Sugar hangover?

5 Tips to help you reduce the sugar in your life

Has the long Easter weekend left you with a Spring in your step or are you struggling with a sugar hangover? Are you feeling a little fuzzy around the edges, a little tired and craving a sweet treat with your morning coffee or tea? Sugar can do this to you. I may have snuck the odd chocolate egg from the various egg hunts and then there was pudding or cake at family gatherings, and I'm definitely feeling the effects now.

Sugar creeps into your diet through the food you eat, and the drinks you consume. And it's not just in the usual culprits of chocolate, sweets and biscuits and coca cola, check your cereal box for added sugars and you'll be surprised at how much sugar is in even the supposedly 'healthy' choices. Fruit juices, juice drinks and store bought smoothies also have added sugar. Have a look at labels on the food in your cupboards and you'll be surprised – especially in anything labelled low fat.

Some say sugar is highly addictive – more so than alcohol and some drugs. It is certainly a hard habit to kick. Don't be hard on yourself if you can't go cold turkey. It's not easy. I'm going to run a 10 day sugar-free challenge in April so that I can hold your hand along the way. In the meantime here are some useful tips.

1. Go to bed early – sleep deprivation really messes with your hunger hormones and can cause you to reach for a sweet pick me up.

2. Drink more water – sometimes we think we're hungry when actually we're dehydrated. A nice cool glass of water or a herbal tea can keep hunger pangs at bay. Avoid drinking any calories (and I include 'diet' drinks in that category).

3. Plan for 3 good meals a day, make sure they contain some protein and avoid processed carbohydrates – for example porridge with seeds and nuts, chicken and vegetable soup for lunch, roasted veg and salmon for your evening meal.

4. Avoid drinking too much caffeine – it's dehydrating, can mess with your sleep patterns as well as promote sugar cravings.

5. Avoid alcohol – it can promote sugar cravings and most alcoholic drinks and mixers have lots of sugar. It also messes with deep sleep (see point 1).

BONUS TIP: Exercise promotes feel good hormones, helps you burn off some of those chocolate calories and can only be a good thing. Why not get in touch about some personal training to motivate you towards a toned up, happy and healthy summer!