I WAS so proud and excited to appear on the ITV Tonight programme Giving Up Sugar For Good last Friday. It was all about the crucial role Slimpod has played in transforming the health and well-being of staff at Tameside hospital, Manchester, and how we changed the restaurant into a sugar-free zone.
My dream is for every hospital in the UK to follow Tameside’s example because our wonderful NHS staff need all the help they can get when it comes to losing the desire for sugar and staying healthy. But sadly hospitals are full of sugar which is making them sick.
If you work in an NHS hospital and would like us at Slimpod to help make your workplace healthier, just like we did at Tameside, please ask your occupational health department to contact me and I’ll be glad to help!
On ITV, Tameside’s director of transformation, Angela Brierley, who’s a type 2 diabetic, told her inspiring story of how Slimpod helped her lose six stone and keep it off for over two years. She’s now been able to drastically reduce her diabetes medication.
But good as the programme was, it wasn’t able to tell whole story in just 30 minutes so I thought it would be a good idea to explain some of the background.
This was me on the ITV programme
I was asked to run a Slimpod weight loss project at Tameside for 100 hospital staff to change their eating habits and help them lose weight by losing the desire for sugar.
To support the project, a “Slimpod Special” healthy menu was offered as an alternative to the other things on the menu. This was a roaring success. The staff loved it!
This was then extended gradually over six months, as the head chef Simon Smith severely reduced the unhealthy food on offer.
The desserts disappeared from the menu for a trial period of three months and Simon says no one missed them.
They’ve now gone for good, being replaced with fruit. Finally, confectionery and sugary fizzy drinks have also disappeared for both staff and visitors.
A happy Angela Brierley on the ITV show
Tam Fry, Chair of the National Obesity Forum, said the initiative was “trailblazing” and should be spread across the whole of the NHS.
You can read lots of the Tameside staff’s success stories and watch a whole host of videos the nurses made by clicking here: Making a difference in the NHS
Losing the desire for sugar – the explanation
But there’s always a lot of confusion and debate about sugar and I’d like to explain in a bit more detail the way Slimpod gives people the freedom of choice about cutting down – and in many cases, cutting out – sugar and how this differs from making a conscious decision to stop eating sweet things by using willpower (as you would on a diet).
Remember, the sugar we’re talking about here is refined, processed sugar, not the natural sugar that comes from fruit and vegetables (in which the healthy nutrients and fibre more than compensate for the small amounts of sugar they contain).
For a start, should sugar be cut out or cut down?
The answer is that refined sugar has no nutritional value and the body is perfectly happy without it.
But even if you only reduced your intake by half, you’d be making a significant contribution to better health.
If you cut down or cut out – surely that’s dieting and restrictive behaviour, which is the opposite of what Slimpod is all about?
Well, if you were on a diet then you’d be using willpower, or conscious control, to restrict your sugar intake. This creates cravings and it all becomes very hard.
But Slimpod is very, very different. It works with your subconscious and your brain’s reward centre to make sugar less attractive – so you find it far easier to reduce your sugar consumption and stop snacking.
Slimpod helps you with losing the desire for sugar. It flicks a metaphorical switch so your brain learns it can get pleasure from healthier food and exercise, rather than just sugar.
Then having a piece of cake or some chocolate becomes your choice rather than something you have no control over or which is banned by a diet.
But two things may make losing the desire for sugar a little more difficult.
ONE: If you’re in an environment where you’re constantly surrounded by sugar and snacks – for example, hospitals!
TWO: If you have a strong emotional connection with sugar and your brain is getting intense pleasure from it. In other words, sugar is an addiction.
Losing the desire for sugar if you’re addicted
If you discover you’re a sugar addict, Slimpod will still help to reduce the desire but you may have to go one step further and decide you have to eliminate sugar completely.
This can be difficult for a few days but then it gets so much easier and eventually you’re free.
In Phase Two of the Slimpod programme you’ll find lots more information about the neurotransmitter dopamine and how the brain gets hijacked by sugar.
In my Live tonight on our public Facebook page tonight (May 4) at 7.30, I’ll be explaining in a lot more depth how Slimpod helps you to ditch sugar automatically.
I’ll also be diving deeper into how you can tackle sugar addiction. If you’re new to Slimpod, do follow me on Instagram too.
And please let me know in the comment section below how you’re getting on with cutting down – or ditching – sugar for good.