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Vogue’s Calgary Avansino: How to stick with quitting sugar

By Calgary Avansino |


IQS: Calgary Avansino

If you have learned to read labels, started making healthy swaps and your cupboards are clean, you are well on your journey to a sugar-free lifestyle.
Studies have found that after only three weeks most people have cracked their dependency. However, it is one thing cutting out sugar for a few weeks, but it is another making it a permanent lifestyle change.
Here are some top tips for sticking with it in those times when you feel you may give in.
  1. Shout about it. Tell everyone you’re cutting sugar from your life. Make sure people know and get their encouragement. It makes it easier to say no when they offer you a slice of cake or ask if you fancy a takeaway.
  1. If you have a craving, wait 20 minutes, drink a large glass of water and do something else. Perhaps go for a walk or read a book. See if it goes away. More often than not, simple distraction works wonders to bend the mind.
  1. Make sure you always keep healthy snacks with you – in your desk, in your car, in your bag – so that you can make the right choice if you find yourself needing to eat. It’s normal to need a pick-me-up, but try to make it one that fills you with energy and goodness, not the doughnuts lurking near the office printer.
  1. Don’t bring temptation past your threshold. If you keep good food in your fridge and cupboards, you will eat more good food. Simple.
  1. Retrain your mind to reward yourself in other ways – not by reaching for a brownie. Perhaps allow yourself a pedicure for a week of eating well, get a massage, go to a new exercise class or start a new hobby you’ve been meaning to try. Most people have “sugar” mixed up in their reward pathways, so we just need to retrain them.
  1. Share the journey. Get a coworker or friend to become sugar conscious with you so that you can bond together during the afternoon slump when others are giving in to chocolates and cookies.
  1. Figure out your toughest times of day and prepare for them. Mine is after dinner when I’m watching TV, so I plan ahead and think about what I can munch on before the cravings hit. It’s good to always have some healthy snacks on hand.
  1. Educate yourself. If you continue to learn and remind yourself why you are on this journey, and all the many ways in which you are helping your body, you will feel far more committed.
  1. Keep your sugar diary. Seeing your progress, or even lack of it, will serve as motivation.

Read more about how to quit sugar and create a healthy, balanced and delicious life for you and your family in my new book Keep It Real.

Calgary Avansino
Wellness expert Calgary Avansino is contributing editor to British Vogue, columnist for The Sunday Times Style and author of Keep It Real. She is passionate about making healthy eating easy and accessible for you and your family.

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