This post is dedicated to all the family, friends, colleagues and everyone inbetween who ask me what I eat after quitting sugar. I have a tonne of questions on how my diet has changed, what food is permitted, and if the food I eat is restrictive. The following will demonstrate that my diet has not required a massive overhaul just a change in lifestyle approach and a tweek to my food preferences.
My main changes are my choice of snacks and breakfast food. These are the culprits which often rack up your sugar intake… but its so easy to change! Just by switching up a few snacks you can easily halve your daily fructose consumption. Even if its only the snacks you choose to change this is a GREAT step. I was discussing this recently with a friend over breakfast (shoutout to the beautiful Katie!) and this has been her approach to cutting sugar: she told me she feels clearer headed, less tired and less hungry. What was the best part? It was not hard! Hurrah!!
Have a good look at my pre-and-post quitting sugar diet and you can judge for yourself. I have also quantified the sugar to provide a simple perspective on those little changes which make all the difference! As I have mentioned before I now aim for around 6-8 teaspoons of sugar a day, (4.2g is a teaspoon), and you will see the massive drop pre-to-post quitting sugar. As ever… feel free to ask any questions which pop up 🙂
Pre-low sugar – 106g, 28.3 teaspoons of sugar
Breakfast – (37g, 9 teaspoons of sugar)
- Porridge with skimmed milk, 1 chopped banana (12g) and 1 heaped teaspoon honey (6g)
- Cup of tea
- Small glass orange and mango juice (19g)
Morning Snack – (23g, 5.5 teaspoons of sugar)
Muller Lite yoghurt (15g) with small handful of dried fruit (8g) mixed in
Lunch – (21.5g, 5 teaspoons of sugar)
Tuna salad sandwich with low fat mayo (0.5g) and low fat margarine
- ‘Healthy’ cereal bar (10g)
- Braeburn apple (11g)
Afternoon Snack (12g, 2.8 teaspoons of sugar)
330ml can diet coke
- Banana (12g)
Dinner (13g, 3 teaspoons of sugar)
- Chicken and veg stir fry with 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (13g) and brown rice
- Diet coke
Evening (13g, 3 teaspoons of sugar)
- Cup of coffee with 1/2 teaspoon milk
- 2 jaffa cakes (13g)
Now that is a pretty healthy diet right?! Admittedly I could do much worse on the sugar-front* but even a supposedly balanced diet like this racks up around 28 teaspoons of sugar… this was such a shock to me when I first addressed the fructose I was consuming daily.
*Please note the food diary is an ‘average’ day… I can guarantee you there were plenty of days where more ‘treats’ featured and my sugar intake was way higher!!
Low sugar (21g, 5 teaspoons of sugar, which would probably make a tally of 6 teaspoons when adding the sugar in the savoury food)
Breakfast (5g, 1 teaspoon of sugar)
- Bowl of porridge with full fat milk, coconut butter (1g), sprinkle of nuts, blueberrries (4g) and cinnamon
- Cup of tea
Morning Snack (6.5g, 1.5 teaspoon of sugar)
- Small tub full fat greek yoghurt (2.5g, negligible fructose), sprinkle of cinnamon, cashews and raspberries (4g)
Lunch (2g, 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
- Feta and roast veg salad with full fat mayo and lemon dressing (0.5g)
- Glass of coconut water (1.5g)
Afternoon Snack (6g, 1.5 teaspoons of sugar)
Carrot sticks (1g) with full fat houmous
- Green juice, including half a small apple (5g) (every other day and completely optional!)
- Beef chilli with extra veg, brown rice, avocado and full fat sour cream
- Herbal tea or water
- Milky coffee
- Bag of salt and vinegar popcorn
Now, does quitting sugar look so hard?! Its all about the food swaps. The above is just a basic example of my daily diet and I often include my fructose free baked treats into my daily routine too.
The one rule I stick to quite strictly is the 80:20, veg:fruit, rule: I limit myself to 2 portions of fruit a day (primarily berries) and then fill up the rest with veggies. You can easily get all the vitamins and minerals you need from your vegetable friends! And please stay away from juice which can be around 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving!
Finally, hydrate!! I have not included my H2O intake, however I aim for 1.5 litres a day… I know its not easy! This will help your body function at its max, keep your skin clear and also lose/maintain weight. Its simple and effective.
So that is my simple diet. If you would like any more daily examples then I am happy to comply… eat happy and healthy everyone.