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

Crav­ings and food pref­er­ences aren’t the only things that draw us to­wards su­gar. Habits or ex­ter­nal cues are also a fac­tor. To­day, you’ll look at your typ­i­cal rou­tine to pin­point the times and sit­u­a­tions that trig­ger crav­ings. For in­stance, how many of us sit down and… Just eat – with­out TV, In­ter­net or (naughty!) a bit of work? If you’re not one of those rare peo­ple, prac­tis­ing mind­ful eat­ing may help you feel more sat­is­fied, with less su­gar.

A study pub­lished in the jour­nal Psy­cho­log­i­cal Sci­ence found that peo­ple who eat or drink while they’re dis­tracted re­quire far greater in­ten­si­ties of taste – sweet­ness in­cluded – to feel sat­is­fied. In one part of the study, peo­ple who made and tasted lemon­ade as they mem­o­rised a seven-digit num­ber ended up with a 50 per­cent higher su­gar con­cen­tra­tion in their drink than when they had to mem­o­rise just one num­ber. In other words, a healthy meal may be flavour­ful and ful­fill­ing if you eat it mind­fully, but seem bland if you’re dis­tracted with work or TV. And this can prompt you to eat even more su­gar af­ter din­ner, just to feel sat­is­fied.

Look back at your food log again and think about the trig­gers that led you to reach for su­gar, and jot them down on a chart like the one on pages 32 to 33. Re­ally try to pin­point the rea­son each weak point in­creases your vul­ner­a­bil­ity to sug­ary foods and come up with so­lu­tions. Keep these at hand – they’re your crav­ing-fight­ing se­cret weapons.


Your in­take of Se­cret Sug­ars and Su­gar Mim­ics

We’ve com­bined Se­cret Sug­ars and Su­gar Mim­ics into the same step, be­cause the two cat­e­gories of­ten come to­gether as a pack­age in foods. Se­cret Sug­ars are the ones you wouldn’t ex­pect to find in prepack­aged, mostly savoury foods (but also in fruit­based prod­ucts). Su­gar Mim­ics are sub­stances that aren’t sug­ars, but crash your blood su­gar just the same. Just like you did yes­ter­day for Straight-Up Sug­ars, place an “SS” – Se­cret Su­gar – next to all the foods that you may not think of as con­tain­ing added su­gar, but that do. Do the same for Su­gar Mim­ics – use “SM” as your mark. Here’s what to look for…


Kitchen makeover, part 2

Re­mem­ber what you did yes­ter­day? Do it again! Af­ter you re­view your food log, head to your fridge, freezer and cup­board and find sources of Se­cret Su­gar and Su­gar Mim­ics. But this time, there’s an ex­tra step.

Read the in­gre­di­ents list on the back of the food’s pack­age be­fore you make a de­ci­sion about what to do with it. Look for su­gar by one (or more) of its names. Not ev­ery­thing con­tains them. As for Su­gar Mim­ics, most (eg whole­wheat bread, in­stant oats and ce­real) con­tain added su­gar as well.

Tor­tillas, wraps, pita bread and whole­wheat pasta are rein­tro­duced in Phase 2, so you can stash them away un­til then.

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