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

Take a mo­ment to pat your­self on the back. Be­ing that hon­est with your your­self isn’t easy, but hope­fully your eyes have been opened. You’ve gath­ered cru­cial in­tel­li­gence about your­self and the role that sugar plays in your diet – knowl­edge you’re about to put into ac­tion to slim your body and safe­guard your health.

Now wel­come to Phase 1. This is where the go­ing gets tough, but, should you suc­ceed, the pay-off will be life chang­ing.

Faced with an un­ruly sweet tooth that wants what it wants when it wants it – “Dough­nut! Now!” – you need to ex­ert the same tough love. Dur­ing this phase, you will re­move sugar from your diet. Even fruit. That’s the only way to break sugar’s grip on you.

Why no fruit? Fruit is good for you, but you need to read­just your palate and get your me­tab­o­lism run­ning smoothly. That’s why we don’t want you to have any sugar. To that end, this phase also cuts out a veg­etable that ri­vals fruit in sugar con­tent: sweet pota­toes. Like fruit, it’s in­cred­i­bly nu­tri­tious, packed with fi­bre and an­tiox­i­dants and, along with fruit, can come back into your diet when you move on to Phase 2.

To fur­ther help you quell crav­ings, im­prove the qual­ity of your diet and re­bal­ance the way your body uses glu­cose and in­sulin, there are no pro­cessed grain prod­ucts – white or whole­wheat – in this phase. Be­cause it can be hard to go with­out bread or pasta for very long, we be­gin to bring them back in Phase 2 in lim­ited amounts. How­ever, you don’t have to eat them if you don’t want to.

We can’t sugar-coat it: we call this phase the Tough-Love Turn­around be­cause we know that it may not be easy. But we prom­ise you’ll love the re­sults! For the first sev­eral days, you may not feel at your best, phys­i­cally or emo­tion­ally. Did you ever give up smok­ing? Do you re­mem­ber the tired­ness and ir­ri­tabil­ity? You may ex­pe­ri­ence sim­i­lar symp­toms, such as headaches, fa­tigue and edgi­ness – and the crav­ings may get in­tense.

Your score on the quiz you com­pleted on Day 1 or 2 (page 34) will give you an in­di­ca­tion of how strong your sugar crav­ings are likely to be. But don’t let that scare you – let it be a mo­ti­va­tion. The good news: it’s all over in seven days and the meals you’ll be eat­ing are de­signed to keep you sat­is­fied, keep your blood-sugar lev­els steady and keep crav­ings at bay. All of the meals and recipes were de­vel­oped with the right bal­ance of pro­tein, car­bo­hy­drates and fat to pre­vent the wild swings in blood sugar and in­sulin that trig­ger crav­ings and pro­mote fat stor­age.

We’ve in­cluded a daily food log with all your op­tions on Phase 1 – check off what you eat each day.

Plus, this is where our smart tips and your own per­sonal re­ward card will be­come an es­sen­tial part of keep­ing your mo­ti­va­tion on track. And, be­cause you’ll carry the strate­gies you learn each day into the next, your dis­com­fort eases day by day. Any symp­toms you may ex­pe­ri­ence typ­i­cally fade, re­placed by a pos­i­tive up­swing in en­ergy and mood.

By Day 9, you should be­gin to no­tice just how good you feel. More en­ergy, a brighter mood and sound sleep are just the start. As your body re­gains its sen­si­tiv­ity to in­sulin and main­tains stead­ier blood-sugar lev­els, sugar’s iron grip on your body and mind will loosen.

So will your waist­band. By Day 12, if you’ve fol­lowed the meal plan faith­fully, you can ex­pect to lose an av­er­age of three ki­los and nearly 20cm all over, nearly five cen­time­tres from your waist and hips, and 2.5cm off your thighs. Those num­bers aren’t the­o­ret­i­cal – they’re the av­er­age losses ex­pe­ri­enced by our test pan­el­lists. Women just like you, who shrank their sugar bel­lies and re­trained their taste buds to savour the sweet­ness of whole, nat­u­ral foods. Th­ese re­wards aren’t tem­po­rary, like a sugar buzz. They’re last­ing and the ben­e­fits only get bet­ter as you progress through the plan.

DAYS 6–12: What to do

Have break­fast ev­ery morn­ing to keep crav­ings at bay. Choose from the high-pro­tein op­tions you’ll find on pages 58 to 59. Break­fasts have about 1 250kJ and at least 15g of pro­tein.

Mix-and-match the lunch and din­ner op­tions; they’re in­ter­change­able from a kilo­joule and nu­tri­tional per­spec­tive, and we don’t want you to get bored hav­ing the same thing over and over. Lunches and din­ners con­tain 1 700 to 1 900kJ and, of course, they con­tain no added sugar. Have some­thing dif­fer­ent ev­ery day, or stick to three or four meals you love – it’s up to you. Ev­ery meal is easy and quick to pre­pare.

Don’t for­get to snack! Eat­ing ev­ery few hours pre­vents the blood-sugar dips that trig­ger ap­petite and sugar crav­ings. When you have the snacks is up to you. You can snack mid-morn­ing to tide you over un­til lunch or in the af­ter­noon to keep you go­ing un­til din­ner. Just make sure you’re eat­ing some­thing about ev­ery four hours.

Avoid the fol­low­ing items: fruit, fruit juice, dried fruit, sweet pota­toes, pro­cessed grain prod­ucts (both white and whole­wheat) and sugar in any of its many forms (in­clud­ing the ta­ble sugar you might add to foods, honey and maple syrup).

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