My Sugar Confession + how you can reduce your reliance on the sweet stuff
I have a confession to make. I have fallen totally, utterly, and completely off sugar wagon. Despite knowing from my training, from my experiences in clinic with clients and my own lived experience, that lots of refined carbs aren’t the best basis for a diet.
Booja Booja chocolates were the start but soon I was inhaling Ben & Jerry’s. And once you get back on the sugar train it’s blooming hard to stop. It’s happened because in my personal life I’ve got some pretty serious stuff happening and falling headfirst into some chocolate made me feel better temporarily.
Why am I sharing this? Because I think so many people have the same experience. We make changes to our diet and feel good for it, we know that eating more veg and less sugar makes us feel better. But then life happens and old habits creep in. For me, sugar, coffee and booze were historically the way I used to deal with stress and difficult feelings before my nutrition “ah ha” moment. I don’t drink now and try not to go overboard with coffee so my old friend sugar made his way back into my life.
But it’s stopping - in a gentle non-judgmental way - now. I’m following the advice I give clients who are trying to reduce, which generally includes:
Choosing low glycaemic load carbs over high glycaemic load carbs. This is nutritionist jargon, but basically means choosing brown rice over white rice, sweet potatoes over normal potatoes and avoiding the really sweet stuff (Booja Booja, in my case – just because it’s expensive doesn’t make it “better for you” than Dairy Milk). Low glycaemic load carbs raise your blood sugar more gently than the high glycaemic load ones, less ups and downs = less energy dips = less likelihood of grabbing sugary stuff
Being a bit more vigilant with the composition of my meals and making sure there is a decent amount of protein and fat in each meal, to keep my energy levels steady and avoid those dips which have me craving the sweet stuff
Listening, really carefully, to what my body wants. When I find myself wanting to run to the shops and buy a salted caramel brownie, what’s going on? Often, I don’t actually want that brownie, I just got an email or phone call that stressed me out and I want to make myself feel better. So instead of buying the brownie I try and take 5 mins away from the situation that’s triggered me and focus on my breathing
I’m also sharing this because I know that getting back on the wagon after you fell off is hard. Especially when you’re a nutritionist who should know better… But it happens to all of us and it’s always possible to get things back on course. I think, probably, it’s about being a bit more compassionate to ourselves when it does happen and being okay with starting again.
So, there we go. I’m starting over and it feels GOOD. If the above resonates with you, be kind to yourself and know that you can begin again at any time.