Any nutrient that is eaten in excess can be a stimulus for inflammation.
Since sugar is often eaten in large amounts (much more than we need), and is considered one of the key pro-inflammatory foods, it is a good idea to try to reduce or eliminate it out of your diet. Reducing or eliminating sugar helps you lose weight, decrease aches and pains, reduce symptoms of your condition, and much more.
But that’s easy to say right?! Because sugar is addictive and hard to give up!
Yes, that’s true but it’s not impossible and if you have a few strategies up your sleeve, then suddenly it becomes much easier.
So let’s talk about how to quit sugar right now.
Start Here: Select One Of These 2 Options
- The Cold Turkey Method
- The Reduction Method
1. The Cold Turkey Method
This method is for people who just want to dig in and cut out everything all at once. Some people are just like this by nature and want to fast track and just get in and do stuff. That’s fine you can do it that way if you’re that type of person.
If using the cold turkey method set a date when you have 2 days free at home to avoid distractions. Remove all the sugary items from the house and tell everyone that lives with you what you are doing so they don’t interfere with your plans.
Get organized, create yourself a plan, and use all the strategies below to put everything into action. Focus on getting through the first week or two as these will be the hardest but then you should be well on your way.
2. The Reduction Method
This method is for people who prefer to ease themselves into things. Using this method you just take it step by step everyday and once you work one habit into your routine you move onto the next thing.
If you’re using the reduction method choose a date 1-3 weeks from now when you will totally ‘give up chocolate’ or ‘give up ice cream’ or ‘give up soda’ and work at reducing your intake of certain items over a 1-3 week period until it is eliminated from your diet altogether. When you do it this way you can make it as simple or as difficult as you can handle because it allows you the ability to micro manage each stage, breaking it down into manageable chunks.
LISTEN TO/ READ THIS – it covers a 21 day habit changing method that lots of clients and readers find effective.
Personally I find the cold turkey method works best because when there is even a little bit of sugar going in, it’s easy to consume more. It’s easier to go through a couple of days of cravings over a weekend, plan your week so you have snacks and alternatives available, and then just keep the sugar out of your diet.
BUT that doesn’t work for everyone, so it’s important to choose a method that suits you and your lifestyle best. Slow and steady still wins the race, so in the end it doesn’t matter which method you choose.
Step 2: Manage Cravings
When it comes to cravings, they are just that, cravings, so often it’s just a matter of distracting ourselves until the cravings pass. And all cravings do pass, if we can just get past that initial urge to splurge.
Often we eat sugar because it’s just habit, or it might be because we’re bored, or if we feel like we need a boost of energy. Or sometimes it’s just because we see sugary things and it’s a natural human inclination to be attracted to sweet things.
Why do you think there are so many sweet things in our modern food supply?
Food companies know it’s human nature to love sweet things!
The key is to be prepared for cravings and there are great ways to minimize them.
LISTEN TO/ READ THIS – It covers some tips on managing sugar cravings, and if you scroll to the bottom there is a free downloadable cheat sheet/ reference guide to help.
Step 3: Control Your Environment
Our immediate environment is one of our biggest infleuncers on our behavior, so remove all sugary sweets from the house so you don’t get tempted.
If you don’t want to throw them away pass them onto a friend or family member who wants to eat them.
If you have other people in the house who still eat these items, put all the junk foods and sugary things into a cupboard away from all your other healthier foods.
Label this cupboard as the ‘others’ cupboard and make a strong mental note to yourself that this is not where you get foods from. This helps section off these items from your mind. I know many people have other people in the house to contend with (including myself) that won’t necessarily be following the same eating regime, so this method works well.
You may not have to do it like this forever but in the beginning it’s a good strategy. Out of sight, out of mind 🙂
Step 4: Be Prepared
Preparation is the key.
Imagine this…you have a work meeting at 10.30 am each day and they always have morning tea with coffee and cake, you usually indulge but because you know this situation is there, you take a small bag of nuts laced with a few raisins to eat. Or an apple and some yogurt. You come prepared.
Here’s another example: You know your chocolate binge usually comes after dinner, so find something to replace it with. Try this berry yogurt or make a strategy to do some stretching when you get the urge. You find a replacement or alternative.
Have healthy snacks that are easily accessible – in a container chop up carrot sticks, celery, slices of bell pepper, green beans, snow peas, and any other veggies you like. Grab some to munch on when you feel like you need sugar. Often the chewing action alone will get you past the craving.
The key is preparation.
I know lots of people find it difficult to think of alternatives.
That’s why I put together some Detailed Food Lists and a Food Swaps Cheat Sheet that list LOADS of ideas and alternatives. And you’ll also get access to my HUGE recipe database too.
The food lists will help a lot, but in any case think about where you are consuming extra sugar.
Plan an alternative action, a replacement food, or think about a strategy to implement ahead of time. Then commit to doing that instead of eating sugar.
I know you can do it!
So give these things a try and let me know how you go.
Nutritionist & Health Counselor
P.S. Do you know the best foods to eat and the ones to avoid? Take away the guessing and grab the food lists and cheat sheets