Healthy Eating Sugar Free Challenge - Healthy Eating

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Healthy Eating Sugar Free Challenge

Cooper27 profile image

Thanks everyone for your votes on the poll, it's great to see so many people are up for this :)

Given the 17th and 24th have been pretty much neck and neck all day, I've decided to run two challenges - the first will start on the 17th and then we'l start over again in the 24th (and if you want, you can do both).

I know many buy their shopping on weekends, so thought I'd do a pre-weekend post to encourage you to plan out your meals for next week in advance, including snacks. I'd like you to shape this challenge around the foods you know you like rather than me coming out with a meal plan for you.

Things to avoid:

-Sugar and sugar alternatives (usually an ingredient that ends with "ose", e.g. dextrose, fructose, glucose)

-Artificial sweeteners

-Fruit juice

-Dried fruit

Things to consider:

Try to limit fruit to no more than 2 portions (1 or 0 preferably)

Include a healthy breakfast

Make sure to allow some healthier snack choices (i.e. nuts, yoghurt, olives)

Aim for plenty of veg and whole foods (processed foods are more likely to contain sugar)

Watch out for sugar in unexpected places: spice mixes, tortilla wraps, cold meats

Good luck everyone!

24 Replies
Cooper27 profile image

I'll do a daily post from Sunday to share tips, support, questions and photos of your meals. Would be great if people could share some of their favourite recipes there!

Jerry profile image

This is a really great initiative Cooper27 and I’ll join in as I eat very little sugar.

Now the only stumbling block for me is home baked bread where I use a tea spoon of sugar to make a large loaf but I can bake some with fruit juice as that’s natural fructose.

I think the secret is to avoid as much processed foods as possible as sugar and salt are in so many foods.

I look forward to the challenge so well done and thanks for organising it. 🌈😊

PhilFreeToAsk profile image
PhilFreeToAsk in reply to Jerry

I use Scottish Heather Honey to start my yeast for bread. Maybe that is allowed for you? Strong natural honey is better than sugar as it can impart some flavour into the bread.

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to PhilFreeToAsk

Hey thanks PhilFreeToAsk as I love honey and buy local honey so that’s that sorted. 👍

Zendaya profile image
Zendaya in reply to Jerry

I am lucky enough to have a bread maker and I used dried yeast which doesn't need a starter. I don't add any sugar and just use stoneground wholemeal flour and butter. It makes a great loaf 👍

Jerry profile image
JerryAdministrator in reply to Zendaya

Hello Zendaya this is a great tip so thank you I'll have to try it. 👍😊

Great! Thank you. Half looking forward to it, half dreading it 😆, but will have a darn good go.

Will do both weeks. The first as a practise run. Perhaps cutting right down, ready to cut out the second week.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to BlueMole

That sounds fine :)

I keep finding products that have tiny amounts of incidental sugar in my cupboard (like spice mixes), I'm not going to worry too much, because the amount would be a fraction of a teaspoon!

Zendaya profile image
Zendaya in reply to Cooper27

Before lockdown I spent some time in the supermarket looking at various food labels and it is shocking how many food types ( such as mustard and spice mixes) has added sugar. Okay, it may be a small amount but it is completely unnecessary. It is also shocking how much sugar is added to toddler food. Being cynical, as sugar can be addictive, it may be added to these foods simply to make us eat more of them.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to Zendaya

Oh I know! It frustrates me how many products contain sugar. In some cases it's just there in small quantities as a preservative, but often it's just because food companies can't imagine their product would be palatable without sugar.

I have to check labels for gluten, I've found that makes me slightly less likely to notice sugar on an ingredient label though


BlueMole profile image
BlueMole in reply to Cooper27

I intend to be mindful, not seeking perfection but, a massive improvement 🤞

Fran182716 profile image

I’d like to join in, I don’t eat a lot of added sugar but this last year I have had more than I should. I know from past experience that if I cut it out the desire for it soon goes away. I’ll keep having my fruit as it’s usually berries once a day and a couple of grapefruits over the week but won’t have any extras. Did the weekly shop yesterday evening and didn’t buy my beloved dark chocolate - that can come back in a few weeks when 2 squares will satisfy me again ! Good luck to everyone starting tomorrow, and thanks to Cooper27 for organising this.😀

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to Fran182716

I'm on special orders to eat a portion of berries every day, for the phytonutrients, so I won't hold it against you ;)

Great post Cooper, really helpful, breakfast is a conundrum, I’ve just stopped eating a breakfast to give myself a 17hr fast and I feel so much better, I’m quite slim and need more at lunchtime craving a pudding!

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to zube-UK

There are no hard and fast rules here! If you find fasting works for you, them keep doing it :)

My point on breakfast is aimed at those who eat breakfast or who would benefit from eating breakfast to stop them reaching for sweets at 11am (which is what I used to do)

I see now, does it work for you Cooper? Maybe if I add more oils/nuts to my midday meal then it would help stop my mid afternoon dip where I reach for crisps or cheese.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to zube-UK

Always worth experimenting :) I find adding a TSP of coconut or avocado oil to my breakfast, means I'm not hungry for several hours.

zube-UK profile image
zube-UK in reply to Cooper27

Thanks Cooper, that’s easy enough to do, Ill try those. 🥣🙂

So happy to read your thoughts on sugar free. I try my best daily to stick to this form of eating ,but, having someone else’s thoughts is great.

Hi, this is an interesting kind of view. Did you manage to cut out all of those products? Don't you use any kind of sweeteners with your outmeal?

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to JFC89

Yes, I managed without for the week :) I generally limit most of them anyway, except for dried fruit (which I eat a couple times a week).

I don't tend to sweeten oatmeal - the traditional way of cooking porridge is to add a pinch of salt, which brings out the natural sweetness of the oats. Definitely recommend trying it!

Impossible! I beg out! 😄 I don't eat any of those things regularly but I can't give up my occasional ice cream. Not my afternoon smoothie.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27Administrator in reply to Blueruth

That's ok Blueruth, the challenge ended 3 months ago anyway :) it was only a one week reset anyway, to help people reduce their sweet tooth.

Blueruth profile image
Blueruth in reply to Cooper27

Ha! I didn't even notice 😂

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