By Kristina Cadwell
Founder, Vibrant Skin Bar & Vibrant Vitality Clinic
Lose weight, support a healthy immune system and create glowing healthy skin from within: These are the results of the best anti-aging diet to consider for the New Year. It begins with no sugar.
Something we advise all our clients, especially coming off the holidays, is to focus on a diet that is low in sugar. Sugar breaks down collagen, reduces our white blood cells’ ability to fight off harmful viruses and bacteria, and encourages unhealthy yeast overgrowth in the gut. If you think about a banana, the banana with brown, spotted, wrinkly skin has the highest sugar content, and this same glycation reaction occurs in our bodies when we consume excess sugar.
Successfully transitioning to a low-sugar diet is not easy, so I always begin with a 14-day no sugar challenge to quickly start seeing results. This 14-day window will reduce wrinkles, lighten brown spots, increase your healing capacity, reset taste buds, and reduce cravings so you can easily make a low-sugar diet a lifestyle.
Here are 10 of my favorite tips and tricks for success:
Track everything you consume on an app, such as MyFitnessPal, or in a food journal. When we write down everything that we plan to eat, we think twice before consuming it.
Find a friend
When we have a partner embarking on the same journey, we are more likely to stick with it. A no-sugar diet usually requires us to eat or prepare our food at home so cooking and food prepping with a friend or family member will make your 14-day journey more pleasant.
Start each day with 16 ounces
of warm lemon water
Thirst can present as hunger, and when we are dehydrated, we may reach for food when we really need water. Your goal should be half your body weight in ounces daily.
Thirty minutes of morning exercise will stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day, release feel-good hormones and set the theme for your choices. You will make better food choices without even thinking about it when you exercise in the morning.
Skip the morning fruit juice and enjoy a glass of celery juice
Celery juice will make your skin glow, suppress food cravings and support your liver.
Sugar, creamer, artificial sugars and flavoring will make you crave more sugar throughout the day. Skip the mocha frappuccino and soda and instead enjoy one cup of black coffee, an espresso shot or a cup of green tea.
Keep ready-to-eat celery sticks and cucumbers in your fridge. If you need something to snack on—you will be prepared.
Know your levels
An annual physical and blood test with your PCP will make sure your thyroid and sex hormones are balanced, your vitamin D levels are adequate, and your blood sugar stays within normal limits. A food-sensitivity blood test can also tell you which foods to take out of your diet to reduce inflammation in your gut so you feel great and have less cravings.
Finish eating by 7 p.m. and consume your daily meals within a 12-hour window
If you have breakfast at 6 a.m., make sure you are finished with dinner by 6 p.m. This rest period gives your GI tract the opportunity to digest all food and allow your body to focus on healthy hormone production and cellular repair while you sleep.
Bedtime herbal tea ritual
A nice cup of warm herbal tea before bed sets the mood and tells your body it is time to rest. Always try to be in bed by 10 p.m. When we get adequate rest, we reduce cortisol levels in our blood and make healthier choices.
Always consult with your health care professional before starting a new diet or exercise program. This diet is not recommended for patients with abnormal blood sugar levels.