Life isn’t always easy so why suck the simple joys out of it? Simple joys, like sugar. Beautiful sugar, which comes in so many tempting forms. Walk into any average supermarket and the ways you can get your sugar hit are numerous… whether it’s croissants or chocolate, we all have our weak spot! While I’m not completely addicted to sugar, I’ll never be the kind of person that would pick crisps over chocolate, starters over a dessert. Despite this, and I still don’t really know where the idea came from, but I am going sugar-free for a month.
So, why am I doing this? It’s good to challenge yourself, and going off sugar is undeniably a challenge! When most people start a new challenge, they might turn to exercise for their health or yoga for their mental health, but I can happily admit that these are already parts of my life.
For me, the challenge comes from seeing if I can go without one of life’s little pleasures.
After roughly two weeks into this challenge, I have found a few tricks that make it easier. My coping mechanisms range from eating different things to finding methods to distract myself. If you want to try and curb your sugar habits, here are five tips I’ve found worked well for going sugar-free!
1. Spice Up Your Cooking:
Just because you are going sugar free doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy what you eat. Spend time researching online or reading cook books and find some dinner recipes that inspire you. When you start getting more invested in what you are cooking, you’ll be excited to eat dinner and this should prevent you from thinking about chocolate so much!
2. Think of Different Ways to Treat Yourself:
So many of us rely on sugary snacks as treats to get us through the day or as something to look forward to at the end of the day, and that’s fine in moderation, but surely there must be many other ways to treat ourselves? Think of something else that makes you happy and have that to look forward to instead!
3. Get Good Sleep:
Have you ever noticed that when you are tired or hungover you crave more junk food and are much more likely to give into these cravings as well? However, if you get a good restful night’s sleep, your body will function better and it should be easier to stay on track.
4. Out of Sight, Out of Mind:
People are actually generally pretty lazy. So for example if you just never stock any kind of sugary treats in your house, when a craving hits, you won’t always feel like going out to get that sugar rush. So, let your laziness save you! Another idea is to keep biscuits/ sweets on a higher shelf or somewhere that can’t be seen that clearly!
5. Find Your Favourite Sugar Substitutes:
We are generally becoming more and more aware that the over consumption of sugar is pretty detrimental to our health. The good thing about this, is that there are more sugar free options, or health blogs/books available to us now so there’s plenty of ways to satisfy your sweet tooth but in a more healthy way! One of my favourite combinations is natural yogurt, raspberries and sugar free hazelnut butter.
So far, I haven’t broken down, though watching a friend eat an entire cheesecake without me was hard, I’m not going to lie! Generally I’ve noticed that throughout most of the day, I’m fine without sugar but towards the end of the day I really want some. I think this reveals how easy it is to learn on sugar as a crutch. On the other hand, there might be an occasion for celebrating something, so obviously cake is going to be involved.
I think a lot of us out there have a sort of emotional relationship with sugar, and getting out of a relationship always hurts!
Though, just like a break up, with time and good habits, you can get over it! I’ve started to notice changes in my eating habits, for example cereal is now like a sugar hit! Or unintentionally I have gravitated towards buying more fruit; clearly we do still need some natural sugars!