When you first change your diet to be more healthy, it can be a shock to the body.
For the last few weeks I’ve been completely off-plan, and making all the wrong choices. I was on holiday in America – and then travelling with work – and eating out all the time. It was just easier to forget about food optimising for a while, and eat what I wanted.
There were also plenty of opportunities for sugary treats and snacks between meals, and I got used to grazing on sweets, chocolate and crisps throughout the day. So it’s no wonder I managed to put on over a stone in weight in just 6 weeks!
But now that I’m back on-plan I’m finding that the change of diet is a shock to the system. Meals themselves are fine. I make sure that I have a good breakfast with lots of protein (eggs are my favourite) to keep me feeling full throughout the day, and dinners are good too, as we have a good repertoire of Slimming World free (or nearly-free) meals.
The shock comes from cutting out the bad snacks. I was used to eating rubbish, even when I wasn’t hungry. I would have a sugar crash, and crave something sweet, and I would have it – even if I was due to have a meal in the next hour or two. And I suppose it’s this sugar roller-coaster of highs and lows that I need to get away from.
I know that if I can get past this first few weeks, then my body will get used to a “new normal” of less sugar intake, and be better off for it. But until then I need to deal with the cravings.
My plan of action is to drink as much water as possible – this helps in making me feel full – and it’s useful to remind myself that thirst can sometimes be disguised as hunger pangs. So if I get a craving to eat between meals, then I reach for the water first of all, and only if it persists about 20 minutes after I’ve drunk some water will I actually eat something. My second line of attack is fruit. It’s not ideal to eat a lot of fruit, as it has natural sugars in it that could perpetuate my sugar cravings – but an apple contains a lot less sugar than a bag of wine gums!
So for now I’m managing my sugar cravings, and trying to keep an eye on my goal of weight loss. And I’m also avoid having any sugary treats in the house at all, to help me avoid temptation!