This upcoming Monday our sugar free challenge starts! I am looking forward to it (really! I am!) and I hope that the hundred plus people signed up for it so far are too . I have some exciting posts planned for you next week, but meanwhile we need to be preparing over the weekend for eating sugar free. Here are five tips for preparing well.
1) Eat Well This Weekend
The tendency we have before a sugar fast is to want to binge on sweets. Like polar bears preparing for a long winter, we build up our stores in the hopes that it will be enough to get us through. While this may make you feel so yucky physically you will more clearly see why you should cut down on sweets, it’s not a good plan! It will make your sugar fast harder. So over the weekend, you may want to slowly cut back on the sugar. Then hopefully you will not shock your body on Monday. If you eat a lot of sugar on a consistent basis, this is especially important. View the next few days as transition days.
2) Gather Supplies
To have success, you will need to carefully shop for food. If you eat a lot of packaged foods (including store bought bread), make sure you carefully check labels. Sugar is in just about everything. Buy quality protein, whole grains, butter, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and lots of vegetables and fruit. Think of buying ingredients rather than premade food. You don’t want to be hungry so make sure you buy plenty. Concentrate on all of the wonderful foods you can eat.
3) Menu Plan
It’s also important to menu plan. Make sure you know what you are going to eat for all of your meals so you aren’t left stranded hungry with no food in sight except a candy dish. You will probably want to have snacks on hand too. Nuts, beef jerky, apples- whatever suites your fancy and fits within the challenge. Just remember to keep your menu plan simple so that it’s sustainable. Another tip is to feed your family (and yourself) familiar food as much as possible. Obviously you will need to eliminate some foods, but try to feed them meals that they already like so that they don’t feel completely deprived.
4) Get Rid of Temptation
Step one to success is actually having something sugar free to eat, the second step is to take away temptation. If you have bags of cookies and/or candy or other sweets lying around, when the craving hits it can be very hard to resist. Throw or give it away, or at least put it in a out of sight cupboard or in the freezer.
5) Prepare your mind
Keep a positive attitude towards this challenge. This is also important if you have children doing the challenge with you. Be prepared for it to be difficult if you do eat a lot of sweets on a regular basis, but prepare to meet those cravings with courage and (hopefully) self control. If you do slip up and eat something sugary, don’t beat yourself up, just get back on the bandwagon! Your mindset is so important. If you got into the challenge thinking “This is going to be terrible and I am not going to be able to do it”, you probably won’t succeed. But if you present the challenge to yourself as something you can do, even though it is hard and keep a positive attitude, it will go a long way.
Those are some of my tips for success. I would love to hear from others on what helps them succeed! Please share!