Want to give up Sugar? It starts in the mind.
You will know by now that I am a huge advocate for helping people significantly reduce sugar and carbohydrates from the diet. You might even have researched the benefits and started to swap your favourite pasta for courgetti and replaced that lunchtime wrap with a tasty salad.
Unfortunately, what I hear a lot is, I just can’t stick with the changes – help!
Before you start to feel like you’ve failed and end up slipping back into old ways. I want to offer up an idea as to where you might be going wrong. You see, even with all the most up to date scientific and nutritional information telling you why you need to reduce sugar from your diet to help you achieve weight loss, improve symptoms of PCOS or even when trying to conceive, it’s impossible to make changes stick if you aren’t actively changing the way you think about sugar and food in general.
I’ve invested a lot of time into understanding how we make new habits stick and when it comes to changing our food habits the research is clear - changing behaviours start with changing your thoughts. Of course, we must physically do the weekly shop and consciously decide what is going to make it onto our weekly meal plan, and we have to actually do the cooking, but have you ever stopped and thought about how the power of your thoughts can change the way you consistently make better food decisions?
Until you are actively thinking differently about your food choices it is very unlikely you will make changes or sustain these changes for long enough to see health improvements.
To get you started, here is a list of some new thoughts to start saying to yourself. Pick one or two that stand out to you or come up with your own and use them throughout the day:
“I don’t need sugar” “My body doesn’t need this chocolate/ice cream/biscuits/crisps” “My body can make energy from protein and fats” “I make healthy food choices” “Eating fat won’t make me fat” “Sugar makes me fat” “Sugar is stopping me from losing weight”
For example, when you are at the shops choosing your lunch or mid-afternoon snack start telling yourself “I don’t need sugar” or set a regular reminder and say out loud “sugar is stopping me from losing weight” before every decision you make about what you are putting in your body. Repeatedly hearing yourself say these new thoughts will help you make your food choices become consistent and you will feel the changes begin to normalise.
Whilst you are working on changing the way you think and feel about living a life lower in carbs and sugar, your knowledge around increasing protein, vegetables and healthy fats will become more powerful. You can even apply new thoughts to increasing fat in the diet, I know it isn’t easy to suddenly be given permission to eat healthy fats when it has been a message ingrained in a lot of us to stay away from fat. I’m all for dispelling nutrition myths and I give you permission to tell yourself “eating fat won’t make me fat” and how about reassuring yourself by saying “my body knows how to make the energy I need from protein and fat” – give it a go and let me know in the comments any new thoughts you are using to change how you think about reducing sugar in your diet.
If you are ready to take the next step to giving up sugar and would like my help, contact me here and let's chat.