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Webchat with Paul McKenna on how to give up sugar

(51 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.

gran22 Tue 03-Jan-17 14:05:07

I get great pleasure from enjoying the occasional dessert and don't really want this to change. But the clue is in the word occasional. How can I stop temptation the rest of the time without giving it up altogether? Essentially I suppose I am asking you how can I grow some willpower? grin

leurMamie Tue 03-Jan-17 15:06:32

I know I need to reduce my sugar intake but this was made much harder when I got IBS. Sweeteners have a laxative effect (not sure about stevia but certainly don't like the taste) so they are out. All the weight loss programmes allow all sorts of desserts, as long as they are made with sweeteners. I just have to get rid of that craving! How? cupcake

Izabella Tue 03-Jan-17 16:32:36

Overheard conversation at the garden centre " my blood sugar was nearly 12 this morning, can you believe it?"

So what was on his plate? A largish piece of (admittedly delicious looking) carrot cake with topping. What chance is there when a diabetic refuses to take responsibility?

hulahoop Tue 03-Jan-17 16:46:07

I lack willpower enjoy crisps more than chocolate but I know they are still bad for me but can't give them up 🙀

mumofmadboys Wed 04-Jan-17 19:04:28

Hence the name hulahoop!!

Moocow Wed 04-Jan-17 22:27:52

I struggle when out for lunch or a catch up over coffee. Any advice on how to tackle such situations? It's easier to resist now when at the cinema even with the sweet offers they now have on offer but sat there with it tempting and everyone eating is extremely difficult.

dogsmother Mon 09-Jan-17 16:53:57

Natcas, I can so relate which is probably why I ended up in trouble and having to give sugar up before it got me!
I try to have small amounts of unrefined stuff now, like fresh fruit, I put a little maple syrup on my porridge and stuff like that.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:17:06

chelseababy

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?

Absolutely. The jury’s out on the sweeteners. Some are considered to be carcinogenic, so it’s best to research what the best sweeteners are and to get my book and CD - the CD contains hypnotic mind programming techniques. Decisions about sugar are made in the mind; the mind is like a computer and we can reprogram it using modern techniques like hypnosis. I reduced the teaspoons of sugar I consumed every day and slowly cut sugar out. It’s best to incrementally decrease the amount of sugar you consume, rather than cut sugar out altogether because your body can go into shock. If I was to make absolutely sure, use the CD. That way, you’ll still get to enjoy some sugar – if it’s your birthday, have a birthday cake. It’s not that we’re facing an epidemic...we’re in one. Of the five things that can kill you (like liver disease), sugar can cause four of them.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:19:12

pattieb

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.

If you want to give up sugar, great! It’s quite nice to have a glass of wine or dessert every now and again - that’s really the perfect way to treat sugar. ¾ of the food products you find in the supermarket will contain sugar. Knowing that sugar was deadly by this stage, companies came up with 50 different names for sugar, so it’s now hard to find out whether a product contains sugar or not, and then they stuff it in everything! Those low-fat foods you get from diet plans are stuffed with sugar. There’s no doubt that sugar tastes good, but be aware of the dangers of it. Alcohol and smoking are two popular drugs in our culture, but the world’s drug of choice is sugar.

If you get the book, it’ll state all the other names that sugar is listed under, so you can find it in supermarkets. You’re absolutely right, sugar is everywhere and is in all processed foods. I’m not saying stop – I’m saying cut down. Consumption of sugar is very high and it starts in childhood when we give children sweeties as a reward. Sugar is seen as a positive, but it should be viewed as a drug and one that you take with caution. We have an epidemic on our hands. It should be the job of the government to educate and take care of the people. I don’t believe in a sugar tax like Jamie Oliver does, as prohibition means that consumption goes up. We need to recondition people’s minds so that they think about sugar and then let them decide.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:20:21

annodomini

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?

Firstly, what a great question - thank you. The daily amount of sugar that you’re supposed to consume is no more than 30g. A normal can of cola contains 35g. I think that children tend to learn from watching what adults do rather than what they say. Telling children is not enough, so you should lead by example. The most insidious place you’ll find sugar is in the sodas and colas. Some cola companies offer diet versions or zero sugar, which means that they are at least giving people a choice and drawing people’s attention to the fact that the product doesn’t contain sugar. Labelling is important. With children don’t treat sugar as a reward – educate and lead by example. A child can use my hypnosis CD.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:21:14

Azie09

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.

Another very good question. Don’t be fooled by the nonsense of calories. This is one of those red herrings that the diet business came up with. You are right, there is sugar in wine and alcohol. If you want to reduce (I like a glass of wine in the evenings myself), get the book and CD and you’ll notice that you’ll consume less sugar. 80% of the UK drinks alcohol. 90% of that 80% don’t want to quit, but a large portion want to cut down. Use the CD to help you reduce your desire for wine and you’ll find that it happens almost automatically. It alters your perception.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:22:01

Grannyknot

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.

Use the CD and what will happen is that your partner will probably reduce his sugar intake as well. When you’re with someone, you will take on some of the same habits. If you change, they change as the dynamic in the relationship shifts. When your partner is not eating sugar, it puts pressure on you to change your lifestyle and vice versa.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:22:30

whitewave

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

I’m not a biologist, so I unfortunately don’t know the answer to that. Be careful about what you read online as there’s a lot of conflicting nonsense put up by the food and beverage industry.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:22:56

natcas24

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

Well, again, I hate to sound like I’m trying to sell a product (I’m not) as it’s taken me a long time and a lot of effort - it was a very difficult book to write – but the CD will absolutely reduce the cravings. It gives NLP techniques as well as hypnosis techniques.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:23:42

Christine1955

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.

I’d like to say thank YOU very much for sharing your heart-warming success story as it will inspire others. God bless you and thank you for taking the time to share.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:46:42

constance

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.

Yes – well, once again, if you do the techniques in the CD, your preferences will absolutely change. Most people retain some desire, but your sugar consumption will significantly reduce.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:52:59

Glosgran

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.

Don’t worry about the low-fat – it’s nonsense. Low-fat is a con perpetuated by the diet industries. The most important thing to do is to check that a product doesn’t have sugar in it. If you’re eating fruit it’s fine, and as long as you have the pulp in there it’ll help you to process the fruit much better. If you’re having orange juice, however, the fructose is processed differently and isn’t good for you. Orange juice is made up of glucose and fructose (fructose messes with your insulin and ends up becoming fat in your liver).

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 14:53:40

masha77

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?

I reckon two things – 1. If you’re starving yourself, you will end up binging. 2. Maybe you’re in a stressful job and the stress peaks at around 3pm. So you look to chocolate/something sweet to destress. If you use the CD, you’ll be able to put yourself in a different mindset.

Anya Tue 10-Jan-17 15:03:36

Why a CD? What's wrong with will power?

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 16:35:31

redandyellow

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?

I think that’s a very sensible attitude and it’s very in keeping with the ethos of this book and cd.

I’m not actually suggesting you give up sugar altogether. I enjoy an occasional glass of wine and, more rarely, a dessert. It is indeed fanatical to give it up entirely, and very difficult as it’s present in so much processed food. The book clearly outlines where sugar is and you will know what you can cut out, in a way that works realistically for you and your lifestyle. It will enable you to have an appreciation of sweet things, and in fact will enhance the pleasure you get from the occasional chocolate or glass of wine. You will even enjoy it more once you have reset your relationship with sugar.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 16:36:24

gran22

I get great pleasure from enjoying the occasional dessert and don't really want this to change. But the clue is in the word occasional. How can I stop temptation the rest of the time without giving it up altogether? Essentially I suppose I am asking you how can I grow some willpower? grin

It sounds to me as though you do have willpower if it’s occasional! What you’re asking though is how you can get more willpower, and that I can help you with.
All your decisions are made in the mind in your subconscious.

The CD with the book will re-programme your mind, so you can retain a reasonable appreciation of sweet things, but rather than feel out of control, and as though you “have to have it”, you’ll instead be able to take it or leave it.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 16:37:10

leurMamie

I know I need to reduce my sugar intake but this was made much harder when I got IBS. Sweeteners have a laxative effect (not sure about stevia but certainly don't like the taste) so they are out. All the weight loss programmes allow all sorts of desserts, as long as they are made with sweeteners. I just have to get rid of that craving! How? cupcake

Firstly, I believe you are treating the symptoms of IBS, but not the cause. Hypnosis is one of the best treatments for IBS. I recommend my book Control Stress : Stop Worrying and Feel Good Now ! or you can research to find a local hypnosis practitioner. The results are very impressive. When you feel an attack coming on, you will be able to do an auto relaxation technique and stave off the attack. I recommend you also get the Get Control of Sugar Now! book and particularly use the CD to tackle the sugar cravings, and your desire will decrease.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 16:37:42

Moocow

I struggle when out for lunch or a catch up over coffee. Any advice on how to tackle such situations? It's easier to resist now when at the cinema even with the sweet offers they now have on offer but sat there with it tempting and everyone eating is extremely difficult.

You are absolutely right that some environments make you want to drink, eat or smoke, because you are conditioned to from past behaviour. My suggestion is to use the “craving buster” technique in the book. It’s very quick, and once you are practised at doing it, you will be able to recognise that craving for what it is, and be able to take or leave it, no matter the environment you are in.

PaulMcKenna Tue 10-Jan-17 16:38:20

Thank you so much to everyone for such great questions and I wish you all the best for 2017. The book isn’t about quitting sugar, but reducing it and with a very small investment within 7 days, you will most certainly live happier and longer. It’s always a pleasure to be on Gransnet.

CariGransnet (GNHQ) Tue 10-Jan-17 16:46:21

A reminder that Paul's new book, Get Control of Sugar Now!, is published by Bantam Press priced £12.99. For more information about Paul and his work you can also go to paulmckenna.com

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