Friday, 22 January 2016

CUTTING SUGAR INTAKE HAS CHANGED MY HEALTH


Sugar is everyone's best and worst friend. It's there for you when you are having a tough day, it makes celebrations worth celebrating and can pick you up on a daily struggle. But I think we all know by now that it's the enemy to our health.

Sugar was ruining my health and causing me to become ill frequently, I was tired all the time and relying on sugar to get me through the day. I was justifying it but it wasn't worth it. I didn't even enjoy it, I just used it to get by. I've learnt to cut down, not get rid of sugar by incorporating a few changes. Once you kick the habit it happens without realising but it's the gradual change that is what can be the hardest part.  I still think sugar should be allowed, I love chocolate, coke and cake but I have cut down the excess and make it more balanced within my diet. It's easier than you think!

MY SUGAR ADDICTION:
Sugar is the biggest cause to the illnesses I've had in the last few years. In 2011/12 (I can't remember distinctly) I suffered from Kidney Stones, little calcium build up stones that HURT. It was a result of a bad diet and most crucially WAY too much Coca-Cola.  I had to have surgery, spent a night in a hospital and pretty sure I scared the bejesus out of my friends and family by being that ill. Like most people, when I left hospital I made sure I drunk more water, ate better and cared for myself... But then you stop and forget about it.

You go back to bad habits and quell surprise queue 2015 with acute pyelonephritis. You can click that link to find out more, but essentially it feels like your body is giving up because you cannot drink, eat, wee or anything. You feel like your body is full on shutting down and this happened to me on my holiday in Crete. It ruined the holiday and I was so disappointed in myself for letting my body get that bad. Thankfully I recovered and my UK doctor said I was ok. Tests didn't signify diabetes, but the fact they tested it scared me.  So I let the summer be summer, Christmas came and I felt fat and unfit. I decided as soon as Christmas was over I was going to change it all.

WHAT I DID:
I gradually cut down to one glass of coca-cola a day as I could quite happily have them all day (after midday) until evening. One glass a day with dinner makes it much more enjoyable and still allows me to still have my favourite drink. This takes some doing, I'll write a more thorough post on cutting down coke soon as I know its a big one for most of us!

To combat the coke I have upped my water intake during the day. The trick is to always have a pint/bottle next to you, as soon as it is low, top it up. If the only drink you have around you is water you can keep sipping it. Enjoying water if you're a coke drinker is difficult, but once your body realises that water is what hydrates you and is thirst quenching it becomes so much easier. 

I had to tell myself that sugar wasn't what I should be choosing, so if I fancied an afternoon snack, I made sure to choose fruit, rice cakes, healthy snacks, carrot sticks. It takes a while to tell yourself not to choose the tempting choice, but you'll start to realise that when you want those afternoon treats, you want sugar, you're not actually hungry. It's a mind thing, it's not something I can make you do, you have to continually tell yourself to cut down. Not out, down. 

Me and Dan are notorious for eating out, we do it a lot. I don't dare look at how much we spent out last year, we kind of treat it as a hobby which is great, but expensive and bad for us. Save treats for the right occasion, weekends/evenings in so that you have something to look forward to. We're great at cooking during the week and we eat really well but we have started to tell each other that heavy meals such as takeaways and eating out should be for special occasions and on the rarity. You'll enjoy it more! 

Motivate yourself with a mini workout from a youtube video in the morning or evenings. Just a five - fifteen-minute video, which normally are high impact with not too much effort, are great at moving the body and motivating you. Buy some new workout gear and eat well, you'll be more reluctant to pick up the fatty sugary treats if you've got a goal to work towards.

Importantly, remember that alcohol is liquid calories! At Christmas, we eat a lot and we drink just as much! You've still got a lot of wine to burn off from Christmas so don't think that just because it's liquid its better! 

THE RESULTS:

By cutting down sugar I feel awake when I want to be and I feel tired at the right time of the day. I don't feel like I've had too much of a false sense of energy.

My skin has made huge improvements, it's clearer, brighter and looking plumper and bright. I wish I wasn't just saying it, but although spots still appear occasionally, products work better because its being hydrated.

I have trained my mind (slowly) to stop choosing the bad stuff all day long, I still have a handful of malteasers and a glass of coke in the evening but I don't have half as much as I used to. I can tell myself to choose something else or not have anything at all!

The best part, I enjoy eating sugary things on the right occasions so much more. A glass of coke after three days of resisting it, was SO nice. It felt refreshing and like a drink should! Not just something to drink for the sake of it!

CUT DOWN AND NOT OUT!!

It doesn't have to be a vegan diet. Cutting down means you can have a treat, you're not going crazy, but you'll appreciate working out to keep healthy and eating more fruit and veg which you should every day. At the weekends maybe eat those treats, have a takeaway, have a bit of alcohol or coke but remember on Monday you need to eat well again. Your body will bounce back better if you keep a good diet during the week than if you binge ALL week and then go even heavier at the weekend.

Can you make these changes to improve your fitness and health overall? Little changes over a long period would benefit you greatly compared to a quick fix/detox! 

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