The easiest ways to quit sugar before summer

Lily Soutter, nutritionist, shares her guidelines on saying goodbye to sugar - recommendations include going cold-turkey and cooking from scratch. Photo / Getty Images.
Lily Soutter, nutritionist, shares her guidelines on saying goodbye to sugar - recommendations include going cold-turkey and cooking from scratch. Photo / Getty Images.

As we rapidly approach the festive season, the daunting temptation of sugary treats can be enough to make even the most determined dieter sweat.

And knowing what to replace our favourite sweet snacks with can be even more difficult.

But there are some simple steps you can take to keep away from those sugary cravings.

Luckily, London-based nutritionist and weight loss expert Lily Soutter has revealed just how easy it is to say goodbye to sugar.

1. Go cold-turkey

Sugar is addictive. The more we eat, the more we want. By going cold turkey for a month you can recalibrate the taste buds and cravings will subside.

2. Take a home and desk detox

Out of site, out of mind, really does help. Clear the kitchen cupboards and desk space of all temptations.

3. Tell your family, friends and co-workers

By confiding in friends and co-workers about your plans, they will be less likely to wave the office cake tray under your nose.

4. Read every food label

Kick the habit: Eat lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, tofu, avocado, cold-pressed oils, beans and pulses, natural yoghurt, eggs, nut and seed butters. Photo / Getty Images.
Kick the habit: Eat lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, tofu, avocado, cold-pressed oils, beans and pulses, natural yoghurt, eggs, nut and seed butters. Photo / Getty Images.

Hidden sugar is found in the strangest places.

Simple rule: if the food product contains more than 5g per 100g, this will be in the red zone of the traffic light label - this should ring alarm bells.

5. Kill your cravings with a low sugar treat

If you really need a sweet fix, try whizzing some berries in a blender with natural yoghurt and seeds. This low sugar snack will curb those cravings.

Top tip: add a pinch of cinnamon to curb the cravings even further.

6. Cook from scratch

This is the easiest way to control your sugar intake; say goodbye to hidden sugar, additives, colourings, chemicals and flavourings.

7. Eat protein and healthy fats at each meal

Don't use sugar to change your mood - instead treat yourself to something nourishing, like a massage. Photo / Getty Images.
Don't use sugar to change your mood - instead treat yourself to something nourishing, like a massage. Photo / Getty Images.

Protein and healthy fats are great for balancing blood sugar levels. They keep you fuller for longer, prevent energy dips and reduce sugar cravings.

Eat lean meats, fish, nuts & seeds, tofu, avocado, cold-pressed oils, beans and pulses, natural yoghurt, eggs, nut and seed butters.

8. Up your chromium intake

Chromium is a mineral needed for balancing blood sugar. Evidence suggests that supplementation with chromium picolinate may help reduce sugar cravings.

Foods high in chromium include whole grains, orange juice, broccoli, potatoes, green beans and raw tomatoes.

9. Flex your 'I'm not eating sugar' muscle daily

Each time you flex your 'I'm not eating sugar' muscle, you are forming a new neural pathway in the brain and over time this will form into a healthy habit.

Each time you resist sugar, don't think of it as a burden - think of it as a strengthening exercise.

10. Indulge in life, not sugar

Don't use sugar to change your mood. Instead use what I call nourishing life pleasures: have a bath, get a massage, laugh with a friend, watch your favourite film - the list is endless.

- Daily Mail

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