How to change your life, one teaspoon at a time

Every year my resolution was to lose weight and every year ended the same, a little bit heavier. But the end of 2014 was different. What changed?

New Year, New You.

For years that was me.

Every year my resolution was about losing weight and every year ended the same, a little bit heavier. But the end of 2014 was different. This time I ended the year around 10kg lighter than I started the year. What changed?

I discovered that sugar was in pretty much everything I ate. My low-fat foods – fruit (apparently, I can’t eat as much fruit as I like without it having an impact on my weight. Who knew? Not me!), morning muesli, sweet and sour sauces, low-fat milk, low-fat yoghurt – were all loaded in sugar. Once I began recognizing where the sugar hid, I was able to make changes. I began eating more protein, more fat, and less sugar and carbohydrates. Now I am a firm believer you should eat all food groups, never leave one group out, just eat more of some food groups and less of others.

Once I began reducing my sugar, it didn’t take long before I noticed I had lost that “sugar bloat”. I began to feel alive but most surprisingly I began to lose weight. I didn’t really believe I would lose much so when I went from a size 16 down to a size 14 I purchased a new wardrobe to celebrate. I carried on with my new way of eating and to my amazement, the weight kept coming off. Every new size I reached (12 then 10) I bought a new wardrobe, convinced this was my new size, but easily I became size 8 where both I and my wardrobe remain to this day.

My new year’s resolution is no longer to lose weight, but to help others achieve their new year’s resolution.

What’s the one food that really surprised with when you learned its sugar content?

My favourite sweet and sour sauce has 23 teaspoons of sugar in it!  I would also throw in a can of pineapple so add another 14 teaspoons of sugar and that’s a dish with 37 teaspoons of sugar.  Let’s not forget about the plate full of rice to go with it.  The kids would get one quarter of the saucy mix and my husband and I would split the other three quarters.  Divine!  Until the sugar bloat hit and the feeling of “I can’t get off the couch” and the confusion the next day wondering why I was a kilo heavier than the day before, after my healthy sweet and sour delight!  When I realised how much sugar was in this meal I was sad, but now I have new healthier favourites.

What’s your number 1 tip for eating out while adopting a low sugar life?

Ask for sauces and dressings on the side.  I want to be able to choose how much of a sauce (if any) I want to consume.  I also choose meals that have the meat in its natural form, i.e. fish baked or pan fried just not battered, steak, or chicken. I avoid hot pots or saucy meals like sweet and sour etc.  I also ask for an extra-large salad: I’d rather miss out on fries or pinch some from someone else’s plate.  Fries and potatoes are often the cheapest part of a meal and the most filling so I either avoid them or eat them last if I’m still hungry.


Words: Amanda Tiffen


A Life Less Sugar by Amanda Tiffen is available now!

A Life Less Sugar Cover

How many teaspoons of sugar do you consume a day? Amanda Tiffen went from 30 teaspoons of sugar per day (unknowingly) to 6 teaspoons of sugar per day and in doing so lost an astonishing 20 KG. After years of dieting and fighting to control her weight, Amanda easily went from a size 16 to a size 8 in 9 months.

A Life Less Sugar is the inspiring story of how an ordinary and busy working mum used information from a documentary she had seen on TV and turned that information into her reality. She lost 20KG by reducing her sugar consumption, teaspoon by teaspoon, and then wrote a runaway bestseller about how she did it.

Enlisting the help of good friend Leigh Brown who is an amazing cook (something Amanda is not!) to create some low sugar, low carbohydrate delicious dishes. The recipes are easy to follow with nothing complicated.

Part memoir, part diet and recipe book A Life Less Sugar will help you to reduce the high sugar content in some of the most common foods that Amanda found in her (and maybe your) pantry.


Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Posted on January 23, 2018 by

This entry was posted in Health & Personal Development, Inspiring and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

"How to change your life, one teaspoon at a time"

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