Sugar-free challenge – DAY 7

WOOO! You made it through to the last day of the challenge! What’s next you ask?

Day 7 (blog)

The bad news: It takes more than a week to get rid of your sugar addiction and become an ex-sugarholic. Actually, research shows that on average it takes at least 21 days to break a habit. And, this habit is unfortunately attached to a horribly addictive substance.

The good news: You already did the worst part! Week two can be a bit tough as well but then you start feeling the benefits of being sugar-free which usually as a natural incentive for people to keep going. So, don’t stop now, you are not too far away. It typically takes from one month to  8 weeks to break the cycle completely, depending on how much sugar you used to eat and how fast you have been cutting it out (cold turkey vs. various levels of stepping it down).

What’s next? 

  1. If you haven’t already done so, start checking those labels of your favorite foods and drinks. Look back at your food journal. Do a rough estimate of how much sugar you ate each day this week. In general, as recommended by WHO, your health will benefit from consuming less than 25 grams per day (6 teaspoons) of free sugars (that’s your added sugar and sugar naturally occurring in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit concentrate). You can still eat as much fruit and veg as you like (the fibre and water ensures you feel full and won’t overeat and the sugar is released slowly which your body can cope with).
  2. If you are serious about going sugar-free, you MUST make your house a sugar-free haven. Just like a junkie wouldn’t be able to leave a fix alone, you won’t be able to either. Check out this post to see how.
  3. Going out and visiting friends will feel like a mine-field. Check out these posts on how to deal with going sugar-free at work, visiting friends and when going out.
  4. Do NOT use glucose just yet. Your appetite control is not working, it has been messed up by fructose. Eating glucose may just increase your blood sugar and overproduction of insulin. Instead, use naturally sweetened products (try my chocolate bars made with Zylitol) or even, short term, artificially sweetened products (diet drinks etc.) to get you through to the other side. Then, when you have withdrawn successfully, ditch the artificial products and then you can eat glucose and naturally sweetened products as your appetite control now will be working and you won’t overeat.
  5. Next week, try cutting down on any bread, pasta and croissants that you may be eating – these are high carb and turned into sugar. That craving for a toastie or pasta you have had, was probably your sugar-addiction talking! Try it – your digestive system will thank you too. When I stopped eating products with gluten (muffins, cakes, pasta, bread etc) I felt so much better. When you always feel crap you don’t actually realise that something better exists. Just try it for one week, see if it doesn’t make a difference.

Last, but not least… I have been overwhelmed by all your emails and stories, I just about managed to keep on top of it all. Thanks for sharing, I feel humbled and I hope I have helped you to move ahead in your new, healthier lives. Please keep updating me and asking questions. I would love to know how it goes. And for those who may have missed out, just give me a shout on contact@exsugarholic.com – I’ll be glad to see if I can help.

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 6

You probably aren’t feeling all that great today? Don’t worry, it will be quite bad, but it will get worse before it gets better. Remember, you will feel AMAZING when you have successfully withdrawn from sugar. You will be bouncing with energy, loose weight and feel on top of the world. Keep that in mind when you want to kill someone who just looked at you the wrong way 😉

Day 6 (blog)

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. Get sugar-savy. You have probably been focussing on the obvious sugar culprits so far, but if you have the energy, have a look at your fridge and pantry. Check those labels. You might be surprised just how many of your regular staples contain added sugar.

The many names of sugar 3

This animation explains it very well too, including the difference between glucose (which is used in some of my recipes) and fructose:

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 7- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 5

You are doing great! Cravings and grumpiness is abundant but a few of you have already seen the first signs of weightloss. Even if you just managed to swap just a single unhealthy food or drink for something with a bit less sugar today, you are slowly beating the cravings. Keep going strong 🙂

Day 5 (blog) new

Today you might be wondering how to deal with your after work drinks. Maybe you are going out for dinner, to the movies or to a party and wondering how to to attack this. Read on.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. Choose wisely and you can still enjoy your weekend drinkies. All though there is a lot to say for staying tee total (for your health), if you would like the occasional alcoholic drink, this overview I put together might help:

Sugar-wise drinks choices

I’m happy to explain the reasons for these groupings – just ask me if there is anything you would like to know 🙂

How does this compare to food? This infographic from the MailOnline gives you a bit of an idea of the amount of calories you consume. So, stay away from that Pina Colada and other sweet mixers! Click on the graphic if you want to read the article. Keep scrolling to see the rest of this post.

Calorie graphic

Food. Select the healthier option on the menu (sauces generally have loads of sugar). If you really fancy a dessert, why not go halves with someone – that way you still get to enjoy a dessert but will only consume half the sugar.

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 6- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Sugar-free challenge – DAY 4

Today you might be starting to feel a bit worse for wear although our bodies handle this in different ways. Shit WILL hit the fan eventually and you may experience withdrawal and serious cravings.

Day 4 - woman tearing her hair (blog)

Symptoms of sugar-withdrawal:

  • A feeling of being constantly hungry
  • Grumpy
  • Moody
  • Headaches
  • Nausea

But WHY is it so bad? You are an addict. Sugar (especially fructose) is as addictive as cocaine and tobacco. You are, essentially, a drug abuser. However, being a sugarholic doesn’t have the same social consequences. For more info, read here.

Here are the good news. Knowing you enemy makes a big difference. You are probably reading this because you realise that you have a troubled relationship with sugar and unhealthy things. That’s a huge step in the right direction, and hopefully you have been making healthy food/drink swaps for the last couple of days. You will also be glad to know that a craving typically lasts for a maximum of 10-20 minutes for most people, so, while you’re craving something sweet, the essential thing is to distract yourself or consume something which settles your craving.

TODAY’S CHALLENGE. Come up with a list of distractions and alternatives for when the cravings hit. Keep in  mind that healthy fats and protein will relieve your sugar cravings (that’s why the protein bars from yesterday are so good). These would be my suggestions:

  • Swapping for an option with less sugar / no sugar
  • Eat protein and healthy fats (e.g. nuts, seeds, avocado etc.)
  • Drink lots of water (water thirst is often masked by sugar cravings)
  • A hot shower or a bath
  • Drinking a cup of tea and popcorn for your evening TV series.
  • Reading a good book
  • Go for a run / gym / yoga / karate
  • Play with your dog, cat, hamster
  • Watching a funny movie or a YouTube clip of funny cats on your phone (yes, you know you can’t resist!)
  • Anything else you can think of.

Cat meme (blog)

What else?

Do email me on contact@exsugarholic.com. I would love to hear your story, what you eat, why you are on this journey and how I can help you. Fire away 🙂

CLICK HERE FOR -DAY 5- OF THE CHALLENGE

If you would like to see more articles like this and gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes you can follow me here (via email, see top right on this page), on Facebook or Twitter.

 

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