Quitting sugar... why would I do this?! I had been experiencing insomnia, anxiety and mood swings, and was having trouble losing weight. Once I kicked the sugar habit, those issues went away.
But I was surprised to find other things changed for me, too: my skin looked radiant, even without makeup! More than that was a renewed sense of being alive. (Weird, I know, but it's true.)
After my experience of going through the first 30 days more than once, I've developed a list of my essential tips to get through the first 30 days of sugar-free eating!
1. Drink water.
This is a no-brainer. Don't drink any of your usual sodas, and don't drink their diet substitutes. This may seem impossible but stick to this one. If you feel like a pick-me-up drink, have some cold water or hot water with a lemon slice, or a cup of tea or a black coffee or take a walk and then have a water. Just do anything you can to avoid those drinks and before you know it, you just won't want them anymore - seriously
2. Drink more water.
Yep, keep drinking water. You may be dehydrated and have headaches for the first few days of coming off of sugar. So keep yourself well hydrated.
3. Have a healthy breakfast.
Start your day on the right food with a nourishing meal! Some ideas: oatmeal, quinoa, or a hearty green smoothie. Before you eat anything, have a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon. Remember: a healthy breakfast does not involve sugar, so no breakfast cereals, toaster tarts or fruit juice.
4. Go for full-fat dairy.
Don't be scared by full fat milk! It's lactose and our bodies can handle that. Skip the low-fat, skinny milks. If you're worried, try skipping dairy altogether in your drinks. Green tea and short black coffee are great alternatives.
5. Focus on WHY you're better off without sugar.
Be positive about your decision. It's a choice you've made for your health and your body, so make sure you feel good about it. It may be tough, but remind yourself of the benefits of quitting sugar and embrace the decision to make a healthy change. If that fails, take a brisk short walk outside and get your endorphins to work their magic instead! Just don't walk to the shops and buy chocolate!
6. Avoid processed foods.
Hold out for real foods at all times. Avoid foods that are pre-packaged or anything from a fast food restaurant. Your meals should be primarily whole foods, mostly vegetables (not from cans, they often have added sugars), with proteins or meat. If you want a snack, grab some carrot sticks and add hummus, have a boiled egg, a handful of mixed nuts, or a spoonful of coconut oil.
7. Find sugar-free recipes.
There are so many sugar free recipes available on the internet! Look around for diabetic recipes, candida diet recipes and also paleo recipes. You don't have to sacrifice taste if you remove sugar from your cooking!
8. Get support.
If you've had a bad day and need to talk it out, let someone know. Find someone either in your life or even online via the many blogs and forums and get the support you need. If you want to complain that the whole is basically made of sugar and you want to cry, let us know! We know it can be hard and we want you to succeed. We are not out to see you fail, so voice how you are feeling and before you know it, you will be feeling better!
9. Avoid fake sugars.
If you can handle it, avoid the artificial sugars. Obviously you're already avoiding sugar free foods, which are always processed but if you can handle your coffee without added sugar give it a go. Start with doing it by halves if you are not used to coffee without sugar- half the amount you would normally add.
10. Eat enough food.
Make sure your body is fueled properly. If you're hungry, you'll just crave sweet foods and fall off the wagon. Don't skimp on the good things. Eat a big salad with grilled chicken and then an hour later have a boiled egg. Keep on track, the cravings will subside.