Getting ready to quit to sugar

Although you’ll feel lots better once you kick your sugar habits, giving up sugar might not be a picnic at first! Being organised is key and you’ll get more out of Sugar-Free September if you plan well ahead. Below are some tips to get you ready for 1st September.

Organise your cupboards

If you usually have lots of sugary treats in the house and you think you might be tempted to have a nibble during Sugar-Free September, it might be best to pop all those items in a box or tin and store out of sight. You could even ask your partner or housemate to hide it to reduce your risk of raiding it! Stock up on all the good sugar-free things such as lean meats and fish, vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, wholewheat pasta, cheese, plain rice cakes and anything that doesn’t contain hidden sugars. 

Start familiarising yourself with packaging labels

One of the main reasons people eat more sugar than intended is because food and drink manufacturers often disguise sugar under a different name in the ingredients label. Watch out for words such as dextrose, maltose, corn syrup, and hydrolysed starch. It’s best to try and avoid pre-packaged snacks and drinks during Sugar-Free September and make the majority of things from scratch so that you know exactly what’s in your food. To find out more alternative names for sugar, check out our sugar word cloud.

Woman shopping

Planning is key to successfully kicking your sugar habit

Plan your meals ahead

You’re much more likely to succumb to sugary cravings when you’re tired, hungry and pushed for time. Batch cooking and freezing healthy sugar-free meals before 1st September means you’ll always have something suitable for dinner on standby. Swot up on sugar-free recipes and make a daily meal plan. To help stop you from grabbing sugary snacks at work or on-the-go, pop a fruit bowl on your desk and carry healthy snacks in your bag such as plain rice cakes and nuts. For sugar-free recipe inspiration, visit <link>

Going ‘cold turkey’?

It’s up to you how you want to approach Sugar-Free September in terms of quitting sugar. Some people find it easier to set themselves a quit date (in this case, 1st September) and stop all sugar consumption on that day, going ‘cold turkey’. Others might find this sudden lack of sugar a bit of a shock, and might find it better to start gradually reducing their sugar intake in the weeks leading up to Sugar-Free September. If you want to do this, start by replacing sugary snacks with fresh fruit or nuts, and replace fruit juices and smoothies with sugar-free alternatives such as water, tea and coffee before you go completely sugar-free on 1st September. 

Think positively

Taking on any new challenge requires a good mindset so start thinking about what you’ll gain from going sugar-free for 30 days; perhaps you’ll lose weight, have more energy, and generally feel better in yourself. You can then refer back to these end goals throughout the month to keep you motivated. It’s also important to ensure you have lots of support around you from your partner, family, friends and colleagues, as feeling stressed and unmotivated could see you reaching for a sugary pick-me-up. Why not get others on board with you? Taking on the Sugar-Free September challenge with friends, colleagues and family can help to keep you on track and you can share recipe ideas.

What to do if you have a wobble…

If you crack and reach for the biscuit tin at any point during Sugar-Free September, it’s important to not beat yourself up about it and stop your sugar-free plan altogether. Just start again at your next meal and stay on track – you can do this!

Published: August 24th, 2016

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