PHASE 2

Women's Health - Shrink Your Sugar Belly - - CONTENTS -

Trust us, af­ter seven long days with­out any sugar, your brain’s re­ward cen­tre will ex­pe­ri­ence that first bite of juicy pear, lus­cious grape or crunchy ap­ple as an ex­plo­sion of sweet­ness – a full-on pa­rade of flavour march­ing across your taste buds. The part of your ap­petite that pre­vi­ously begged for dough­nuts will be just as sat­is­fied with this phase’s de­lec­ta­ble, fruit-filled menu.

So why does fruit get a pass in your new phase? Sim­ple: it’s packed with fi­bre and nu­tri­ents and it doesn’t con­tain any added sugar. Now, you’re cur­rently work­ing to­wards a goal of six tea­spoons of added sugar a day, but not yet – it has to be done grad­u­ally. We’ve elim­i­nated it on Days 6 to 12 be­cause a sugar-loaded palate will have been so over-sug­ared that it’s lost the abil­ity to re­ally taste and ap­pre­ci­ate the sweet­ness of fruit. Elim­i­nat­ing it for those seven days has helped to re­set the way your taste buds and brain re­act to sugar stim­uli.

We’re not say­ing that the sugar in fruit isn’t more or less chem­i­cally the same as the stuff found on top of your ce­real or stirred into your tea (ta­ble sugar and the sugar in fruit have ap­prox­i­mately the same pro­por­tion of fruc­tose and glu­cose). But fruit has less of it and the body has a harder time ex­tract­ing the sugar from a piece of fruit than it does from a sweet. That’s be­cause fruit is packed with fi­bre, which slows the break­down of the food in your di­ges­tive sys­tem, lead­ing to a far more grad­ual re­lease of sugar into your body – spar­ing you from the heady sugar spikes that used to send you reel­ing.

DAYS 13–20 What to do

Have break­fast ev­ery morn­ing. Just as you did in Phase 1, you’ll start the day with a pro­tein­packed meal to keep your ap­petite and blood sugar on an even keel. In this phase, you’ll find some ter­rific fruit op­tions. When fruit is paired with pro­tein and fat, it’s even more sat­is­fy­ing.

Feel free to mix and match the lunch and din­ner op­tions. You can also keep eat­ing any of the Phase 1 meals, but we’ve added some quick and easy meals to this phase to keep it var­ied. Just like the Phase 1 meals, th­ese are cen­tred on fresh, whole foods – grains, veg­eta­bles, low-fat dairy and lean pro­tein.

Have one serv­ing of a pro­cessed whole-grain prod­uct, if you like. Ideally, all of your grain in­take would be from whole, un­pro­cessed grains be­cause once they’re pul­verised into flour and re­struc­tured into ce­real, bread or noo­dles, they get di­gested al­most as quickly as sugar. But we all live in the real world, where a bowl of cold ce­real makes for a quick break­fast, a bowl of pasta is call­ing your name, or you want the con­ve­nience of

a sand­wich. That’s why we’ve brought back pro­cessed whole-grain prod­ucts in this phase, but just once a day. A note about bread: it can be tough to track down a com­mer­cial one that doesn’t con­tain added sugar, so the bread we use in this phase comes in the form of tor­tillas and pi­tas, which tend to have about one gram or less. If you choose to eat one of our wrap or bur­rito op­tions, you’d be tak­ing in a mi­nus­cule amount of added sugar. If you opt for ce­real, pick one with zero grams of sugar and three or more grams of fi­bre per serv­ing.

For all its nu­tri­tious good­ness, fruit’s sugar con­tent means that it’s higher in kilo­joules than veg­eta­bles.

So in or­der to keep your weight in check, you don’t want to go over­board on the fruit. Whether you snack on it, serve it for dessert or eat it as part of a meal, you can have fruit as long as you don’t eat more than three serv­ings per day. A serv­ing is a se­lec­tion of sliced fruit or one medium piece of whole fruit. If strong sugar crav­ings have been an is­sue in the past, you may want to head for low-sugar fruits more of­ten; it’s best to play safe.

Don’t for­get to snack! Eat­ing ev­ery few hours is just as im­por­tant in this phase as it was in the last one. You’ll still be eat­ing one 420kJ and one 630kJ snack per day at the times of your choos­ing. And while you can have a juicy piece of fruit, we sug­gest that you pair it with pro­tein or a fat in or­der to con­trol your blood-sugar re­sponse and sat­isfy your ap­petite even more. Check

out the chart on page 92 for some ideas. And watch out for the fol­low­ing foods: white flour and prod­ucts made with it, white rice, fruit juice and sugar in any of its many forms (in­clud­ing the ta­ble sugar you might add to foods, honey, agave and maple syrup).

EAT THE SPEC­TRUM

Think of fruits as crayons. You wouldn’t use just two colours, right? You want the whole box to pick from. It’s the same with fruit. All fruit con­tains fi­bre, vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and var­i­ous dis­ease-fight­ing, skin-boost­ing nu­tri­ents like an­tiox­i­dants and phy­to­chem­i­cals. The real dif­fer­ence be­tween types lies in their colours, which are linked to dif­fer­ent nu­tri­tional good­ies. The more shades you choose, the more health ben­e­fits you’ll reap.

GET GRILLING

To turn fruit from a snack into a proper dessert, you’ve got to try grilling it, at least once. Grilling fruit causes its sug­ars to caramelise, cre­at­ing a unique, smoky flavour that’s per­fect for a side dish or dessert that tastes deca­dent.

You can grill or braai any fruit large and firm enough to take the heat: ap­ples, pears, pineap­ple, peaches, or­anges, even straw­ber­ries – if you put them on skew­ers. If you want to try braai­ing smaller fruits, like grapes or blue­ber­ries, use a pan to hold them above the flames or coals.

To pre­vent stick­ing, brush the fruit on both sides with about a tea­spoon of olive oil. Most fruits need only three or four min­utes of grilling on each side. Place on a non-stick bak­ing tray in your oven (on the grill set­ting). When it’s done, slide it onto a plate, top with a dol­lop of plain yo­ghurt, ri­cotta or cot­tage cheese (trust us, it can work!) and dust with cin­na­mon.

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