The Sugar-Free Success Formula.
What’s the #1 question people ask me about healthy eating?
They want to know how to kick their sugar habit.
If this is your question, too, you’ve come to the right place.
Today I’m going to answer that question - and I’m going to give you the exact formula that I use in my own life to keep me (mostly) sugar-free and successful at it.
Why Sugar Is So Darn Pesky.
Ohhhh, sugar. It’s a huge problem for people. It makes you gain weight, it messes with your teeth, it sends you on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows - and, perhaps worst of all, it leads to disease.
How does it do that?
Well, excess sugar in your body acts like an irritant.
Kind of like sand in your bathing suit.
When something gets irritated, it gets inflamed. Think of our bathing suit analogy. Think of the scraping and chafing. It’s no fun, right??
That’s kinda what sugar does to your insides.
It sets in motion a chain of reactions and processes that all end really BADLY for your health.
The main thing to remember, though, is that sugar is a major cause of inflammation in the body - and inflammation is the beginning stage of most disease.
As if none of that was bad enough, sugar is also highly addictive. It will get you hooked. You’ll need more and more of it to get the same sweet effect - just like with any other drug.
True Confessions: My Own Sugar Drama.
I used to have a bagel and muffin problem.
I could not get through the day without a cinnamon-raisin bagel in the morning - AND in the afternoon - with a chocolate-chocolate-chip muffin thrown in for good measure. This was in addition to my regular breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I would rationalize this bagel-muffin habit by telling myself that two big, fat New York bagels and an over-sized muffin every day was so much better than eating ice cream sundaes or whole chocolate cakes.
But your body does not care what else you ‘might’ have eaten. It only knows what you ARE eating. And those daily heaping doses of processed white flour and sugar were starting to have an impact on my body.
What Sugar Did To Me - And How To Know If YOU Have A Problem.
I was sluggish. I gained weight. I looked puffy and doughy. My energy would crash after lunch until I got my afternoon muffin fix. I would get a sudden onset of the sweats and the shakes if I hadn’t eaten. I didn’t sleep well, and I rarely woke up feeling rested and refreshed.
I wasn’t ‘sick’ - but I also wasn’t ‘well’.
But in spite of all those lovely side effects, I really didn’t think I had a problem with ‘sugar’. I just thought I really loved bagels. And muffins. And spaghetti. And bread. And crackers. And cookies.
But, of course, just because it doesn’t have frosting and sprinkles, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have sugar.
Processed white flour and wheat flour convert to sugar very, very quickly once they’re in your body. They have the same effect as eating a Mary Poppins spoonful of sugar!
So if you find that you just can’t say NO to the bread basket, or a bowl of white pasta, or bagels, or muffins - you, my friend, might have a big problem with sugar.
I Turned It Around - And So Can You.
I can tell you from my own personal experience that once you get a handle on your relationship with sugar, everything about your health and weight loss journey gets easier.
I live by this formula that I am about to share with you - and I haven’t had even the faintest craving for bagels or muffins in eons.
My weight has been stable for the past 5 years and I bound out of bed in the morning. Energy crashes are a thing of the past. Best of all, I don’t miss my old habits and I never feel deprived.
You can do this. I promise. It’s not hard. It will take a little thought and planning in the beginning - but I swear to you - it’s SO DOABLE. Best of all, my formula focuses mostly on ADDING things to your diet, instead of subtracting. Trust me - as you add the good stuff, you’ll naturally start subtracting the excess sugar.
Ready to learn my 5-step formula? Here it is….
My Sugar-Free Success Formula.
There are 5 components to my Sugar-Free Success Formula - and you need to do them all. Only doing 2 or 3 of the components is not going give you the results you’re looking for. I need you to be all in!
Step #1: Add Fruit.
I want you to add 2-3 pieces of whole fruit to your diet every single day. And by whole fruit, I mean WHOLE fruit - no juice. Fruit juice is liquid sugar. Whole fruit has fiber, nutrients, antioxidants and all sorts of other wonderful things that your body needs and loves. It’s also sweet!
So you’re going add whole fruit to your life. Every day. 2-3 pieces. See what it’s like to eat sugar the way nature intended.
Step #2: Add Leafy Greens Wherever Possible.
I want you to think of leafy green vegetables as your new favorite thing in the whole entire world. Leafy greens are bursting with healthy goodness - and your body will soon be craving greens as much as you used to crave sugar.
To be clear, when I say ‘leafy greens’, I mean: spinach, kale, all kinds of lettuce, chard, collards, escarole.
You are encouraged to increase your overall vegetable intake, too - but I want you to pay extra-special attention to eating as many leafy greens as you possibly can as part of this formula. Have more salads, throw spinach or kale into your soup, have a side order of sauteed greens, mix greens into your chili, order extra lettuce on your sandwiches.
Greens, greens, greens.
They will nourish your blood like nothing else.
Step #3: Go For The Whole Grain Alternative.
If you love pasta, I would never ask you to stop eating it. But I will ask you to buy whole wheat pasta instead of ‘regular’.
If you are a pretzel fanatic - go for it….but please buy the whole grain version.
Can you see where this is going?
I want you to find a whole grain alternative for all your favorite bread-like, pasta-like, chip-like indulgences. It matters.
Whole grains have nutrients - and fiber - and they will magically fill you up and leave you feeling truly satisfied. They will also help your blood sugar stay stable. That means no more highs and lows. Yay.
You can learn more about how to tell if you’re REALLY getting a whole grain product in this post right here and in this one about fiber right here. They’re definitely worth reading before you go grocery shopping (be sure you watch the videos!).
Step #4: The Rule Of 9.
As a general rule of thumb, I want you to only purchase or eat food that contains 9gms of sugar per serving - OR LESS.
I’ll say right now that this is not always possible when you’re eating in restaurants - because I have yet to meet a server who could tell me how many grams of sugar are in each menu item! I would never torture a server by even asking!
This rule of 9 applies to anything and everything that you purchase in the grocery store, purchase as a snack, or cook in your home. If it has a nutrition label, you will be able to know this information. Apply the rule.
Look at the sugar content on the label. You want to see ‘9gms’ of sugar per serving or LESS. And make sure that you are very clear about the serving size. We want 9gms of sugar or less PER SERVING. Sometimes a single slice of bread is considered ‘one serving’ - so make sure you know what you’re eating.
For a quick lesson on hidden sugars in your food, check out this post right here.
Step #5: Avoid Artificial Sweeteners.
Don’t hate me. I know this one might be the hardest for many of you. The truth is, though, that artificial sweeteners aren’t doing you any favors.
They have zero-calories - but that’s seriously about IT.
They’re fake. They’re non-real. They’re non-food. In certain cases, they’ve been shown to cause cancer. In certain other cases, they’ve been shown to cause brain tumors. And they aren’t even helping you lose weight, believe it or not.
Though artificial sweeteners may be fake and calorie-free, they still set off the ‘sweet alarm’ in your brain. They cause you to crave MORE sweet things - just like regular old sugar!
Who needs THAT?
Isn’t the whole point that we’re trying to REDUCE your sugar cravings and make it easier to resist sweet things??
Well, if that’s your goal, then artificial sweeteners are NOT the way to go.
In general, a product that contains artificial sweeteners will have other artificial ingredients, too. You don’t need them - I swear!
Here’s What I Want You To Do Now.
If you found this article helpful, I want you to share it with your friends.
As I mentioned in the beginning, this is the #1 question people ask me - so I know there are a lot of people who would benefit from this information!
I need your help to spread it around. Thank-you!
Next - I invite you to put my Sugar-Free Success Formula into action in your life - and let me know how it goes.
If you follow my formula and see amazing results, I would love to know about it! Just shoot me an email at Nicole@NicoleBurley.com and tell me everything!
To your health!