BOOT CAMP Week 4 was inspired by a Public Health England sugar reduction summit I attended at which Jeremy Hunt spoke about the need for people to cut down on sugar because of the damage it’s doing to their health. The Health Secretary said the latest Government survey showed that 92 per cent of people know sugar is bad for them but still don’t do much about reducing their consumption.
I write about the damaging effects of sugar so often and just had to include it in the Boot Camp – because if you’re serious about losing weight then reducing your sugar consumption is one of the best ways of making that happen.
Now, your Slimpod programme will help because it nudges you towards healthy choices and away from the lure of sugary stuff – without needing willpower.
However, it’s always useful to get the conscious mind on board to empower you even more. Sugar has the same addictive effects as Class A drugs like heroin, so I reckon we should throw everything at kicking it out of our lives!
Here’s some tips to cut down on sugar.
First big tip – be focussed when you’re doing your weekly supermarket shop. Give yourself a fighting chance and cut out processed food!
It’s a scandal that food manufacturers put so much sugar in our food. Stay vigilant about the hidden sugars in drinks, too!
Second big tip – address your stress. Stress makes the body release the hormone cortisol, which seriously affects many of your body’s vital functions. Over time, stress will make you put on weight and can cause digestive problems, headaches, heart disease and sleep issues. In women it can lead to osteoporosis.
Because cortisol has a dramatic effect on your blood sugar levels, it can also affect what you eat when you’re stressed. How often do you want to eat something that’s comforting (sweet and sticky!) when you’re stressed?
If your brain has learnt to reach for food as a response to negative feelings – what experts call a “trigger” – this can result in craving sugary things to take away stress. On go the pounds.
Be consciously aware this is happening and break the pattern. What could make you feel better instead of sugary food?
How about going for a brisk walk?
Or listening to relaxing, happy music?
Or a relaxation download?
Third big tip – get enough sleep! How often do we hear “I desperately need sugar because I’m tired”? Sleep deprivation plays havoc with the mind/body connection and our hormones. That’s when the hunger hormone ghrelin raises its ugly head!
Make a good night’s sleep a priority and during the day, grab a power nap instead of doing anything else.
And last but not least, my fourth big tip. Take an interest in your nutrition.
You can reduce cravings dramatically by eating a well-balanced combination of protein, fibre and healthy fat. Eating this way leads to more stable blood sugar, a healthy gut and a happy mind.
Including a combination of protein, fibre, and healthy fat in your breakfast and lunch will really help you to gain control.
The beauty is, protein and fibre can make you feel fuller so you can burn off your stubborn fat without having to starve yourself.
Add lean protein to your meal plan. This could include meat, fish eggs, green peas, quinoa, almond butter, pistachios and lentils.
Choose high fibre foods: Berries, apples, legumes, oats, brown rice, and organic, non-starchy vegetables (brussel sprouts, broccoli, artichokes, and squash) are all good choices.
So there you go. Remember, it’s ACTION that will help you get to your goal! Add one of these ways of helping you quit sugar to your list of new habits this week!
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