Thursday, August 19, 2021

Sugar Free Meal Planning

 Sugar Free Meal Planning

"Just tell me what to eat!"

Whenever someone says this to me, I know they are serious about changing their diet. When I say, "Diet," here I mean Way of Eating, because if they are experiencing sugar addiction, carbohydrate intolerance, and insulin resistance, long term elimination of sugars, grains, vegetable oils, and seed oils is needed for long term relief.

I wrote The Sugar Freedom Diet in order to get my sugar addiction solution out of my head and down on paper so that I could share it with anyone who is suffering from the consequences of getting hooked on sweetness.

I started using sugar and hyper-palatable carbs to soothe my fear, anxiety, boredom, frustration, and anger when I was just a child. I became overweight soon after, and I wasn't able to maintain a normal weight again until I started smoking, taking dexatrim, and drinking diet soda in my teens.

The nicotine, pseudo-ephedrine, saccharin, and aspartame had the same soothing/stimulating effect as concentrated carbohydrates, and they helped me become happy and productive. 
I am currently learning about Reward Deficiency Syndrome and how it drives affected individuals to seek out substances and behaviors that give them a feeling of well being.  RDS helps explain why I reached for legal stimulants: nicotine, caffeine, and pseudo-ephedrine, in order to function and fit in.  
Eventually, Dexatrim was taken off the market because it was found to increase the risk of stroke, and I quit smoking in order to have a healthier pregnancy.  

This when my sugar cravings went wild, and I gained 85 pounds during my pregnancy. I gained so much because I had developed impaired glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. Years after having my son, I was still obese because the method of weight loss I was given by the medical, fitness, and weight loss industries was,

"Eat Less and Move More."

Still overweight after 3 years of,"Eat Less Move More."


I was able to reach and maintain a healthy weight, shape, and body fat percentage when I learned to,

"Drop Sugar and Lift Weights," instead.

After learning to, "Drop Sugar, Lift Weights."

The meal planning system I use has evolved over the years to include new strategies for fat loss and weight maintenance.  Over the 13 years since I quit added sugar, and the 9 years since I earned my personal training and nutrition certifications, I have added eating plans that address different levels of sugar and carbohydrate intolerance.
My experience with my clients and readers led me to a new way of thinking about meal planning which I call,

"Eat For Yourself."

This means that I don't recommend any eating plan.  I share and demonstrate the eating plans that have worked for me over the past 13 years and counting.
This is why I can be honest with you about what worked, and continues to work for me when it comes to maintaining physical recovery from sugar addiction and obesity.

Here are my simple guidelines for meal planning:

"No Sugar, Grains, Vegetable Oils, or Seed Oils."

1. Protein: 1 gram per pound of ideal bodyweight

2. Carbs: Up to your personal carbohydrate tolerance. 

3. Fat: Enough to satisfy appetite. Reduce if fat/weight loss stalls. 

Poultry, Eggs, Fish, Tofu.
Vegetables that grow above the ground.

Low sugar Fruits: Berries, Melons, Apples, Oranges, Grapefruit if well tolerated.

Fat: Butter, Olive Oil, Heavy Cream, Ghee, Avocado Oil.

Other Dairy: Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, up to 2 oz. of cheese per day if well tolerated.

Condiments: Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar,  Lemon Juice, vinegar, herbs and spices.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, Liquid Stevia, Xylitol.

How many meals per day?

Level 1: 50 grams of carbohydrate per day.  3 Meals Per Day.  2 Snacks if desired.

Level 2: 30 grams max of carbohydrate per day 3 Meals Per Day. 1 or 2 snacks if well tolerated.

Level 3: 20 Grams max of carbohydrate per day= Sugar Strike/Ketogenic. 2 or 3 meals per day. May add 16/8 fasting/eating hours if helpful.

Sample of a Daily Meal Plan. 

You can find a more detailed description along with lists of proteins, carbs, and fats here: 
You can also e-mail me with questions here:
This blog post outlines my upcoming podcast episode which is available at Blog Talk Radio: 
Until next time, Be happy, healthy, and eat for yourself.

Catherine Best Gordon
Author of Sugar Freedom

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