter bliss by the time a fortnight is over. If you break, your addiction will reset and you’re back on square one.
6. Keep A Journal – Quitting sugar takes so much willpower. Recording your thoughts with a pen and paper can help. Start a “I Quit Sugar” journal. Or alternatively start a page of notes on your smartphone. Try and make an entry each day of what you’ve fueled your body with, how you felt and how you dealt with it. Also keep track of how much water you’re taking on. This helped me in the early days as I would reflect on how hard I’d been battling against cravings and how far I had come. It motivated me to stay on track.
7. Buddy Up – I chose to quit it sugar on my own, because it was something I had to prove to myself, that I had the willpower. However, I have spoken to countless people since that have said breaking their sugar addiction wouldn’t have been possible without a quit-buddy or team. There are social media groups out there that work together to quit. Having a partner or house mate that also supports your decision to quit sugar can really help. Having someone around in those first 14 days to knock sugary snacks out of your hand and feed you with positive thoughts.
Support can make a massive difference. Perhaps you could find a friend, co-worker or anyone who shares the same sugar quitting dreams as you. Having them to talk to through those first 14 days of highs and lows will definitely help you. Make sure you both stay positive. It’s not easy but if you stay persistent you will do it and I can assure you it will be SO worth it.
Have you quit sugar? What helped you the most?
I hope this post helps anyone out there on their road to a sugar free life!
Remember you are sweet enough!
Sarah Ellen XOXO
Featured Image courtesy on Pixabay