Sam Tomlinson dropped 8 kilos, ditched her sugary comfort foods and transformed her mindset after quitting sugar on the 8-Week Program. Here’s how she did it.
Struggling with an “all or nothing” approach to food, 51-year-old Sam was looking to turn her unhealthy eating habits around when she landed on our program.
“Sugary foods had become my comforter; I’d piled on a tonne of weight,” she says. “I knew I needed to kick the sugar and I knew I needed to follow a program that basically told me what to do, so I had no excuses.”
She’s not alone in her struggles with the sweet stuff – after all, the average Aussie is downing around half a kilo of added sugars every week. Here’s the catch – many of us are unaware it’s even happening as added sugars are sneakily slipped into some of the most common household staples, from bread to yoghurt and cereal – even some of the foods we consider “healthy” may be harbouring hidden nasties.
And we’re starting to see the effects of our ultra-processed, sugar-laden diets take place before our very eyes – 25% of Aussie kids were found to be overweight or obese in research between 2017 and 2018, and a whopping 67% of adults in that same time period. We know that the fructose in sugar plays a massive role in the development of visceral fat, inflammation and hormonal imbalances – all of which contribute to the development of conditions like obesity, heart disease and liver disease.
While many of us are aware of the dangers of excess sugar consumption, here’s where many of us are slipping up – sugar is known to be more addictive than cocaine, and while sugar hasn’t been declared an addictive substance yet, research shows the withdrawal symptoms are real. Sam knows well the lure of this ubiquitous white powder.
“I know how quickly I slide once I start adding in the sweet stuff.”
The alcohol and other drugs counsellor understands well confines of unhealthy habits, given the nature of her career. She says it was a self-destructive mindset that had begun to affect her life and her health.
“I’d gone into self-sabotage mode, when I stop eating well, I really go downhill fast,” she says. “I’d grown tired of cooking; I wanted fast fixes and all I wanted was sugar. So that’s all I had – coffee in the morning, maybe with a muffin, a healthy salad for lunch, then I’d cook my daughter dinner, but couldn’t be bothered to make myself anything – so then I’d start snacking.”
Sam decided something needed to change – and that’s when she found the 8-Week Program. She says the structure, recipes and support helped her regain her health and her confidence.
“I fit back into clothes I’d given up on, my skin is bright and glowing. I remain motivated to stay sugar free.”
Like Sam, many others notice visible changes to their skin – along with their hair and nails – when ditching added sugars, and the reason is simple. Sugar breaks down the collagen in the skin, affecting the elasticity and structure, which can then result in dry, wrinkled and dull skin – some people find themselves experiencing more acne breakouts. But another reason for improved skin health comes down to the foods we swap the sugary stuff with. On the program, we prioritise recipes with whole, real foods loaded with nutrients that are essential for collagen production and tissue formation, two of the major tenets for healthy skin! From their impressive vitamin A, C and E content to their folate, iron and vitamin B12, a diet rich in whole foods is one of the best tools to achieving health from the inside out.
Ultra-processed diets which many Aussies live on – think bread, cereal and spreads with excess additives, along with highly-processed meats and trans-fat-laden snacks – often lack these nutrients.
Sam says the meals she cooked during the program played a major role in keeping those cravings at bay.
"The food was filling, so I didn’t feel the need to stand staring in the fridge and the pantry every night for half an hour every hour," she says. "And because the results were relatively instant for me, I felt motivated to keep going."
The result? Sam was enjoying healthier foods and even noticed a fringe benefit of weight loss.
"I lost 8kg over the 8 weeks, it felt like a steady gradual decline all the way through," Sam says. "Sometimes the scales didn’t move, but I could see from my face and the look of my clothes that I was losing weight everywhere."
But the counsellor says the benefits she reaped during the 8-Week Program weren’t just physical. She says she noticed significant changes to her mindset toward food, health and her life.
“When you feel better about yourself, the negative self-talk lessens and you can’t help but feel good when you look in the mirror,” Sam says.
“I also feel more confident within myself as I feel that I now have my power back and am not craving the nasty white stuff!”
Sam also runs her own business with the goal of helping women transform their relationship with alcohol, and this mum of one has some sage advice to anyone considering taking up the 8-Week Program.
“Give everything a go – even if you don’t like the sound of it,” she says. “Give the full 8 weeks a red-hot go. Really commit – lay off the booze, have an early night, if you’re struggling and a coffee helps with hunger cravings!”
Feeling inspired and ready to start your own health journey? If you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. 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.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!