I no longer believe that you need to cut out a food group completely, however the more I look into having optimal health for myself the more I realise that I need to reduce the amount of refined sugar I consume. A factor in this for me is that I can’t seem to stop when I start. I swear I move from one addiction to the next ha ha, always learning though.
Having optimal health I believe is about constantly evaluating our current habits, improving and tweaking as we go. It’s not about perfection, it’s about awareness. I’m not going to go into heaps of depth on sugar in this blog, this is a list of different techniques we can use to help us reduce refined sugars.
- The 20 minute rule. You’ve got those sugar urges, how about setting a 20 minute timer, if you still want something after 20 minutes then go ahead. I think you will find after 20 minutes you no longer desire the chocolate or “insert favourite sweet food here”.
- Substitution. Substitute products with high levels of refined sugar for those with more natural sugars. Exchange a chocolate bar for a protein ball or raw slice.
- Portion control. This one is pretty simple, reduce the amount you are eating, its pretty difficult to moderate how much we eat when it comes to sweet foods, well for me anyway, ha ha so aim to portion and stick to that portion size.
- Drink herbal tea. Have herbal tea post lunch or dinner to satisfy those sweet urges, I like peppermint or liquorice tea.
- Am I hungry? Ask yourself why you want your chosen food, are you hungry or are you feeling sad, lonely, bored or just eating it because the rest of your office are? If you are not hungry then don’t eat it.
- Office treats. Ask the person who organises office events to supply healthier options, most people want to reduce their processed food intakes, if enough of you make a request then the changes will be implemented. If you feel like you can’t say no, take a piece of cake, have a few forkfuls and then leave the rest.
- Processed foods. Look at the labels and stick to the products with 10g or less sugar per 100g/ml.
- Fruit. Swop biscuits for fresh fruit
- Fizzy drinks. Avoid or completely cut down.
- Quality not quantity. Instead of having these foods at home, go out and enjoy with your friends, go to your favourite cafe/ice cream shop/cake shop, sit down and enjoy what you have chosen. Its what we do all the time that has the biggest impact not occassionally, enjoy and try not to feel any guilt.
I will keep you up to date on how I go, again its not about perfection, but daily tweaks as I move towards my goal of optimal health. Ive done well so far today, its currently 1.22pm, every hour is another pat on the back as I move towards my goal. Remember to celebrate the wins team.