The key to a successful sugar and flour-free week is planning, especially if this is something that is brand new for you. Having a plan in place will help to decrease your stress and provide stability if (and when) any surprises pop up.
What should you include in your plan?
- Meal prep. Go grocery shopping, preferably when you are not hungry or stressed out (this can help you avoid choosing comforting foods that don’t fit into your plan). Make a bunch of meals on Sunday so you don’t have to worry about it, or write down the meals you plan to make that week that are sugar and flour free. The feeling of standing in your kitchen at the end of a long day, having no plan for dinner, and grabbing whatever looks the easiest to whip up (hello, bowl of cereal!) is not going to help you reach your goals. Give yourself the advantage up front of preparing for your week.
- Consider dinners out and take out. Do you and your partner order take out every Friday night? Do you have plans to go out with friends this weekend? If you can choose the restaurant, pick a place that has some yummy sugar and flour-free options. Check out the menu beforehand and find some choices that work best for you. Anticipate anything that may trigger you; like your partner ordering dessert or your friends drinking fruity alcoholic beverages. Unpack those coping skills and use them when needed.
- Choose an ideal week. The beginning of the breaking up with sugar journey can be difficult. Choosing a week that your cousins are coming to visit and you know that you are going to be eating out more, and will be surrounded by more pressure, isn’t the best week to avoid the sweet stuff for the first time. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Later in your journey the circumstances around you won’t matter as much, as your skills and motivation will be stronger than it was.
- What could get in your way? Is there anything that could distract you from your goals this week and push you towards unhealthy eating habits? Do you have a big project at work this week that may cause some increased stress?
- Keep your home sweet and flour- free. This is not an easy task for everyone, as many people live with others who are not on the same sugar-free path. If you are able to keep your favorite foods out of your home, that is a step in the right direction. Are oreos your kryptonite, but your roommate doesn’t care about them? Keep them out. Is pasta your go-to feel-good food and your family can subsist on other carbs? Don’t allow it in your space. Control what you can control.
- Make sure you have support. Unfortunately no one has a crystal ball and cannot tell what the future holds. Chances are, you will not have a perfect week. Stressors will take their toll and you may want to step outside of your plan and reach for a sweet treat. Find a power circle of people who are also
- Enjoy life outside of food. Make some plans that are not related to food. This gives you something to look forward to and gives you ways to connect with others without any feelings about food getting in the way.
Here are some go-to meals and snacks to help you get started:
- Ezekiel bread with chicken salad, lettuce, and tomato.
- Omelet with veggies
- Greek salad with grilled chicken
- Sausage and peppers
- Burrito bowl with quinoa, ground beef, veggies and cheese
- Oatmeal, part-skim ricotta cheese, and cinnamon
- Sliced turkey and Mary’s Gone crackers
- Stuffed peppers
- Veggies and guacamole
- Zoodle bolognese
You got this!
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Photo by Ello on Unsplash