Regular readers of my blog will remember way back in January when I went sugar-free for 14 days when I lost 7lbs in 14 days based on a 1600 calories diet. I felt fantastic, I had more energy, my skin was clear and I felt more focused. On the whole I do live most days as sugar-free, not if I am eating out but at home I am sugar-free and still enjoying the benefits of doing so.
I continually get asked about the diet – how I did it, what I ate, if I still do it. My poor Mum who works in a huge office full of women gets asked all the time by her workmates how I did it. I have decided to write-up a sort of crib sheet for her so that she can refer people who ask her to this post. This post is just some of my top tips, favourite dishes and to be avoided danger dishes.
The diet is pretty simple you have to avoid all food which has sugary products listed in the ingredients, including Sugar, Fructose or Glucose. You are allowed anything with has natural sugars – fruit and veg for example. Simple, that is it. Here is a very very basic list of some of the food I enjoyed most during my sugar-free period and food to definitely avoid.
My biggest and most valuable piece is that if it has been made in a factory it will 99% of the time have sugar in it – some of the most shocking food I found which listed sugar as an ingredient included – Smoked Salmon, Stock Cubes, Sushi, Tinned Soups, Tinned Tomatoes, some Pre-Packaged Cold Meats, Turkey Rashers and all sauces – mayo, tomato & brown sauce, salad cream, soya sauce, most salad dressings…it goes on and on. Due to this you absolutely must check all labels until you know where there is and isn’t sugar from brand to brand.
If you want to do this diet as a weight lose tool avoiding sugar is only the start because the truth is you can eat REALLY unhealthy and still eat sugar-free – chips, crisps, salted peanuts, cheese, fried chicken…you get the idea. If you eat this stuff you will not lose weight so you have to be quite strict with yourself.
Drink wise I only drank still mineral water and skimmed milk lattes. I didn’t drink anything with sweeteners in it as I was advised by a nutritionist that by drinking things like sugar-free diluted juice and sugar-free fizzy juice your body will still get a high from a faux sugar hit and will still crave sugar and you’ll never ever kick your sugar addiction.
My last huge piece of advise is that you can’t treat this is a diet for a few weeks then go back to normal eating, you have to commit to changing your diet and moving away from sugary foods permanently to retain the benefits.
Top Tips to help with a sugar-free diet
- Preparation is key – make sure your fridge and cupboard are stacked with SF goodies
- Avoid everything processed – don’t even bother looking as it all has lots of added sugar
- You must check all labels, just because one brand doesn’t have sugar does not mean they all do
- Plan your meals for the day – don’t get caught hungry cause that’s when you’ll want to cave the most
- Drink water – Lots of water! I am drinking about 2 liters a day now
- Visit your local butcher/cheese monger/fishmongers these people are well-educated in their fields and can help
- Make soup – it’s a great filling lunch
- Find a bite size snack that works for you – for me it was oatcake, Ryvita and breadsticks
- Don’t sit and think about it for those first few days stay active
- Tell your friends and family, believe me it will only help to have people support and keep an eye on you
- Keep a food diary – it helps to find the meals that work best for you