There’s a challenging and inescapable aspect of quitting sugar that rarely gets the spotlight, but it’s just as distressing as the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. We’re talking about the social side of things – in your sugar-free journey, you’re likely to come upon a few doubters, from family and friends to colleagues. Here’s how to handle them.
Shutting down food-pushers
Family members and old friends are some of the usual suspects when it comes to pressuring you to eat sugary foods, even though they’re the ones you’d expect acceptance from. On the plus side, it doesn’t usually come from a bad place, rather they may be struggling to understand how and why you’ve made these dietary changes. Many people feel judged or insecure when others make choices that are different to them – psychology, right? – and this often prompts a few untoward comments, with some laying the pressure on thick.
Take a look at this sample exchange:
Them: “Why don’t you just have one piece, it won’t hurt.”
You: “I won’t be able to just have one piece, that’s why I decided to quit sugar.”
This example allows you to offer an explanation, while also staying firm with your choices. You can make it more light-hearted or humorous to maintain a friendly atmosphere, but you can also get straight to the point.
Here’s another example:
Them: “I spent hours making this cake, you should at least have a slice.”
You: “The cake looks great, but I’m staying sugar-free for my health.”
This response acknowledges the other person’s feelings, while not compromising on your own goals.
Them: Why don’t you have some more?
You: I’m feeling full, I really can’t eat any more.
You can practice a few of these with a trusted friend so you’ll be prepared come time for that dreaded Sunday lunch.
Learning to say no
As novelist, Anne Lamott – and Oprah for that matter – says, “No is a complete sentence.” You don’t need to justify or explain yourself when declining a sugary treat; simply saying “no, thanks”, is enough. It might feel rude if you’re used to bending over backwards to please others, but standing firm for your choices is an important aspect of healing during your health journey.
If you’re having trouble with setting boundaries, it can help to start small – say no to things you know are inconsequential and inoffensive to people. For instance; if someone asks you to go swimming, try saying that you’d rather go for a walk. Then you can work your way up to the bigger things. Remember these 3 tips:
- You’re never going to please everyone with your decisions – so you might as well choose what’s right for you.
- Be clear with your boundaries so there’s no room for confusion.
- Follow up on your boundaries – setting your boundaries is just the beginning, it’s important to follow up on them and let people know when they’ve crossed them.
When the doubters won’t stop at just asking once and instead repeatedly pester you to change your diet or eat something you don’t want to, there’s an easy technique you can apply: just repeat your answer – they’ll get tired of asking soon enough! Try these simple responses:
- “No, thank you.”
- “As I said before, no thanks.”
- Set these three responses to a loop, and you’re set!
Show, don’t tell
Often your results will speak louder than words. Letting people see how your sugar-free or low-sugar diet has benefited you will not only get them off your back, but may even get them interested in trying it for themselves. Whether it’s weight loss, skin improvements or hair and nail health, there are many visible changes that come with ditching sugar, and this makes for a simple way to get the message across on the permanence of your dietary changes.
But it’s not just the things we can see that change when we quit sugar – our insides are also reaping unseen benefits. It’s no secret that reducing your sugar intake can cut your risk for a range of dangerous diseases, along with keeping those less serious – but still life-disrupting – symptoms like irritability, low mood and headaches at bay. We know that fructose is proven to cause cell damage and even alter the brain’s genes, and scarier still, studies show the direct link between excess sugar consumption and obesity.
The research speaks for itself – as will your progress. If you’re having trouble managing the doubters and are looking for some more guidance, join us for our 8-Week Program. Quitting sugar is easier when you’re surrounded by supportive experts with the tools and techniques to get you through.
When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
If you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it – JOIN NOW!
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