For most of us, switching to a sugar free diet can seem daunting! There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there, which can paint the process as complicated, expensive and time-consuming. While starting any new wellness journey comes with unique hurdles, the benefits of making a healthy change in your lifestyle can far outweigh these.
Reducing sugar intake can decrease your risk of myriad health concerns, such as increased blood pressure, chronic inflammation, heart disease and liver disease. We’ve extracted the most important aspects to achieve success: focusing on these can make it much easier!
Ease in Gradually!
Only the strongest among us can quit sugar cold turkey with long-term success. To create sustainable habits, ease in first with swaps - consider dark chocolate over milk or plain yoghurt instead of flavoured. Set goals to reduce your direct intake, such as one teaspoon of sugar in your coffee instead of two for the first week, two biscuits instead of three.
Get Your Eight Hours
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep! When you’re tired, your brain is less equipped to make healthy-eating decisions, and ramps up cravings for sweets.
Keep it Simple
Pre-prepared foods are the leading culprits for hidden sugars and navigating processed foods involves vigorous label checking. Save yourself the time, energy and mental toll by simply eating foods from ‘around the edges’ of your supermarket, where vegetables, meats and dairy can be found.
Eat Before You’re Hungry
Feeling hungry can be uncomfortable - especially when the ‘hanger’ sets in! Avoid the desire for impulse snacks or unplanned treats by eating every few hours, so you’re always in control and making decisions that aren’t influenced by a growling stomach!
Finding a to-go option, sans-sugar, can be really difficult. Having food prepared in advance - such as a home-made lunch, or a stock of sugar free snacks on hand, reduces stress and makes meals easier.
If you get caught out, supermarkets and convenience stores often stock reliably low sugar vege sticks, roasted nuts, plain yoghurt or beef jerky. If there’s a deli section, look for boiled eggs, roasted meats or green salads!
Avoid Substitutes at the Start
Lowing sugar intake requires a rewiring of our daily habits. Reaching for sweet substitutes can hinder progress, rather than help, as there’s no release of the grip that sweet foods have on us. Many sugar alcohols can raise our blood sugar levels or even encourage our sugar habits, by increasing sugar cravings. Check out our blog post on sweeteners to find out which ones we recommend - and which ones to avoid!
Getting Through The Cravings
Distractions will become your best friend if you’re experiencing a sugar craving. Drink a glass of water, have a hot shower, go for a walk or ring a friend. If you’re struggling, try chewing some mint gum or brushing your teeth; often this can signal that it’s not ‘food time’. Ensure you’re eating enough satiating foods - plenty of healthy fats and protein to keep you full and nourished!
While lowering your sugar intake may not be the easiest thing you’ll ever do, it’ll certainly be one of the best things you can do for your health! Remember, if you accidently slip up, all the work you put in still counts! And there’s no reason to be discouraged; keep going as it will get easier. At Low Carb Haven, we stock a wide range of supplements, accessories and supplies to support you along wherever you are in your sugar free journey.
Thinking about starting keto, too? Our 10 Tips for Keto Beginners can be found here!