It’s amazing how easily sugar can enter your diet, whether through cereal at breakfast, a chocolate bar after lunch or a sweet snack before dinner. Sugar is extremely addictive – the more we have the more we want – and surveys confirm that every third woman in Germany considers herself “addicted to sugar” and needs it every day.
Sugar is poison
This might sound dramatic but sugar really is poisonous to the body. It not only increases weight gain and diabetes but has a negative effect on the bowels and impairs brain function. When you quit sugar your general fitness, immune system and mental performance improve.
A big issue is that throughout our childhood we’re rewarded with sugar. At Easter, Christmas, even on our birthdays. We connect sugar with happiness, which creates an emotional as well as physical addiction.
The sugar trap
If you take a step back, it’s easy to see how much sugar you consume – right? Wrong. Sugar is in much more than chocolate. It lurks in tomato ketchup, soup, gherkins, even salad dressing. Our anti-sugar guide will help you identify sugar traps so that you enjoy the benefits of cutting it from your diet.
TV presenter and bestselling author Anastasia Zampounidis has lived sugar-free for over 13 years. She’s written several books on the subject and given numerous TV interviews. She’s handsome, slim and fit, the kind of person that radiates youth regardless of her age – likely because of her sugar renunciation. Today she shares her top tips on how to cut out sugar for good:
7 effective tips to escape candy cravings
1. Become addicted to water
Drinking tons of water helps with sugar withdrawal! It’s all a question of habit and if you up to your water-intake your body will demand more and you’ll start building a great habit. Top tip: Drinking lukewarm water stops your cravings and keeps hunger at bay.
2. Get outside
Regular exercise in the fresh air not only stimulates the metabolism but also drives away your appetite for sweets. And outdoor exercise has a psychological effect on food choices – people automatically resort to healthier alternatives rather than rewarding themselves with a sweet treat after exercise.
3. Become a sugar detective
Sugar is often used in many foods as a cheap flavour carrier and preservative. Anastasia says that it takes time to learn where to find these traps. She suggests you look at all food ingredients and educate yourself on camouflage terms such as Saccharose, Dextrose, Maltodextrin, Invertzucker or Glucose syrup as there are over 70 alternative terms for sugar.
4. Sweet and healthy
Sweetness can be found in many natural foods such as ripe bananas, dates and all dried fruits. So if you need a fix, reach for these first. Natural, non-industrially processed sugar in fruit, vegetables, cereals and legumes is metabolised by the body in a completely different way to the white, refined form – so you’ll be able to satiate your cravings in a healthy way.
5. Sleep like a baby
After a bad night’s sleep, the body draws its energy almost completely from food, so you tend to eat more when you’re tired. Good quality sleep means you’ll avoid cravings and counteract bad habits.
6. New food habits
Our day-to-day eating habits impact our desire for sweetness and people who eat regular meals and a protein-rich diet avoid fluctuations in the blood sugar level which keeps cravings under control. Another tip is to add spices. Anastasia says dishes full of flavour reduce the need for added dressing or sauces.
7. Meal-Prep – Preparation is everything
Always have emergency snacks with you! Because no matter how good you are at planning, there are days when you have so many things to do you’ll automatically reach for the sweets. Anastasia says her friends laugh about the nuts and seeds that clatter in her pocket, and she always carries sweet potato wedges in screw-cap jars in case of emergency.
Living sugar-free is extremely rewarding. Anastasia says she feels much fitter and looks younger. Other benefits include weight loss, cellulite reduction and you’re less prone to sickness. Plus it’ll do wonders for your skin and mood swings will become a thing of the past. A carrot will taste much sweeter because your senses are restored to their original state. And the best bit: after a sugar-free few weeks, you’ll find that a sweet you once loved is much too sugary for your taste pallet.
We hope we’ve encouraged you to try living sugar-free. Because when it comes to sugar there should only be one boss in control: you!
For even more inspiration to live a sustainable sugar-free existence, we’re giving away 2 x 2 of the latest books from Anastasia Zampounidis’ “Forever Sugar-free” series! Just write why you would like to live sugar-free in the comments below and these books could be yours!
To stay up to date on sugar-free tips, follow Anastasia on Instagram!