HOW I CUT SUGAR FROM MY DIET

All black activewear.BLACK NIKE TANK TOP  ||  SIMILAR SPORTS BRA  ||  RUNNING SHORTS (SIMILAR)  ||  SIMILAR RUNNING SHOES (also loving these)  ||  GREY PULLOVER SWEATSHIRT (wearing an XS for reference)  ||  SUNGLASSES  ||  WATER BOTTLE

Off the shoulder activewear

All black activewear.

All black activewear.

Tricks to cutting out sugar from your diet.

All black + Tricks to cutting out sugar from your diet.

All black + Tricks to cutting out sugar from your diet.

Grey + black activewear + tricks to cutting out sugar from your diet.

Grey + black activewear + tricks to cutting out sugar from your diet.BLACK NIKE TANK TOP  ||  SIMILAR SPORTS BRA  ||  RUNNING SHORTS (SIMILAR)  ||  SIMILAR RUNNING SHOES (also loving these)  ||  GREY PULLOVER SWEATSHIRT (wearing an XS for reference)  ||  SUNGLASSES  ||  WATER BOTTLE

If I had to pick the two fastest, most effective, ways that have helped me trim down and get into shape, it would be running and cutting sugar from my diet. Both things are hard, but I have seen more progress in a shorter amount of time doing these two things than any other kind of workout or diet.

I ran a few half marathons a while back and grew to really love running when I was training for them. I have to wear comfortable clothes when I run, and I am super picky about how my shorts fit (if the ride up, if fabric is itchy, whether my sports bra is supportive or not, etc.) I’m not sure I have felt a top softer than this Zella pullover. I love that it is a wider cut around the neck so I don’t feel suffocated or claustrophobic when I run on cold mornings. These shorts have built in tighter shorts in them, which allow them to stay in place and not ride up! This cute tank is a thin sweat-wicking material that is cool and not too tight. I always score the best workout gear at Nordstrom.

I get asked a lot about how I cut sugar from my diet, so I wanted to focus more on that aspect in this post (you can read more about my favorite workout right now in this post). Just like my last workout post, I need to emphasize that I am not an expert on diet, nutrition, exercise, etc. I have just found certain things that work for me (as long as I am dedicated) and I thought I would share it with you.

When I was pregnant with Eli I stayed pretty active (you can read more about my favorite pregnancy workouts here). I worked out and ran regularly, but at around 6 months it was really painful to run and I couldn’t be as active as I wanted. So I decided to clean up my diet to make up for the lack of time at the gym. With Bradley and Cash I wanted Taco Bell 5 layer burritos and Mac & Cheese all the live long day. But with Eli, those junk food cravings weren’t quite so strong. One thing I experienced, was that I would get nauseous any time I ate sweets. Because of this, it made things a little easier for me to avoid sugar because I knew how sick it would make me. I don’t know why the pregnancy craving gods had mercy on me this pregnancy, but I attribute a lot of my ability to cut sugar from my diet to how sick I got from it when I was pregnant. I was so sad when I couldn’t exercise as much as I wanted to, and I thought for sure I would pack on extra pounds. I was shocked to find that this pregnancy was the most healthy and fit pregnancy I have had and attribute that 100% to my healthier diet. Once I had Eli, I was already used to avoiding sweets, so I just kept it up.

In my current diet I still avoid sugar like the plague. I’ve also cut out a lot of dairy and only try to eat whole grains (and when I do, I don’t eat a ton of grains in the evenings). When I cook, I usually make dinner for the boys, and then a salad, grilled fish, my steamed veggie rice bowl, or a veggie burger for Garrett and I. Sometimes Garrett needs a little more than a veggie burger to fill him up (I don’t blame him! haha!), and he eats what the boys are eating, but for the most part he eats healthy right along with me.

Cutting sugar from your diet is a lifestyle change that takes commitment. So much of it for me is mental! It also takes planning ahead. These things have really come into play since the holidays have started! Between all the holiday parties coming up and so many sweet sugary temptations. Here are a few tips I found that help me avoid sugar:

 

Always have healthy snacks on hand.

I have to make sure my kitchen is stocked with my go to snacks: nuts and dried cherries, protein bars, string cheese, apples/bananas and peanut butter, protein drinks, and turkey + avocados. If I don’t have those snacks when I am hungry, I eat chips, a bowl of cereal, or something less healthy that I immediately regret. The healthier I eat, the worse I feel after eating something unhealthy. Also, don’t let yourself get so hungry that you end up shoving whatever is closest/easiest in your face! Eat smaller portions often to keep up your metabolism and to keep from getting so hungry that you don’t have the self control to make a healthy choice.

 

Know your own personal temptations/limits.

When I make dessert for my family, I very rarely eat it myself. It’s not always easy, but I know myself. I know the second I let myself have a chocolate chip cookie, it’s so much easier for me to have a second, then a third after the boys go to bed, and by then I might as well just eat the rest of them so they stop staring at me the whole night. I’ve learned to buy the types of treats for the kids that I know I won’t be tempted by (ie: Oreos don’t do anything for me, so I’ll get those for the boys, but can’t trust myself with a bag of Nacho Doritos!) If I allow myself to have even just a little, I know I will end up eating way more sweets than I want to. So it’s easier for me to not even have a taste. Garrett is really good at just stopping after one cookie, but I just can’t!

 

Don’t give into peer pressure.

When I am at my house, I pretty much have total control over the food/snacks that are available. I have cookies and chips for the boys’ lunches, and I have set foods that I eat every single day. I usually stick to eating the same things everyday:

Breakfast: Overnight Oats (I posted this recipe here) or a protein drink

Lunch: Two mozzarella cheese sticks with turkey wrapped around them. I stick this in the microwave for 1 minute to melt it, and I top it with avocado and tomatoes, a veggie burger, or my favorite veggie wrap (I posted the recipe for this here).

Dinner: Grilled fish and veggies, steamed chicken sausage veggie bowl (I posted the recipe for this here), chicken/turkey breast with veggies and brown rice, or an omelette.

The biggest obstacle for me is avoiding sugar when I am at events, parties, dinners, out to lunch, etc. There are always sweets and you will always be offered one. I have to make up my mind before I even leave my house that I’m not going to have one. But the peer pressure can be hard! I find myself eating deserts that I didn’t even want to eat because everyone else is eating them, or because I am worried about offending someone. So I decided that if I was offered something with sugar I wanted to avoid I just say “I’m good, thank you!” right away, with no hesitation.  Many times I will eat a protein bar right before an event with sweets so that my sweet tooth is craved, and I don’t get so hungry that I have a hard time saying no.

 

Write it down.

I’m such a list junkie that I wasn’t surprised at how much writing down everything I ate in a day helped keep me motivated to avoid sugar. There is satisfaction in checking off a goal, so each day without sugar is like a goal that I get to check off! Find out what works for you! Many times I will take a quick snap at the gym and post it over on my insta story along with what I did for my workout. Just something simple like that can leave you feeling accomplished and make you want to keep it up!

 

Get creative.

We just got back from a huge family reunion where there was a ton of tempting snacks and sweets. I had to get creative on my meals to try and stay healthy. Instead of eating the chicken enchiladas for dinner, I put the chicken filling over lettuce for a salad. And I opted for snacks that were filling, like an apple with peanut butter, to keep from eating chips and soda.

 

Keep up the workouts.

When I feel good from a workout, I have a harder time putting crap food in my body because I don’t want to counteract that hard work. I’ve found that when I go more than a week without a good workout, I also start slipping in my diet. The two check and balance each other, and I see the most progress when I am doing both consistently.

 

Of course I splurge every once in a while. I had the most amazing lemon custard dessert for Garrett’s birthday, and I enjoyed every last bite! But I know myself, and if I give in too often, I lose momentum of eating healthy and I go downhill fast. Like I said earlier, so much of it is mental for me! I have to pep talk myself into what I will/won’t eat. It sounds crazy, but it helps! Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below! I’d be happy to answer them!

SHOP MY LOOK:

 

 

in partnership with Nordstrom  |  photography by Kendra Maarse

 

 

31 Comments

  1. Thank you for all the great advice!! Your such a motivation to me to start eating/living healthier!

    • You are so welcome! Sometimes finding the motivation is the hardest part!!

  2. I am the same way!! If I eat one cookie, I will eat them all!! But by cutting sugar do you mean mostly dessert type things? Or were you able to find no-added sugar protein bars and dried cherries? Just wondering because sugar is added to everything and when I went added-sugar free a few years ago it was hard to find things like protein bars without sugar added in. Thanks!

    • I know, I just can’t help myself if I have only one! Mostly it is sugary treats, but I have found protein bars at Costco with only 1 gram of sugar. They don’t taste that great, but it helps curb my chocolate cravings!

      • Ha!! Which ones? Mostly I eat because I’m bored. I also like rice cakes as a “boredom” snack because once I start eating it I realize it tastes like cardboard and I’m not actually hungry.

        • Exactly! Story of my live. I just want something to crunch on more than anything!

  3. Thank you for this post! It’s such a daunting task to completely cut sugar out of your diet, but your tips make it seem manageable! And it looks like the results are well-worth the effort, not just for yourself, but for the healthy habits you’re modeling for your family! Thanks for posting – excited to give this a try!

    • Thank you! Yes, the whole idea seems hard and scary, but now I have the habit down, it is a lot more manageable!

  4. I love Zella’s pullovers! They’re among the softest and comfiest workout tops I own! Also, thank you for posting your recipes – I started doing overnight oats all the time when you first posted about them in your “After the Bump” series. Easy and healthy, thanks for the inspo! You look great!

    • Aren’t they crazy soft! I was shocked when I first felt it! And those overnight oats save me on busy mornings. So glad you like them!

  5. I can’t agree more about writing it down! I’m always shocked at how much more I’m munching when I’m not even hungry!! Keeping a food diary (even for a couple of days) helps me get back on track! Great post 🙂

    • Right? It sounds so basic, but it really helps! Its such a mental game!

  6. LOVE these tips! I’ve found the same to be true for me when I’m doing really well health-wise. Still SO hard to avoid junk when pregnant tho- which is why I feel like crap right now 🙂 thanks for the motivating post!!

    • Oh man…its SO hard when pregnant. I feel like you get free pass when you are prego though. Sometimes chocolate is the ONLY thing that you can keep down 😉

  7. I just had my 4th baby & I’m not slimming down as quickly as I normally do….I’m just wondering what kind of protein bars & drinks do you like? There are so many out there…..

    • I get the premier protein shakes and bars from Costco. They have the lowest amount of sugar I have found (I think 1 gram). The bars dont taste amazing, but they do the job!

  8. I love that you did this! I have cut sugar before but not for long periods of time. I haven’t been able to workout this pregnancy at all and I’m suffering! This may be the motivation I need! Question: how strict are you with no sugar? For instance, most whole grains still have traces of it as well as any dressings. Do you avoid those?

    • I can’t be too crazy strict on every food item’s sugar content (aintnobodygottimeforthat) BUT, I do always check my salad dressings- those things can have so much sugar! There is a cilantro dressing from Trader Joes I love that has very little sugar.

  9. Love this post! I’m exactly the same way! I can never just have one of anything. But my weakness is at home, and when my family temps me I can never say no. How do you get out of the slump when you’ve gone so far downhill?

    • Its HARD! I feel like once I slip I’m usually down for a week. Hitting the gym is a real booster for me. If I force myself to workout- even just once in the week- I feel the motivation to eat healthy again. Its mental I tell you, mental!!

  10. Great post! How long have you been able to (mostly, I asusme) stick to that menu of the same food every day? Or were you just mentally able to get past the fact that it was the only things you were chosing to eat? And any reason why you don’t feed your boys the same things that you eat? Or maybe you’ve tried and they won’t eat what you’re eating? I’d love to cut down on sugar, but I agree that it does take a lot of planning ahead and keeping your kitchen stocked with healty things!

    • Thank you! I”m so glad you liked it! I’ve been eating like this since I was pregnant with Eli, so it was pretty much a whole life/mental shift for me. But I am used to it now, so it isn’t as tempting. My boys wont eat salad or veggie burgers, or wraps (and I dont really blame them at such a young age). My meals are quick and I just grab and go, so it is easy for me to fix them (still healthy) but more kid friendly for their meals.

  11. I love these tips! A while ago, I remember you mentioned on Snapchat that sometimes you make acai bowls. Would you mind sharing how you make them? Do you buy the packages of frozen pulp? What do you mix it with and top it with? I would love to know. Thanks!

    • Yes! I just buy the frozen Acai packets at costco and I blend them with OJ concentrate, a banana, and a splash of water, then top with fruit and granola! So yummy!

  12. You’re the same as me, I’m totally fine if I go along and just not have any treats, but as soon as I have even just a bite, my motivation and willpower are gone! And it’s the hardest when I am out, especially church activities and people inviting you for dinner, it’s just to hard to say no sometimes!

    • Right?! I always feel like I am letting someone down if I say no to a dessert. But I just need to think about how much better it is for me when I dont have them!

  13. These are great tips! I had six kids under seven, and finding the time to really train like I’d like to in order to get back in shape can be really hard sometimes! I can’t control that, but I have a lot more control over what I put in my mouth. I have found that limiting my whole grains to before noon, and making my dinner more like a lunch and my lunch more like a dinner has helped me get closer to my pre-pregnancy shape. (Let’s be honest, I may weigh the same, but things have been redistributed!) thanks for the tips! Love the shorts!

    • Redistributed!! LOL! That is such a perfect way to put it! And holy how, 6 under 7! You are amazing!

  14. Thank you. I needed this! I’ve just been diagnosed with heart muscle damage and I can’t exercise at all for 3 months. None, not even walking up hills. I’m finding my diet has to be perfect to cope with this. I’ll be remembering these tips next time I want sugar!

    • Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry! I hope these tips help you! Best of luck!

  15. Hi there! Thanks so much for your tips. I just hit six weeks post delivery and needed to read this! It definitely helps that you’ve laid everything out! It’s encouraging to hear that you eat the same few meals every day. I think the hardest part is choosing what to eat and having the ingredients around! I was just wondering if you don’t mind telling what brand of veggie burgers and chicken sausage do you typically get it? Also do you eat veggie burgers on a bun or with lettuce wrap?