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

Look at your food log. To­day you’re go­ing to look for en­tries that con­tain Straight-Up Sugar – SUS for short. Write this next to each item that you know con­tains sugar. Th­ese foods in­clude:

Any food or drinks you added sugar to – for in­stance, a few tea­spoons in your coffee or tea or sprin­kled onto your ce­real in the morn­ing

Agave syrup, honey, maple syrup

Sugar-sweet­ened drinks – fizzy drinks, juices, blended-coffee drinks, lemon­ades or iced teas, fruit-flavoured drinks, choco­late or straw­berry milk­shakes, sports drinks

Jams, chut­neys, pick­les and pre­serves

Choco­late in its many forms – pud­dings, cakes, sweets, co­coa

Sweets – jelly beans, gummy sweets, liquorice, mints

Sweet­ened ce­re­als

Gra­nola or en­ergy bars

Cup­cakes, dough­nuts, bis­cuits, pies and other bak­ery items

Cake, muf­fin or sweet-bread mixes

Ice cream, sor­bet or frozen yo­ghurt

Fruit or flavoured yo­ghurt

Count the num­ber of items and write them down in your log. If you chose to write down your serv­ing sizes, you can es­ti­mate the grams of sugar you’re get­ting from th­ese foods. For as­sis­tance, look at the item’s nu­tri­tional la­bel. Add up the grams and di­vide by four to get the num­ber of tea­spoons of Straight-Up Sug­ars you typ­i­cally eat – there are four grams of sugar in one tea­spoon. Re­mem­ber that the even­tual goal of the Shrink Your Sugar Belly diet is to make sure you eat be­tween six and nine tea­spoons of added sugar per day. Are you close? Con­grat­u­la­tions! If not, don’t worry. Use that num­ber as mo­ti­va­tion as you go through the plan.


Your sugar pref­er­ences

Next, take a close look at all of the Straight-Up Sug­ars you eat. What time of day did you eat them? How were you feel­ing when you ate them? (This is where the mood and hunger in­for­ma­tion on your food log comes in handy.) Are there some you ate out of habit rather than plea­sure?

Note any crav­ings that pop up at the same time each day. For ex­am­ple, let’s say you “need” ice cream af­ter din­ner. Notic­ing – and hon­our­ing – such crav­ings can help you say no to sug­ary items dur­ing the day. You might come to re­alise that no sug­ary treats through­out the day come close to sat­is­fy­ing like that nightly dish of ice cream does. (At least for now, while you’re still prep­ping.)

Now for the ques­tion we want you to think hard­est about: which of the Straight-Up Sug­ars you marked on your eat­ing log did you re­ally, gen­uinely en­joy, as op­posed to scoffed down with­out ac­tu­ally think­ing about it? Or, to put it an­other way, if you could only have one sweet hit, which one would it be? Maybe a morn­ing with­out a pas­try feels im­pos­si­ble or you’re wed­ded to your evening ice-cream fix, or you can’t do with­out coffee and a brownie at your desk come 3pm.

You’ve just iden­ti­fied the one or two favourite treats that are your key sugar sources. Have them, but oth­er­wise don’t eat any other Straight-Up Sug­ars to­day. And look at the ta­ble on the fol­low­ing page for al­ter­na­tive op­tions for the three most pop­u­lar sugar weak­nesses for the next three days.


Kitchen makeover, part 1

To­day’s task is to re­move all of the Straight-Up Sug­ars lurk­ing in your fridge, freezer and kitchen cup­boards. But don’t feel too sad! You’re mak­ing room for the new, de­li­ciously healthy foods you’ll soon be en­joy­ing when you start the eat­ing plan.

Start with your fridge first, then move to your freezer and cup­boards. Lay out all the Straight-Up Sugar sources on your kitchen tops and take one last look at the ce­real bars that pack 25g of sugar per serv­ing, the ice-cream syrup that’s liq­uid sugar and the sweets you re­trieved from your se­cret “in-case-of-emer­gency” stash.

Th­ese sug­ary se­duc­ers have had their mo­ment – it’s time to move on. Bin them or give them away, ex­cept for the one or two treats you’ve al­ready cho­sen, as per the pre­vi­ous page. Those items are your musthave sug­ars, for now, and you’re free to en­joy them for the rest of this prepa­ra­tion pe­riod.

This long good­bye to your sug­ary foods can make it a bit eas­ier to let them go – for now. Just as im­por­tant, it in­tro­duces the idea of “spend­ing” sugar on foods where you no­tice and en­joy it most. Re­mem­ber, the more sugar you eat, the more it takes to sat­isfy you and the less of a treat it is. Con­versely, the less sugar you con­sume, the more spe­cial it be­comes and the less you’ll “need” it.

Un­opened pack­ets to ditch? Think about giv­ing them to a lo­cal char­ity.

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