The biggest mistakes to avoid when ditching the refined sugar…
So you are ready.
You have read the newspaper articles, blogs, watched the documentaries and you are convinced that refined sugar is basically a disaster for your health, body and your children and children’s children.
(I have written about refined sugar multiple times which I have linked to below so I am not going to jump into the research behind this but needless to say there is lots and more is always coming. If your not convinced then check out this Dr/researchers work here)
So you dive on in. You remove all sugary things from your cupboards and are ready to get the yummy smug sensation that comes when you do something you said you would do.
But then 3 days in you give up and drown your sorrows with a biscuits and ice cream. You feel like a failure and KNOW it’s not great for your body so then why can’t you seem to do it?
Well, I would say there are so many reasons. You could just be making some of the simple mistakes that I see folks do time and time again, things that hinder their sugar free aspirations….
When I first started to ditch sugar about 8 years ago I made ALL the mistakes under the sun (like mainly eating crisps as they are sugar-free right?) and made it super difficult for myself – so in this post I am going to help you avoid those mistakes like the plague.
You see when I was at Uni I had a whole host of health issues going on. I was diagnosis depressed, had chronic diarrhea, high anxiety, hormones craziness, painful digestion and then to top it off I ended up with thrush which as you can imagine is not fun.
I’d had enough and heard that ditching sugar can help with the ‘down below itch’ so I gave it a go as being depressed, sick, stuck on the loo AND itchy constantly was not overly appealing .
I managed well for the first few weeks despite having no clue what to eat (I think I ate tons of ryvita) but by the end of a few weeks I had given up and had eaten an entire bag of giant chocolate buttons for breakfast. Classic.
So how can you avoid my mistakes and actually reduce or ditch refined sugar without going crazy or ending up on a 10, 21, 30 day ‘health blip’. How do you make it stick?
Here are the top 3 mistakes that I made and I see people make all the time…
1. You don’t know yourself.
May sound strange but you need to know how to set yourself up for success.
Gretchen Rubin is a bit obsessed with figuring out why certain people make habits that sticks and why some people don’t. I recommend doing her quick Four Tendencies quiz here and finding out the best way you create new habits – it could be through the support of others, through questioning thoroughly, through rebelling against the ‘norm’ or ‘The Man’.
She also talks about ‘are you an abstainer or moderator?’ meaning do you feel most free and at ease when you get to eat a small amount of chocolate regularly or is it easier and more freeing for you to never ever eat chocolate and not have it as an option?
For me I am a bit of both. I abstain completely from gluten but I moderate sugar and will have little bits a few times a year or as a treat but it is not a daily part of my diet or week by any means.
2. You believe the fairies will help you…
Tasty sugar-free snacks will alas not just jump into your hand. There are no fairies that will magically present delicious sugar-free snacks in front of you. Your usual sugar laden granola and blueberry yogurt that you usually have for breakfast will not suddenly become scrambled eggs and smoked salmon. You need to plan in what your will eat instead.
In my Beat the Sweet: 21-Day Sugar Challenge
I provide meal plans and make this super easy, but you can do this on your own by simply taking 30 mins to sit down and think ‘what will I have as my mid morning/afternoon snacks instead of a hobnob?’ ‘What will I have after dinner instead of an ice lolly?’
Then once you have planned you need to BUY FOOD.
A simple step that people often miss and I did when I first made this transition. I remember being starving hungry staring at food aisles in local corner shop where my sugar free option included crisps or cream crackers…yum. Had I set myself up to succeed? Success comes down to getting just a teensy bit organised.
3. You expect it to be easy and get zero support.
Now ditching refined sugar is simple but it is not easy. If you are truly addicted to the sweet stuff then this may not be an easy ride for you and getting some guidance and support is super useful.
I create the 21-day sugar challenge
because I know that having a simple system to follow and resources to hand can make all the difference. When I first did this I was completely on my own and I reckon if I had a few fellow sugar free activist around me I might not have dived head first into giant chocolate buttons or better yet I wouldn’t have beaten myself up about it and carried on making progress.
But you don’t ‘need’ to join my or any other program out there but you do need support, encouragement and a clear plan/system to follow. Maybe you tell your partner and get them to help you and do it too. Maybe you do it with a few friends or work with a coach to help you through it.
I did it alone and it felt hard, I had lots of questions with no one to ask and felt like I was the ONLY one in the world who was weird enough to not eat refined sugar – when in reality there is a whole merry tribe of us doing it every darn day ?
4 ……bonus tip
Annnnnnd I suppose mistake number 4 would be you spending the entire time eating vegetable crisps which is what I did because I had no idea what to eat instead! Not a good idea to replace sugar with deep fried vegetables covered in trans fats….. but hey what can you do when your regular choice of giant chocolate buttons is off the table?!
So PLEASE avoid these mistakes and set yourself up for success! I recommend everyone begins by simply replacing all refined sugar with quality natural sweeteners and then look at taking it deeper once that has become habit.
And if you want more support and help then I would love to give you access to my FREE training workshop with my 3 Steps to Ditching the Sugar Addiction – where I take you through the simple steps to beating the sweet .
Click the link above to get instant access and you will also get first dibs on my 21 day sugar challenge coming to you super soon!!!!!
Want to read more?
- Find out if you addicted to sugar here
- The problem with sugar – read here
- Food to help you ditch the sugar addiction – read here