For decades it was widely believed that eating too much saturated fat lead to weight gain. Research has however uncovered a different culprit – sugar. Conditions ranging from type 2 diabetes to heart disease can all be affected by an excess consumption of sugar.
Eating sugary foods too often can be a result of emotional eating, where we eat to soothe difficult feelings. This means if you have a sweet tooth, you may find it difficult to quit. Working with a hypnotherapist to get to the root of your emotional eating and change your relationship with food can be an essential first step. Once this important ground work has been done, the following tips can help you stay on track and lower your sugar intake.
1. Make a commitment
Tell someone about your plans to reduce sugar in your diet, 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 – eradicate all processed sugar, sticking to whole foods instead. This can kick-start a more balanced approach to eating as you introduce foods back into your diet.
3. Don’t drink your sugar
As well as watching what you eat in terms of sugar consumption, don’t forget to consider what you drink. Stop adding sugar to your tea/coffee and try to 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 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
Unsaturated fats found in seeds, nuts and oily fish will help you feel full and will balance your blood sugar levels.
Keep a selection of nutritious snacks on you to help you avoid temptation when sugar cravings hit.
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.