Sugar cravings, no time and stress-packed days are the motivation-sapping trifecta when it comes to maintaining your health goals. But there is a way to power on, even when you’re losing steam.
Here are a few of our top tips to get you back on the wagon.
Time to try meal prepping.
Meal prepping is the key to staying on track. The reason for this is simple – when you’re struggling to find motivation and time to make healthy meals, the last thing you want to do after a busy day of work is to cook up a storm in the kitchen. If all you have to do is grab a prepped meal out of the fridge, you’ll be a lot closer to maintaining your goals.
The verdict is in – we’re wasting too much time in the kitchen, with a study showing Aussies and Americans were found to spend around 6 hours cooking, while Indians dedicate a whopping 13 hours. A lot of us would give up at the thought of losing 13 hours in the kitchen, and that’s where meal prepping comes in. It’s a simple way to not only save time, but also money from reduced energy usage.
Here's how you can get started with meal prepping:Choose the right food.
Products with long shelf lives and fresh produce that is a little hardier will be your best picks for meal prepping. Take a look at some of the best options for tasty and affordable meals:
- Grains like pasta, rice, bucket, millet and wholegrain bread.
- Legumes like beans, lentils and chickpeas.
- Raw veggies: carrot, celery, capsicum, cucumber.
- Cooked veggies: broccoli, asparagus, carrot.
- Fruits like apples, mandarin, bananas.
- Nuts and nut butters.
- Sauces, spreads and dips.
While items like nuts and bananas tend to survive without refrigeration, many others are not so hardy. Cooked veggies, dairy and meat products are just a few of the foods you’ll need to store properly for health and safety. The best way to preserve freshness is to prep for smaller periods of time, like every 3 days instead of 1 weekly prep. If you are prepping for longer amounts of time, consider freezing some foods and simply defrost and/or heat up when you’re ready to eat it.
It can be hard to keep up motivation when you’re missing your comfort foods – but you don’t have to say goodbye to them. Not only are there sugar-free versions of your old favourites, but if you’re struggling with a sweet tooth, there are a few sugar alternatives that may do the trick – in moderation, of course.
Monk fruit: This sweetener has no calories and is over 100 times sweeter than regular sugar – crazy, we know. It does contain fructose, but here’s the best part – this alternative is most commonly available in dehydrated form, meaning it won’t have fructose or glucose in it, and thus won’t put your liver under strain. Plus, you won’t even need to add much considering how sweet it is.
Allulose: This sweetener is nearly identical in taste to table sugar, but that’s where the similarities end. It’s less likely to cause digestive problems as it is released through our urine and studies show it can be beneficial to the liver by helping to reduce visceral fat. We like the sound of those fringe benefits! But remember, sweeteners are still sugars, even if they differ to the regular kind. So, as we always say at I Quit Sugar, moderation is key. A few other options include stevia and dates.
Know your shopping list.
We’ve all been there – you’ve finished work and hit the shops, only to find it’s packed, the lights are blinding and you can’t remember what you came there for. Mid-shop paralysis is not easy to overcome and many of us end up leaving without getting the food we need. This can throw a spanner in the works when it comes to staying healthy and loading up on those nutritious, affordable goods. But there is a way to make sure you come out with a full basket – have a look at these simple things to write on your shopping list.
- The products you’re buying – a no-brainer, we know.
- The cheapest and healthiest brands for each product.
- Alternative options in case your items are sold out.
- Sale prices – be sure to check if online prices match up in store.
It also helps to know your way around the store, so you can be in and out instead of getting lost in an endless line of aisles.
If you’re new to the low-sugar lifestyle or are looking for an extra boost to keep you going, join us for our 8-Week Program. On offer are exclusive recipes and shopping lists, expert guidance and a week-by-week program with techniques to kick your sugar addiction for good. Sign up here. JOIN NOW!