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Webchat with Paul McKenna on how to give up sugar

(50 Posts)
LauraGransnet (GNHQ) Thu 29-Dec-16 12:17:59

We’ve all no doubt been indulging over Christmas, and the new year is the ideal time to work on getting healthier and making changes to your lifestyle. Most of us know that we’re not doing ourselves any favours by overdoing the sweet stuff, but facing up to the reality of the extent of the damage we’re doing to our health can be overwhelming, particularly if you feel you don’t know how to tackle the compulsion.

If sugar is your weakness and you crave sweets, chocolates and fizzy drinks but don’t know how to break the habit, we have Paul McKenna ready and waiting to help with techniques to tackle the root cause of the problem.

Paul's new book, Get Control of Sugar Now!, is published by Bantam Press priced £12.99 and is available from all good booksellers. Please send all of your sugar-related questions to us by midday on 6 January.

chelseababy Thu 29-Dec-16 13:51:46

I encouraged OH to use sweetners in his tea instead of sugar but now I wonder if this was a good thing? He has a very sweet tooth but refuses to reduce the sweetners. Would it be better to go back to sugar and reduce the amount gradually?

shysal Thu 29-Dec-16 14:21:21

Please could you post a video to hypnotize us into giving up sugar? (joke) smile

rubylady Thu 29-Dec-16 18:51:51

For some reason I have dropped sugar in my drinks, tea tastes so much better without, never thought I would say that.

The same with sweet things. I now prefer savoury. I do still buy the occasional sweet item but don't crave or need to have it like I used to at one time. Maybe it's because I don't have to rush to eat it before DS would have pinched it. If it's in now it's going nowhere so I can take my time with food. Plus, if I do want a pudding, then I will have it as a meal. Say a normal meal for dinner and then a crumble and custard later for my tea. That way I get to eat what I want but don't overeat anymore.

I have lost a stone since he left.

pattieb Fri 30-Dec-16 11:09:50

Sugar is everywhere and I'm wondering where to start. There are the obvious things like sweets and cakes etc but what about other things that turn to a form of sugar in our bodies? I'd love some tips on how far to go with it.

annodomini Fri 30-Dec-16 12:24:00

The most insidious form of sugar is in soft drinks which often contain more of it than is healthy to consume in one day. I'm not asking on my own behalf, as I don't like fizzy drinks (well, I stretch a point for Champagne or Prosecco) but children are constantly pointed in the direction of tooth-rotting drinks. How would you engage whole family participation in getting the better of this trend?

dogsmother Fri 30-Dec-16 16:49:42

I was diagnosed as being 'prediabetic' it gave me a turn!
From being a great sugar eater, never in drinks, strangely. I went cold turkey and avoided anything with more than 10% sugar in 100g of anything.
I lost my sweet tooth and two stones in weight.
But I do know this Christmas I have been reaching more and more for the junk I should avoid, and I really don't want to become become diabetic which long term is a reality if I don't keep a check on what I eat now. And sugar is very addictive.

Azie09 Sat 31-Dec-16 16:44:00

I've found it easier since my daughters left home so the cupboard isn't full of biscuits! My DH likes to have a glass of wine in the evenings and doesn't like to drink alone, of course! I am aware that wine is quite high in calories even if that isn't actually sugar. I have also read that some fruit is high in sugar. I do think sugar is addictive and the less you eat, the less you want. I find chocolate hardest of all to give up.
I do think hypnotherapy is very powerful and I wonder what Paul will suggest.

Grannyknot Sat 31-Dec-16 18:12:27

azie raises a good point - how to abstain when your partner has a sweet tooth? That's one of my challenges.

ruby I sometimes do that - I have a three course meal over the course of a day: a starter for breakfast (avoid or pate on toast); main meal for lunch and dessert in the evening. grin

I believe that sugar is one of the hardest substances to give up and therefore I think the only answer is a very gradual reduction.

Grannyknot Sat 31-Dec-16 18:13:04

That should be "avo" not "avoid".

grannyactivist Sat 31-Dec-16 23:19:00

Two years ago I cut out sugar almost completely - eating no processed food and very little fruit. I not only lost weight, but I felt really very well indeed. In the past couple of months I've taken my eye off the ball and it's sneaked back into my food - with resultant weight gain etc.
I begin my purge against sugar again on January 2nd and look forward to not only getting back in shape, but feeling so much better too.

thatbags Sun 01-Jan-17 20:12:48

I don't feel any need to give up sugar. I don't go along with the addiction theory hypothesis. I rather wish people would calm down about it but I suppose if one is going to make money out of plugging abstention.... hmm

When my eldest daughter was just starting school in 1985 there was an appeal at her school for various food items to send as relief for the Ethiopean famine. Her class was asked to bring sugar. At first I thought this was a silly idea but then I realised that when people are starving, sugar water is pretty much all they can cope with initially.

whitewave Sun 01-Jan-17 20:51:04

I thought that sugar/saline solution was used for severe stomach bugs?

Grannyknot Sun 01-Jan-17 22:15:19

bags I get that, having been raised in a sugar producing country where from small we were taught "sugar is energy".

So when I think of people who need to reduce their sugar intake (is it possible to abstain from sugar?) I think of people like my friend who used to be alcohol dependent (he is now teetotal), but who drinks litres and litres of full strength Coca-Cola every day...

thatbags Mon 02-Jan-17 07:31:42

ww, yes, and starvation.

gk, sugar is energy. I wasn't told to carry high sugar foods (dried fruit, chocolate, Kendal Mint Cake, chocolate and apple sandwiches (I still eat those occasionally)) on mountaineering courses back in the 1970's for nothing.

I get what the sugar police are saying but, as usual, things are being taken to excess as if sugar was some kind of devil.

natcas24 Mon 02-Jan-17 11:08:46

I have no self control at all when it comes to sugar cravings. Please, please, please i would be grateful for any tips.

Fran0251 Mon 02-Jan-17 11:21:33

If you like chocolate, give up milk chocolate and move to the 70% black. My partner did this because he found every time he ate milk chocolate it was 'moreish' and he followed his feelings and ate more! Now, with the 70% he has some, but is content and his body isn't saying 'more more'.

Grannyknot Mon 02-Jan-17 12:07:01

bags I did a lot of hiking back in the day and as a result a favourite sandwich filling still is cheese and thinly sliced apple smile

Christine1955 Mon 02-Jan-17 12:18:31

I got Paul's book / cd , ( how to make u thin) there was a section in it to do if u wanted to give something up for good , in my case it was chocolate, I was a chocoholic couldn't just have a piece had to have whole bar( and then maybe another bar ) so I done the section of book , many years later I haven't touched chocolate, the smell of it makes me feel physically sick, so would like to say thank u Paul McKenna, I've also kept weight off as well.

constance Mon 02-Jan-17 13:15:07

I eat too much sugar since doctors put me on a glutenfree and dairy free diet. I make cakes that I can eat but I hate the taste of 'healthy' raw cakes. I'm wondering if I can retrain myself to want things that are good for me. I need the machine that Wallace builds in Curse of the Were Rabbit.

Candelle Mon 02-Jan-17 13:20:38

I'm with natcas24 and can't be trusted to go into a supermarket unsurpervised,* as the confectionary counter subconsciously beckons me. I find my hands piling products into the basket and once home, the products fighting for attention in my mouth until they are all gone.

I do badly need help, or a large roll of adhesive tape, either for hands (in said supermarket) or mouth. One or other should help but there must be a better way......

*Even if supervised I apparently argue my case and usually win!

Glosgran Tue 03-Jan-17 10:16:18

I suffer from Fibromyalgia and know that sugar and processed food is bad. I eat a lot of fruit: approx 4-5 different fruits as my lunchtime meal with low fat yogurt and a banana, apple or pear with porridge at breakfast, in an attempt to eat more healthily but find it difficult to lose weight so wonder if the amount of fruit I'm eating, which obviously contains fructose, is actually adding to my difficulty in losing weight? I do not eat large portions in my main meal.

masha77 Tue 03-Jan-17 13:42:47

Hello Paul

I generally eat a fairly balanced and healthy diet but find around 3 in the afternoon plus some time in the evening I'm absolutely craving something sweet. Dried or other fruit just doesn't cut it. How can I stop myself feeling this way?

redandyellow Tue 03-Jan-17 13:45:11

I don't want to be fanatical about it and have no issues with 'natural' sugars in fruit etc etc. I don't even want to have to scour every ingredients list in case something has a bit of sugar in it. But I would like to give up refined sugar in the sense of junk food/sweets/chocolate. Is there a way I can do this without having to do the rest of the things I mentioned above?

wheeler Tue 03-Jan-17 13:50:50

I find fizzy drinks with sugar far too sweet. But I admit that I am hooked on diet coke. Obviously in terms of calories this is fine. I realise it's not healthy in the slightest but will it have an affect on my sugar cravings and/or consumption?