Sunday, March 1, 2015

12 Week Challenge Week 9- Cut the Sugar

Hi All. Another week, another challenge for you. Usually I am very much against cutting things out of your diet, as this kind of restriction is usually a sign of an unbalanced diet. This is why I why I won't tell you to completely cut refined sugars out of your diet. However, if there are two things that you should really try to eliinate as much as possible from your diet, it is overly processed foods and refined sugars (although both things tend to go hand in hand).

As noted before, cutting sugar completely from your diet just tends to lead to major sugar cravings and will probably get you nowhere in the end. There are programmes like the I Quit Sugar programme that do this, and if you can follow this and succeed, go for it! But I won't ask you to do this. Instead I prefer a more incremental approach.

Cut the sugar for one day per week.

Because sugar is addictive, the more you eat, the more you tend to crave. That is why occasionally I like to go a full day without refined sugars to help prevent this. However, doing this once a week would be even better, which is why I have included it in this challenge.

Here are some tips that I've come up with to help you out:

- Drink water. Linking back to the first week, make sure that you keep your water intake up. We tend to crave sugar around mid afternoon as we feel that energy slump, however, instead you may actually just be a bit dehydrated. Whenever you start to crave sugar, try drinking some water.

- Find some healthy alternatives. If you really must have a hit of sugar, find a natural alternative such as fruit. A find dates really great.

- Try to identify your sugar triggers. I know that I tend to want something sweet after lunch and dinner. I suppose that it is just a habit that I have developed. To help out I tend to grab a cup of tea. One good way to beat your sugar cravings is to know when they tend to happen and be prepared for  them.

- Watch your condiments. Chutneys, sauces and spreads can all have a lot of hidden refined sugars in them, so watch out for these.

These are just some of the ways that help me successfully cut sugar for a day. I will share some other tips on Facebook and Instagram over the week and please share any tips you have with me.

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