Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Sugar and spice and all things nice - hacks to change what you're made of

Far from being a fairytale, sugar is turning out to be the unhappy ending. Is it time to flip your sugar switch and turn your sweet tooth sour?

It's February and we are reminded on Valentine's Day that sweets are the food of love. This year though February is the month to be sugar-free while raising funds for Cancer Research. Why, I hear you ask, would a cancer charity care about sugar? Because sugar is the single biggest cause of obesity and obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer. Being overweight or obese is associated with 13 types of cancer.

Sugar is ubiquitous and even if you think you don't eat much sugar, because you don't have a can of pop, piece of cake or a chocolate bar every day, you'd be surprised just what foods contain sugar.

Essentially, if it comes in a packet, it probably contains sugar. I used the app Food Scanner to scan my cupboard contents and ended up throwing most of the cereals and all of the sauces out! 

It makes me crazy because most of the mainstream diets pander to the sweet tooth of its customers selling desserts and snack bars with reduced calories to help you lose weight. However, they're probably full of sweeteners and other chemicals that cause you harm too and they absolutely do not help you quit your devastating sugar habit.

Therefore when you stop dieting, you haven’t actually addressed the eating patterns and sugar habits that made you put on weight in the first place, so it should be no surprise when you put the weight back on - and they’ll happily welcome you back to do their diet again.

So if you want to finally lose weight for the last time, you’re going to have to ditch the refined sugar and monitor your eating habits. 

Sugar full stop is not good for you, natural or not. But just start with removing the empty calories of the refined carbs and refined sugar. And you're not saying goodbye forever just getting back control. Although if you're an addict, you may find you have to abstain totally as moderation is not possible for all personality types. 
So how can you outsmart your sweet tooth? There are a couple of NLP technique that help you change your thinking and behaviour patterns once you know your triggers and I can change a food you like to one you dislike while you create new healthier and more empowering habits. 

I used the Swish technique to change my thinking to 'maybe later' rather than 'that'll make me feel better' when I saw cake at work. I only wanted to stop myself eating it when I went to make coffee as my pick-me-up in the afternoon and It had all kinds of knock-on effects.  

If you are interested in exploring these techniques and working with a coach on rewiring your brain and resetting your relationship with sugar, message me to find out more about my mindset diet breakthrough programme. 

And you will love the freedom that being sugar-free gives you. Instead of mood swings from sugar spikes and sugar lows, you will have more stable energy levels that increase your productivity and concentration. You will feel fresher, your skin will clear up, and your belly fat will start to disappear. 

If you're ready to make the change that will make the difference, here are some tips to make it easier. 

If you were a smoker, you'll know how you can break habits so treat this addiction in much the same way as you quit smoking: Change your routines and remove all the triggers and associations for sweet foods. 
  1. Clear the cupboard of sugars - read those labels on the packets as sugar is in devilish places. Pay special attention to cereals. As a rule of thumb, beige isn't a good look for food any more than it is for clothes.  Try this app to scan your labels. 
  2. Fill your fridge and cupboards with delicious foods that are high in protein and fibre.
  3. Eat full fat and healthy fats to keep your insulin stable and for your body to burn and lose weight faster- avoid low fat as it often has sugar in some form added to it. 
  4. Eat proteins and wholegrain for lunch to avoid the afternoon slump.
  5. Avoid “low-sugar” foods and sugar alternatives other than Stevia as they create other health issues.
  6. Plan to cook so you can avoid ready meals and fast food as they use sugars.
  7. Use cinnamon as an alternative topper or flavour as it reduces blood sugar levels.
  8. If you have a biscuit with your tea or coffee, change your drink. This may even be a good time to switch to drinking water.
  9. If you always succumb to eating cookies when you sit on the sofa and watch TV, plan to sit somewhere else and even find something else to do.
  10. If you want something sweet, eat a handful of nuts, dried fruit, fruit or even 85% chocolate as it has less sugar and fat and it helps reduce cortisol if you’re stressed.
  11. Make sure you get 7-9 hours sleep a night to get your leptin and ghrelin under control and reduce your appetite and sugar cravings.
  12. Monitor your triggers for eating sweet foods so that you can then plan to interrupt them by doing something different in that moment, for example if you buy chocolate when you fill up with petrol go to a pay-at-the-pump station only.
  13. Clean your teeth after eating rather than have dessert.
  14. Learn to recognise whether your hunger is real or triggered by a smell, memory or emotion. 
  15. Find alternative ways to celebrate and commiserate. 
  16. Find alternative activities to feed that inner you, the real you. 
  17. Create your personal wellbeing goal and vision so that you are clear where you are heading rather than needing pure willpower to get you through.
Imagine how 28 days will change your taste buds and in March you will be noticing just how sweet carrots taste. Now that's an idea, carrot muffins made with gluten free flour, coconut oil and milk, and stevia if you still want that extra sweetness. 

If you would like more help in setting yourself up for success this year, if you truly want to do something different to lose weight for the last time, book a free coaching call with me or join my facebook group Shift My Mindset Shift My Weight. I would love to see you there. 

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