The British actress discusses her most recent health kick
I recently made the decision to cut out all refined sugar from my diet. I was encouraged to do so by a friend of mine – she was quite full-figured and after being diagnosed as borderline diabetic was advised by her doctor to eliminate the white stuff from her daily meals and snacks. As well as noticing major health benefits, she also dropped a ton of weight and seemed to do it quite seamlessly.
You might think it would be quite easy to cut out refined sugar from your diet, but when I began to look at all the foods I usually eat, I realised that sugar is in practically everything – even things that you don’t expect it to be in like sandwiches. It’s really quite scary when you start to pay attention to the ingredients on processed food – the truth is that a huge number of people are eating a lot of sugar without even noticing.
I decided to go as cold turkey as possible to begin with – even cutting out alcohol alongside my chocolate bar treats – and it’s no exaggeration to say the first two weeks were hell. I had headaches, my mood was all over the place, my energy levels were low and I couldn’t sleep. To see how it affected me so drastically really scared me, and the cravings were debilitating. I’ve read articles which describe giving up sugar as being harder than quitting smoking. During those first two weeks, I could really believe that.
Now that I’m over that though, I feel brilliant. I changed my eating habits about three months ago now and not only have I lost weight, but I feel reinvigorated mentally and physically. My digestive system and metabolism seem to be functioning so much better and I’ve really noticed that my energy levels have improved.
My palate has also changed completely and I have no sweet cravings now. I might treat myself at the weekend to a glass of rose or even a small bite of chocolate but that’s all I can manage as I find the sweetness of some foods so overbearing. I’ve become hypersensitive to sugar and I find the taste really noticeable.
Of course, there is still some sugar in what I eat but I try to be sensible. I’ve cut out processed food from my diet as much as possible and while I do eat fruit, I moderate my portions and try to only eat those in season. I don’t feel cheated – and I don’t feel deprived. You really don’t need refined sugar in something for it to be delicious.
If you’re looking to start reducing your sugar intake, I’d advise that you drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated and your energy levels up. I went to a health food store and asked for a balancing tea too – I found my hands were shaking and I needed something to help my energy and inner qi. I drink chamomile tea at night, and love dandelion tea. I also find green tea is useful for giving me a boost.
If you feel as though you can’t quite cut out your sweet treats just yet, try freezing grapes and snacking on them – they give you a great hit of sweetness, but contain only natural sugars.
Patsy’s beauty range, Preciously Perfect, is available from Ideal World (idealworld.tv/search/Preciously-perfect-by-patsy-kensit) or on Sky 654, Freeview 22, Virgin 747 or Freesat 812.
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