When you have too much of the sweet stuff, you’ll notice your mood, energy and blood sugar levels are all over the place. When I have too much sugar, I become more anxious, irritable and tired. I start to crave more sweet things and it can very quickly become a never-ending sugar crave cycle.
During my yo-yo dieting years, I used to go on a sugar-free kick and cut out even healthy foods like fruit, starchy veggies and carbohydrates, hoping that it would curb my cravings and help me lose weight.
The bad news is that never worked for me because it was too extreme. It left me feeling deprived and restricted. I would last for a little bit but eventually, end up bingeing on the ‘forbidden’ sugars.
The good news is that I learnt that I didn’t have to cut out whole food groups to feel happier, healthier and more energetic. Hooray!
I’ve said it before but you don’t need to make drastic changes to your diet to reap the benefits. You don’t need to diet, cut out whole food groups or starve yourself on a silly (yet well marketed) 12-week bikini body challenge.
I used to drink soft drinks quite a bit, which wasn’t great for my health. So, it was an opportunity for me to make a positive lifestyle change.
Today, I’m sharing the things I do that help me drink less unhealthy soft drink and how I make it a habit.
When I was out and about, ordering diet soft drinks was my default. So, I made a plan to keep a water bottle with sparkling water handy. Now, my water bottle is on my desk or in my bag when I’m out. A water bottle also sits on the dinner table, prompting me to drink.
Not only is it a great way to save money and use less plastic but carrying around a drink bottle is a great way to fill up on water.
I’ve never really craved plain water but sparkling water is way more fun! This year, I got a SodaStream as a really convenient, cost effective way to drink sparkling water (that also heaps better for the environment than buying plastic bottles).
Now, when I am thirsty, I make sparkling water at home with my SodaStream. I add fresh herbs from my garden (like mint) and seasonal fruits (like strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate, orange, lemon, lime etc).
On the weekend, I use the SodaStream to make healthier cocktails by making sparkling water, adding tonic mix or using the fruits flavour range, which has 2/3 less sugar than traditional full sugar soft drinks. That’s what I call balance and moderation.
For me – ordering a soft drink used to be a habit. I made a decision that my default would be to order water when I was out. So, when I’m at a café or restaurant, I’ll enjoy sparkling water with lemon or lime instead.
You know me… I don’t believe in depriving myself of anything. So, when I feel like having a treat, I ask myself…
“You can have it if you want, but do you really feel like it?”
If I really feel like it – I allow myself to enjoy. Though, more often than not, I’m happy with my sparkling water. The trick is that once I realised that I am allowed a treat anytime I want, I start to crave it less and less.
For me, health is all about moderation and finding what works for my body. Too much of anything is bad but when you cut something out completely – then you can start to feel deprived. You can still enjoy the foods and/or drinks you love. You can make healthier options where possible but you don’t need to go to extremes.
It’s incredible how giving yourself permission to eat and drink everything in moderation, and not depriving yourself of anything, can truly be the healthiest thing you do for yourself.
Which healthy habit are you most proud to have adopted this year?
“This article was originally posted on Lyndi Cohen’s website here.”
My name is Lyndi Cohen and I am an Australian dietitian (APD) cheekily known as The Nude Nutritionist. My mission is to help others who also feel let down by diets and confusing nutrition advice. I’m all about stripping back the nutrition misinformation and making healthy eating simple again.