Have you ever noticed this - even when we know something we’re doing isn’t good for us it’s really hard to stop?
A few years ago when I was facing some real health challenges I just knew in my heart and head that I had to make some big changes to my diet. And, right at the top of my list was the need to get refined sugar out of my life.
But still, I would give in to the cravings thinking that just one cookie, one more chocolate or a little piece of cake wouldn’t be that bad. I’m sure you’ve all been in a similar situation and it’s not much fun, is it?
With Hallowe’en just over you might be in a house full of candy and other sugary temptations. That’s the really scary part of Hallowe’en for me so I thought it might be helpful to share the eight steps I took to get off my refined sugar addiction. And the hardest part is just getting started but if you stick to it you can win!
So where to begin?
1. Acknowledge it.
When you’re reaching for something with sugar in it, remind yourself that refined sugar is of zero benefit to your diet. Weight gain, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of heart disease, increased dental bills - those are just some of the downsides of refined sugar and the list could be much longer.
2. Be gentle with yourself.
In our society, we’ve been fed refined sugar since we were infants. Most of us have been consuming it for many years and we’ve acquired a real taste for it. Our taste buds have become accustomed to it so it’s hugely unlikely we can just discard it for good all at once.
3. Take it slow.
Try just cutting back. If you normally use two packets of sugar in your tea or coffee reduce it to one. If your normal order is a double-double ask for a regular. All we’re talking about here is gradually reducing your intake. Trust me, your body and taste buds will adjust.
4. Be aware.
Watch out for the hidden refined sugar in what you eat. Start reading the nutritional information and ingredients on every product you buy. You will be amazed at how many products you just toss into your basket have refined sugar in them.
5. Don’t skip meals.
If you eat healthy foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins every 2 to 3 hours, it helps keep your blood sugar levels steady and can reduce cravings. When you don’t have intense cravings, you are less likely to binge on refined carbohydrates.*
6. Give yourself time.
Many studies suggest that it can take six to eight weeks to wean your body from refined sugar. By the time you’ve put in the two months of cutting back, your body will begin to reduce its influence on your cravings.
7. Celebrate small victories.
We all slip up sometimes. That mid-afternoon cookie with our cup of tea seems like it’s no big deal but every time we choose a more healthy alternative - that’s a victory! If it’s a cookie that you just must have then try my Chunky Chocolate Nuggets.
8. Lean on friends and family for support.
You may want to explain your decision to quit sugar. It’s important to be with people who support you. Let everyone in your immediate family know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
My bonus tip:
Try LIVA date sugar. It delivers only 15 calories per approximately 1 teaspoon compared to coconut sugar’s 17 calories, refined sugar’s 16 calories, maple syrup’s 15 calories, and honey's 22 calories.
Hey, I’m not about to tell you it’s easy. I can promise you though that defeating the refined sugar dietary enemy is so worth it. It enabled me to reconnect with the sweet moments of my life and share wonderful moments with my family.
Need more help? Try a few of our sweet LIVA recipes and let us know what you think!