This month I am giving up refined sugar in aid of Cancer Research UK, and at just over 2 weeks in, I'm still hanging on in there! Last week I shared my daily diary for my first week of sugar free February, but this week I've decided to share my top tips for beating sugar cravings, which you'll find further down this post. I hope you find it useful.
You can learn more about my challenge and the rules that I have set for myself in my Sugar Free February introductory post.
On a personal level, my second week of the Sugar Free February challenge was extremely tough, as we very unexpectedly lost a much loved close member of the family. I can't tell you how difficult it was to stick to the challenge when I just wanted to bury my face in chocolate (I'm definitely an emotional eater) but I did it and I'm still going, despite everything. If I can stay sugar free through one of the toughest weeks of my life, then truly, anyone can do it.
15 Easy Tips to Help You Give Up Sugar
Remove temptation - it might sound obvious, but it really does help to remove as much temptation from the house as possible – if it’s not readily available, you’re much less likely to eat it!
Stay hydrated - make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you’re not too keen on plain water, try infusing it with fruit and herbs. Try citrus fruit infused water for plenty of flavour (and extra vitamins too), or strawberry, cucumber and mint for a taste of summer.
Try herbal teas – my favourites are peppermint and lemon & ginger tea, and I also love flavoured teas like gingerbread or salted caramel green tea (Twinings have a great selection), which have a sweeter flavour that can help take the edge off your cravings.
Add flavour instead of sugar - try adding a dash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of cinnamon to foods like porridge or plain yogurt – it makes it taste sweeter without adding any sugar.
Think positively - try to focus on what you can eat rather than what you can’t.
Make it an adventure - use giving up sugar as an opportunity to look for new recipes and food products to try. This week in my quest to find new sugar-free foods I've discovered rye bread (so tasty!) and rediscovered Whole Earth peanut butter, yum!
Plan ahead - try planning all of your meals in advance each day so that you aren’t tempted to pick at unhealthy foods instead of eating proper meals.
Clever snacking - come up with a list of healthier snack ideas and make sure you always have at least a few of them on hand to stave off cravings. Try these sugar free snack suggestions; oat cakes, plain or lightly salted rice cakes, cubes of cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts and seeds, fresh fruit or crunchy vegetables.
Prep for success - if you bulk prepare fresh fruit and vegetables in advance, you’ll be much more likely to eat them and stay away from the sugar. Make up a simple fruit salad to keep in the fridge ready for breakfasts, snacks and desserts, or prepare a box of crunchy vegetable sticks to dip in cream cheese or hummus.
Boost your chromium intake - I've been using this Vitamin B12 spray with chromium, as chromium can help reduce sugar cravings. If you don't fancy the spray, chromium can also be found naturally in broccoli, sweet potatoes, apples, whole grains and eggs.
Exercise for a natural high - try to fit in some exercise, even if it's just a quick march around the block each morning. You’ll feel better for it and it’s a fantastic natural way to lift your mood.
Get enough sleep - make sure you get plenty of sleep if possible as you’re more likely to suffer from and give into cravings when you are tired.
Discuss it with others - tell your family and friends what you are doing and ask for their support. Taking on a sponsored challenge is a great way to keep yourself accountable!
Stay busy - try to keep busy to distract yourself from cravings, it really can help!
Don't give up - know that it WILL get easier with time, you just need to hang on in there!
Disclosure: This post contains some Amazon affiliate links; I may receive commission on items purchased through the links.
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