Unfortunately one of the symptoms of anxiety is to eat too much and in particular to eat too much sugary foods. Sugar has gained a ‘naughty but nice’ reputation but it is far from that. It is killing people every single day and having adverse effects on the lives of many people.
Sugar is implicated in four of the top five causes of premature death in the UK (heart attacks, strokes, hypertension and diabetes). Sugar has been shown to accelerate the growth of cancers and has been implicated in both depression and dementia.1
The following are some tips on how you can get rid of your sugar addiction:
1.BE CLEAR ON YOUR GOALS
It’s good to write down all the reasons you want to reduce (or give up) sugar and also what you want to achieve in the future. It’s good to have positive, defined goals. These can be buying an item of clothing you want to get into, a walking or running challenge, a charity challenge or even just to do a certain walk without feeling breathless.
2.COMPLETE A FOOD DIARY FOR THE NEXT WEEK
Keeping a food diary can really help you become aware of how much you’re eating and also the reasons behind why you are snacking. It will help you identify where you are eating extra unnecessary sugar to your diet. (if you want a copy of the food diary I give my clients just message me through the contact page on my website and I’ll send you a copy).
3. EAT CONSISTENTLY, REGULARLY AND MINDFULLY
Don’t let yourself get into the habit of skipping breakfast and lunch. Sugar cravings often show up when we’ve missed meals and looking for something quick to satisfy us. It’s also important to eat mindfully. Sit down at a table if possible, and take time to enjoy what you eat. Don’t do anything else at the same time as eating, e.g. watching tv, talking on your phone, checking facebook etc. If you do feel you need a snack, make it a protein snack, e.g. chicken, nuts, cheese, etc High protein foods digest slowly and will keep you fuller for longer, avoiding snacking.
4. MOVE MORE
Exercise is hailed as the answer to everything…. and it is. When you get into a regular exercise pattern you just don’t want to spoil the effects by eating rubbish. It doesn’t have to be burpees or sprinting. Start small at a level that suits you. Try walking, swimming, yoga, zumba, gardening.. find something that you enjoy. It will make it easier to keep going. Don’t push yourself too far too fast. The important point is to be consistent. Don’t just do it when you feel like doing it. What’s feeling like it got to do with anything? Focus on your goals and move consistently towards them. Those feel good hormones released by exercise will help you cope with any sugar cravings.
5. GET GOOD QUALITY SLEEP
How is your sleep? The recommended level of sleep is eight hours per night and research has shown not getting enough sleep can demolish your immune system, make it more likely that you will develop Alzheimer’s disease, have cardiovascular disease, a stroke or congestive heart failure!. Feeling exhausted in the morning may also make it more likely that you will skip breakfast and snack on sugary foods throughout the day.
6.DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Drinking water is essential for health and can also take the edge of hunger and help you avoid sugar cravings. Check when you feel the need for a sugary snack that you are not just thirsty! .
I hope you find these tips helpful. I offer a three-session sugar addiction programme. Get in touch if you want to find out more