How I curbed my sugar consumption: by the Sugar Free Londoner

Katrin, The Sugar Free Londoner reveals how she curbed her sugar consumption and why she is supporting Sugar Swap September. 

My decision to quit the sweet stuff

Food has always been a passion for me, but it was a consultation with an acupuncturist after a painful illness that led to my decision to really cut back on my sugar consumption. I cut sugar and refined carbohydrates from my diet and felt fantastic! Not only did my illness disappear but I felt more energetic, more positive, my skin looked well and I even lost a bit of weight. 


What has surprised you the most about going sugar free?

According to Simplyhealth Professionals' research, more than 1 in 10 people think they'd struggle to enjoy food if they curbed their sugar consumption. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth! What surprised me the most about reducing my sugar consumption was that my craving for sweet things disappeared! I was no longer lusting after the next chocolate bar. My taste buds re-adjusted and I could suddenly taste the sweetness in a cashew nut or a carrot, in spices like cinnamon or vanilla, even in milk. 


What was the hardest thing about going sugar free?

Finding hidden sugars! I quickly realised that reducing your sugar consumption is more than just forsaking your daily chocolate bar or to stop indulging your Hobnob cravings. Sugar is hidden in all kinds of ready-made foods, both sweet ones and savoury ones! I started studying labels of ready-made products and really researched the different words used to describe sugar. I wanted to make sure I could spot anything that might cause me to inadvertently eat sugar. 


How long did it take you to reduce your sugar cravings?

At first I went cold turkey and cut all sugars from my diet. The first week was hard - I had to completely re-think what I ate. A few months on I could tolerate sugar again. But I just didn't crave it like I used to. Today, I will occasionally enjoy a sweet dish and I love really, really dark chocolate. Apart from that, there are so many fantastically tasty savoury dishes out there that need to be savoured!

Sugar Free Londoner

Sugar Free Londoner

How do you encourage your family to follow in your sugar free footsteps?

By making delicious sugar free food! I don't serve up dessert with every meal and we don't have processed junk food in the house - out of sight, out of mind! I'll bake my kids the exact birthday cake they fancy and if they'd like candy-floss at the fun fair or an ice-cream when we're out, I'd never say no. I just make sure that these are occasional treats rather than a daily occurrence.


Why are you supporting Sugar Swap September?

Quiting sugar and changing your eating habits is tough. The good news is that taking away the sugar does not mean taking away the taste - or living off a diet of kale! If you cook from scratch with fresh ingredients, you can quickly build up a bank of knowledge on swapping sugar for healthy alternatives. Having access to a website such as www.sugarswapseptember.co.uk is brilliant as it has so many helpful tips and sugar-swap ideas. What's more it doesn't scare you with horror stories about sugar. Instead, it recognises that going totally sugar-free isn't always easy and that taking small steps to cut, not quit, your sugar intake for a whole month can have a positive impact. 


For more tips and sugar-free recipes visit sugarfreelondoner.com.