Mentor Me Off Sugar is a 28-day course designed by Laura Thomas (pictured below), the health, diet and fitness coach behind the website Happysugarhabits.com. “This is a highly personalised coaching programme where I get you back in control,” Laura promises. “You learn everything you need to know, reduce your cravings, stop needing sugar in your life and you truly embrace some long term change.”
So why would one want to cut out the sweet stuff? Laura has a hugely informative page on the website explaining why we shouldn’t be eating so much sugar (you can read the whole thing here). Essentially, it’s bad firstly because excess energy from sugar causes you to put on weight, which has a whole set of other consequences of course, but even if you don’t put on weight, too much sugar can lead to liver problems and diabetes. Not to mention the psychological effects: we’re all familiar with the sugar rush a donut or piece of carrot cake causes, following by a lethargic slump and then cravings for another sugar hit.
I’m well aware of this and have been trying to cut down my sugar intake for a while, which is why I ended up having a (good-natured) argument with my friend Roxane recently about whether you need to put sugar in peppermint tea. When I heard about Mentor Me Off Sugar, I thought self-confessed sweet tooth Roxane would be the perfect guinea pig for the course, and she was really up for it too.
So how does it work? Essentially, it’s a four-week sugar detox, intended to get into what Laura calls a ‘safe zone’ of sugar consumption. “Only when you’re clearly off the hook and securely in the ‘safe zone’ can you trust yourself to moderate from a new sugar baseline,” she explains. To begin with, she provides lots of reading materials, some of it explaining the science behind sugar in layman’s terms and some of it motivational. She sets out what you can and can’t eat over the four weeks (there’s no fruit allowed for two weeks, for instance) along with lots of recipe ideas, then you set up weekly Skype sessions where the real mentoring takes place. Laura uses the results of a ‘self discovery questionnaire’ as the basis for the mentoring sessions, to pinpoint the problem areas in your diet and lifestyle.
Roxane has just started the course, so I’ll be catching up with her next week, and then again at the end of the programme. Check back next Monday for the first interview to see how she’s getting on.
Find out more about Mentor Me Off Sugar at www.happysugarhabits.com