In a world where celebrity diets usually mean one of three things — total fad, only applicable if you have a personal chef or astronomically expensive — the sugar free diet is paving the way as an A-list food obsession that's worth embracing.
Quick recap: As a nation, we consume way too much of the sweet stuff. The World Health Organisation recommends a maximum intake of 25 grams (or six teaspoons) of sugar a day. Yet, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, our daily sugar consumption sits around the 60 grams mark. That's the equivalent of 14 teaspoons of sugar. More than double the recommended allowance. Yikes.
Suddenly going sugar free — or at least cutting down our consumption of the hard stuff — seems like a smart idea. These celebrities thought so, too. From wanting to feel fitter and more energetic to dodging diabetes, adult acne and cellulite, they reveal what prompted them to ditch sugar from their diet and embrace the latest Hollywood wellness trend.
The mum-of-three has never looked better and she's got sugar (or lack thereof) to thank for it. Fed up of the false energy — and cellulite — she used to get from sugar, the reality TV star decided to eliminate it from her diet. "I always try to avoid sugar — especially refined sugar — for so many reasons,” she wrote on her website recently. "First, sugar is addictive and I notice that after I eat it, I need it. Sugar doesn’t sustain you when you actually need energy, like for a workout. Also, when I eat sugar, I find that more cellulite appears. I don’t drink soda — ever! I drink a ton of water during the day and I also drink a glass of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar twice a day (in the morning and at night)."
Ahead of her epic worldwide tour which kicked off last year, the singer enlisted the help of Australian personal trainer, Pete Geracimo, to help improve her fitness and energy levels. "I was trying to get some stamina for my tour so I lost a bit of weight. Now I can fit into normal, off-the-shelf clothes, which is really a big problem for me. It’s to get in shape for myself, not to be like a size zero or anything like that," she says. As well as an intense workout routine that included circuit training, hill sprints and burpees, Adele also made one big change to her diet, too. "I used to drink ten cups a day with two sugars in each so was on 20 sugars a day. Now I don’t drink it and have more energy than ever," she says.
The movie star and mum-of-two decided she needed to rethink her sugar intake when she couldn't get through the day without it. "That was an eye opener for me, I realised I was craving it like an addict around 4pm every day. I would crave something sweet and it hit me how much sugar we really eat," she says. These days the actress sticks to a high-alkaline diet which means tofu, nuts, fruits and veggies and nothing processed or full of refined sugars.
A diagnosis of pre-diabeties made the actor reassess his eating habits back in 2011. "I stopped eating refined sugars, desserts and sweets," he says. "I've eaten sugar in some fruit. I just try and eat berries. Candy, gum, mints, ice cream, cake, pie, that's all gone. I lost 35 pounds [15kg]," he told USA Today the year later. Not bad for a guy who once described his diet as "sugar, sugar, sugar". The funnyman is proof that it sometimes takes a serious wake-up-call to change your relationship with the sweet stuff. "They said to me that your problem is that you're pre-diabetic and you're never going to lose weight until you embrace that sugar is a toxin for you — everything changed overnight."
Last year the British model decided to ditch sugar as part of a massive diet overhaul. Seeking the advice of celebrity naturopath, Dr. Nigma Talib, Rosie cut out sugar, dairy, gluten and alcohol. "She [Dr. Nigma Talib] believes that good skin and wellbeing starts in the gut. And so she said to me, if you want to get on my plan, you have to cut out sugar, dairy, gluten and alcohol. And I'm not gonna lie, it's been brutal, it's been a really big challenge. It took a couple weeks to kind of get into it. I've been doing it now for about six weeks and I feel fantastic. It's certainly not something that would be realistic to keep up all year around, but it's made me much more mindful of my choices," she told InStyle. "I can feel it in my skin, I can feel it in my body, I feel lean right now, and I feel strong and I feel energised."
Eva Longoria Bastón
According to the actress, cutting out sugar doesn't just help her clothes fit better, it also has a positive impact on her sleep patterns, too. "I do a sugar cleanse every 30 days or so. Sugar is terrible. And everything has sugar: rice, bread, fruits, everything! It's not easy to get away from it," she told Life & Style. But, as tough as she finds going cold turkey, she's always happy with the results of a sugar free diet. "It gives you more energy and helps you sleep better. It's the most slimming; it's the diet that gives me the most results."
The actress recently confessed to ELLE that she suffers from adult acne. One of the main triggers? You guessed it. "For me, it's really refined sugar and booze. There's a doctor I work with in London who's a gastro-entomologist who's combined the beauty with actual knowledge of the gut. And sugar corresponds to certain glands in your face," she says. This means when she's working, she's on a strict sugar free diet to avoid any flare-ups. "When I'm working, I'm diligent about what I'm doing with my body. I'm not going out for a wild night. I'm not eating a rich crazy meal. If I do those things, I won't wake up early ready to work. I can't do it anymore. When I was 22, sure. At 33? I can't."
Inspired to go sugar free? Here are 5 easy things you can do to reduce your refined sugar intake:
- Download the FoodSwitch app. It suggests less-sugary alternatives when you're at the supermarket.
- Trade in soft drinks for a naturally sugar free version, such as Nexba, which just got awarded 2017 product of the year in the beverages category. Bonus: way less calories. Enter to win one of 50 a four packs of Nexba now!
- Skip the teaspoon of sugar in your hot drinks. Try honey instead if you're still craving something sweet.
- Start the day right and switch sugar-filled brekkie cereals for something savoury like corn fritters or eggs with avo.
- Swap chocolate bars for fresh fruit. You'll still get a sweet hit, but they'll be no refined sugar in sight.
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