We look at 10 ways to beat your sugar habit, lose weight and boost health.
For decades it was widely believed that eating too much fat was causing us to get fat. Research in recent years however has uncovered a new culprit in the fight against obesity – sugar. Conditions ranging from type 2 diabetes to heart disease can all be affected by an excess consumption of sugar.
Alongside the dangers associated with sugar, research suggests it can be as addictive as drugs. This means if you have a sweet tooth, chances are you’ll find it difficult to quit the white stuff. If you are guilty of an addiction to sugar, take a look at the following 10 tips:
1. Make a commitment
Tell someone about your plans to quit sugar, write a blog about your experience or simply write down what you hope to achieve. By setting intentions and making them tangible, you are more likely to stick to your plan.
2. Go cold turkey
For 10 days, try going completely cold turkey – ditch all sugar (including flour products, artificial sweeteners and trans fats). Look to avoid all processed and packaged foods, sticking to whole foods instead.
3. Don’t drink your sugar
As well as watching what you eat, don’t forget to monitor what you drink. Sugary drinks make a beeline for your liver and convert to belly fat. Stop adding sugar to your tea and stick to water for the initial 10 days.
4. Use protein to power up
When you need an energy boost, look to protein rather than your usual sugary snack. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast then ensure you add a portion of protein to every meal.
5. Eat plenty of good carbs
Enjoy as much non-starchy and leafy veg (like broccoli and cauliflower) as you can to get your carbohydrate hit.
6. Fight sugar with fat
Good fats found in seeds, nuts and oily fish will help you feel full and will balance your blood sugar levels.
Keep a selection of healthy snacks on you to help you avoid temptation when cravings hit.
Increased stress levels can make you hungry and cause belly fat storage, so it is important to stay as stress free as possible. Deep breathing, hypnosis and meditation can all help with this.
9. Fight inflammation
Studies have shown that inflammation can trigger blood sugar imbalances. To see if you might have any food sensitivities or allergies, ask your doctor for an allergy test.
10. Sleep well
Sleep is one of the best ways to fight cravings and overeating, so ensure you are getting enough good quality sleep. Read our blogs on insomnia if you struggle to get enough sleep.