If I were to award a single food item with the title of ‘Fastest Way To Pack On The Pounds’, hands down the winner would be – refined sugar! 

As a nation, we have been eating more and more sugar over the past 200 years, which has led to rising obesity numbers. Back in the 1800’s the average person ate only 6.3 lbs of sugar per year, compared to 130 lbs of sugar in 2012. 130 pounds!!!  I don’t even weight that much!  Thats a LOT of sugar in a year! No wonder the average person is bigger than ever and most people are struggling to get their weight down.

One of the reasons that our diet is filled with so much sugar is that some form of refined sugar is included in virtually every single processed food. This is yet another reason that it’s important to cut those processed and packaged convenience foods out of your diet. 

However, cutting sugar from your diet is a lot easier said than done. Once it is a part of your daily diet, cravings strike, causing you to eat it even more frequently. Do you identify?  Do you feel like when you have just a single bite of a chocolate bar or a little sweetie your little one offers you, suddenly the floodgate are open, the chocolate monster escapes and you MUST HAVE MORE!!!!

Is there any hope  for those of us who have an undeniable sweet tooth?  

Here I offer you 7 Ways To Crave Less of that Sugar that you’re eating that’s killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goal weight: 

1) Eat More Protein
A diet rich in protein keeps you full, satisfied and less likely to crave sweets. A great way to make sure that you are getting enough is to plan each meal and snack around a protein. Plan breakfast around eggs, lunch and dinner around baked chicken breast, and make snacks hard boiled eggs or baked meatballs. 

2) Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
One of the biggest fitness myths out there is the idea that calorie-free, artificially sweetened beverages don’t impact your fat loss results. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth is that the diet soda you’re sipping is making it harder for you to reach your goal weight. While the diet soda itself doesn’t contain calories, it has been proven to cause cravings for sugary foods. Put down the diet soda and instead pick up a refreshing bottle of spring water. 

Having said that, there is now a healthy, plant based sweetener on the market called Stevia which has been shown to be completely safe and it doesn’t leave a nasty after taste.  Personally I am really enjoying using this in my herbal teas and to sweeten my natural yoghurt.

3) Steer Clear Of Saboteurs
The sad truth is that people in your life will try to sabotage your low sugar diet. You’ll run into that pushy person at the office who insists that you eat a donut, the well-meaning family member who dishes you up a bowl of ice cream, and the friend who comes over with a plate of her home-baked cookies. The best avoidance strategy is to sincerely thank the sugar-pusher for their gift, tell them you wish you could eat it, and then blame me – your trainer – as the bad guy who says that you need to cut back on sugar. (It’s ok, I can take it … you should hear what I get called at Boot camp!!).

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A small square of dark chocolate can satisfy your sweet tooth

4) Try Dark Chocolate
For those moments when your sweet tooth is relentlessly badgering you for something sweet, ditch the super-sugary sweets and stick with a small square of very dark chocolate. Chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content should be the only sort of candy that you keep on hand. The benefit of the cocoa, in addition to the lowered sugar content, makes dark chocolate an occasionally justifiable treat. 

5) Stick With Fruit
What’s sweet, colorful and comes in hundreds of flavors? Organic, seasonal, fresh fruit, of course! As you remove refined sugar from your life, feel free to add in some natural sugar by way of fresh, local fruit. It’s amazing how satisfyingly sweet fruit is – it’s truly nature’s candy. 

6) Your Palate will change
As you begin to limit your intake of refined sugars, you’ll find that your tolerance for sugar decreases. This means that something that didn’t taste sweet before – say a green apple – now has uncanny depths of sweetness. What’s happening is that your sweet receptors are becoming more finely tuned, now that you’re not overwhelming your palate with sickly-sweet refined sugar. 

7) Workout Like You Mean It
A regular, challenging exercise routine will not only get you into amazing shape, it also reduces your cravings for sugar. The endorphin rush brought on by vigorous exercise is an even more powerful feel-good-feeling than the pleasure gotten by indulging in sugary foods.  If you don’t believe me, come along to Boot camp or buy one of my do-at-home DVD’s and get your body moving!

Make challenging, consistent exercise a part of your life and if you are lucky enough to live in Horsham, why not sign up for my Fit Life Programme and come along 3 to 5 times a week to train with me.  I would love to get you the best physical results of your life by using my results-driven method. 

I would also love to hear about your struggles with sugar.  Have you ever tried to cut it completely out of your diet?  What differences did you notice?

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