Struggling to cut out refined sugars? You know they don’t serve your health yet many people find it a huge challenge to eat less or omit unhealthy sugars. Here are three tips to get you started.
1. Fuel yourself for longer.
For far too long people have been afraid to incorporate good fats in their diets, due to the belief that ‘fat makes you fat.’ Try adding more fat to your meals, particularly at lunch, in the form of avocado, nuts, organic butter, coconut, tahini, oily fish and observe if your desire for sweet foods mid-afternoon diminishes. Good fats slow down the release of glucose into your blood stream meaning you actually stay full for longer.
2. Slow Down.
If you amp yourself up on caffeine, live on adrenalin due to your perception of pressure and urgency, or push your body intensely during cardiovascular exercise, your body will predominantly burn glucose and you will crave sugar to replenish your stores. Slow down! I cannot emphasise enough the importance of activating the rest and repair arm of the nervous system – known as the parasympathetic nervous system – using breath-focused movement, which allows your body to use body fat as a fuel. Not only will you feel a greater sense of calm, you are also far less likely to experience hunger that results in you eating the entire contents of the pantry.
3. Explore the emotional connections to sweetness.
Often our craving for sugar has more to do with an emotional need that isn’t being met. “Something sweet” is often perceived as a symbol of joy and we become conditioned to need something sweet to feel complete or satisfied. Identify other non-food related activities that give you a feeling of sweetness and joy and incorporate more of these into your life. Watch your children sleep and notice how precious they are, get up and watch the sunrise every morning for a week, or book a getaway with friends – whatever spins your tyres – and notice if having things to look forward to, diminishes your sugar cravings