Ever had that dark, worrying thought – you know the one… you don’t really want to think about it, it’s probably true but you’d rather not face it and would prefer to bury your head in the sand instead? The terrifying thought – or realisation – that maybe you DO eat too much sugar?!
I know I’ve had it, and I chose to bury my head in the sand time and time again. It wasn’t until I had had enough of feeling ‘substandard’ – lethargic, headachy, bloated and cranky that I faced the harsh reality that I had put off for so long. I was totally addicted to sugar.
Now that I’m approaching 2 years since I started my sugar free journey it’s very much second nature to me and I don’t find it hard avoiding sugar at all. But one thing I have learnt over the past 22ish months is that it’s so much easier to stick to sugar free living when I plan my snacks and meals in advance.
It’s not that hard to plan, and it really is so easy to slip up if you’re unprepared. So here are some simple tips to help anyone considering a few days or longer without sugar.
Throw a couple of long-life sugar free snacks into your bag. For example a lot of supermarkets sell mini snack-packs of mixed nuts. They’re a perfect healthy sugar free snack.
Take your own snacks and lunch to work. It’s sometimes hard to find a suitable meal in a cafeteria or sandwich shop. Throw some berries in a Tupperware, take an apple with you, put a tub of hummus in the staff fridge, some crackers in your desk drawer… so many options. Lunch could be last night’s leftovers, maybe a quick salad topped with a can of tuna or cheese chunks or smoked salmon.
If you’ve planned a night out in a restaurant and you think you might over indulge check the menu beforehand when you’re not hungry and choose in advance what you think will be the best meal for you.
Maybe evening indulgence is your sugar downfall? Plan what you’ll have beforehand. Ditch the tea and biscuits and choose Greek yogurt with berries instead, or crackers with peanut butter, or even cheese and vegetables.
How about at a celebration… what to do then? At an office birthday or a family get together? The planning here comes mentally. There WILL be sweet indulgences, there’s no doubt of that. I found that by deciding what I would allow myself to eat and sticking to my decision that I felt good, and not guilty about my choice. Sometimes I’d choose to eat a small slice of cake, other times to eat my own sugar free snack and sometimes to just avoid everything. It’s your choice and only you know how you feel on the day and what you think you’ll be able to eat and avoid.
Hopefully by putting these ideas into action you might find it easier to reduce your sugar intake. Cutting out sugar can be really hard and if you don’t manage it today don’t worry, just try again tomorrow. Sugar free living really can be a ‘work in progress’ – even for me!
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