50 Day No Sugar Challenge!
Nat Carter is a fitness expert, PT and creator of the 50DaysNoSugar Challenge. She helps thousands of women achieve results through a balanced approach to fitness, diet and a little bit of awesomeness!
When I designed the 50DaysNoSugar Challenge, I wanted it to be accessible to the average person. No one wants to have to hunt down weird ingredient’s that may just end up sitting the back of the cupboard for months. The recipes/food plan can be enjoyed by the whole family, they are quick to prepare and no one will actually cotton on to the fact that are low in sugar. I’m a foodie deep down, I’m so not into starvation weight loss methods. Boring!
Sugar can be a contentious subject, mainly because people are so attached it. Think birthday cake, an ice cream cone on a hot day and who doesn’t love a biccie with their coffee or tea? It has great memories for a lot of us however when consumed in excess, it also possesses health risks too. I was a sugar addict! Yep! Self confessed and ready to ditch the belly bulge, extra kilos and sluggishness, I designed the 50 Days No Sugar Challenge to help myself and in turn started others on the path too! I made sure it was nutritionist approved, most of the ingredient’s are available at your local supermarket and an easy to follow ebook- so anyone could start when they were ready.
A typical low sugar day:
Breakfast: Green smoothie with a non-dairy protein powder boost, 2 eggs and a little avo, slice of sourdough toast if I’m having a really active day. I’m a big fan of the double breakfast, 2 meals split over say 4 hours
Snack: Hummus and carrots/celery
Lunch: Salad of colourful veggies, lettuce mix, oily dressing and a palm sized amount of beef or chicken
Arvo: Piece of fruit (apple/orange/pear or the like) and 15 or so cashews with a cuppa sans sugar and just black for me!
Dinner: handful of Sweet potato fries and a piece of steak or a fish taco/burger and always a glass of red!
After dinner: A sneaky hunk of cheese, if peckish
Nat Carter’s Top 10 Sugar Busting Tips
1. Going cold turkey doesn’t work for everybody.
A slower, more timed approach may be better for you. I tell those who are not cold turkey fans to start with breakfast (i.e get that meal perfect) then move on the lunch, snack and dinner. Just make a start by ditching all your sugar filled juices/drinks and cut down on the main culprit’s- cakes, biscuit’s, ice cream, cake etc.
2. Artificial sweeteners/Sugar-free foods do not help, they hinder!
I just feel they are better avoided. My gut is happy and healthy when artificial sweetener isn’t in my body. No more “sugar free” items, unless of course they are fresh whole foods..
3. Some foods are better than others, we are all individual’s.
What work’s for one may be a path to a downward spiral or “attack of the binge”. The key really is experimenting. To be honest everything that is sugary just tastes 400 times sweeter to me now. After 50 days, your tastebuds have done a complete 360.
4. Keep your mind occupied and busy.
Do things when cravings hit- read, run, drink water, make a cuppa, call a friend, read an email or go brush your teeth- whatever works! You need to exercise your willpower muscle. Say no! Practice makes perfect .
5. Fruit is NOT a no-no.
I still eat fruit and I encourage you to do the same. When I need that sweet fix, a piece of fruit does the trick. Frozen and blended it makes a delicious gelato! Yes fruit contains natural sugar but it’s really so much more than just sugar. It’s vitamins, minerals and fibre.
6. Prepare your meals and save time!
It’s a key factor to success, especially at the beginning. A few meals made in advance saves you in those times of craving.
7. Boost your diet with protein rich foods.
Fish, lean meat, eggs, free range chicken and so on. You will also find protein in full fat greek yoghurt, legumes/beans and nuts.
8. It’s easier to stop saying NEVER!
I have indulged in a few sugary things over the past 2 years. I didn’t let that ruin me, I didn’t feel like a failure, I felt human. I’ve had an Italian gelato, a French tart or a sugary cocktail on my recent holiday. I’m a realist. The thing is, it’s safer for me (and probably a lot of you!) to adhere to the general guidelines of this plan and if in a food moment (not in a stress or sad or weak moment) that a sweet food is presented and I want to eat it (or taste it), then go for it.
I don’t hang around people like a dog waited for those food moments- it’s a bit more calculated for me. This whole eating philosophy has come about based heavily on past diet failures: I’ve been a binge eater, an emotional eater and also doing LOTS of reading on how food affects us- not just the calories but the nutrients of the food.
9. Stop fearing fat!
QUALITY not quantity is where I sit. Get your fat from sources such as nuts, oils, avocados, butter, ghee, bone broths/animal fats to name a few. Steer clear of processed/hydrogenated oils, canola, sunflower, corn, and soy.
10. Going on a lower sugar diet doesn’t mean giving up alcohol!
It’s all about choosing better beverages to drink. Dry white & red Wine, vodka/gin/rum, beer- it’s all on the menu. Moderation is OBVIOUSLY recommended as alcohol has calories and alcohol content and that my friends is a whole different ball game!.