10 tips to help you break up with sugar:
Unfortunately for most of us, sugar is both our number one enemy and our closest friend. Every so often, we break up for awhile, only to get back together and we end up making up for lost time. This of course leads us back into a bad place where we start evaluating the relationship and the yo-yo dieting starts all over again! January is a great month to give yourself a much needed sugar-break after the Holiday season winds down but on the other hand, why wait until then to lessen your sugar intake? Begin with these tips:
1. Ease into it. A week before you start, minimize those foods that you crave the most. For example, start to reduce your caffeine intake and if you normally have a drink of alcohol or 2 through the week, try to reserve drinking for just the weekend. You will thank yourself.
2. Start on a Thursday or Friday. The 3rd day is usually the hardest and this will give you the weekend to go through the worst of it. Remember that it gets better after this.
3. Be prepared. Before you start, plan your meals, go shopping for your ‘allowable foods’ and buy enough for those first 3 days. The last thing you want is to find yourself in the bulk section at the grocery store, going through sugar withdrawal, and willing yourself not to sample the chocolate-coated pretzels.
4. Get organized. Clean out all the foods that you are eliminating from your pantry. Even if that means that you put them in a bin for a time just so that you don’t have to look at them and be tempted. If you don’t trust yourself to stay on plan, give the bin to a friend to hold for you….or just pitch it!
5. Slow down. Especially that first few days, ease up a bit on exercise. You will be reducing your daily caloric intake, your body will be detoxing, and you will be irritable. So it’s best to avoid giving yourself access to heavy weights that could be used to hurt someone 😉
6. Get plenty of rest. Sleep is the number one way to reduce inflammation, weight and it is the time when our body detoxes the most.
7. Have patience. In the face of cravings, wait a minimum of 30 mins before acting on anything and then re-evaluate. 9 times out of 10, you won’t feel like indulging. But if it still has a hold of you, go to tip #9.
8. Stay Hydrated. Cravings are often a sign of dehydration. If you are having a craving, brew yourself a cup of ‘sweet’ herbal tea like Wild Raspberry Hibiscus from @stashtea. The heat and tang will chase that craving away.
9. Be kind to yourself. The cravings will subside and you will find that some foods really make you feel good (i.e. fruits like blueberries), so treat yourself regularly.
10. Don’t do it alone! Most people will be more successful if they have someone to whom they are accountable and can share/get support. Let’s face it, if you could do it by yourself successfully, you would already by doing it. So sign up with a professional or join a group.
Finally, don’t beat yourself up if you need to bend the rules a little. Life happens! Carry on and re-read the first part of tip #9. For inspiration or if you want to join a program/need some help, follow me on Instagram and Facebook @anandanutrition and contact me to book a free 30 minute meet & greet. I’m happy to help. After all, your beautiful body is the best accessory you’ll ever wear!
Sheri McConaghie is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach and Yoga Instructor living in Toronto with her best bud Jack, a veggie loving maltipoo. For more nutritional wisdom follow Sheri @anandanutrition.