Cutting Out Sugar Changed My Life

After cutting herself in the kitchen, Gloria Hunniford was being treated with antibiotics for blood poisoning, and a blood test revealed her blood-sugar level was running high.

Here’s her story:

Willpower comes from nowhere when there’s a medical risk. I probably would have struggled to stick to the diet, but having watched my sister Lena suffer from diabetes in her later years, I was determined not to face the same problems.

Picture: iStock.

Picture: iStock.

I had to change my diet completely. There was no bread, no rice and no pasta, and I’d even have to cut out certain fruits such as grapes, bananas and melon, which are high in sugar and carbs.

The previous year, when I’d started to cut out sugar, I’d dropped the best part of 3kg, but once I cut carbs, the weight just dropped off. Over a period of a year, I’ve lost 13kg and I now weigh 54kg (I’m 1,6m tall), and I’m lighter than I’ve been since my twenties.

The secret is to cook from scratch so you know exactly what you’re eating. So much added sugar goes into ready-made foods, either for taste or preserving. Eating out, though, is actually pretty easy, as you just order meat and vegetables, or salad.

(Read more on hidden sugar and smart food swaps here)

And if I’m out working and all that’s available is a takeaway sandwich, I’ll just eat the filling and leave the bread. Breakfast can be tricky as no one wants bacon and eggs every day, but there are low-carb, sugar-free cereals available, and I’ll allow myself a bowl of porridge once a week.

There is no value in sugar, apart from the feel-good factor. It’s only a quick-fix in terms of energy, and that’s what makes your sugar levels peak.

I’m not a goody two-shoes, so I have some treats. When you reduce sugar and carbs, you need some good fats to balance things out and keep you feeling full.

For dessert, I’m allowed to have a pile of berries with a dollop of thick cream, or a small serving of cheese, minus the biscuits. I’ll also still treat myself to the odd glass of red wine and, if I’m still really tempted, I might even have a mouthful of my husband’s dessert. Often, a tiny taste is all you need to satisfy that craving for something sweet.

Your taste buds change. Even if you used to take sugar in your tea, after a month without it, you simply wouldn’t like it any more. You’d have to force-feed me white bread now – it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

Sugar 1

There is no value in sugar, apart from the feel-good factor. It’s only a quick-fix in terms of energy, and that’s what makes your sugar levels peak.

Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra believes that having sugar leads to all metabolic diseases, strokes, diabetes – everything – and he’d argue that everyone should reduce their intake. I can only speak for myself, but I feel lighter, healthier and better all round.

Read our 9 facts on going sugar-free here.

If you want to go sugar free, but aren’t sure where to start, sign up to our #7Days #FreeFrom sugar newsletter. For one week, we’ll send you all the recipes, tips and inspiration you need. Sign up for free here.

 DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. The testimonials presented on this website are applicable to the individuals depicted only and may not be representative of the experience of others. 

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