Ditch the sugar this summer: Helpful tips for cutting out the sweet stuff. By Tyler Woodward
With more than 27,100 monthly searches made in the UK from those of us looking to give up snacking for lent (that’s the 40-day period that ran from 2 March to 14 April this year), it looks like it’s time to reconsider your sugar intake it’ll make a real difference to your life!
With it taking around two weeks for the body to get over an addiction to sugar, wellness experts at Eden’s Gate have compiled their advice on getting through the initial stages so you can look forward to the health and wellbeing benefits of a sugar-free diet.
1. Stay away from processed foods
The amount of sugar added to your favourite convenience foods can be surprising, increasing your consumption without you even knowing. By sticking to fresh foods such as fruit, vegetables, nuts or rice, you can have a good understanding of what you are putting into your body and stay on top of your sugar intake.
2. Eat little and often
When we are hungry, our bodies naturally start to crave more sugar-dense foods. Instead of trying to hold off in between meals, get into the habit of having smaller meals more frequently, changing your usual routine to get your body into a better habit. Try out new recipes and incorporate plenty of proteins into your diet, keeping you energised and fuller for longer.
3. Read the labels
Beware of all the products you are consuming, taking the time to read the packaging to find out exactly what you have been eating. In addition to things like natural sugars from fruit and added sugar from processed foods, look into products like supplements, sauces and cereal which can contain unexpectedly high quantities.
"Hydration can help make you feel fresh and fuller for longer."
4. Remove temptation completely
Even if you tuck your sweet treats into the back of a cupboard, having tempting snacks in the house can make your cravings worse. By removing all traces of junk food and replacing them with fresh produce, nuts and whole foods, you can avoid temptation and are forced to tuck into healthier snacks when you are feeling peckish.
5. Get into the habit of meal prepping
Often the main reason for convenience eating is not knowing what to cook or not having the right ingredients in the fridge. By planning your meals in advance, not only are you controlling your sugar intake, but you are keeping food waste and expenditure to a minimum. On those days where you’re simply feeling too lazy to spend hours in the kitchen, having plenty of fresh goods at the ready will inspire your next delicious dish.
6. Keep yourself occupied in the evening
The post-dinner slump is when most of us tend to reach for the sweet treats, looking to relax after a busy day and indulge in our favourite snacks. Mix your daily routine up by filling this space with something else to occupy your mind, whether that be a relaxing bubble bath or a calming meditation session to distract yourself.
7. Stay hydrated
As well as the obvious health benefits associated with drinking plenty of water, hydration can help make you feel fresh and fuller for longer. That means you are less likely to snack on the sweet stuff. When we are dehydrated, it is common for this to be mistaken for hunger, leaving us on the lookout for extra snacks which we don’t actually need, ironically making us thirstier in the process.