Have you abandoned a clean eating streaks for a slice of cake? Or perhaps have you consumed extra calories just to have a taste of something sweet before bed?
What does a sweet tooth get you?
Into pants that are another size larger. Into your doctor’s office for another lecture. Into a body that you no longer enjoy.
Yes, sweet are delicious and tempting, but the life-long repercussions far outweigh the momentary pleasure.
To help you conquer sugar cravings once and for all, I’ve identified 5 sweets you should ditch or at least cut down, and a healthy substitute for each.
1) Ditch this Sweet: Lollies
Nothing gets refined sugar circulating through your body quicker than a fistful of lollies—and if you’re in the habit of eating follies daily then your body will crave it.
Lollies have virtually no nutritional value, other than caloric energy (and not the lasting energy good carbs give you), and will quickly end up stored on your body in the form of unwanted, annoying fat.
Do This: Swap lollies out for a handful of unsalted nuts, a few pieces of fruit, or a small square of very dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa content).
2) Ditch this Sweet: Baked Goods
Cake, cookies, brownies, pastries, donuts, and pies are filled with sugar. While these may not taste as sweet as lollies, the combination of refined sugar and white flour will spike your blood sugar just the same. I know. A daily trip to the bakery helped me put on 12kgs in 6 months back in the day!
Very much like lollies, regularly eating baked goods may become a habit and the cravings will be too hard to bare. Break yourself of this and you’ll find the number on your scale going down rather than up.
Do This: Put down the white bread roll and reach for a piece of fresh, seasonal fruit. Fruit is nature’s lollies and is every bit as blissful as a slice of cake. Serving a beautiful fruit platter to guests can be as delightful as any baked treat.
3) Ditch this Sweet: Ice Cream & Frozen Yogurt
Nothing makes you feel as happy and carefree as a bowl of creamy ice cream…until that ice cream makes its permanent home on your waist. Very much like lollies, ice cream has few nutritional benefits. Not only will its sugar content make you sluggish but the creamy dairy will knock you six for days to come!
Do This: Mix unsweetened, Greek yogurt with a scoop of vanilla protein powder and mix in some chopped, fresh fruit. This creamy delight is much lower in sugar than ice cream and tastes amazing!
4) Ditch this Sweet: Soft Drinks
A regular can of soft drink contains the equivalent of 10 packets of sugar. That’s more sugar than you should consume in a full week!
Soft drinks something that you get into the habit of drinking and then do without thinking. The good news is that a habit can be broken and then replaced with something healthier.
Do This: Take soft drink out of your diet. Period. There are plenty of other, healthier, beverages available to you. Try the recipes for Spa Water below.
5) Ditch this Sweet: Blended Drinks
Smoothies, blended coffee drinks and milkshakes are all tempting treats, especially on cold mornings. Don’t give in to the temptation!
These items are even more deadly than most treats since they are consumed through a straw and don’t make you feel full. Let me assure you that even though you don’t feel full, like you would after a piece of cake, you’re still taking in a bunch of sugary calories. People who lose weight don’t eat whatever they want (yes even in moderation) and try to burn it off with a couple of workouts/ salads a week. Most successful people will eat healthy food that doesn’t make them fat and do a minimum of 3 intense workouts per week.
Do This: Make your own healthy blended drinks at home by using natural sweeteners like stevia, or simply by using fruit. Blend a delicious protein shake with ice, milk and protein powder.
A great thing to remember is that once you’ve fallen out of the habit of eating sugar, your body will no longer crave it.
This means that each day spent in discipline will bring you closer to the day that sugar no longer has a hold over you. Imagine how much happier and healthier you will be!
Eating healthy is half of the battle when it comes to fitness and wellness. The other, equally important, side is maintaining a regular, challenging exercise program.
For an exercise program to be challenging it must always be changing. That’s why my workouts are never the same.
It’s my goal to get you into the best shape of your life!
Bonus Quick tip-Beyond Soft Drinks
We know that soft drinks aren’t good for you…and yet people still drink too many of them. I understand that plain water gets boring – especially when you’re having a party or gathering, so I’ve come up with the simple Spa Water recipes below and quickly turn plain water into an exciting and refreshing treat without added sugar or chemicals:
- Citrus: Slice an orange, lemon, and lime into a large pitcher of water. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
- Raspberry Lime: Slice a lime into a large pitcher of water, add a handful of raspberries. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
- Strawberry Basil: Slice 10 strawberries into a large pitcher of water, add 5 leaves of basil. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
- Watermelon Rosemary: Place ½ cup of small watermelon chunks into a large pitcher of water, add two sprigs of rosemary. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.
- Pineapple Mint: Place ½ cup of small pineapple chunks into a large pitcher of water, add 15 mint leaves. Add ice, allow to chill for 1 hour before serving.