At the weekend I did a little sugar roller-coaster experiment, we were driving and I didn't want to be stuck in traffic without treats so I got some fruit chews, smarties and fruit pastels. I very rarely snack on things like this. I knew exactly how I would feel after eating lots of processed sugar but sometimes you just fancy a bit and also I knew I wanted to talk about it soon.
New mums can find themselves constantly on a sugar roller coaster. This is unsurprising with the lack of sleep, lack of energy and lack of time that comes with taking care of a new life. All your focus and time is on your little one and your own health often comes last, but please try and remember that your healthy and happy baby needs a healthy and happy mum.
There are lots of foods that cause the roller coaster feeling, e.g. cereals, cakes, cookies, ice-cream and other processed snacks even some of the "healthy" cereal bars have added sugar in. They are the ones that always seem to be at hand when energy is low.
So, back to the car journey, after eating 2 packs of smarties and the big bag of fruit pastels I felt great for around 40 minutes and then I crashed! (Mentally not literally). I was a passenger so I took a 30 minute nap and then when I woke up all I wanted was more sugar because I felt like crap and had a headache. Sounds quite severe for a few sweets but my body just isn't used to this kind of "fuel". So as the day went on the roller coaster continued and by the end of the day i'd probably consumed more sugar that day than I had the past 4 days. Not only did I feel tired and a bit moody at times but I consumed well over my regular calorie intake and my liver would have been working over-time trying to process all the sugar. So if you are trying to also heal your body and lose body-fat at the moment, this isn't the way to go!
So how can we change our habits???
I started to change my eating habits around 4 years ago, I started small by drinking more water, reducing white starchy carbs and replacing them with wholemeal and whole-grains and reducing as much processed sugar as possible. I didn't try to "diet" by cutting out food groups but just made better choices and month by month tried to improve a little further. I've always allowed treats and food that I like (I always have and always will love a Mc Donalds) I honestly think this is the best way to do it because when we deny ourselves something we just want it even more. I have developed recipes over the years so that my meals and snacks are tasty as well as nutritious.
By making small healthy changes to your food throughout the day you will be able to ditch the sugary snack roller-coaster to feel full of energy, healthier and happier.
Top Tips for Small Changes
- Start your day with a healthy breakfast - this will set your day up right, if you start with sugar then it's all you are going to crave through the day. A simple easy breakfast like a Wholemeal Toast, Scrambled Eggs and a side salad would be perfect.
- Cut sugar and refined carbs – white bread, pasta, candy – these are the worst!
- Cut sugary drinks, switch for water with sugar-free juice
- Snack on fruits and berries to feed nutrients into your healing body and get a natural sugar lift.
- Enjoy natural foods like veggies, protein, whole grains, fruits and fats. These will give a slow release of energy so you won't be hit by tiredness or lack of energy.
- Eat protein with each meal to repair your postnatal body (think eggs, chicken, salmon, pulses and chickpeas
- Add healthy fats to your meal, avocado's in salads or on your breakfast toast with eggs is so nice!
- Make a batch of healthy snacks that can be stored in the fridge and taken out when needed.
- Always have dark chocolate in the fridge - fantastic for the hormone related cravings!
- Get some natural energy with light exercise, even though you are tired and it might not feel like you have any spare energy to exercise, I promise you will feel fantastic after getting your body moving the right way. Why not join us for our fantastic new Buggy Fitness sessions? You will feel happy, stress-free and full of energy after being out in the fresh air with baby.
We have lots of FREE RECIPES to help you with your healthy eating. Do it in stages like I did and progress over time for new life habits that will stick.