If you’ve decided to do the Candida Diet, well done! Now all you have to do is stick to it.
Don’t worry – it’s not as hard as it sounds. But it can be a dramatic change to your diet and lifestyle.
The main thing to remember is WHY you’re doing the Candida diet. You want to make positive, healthy changes so that you can feel good again. The result will be worth it.
There are a few key points that you need to focus on during your regime. Whether you are searching for tasty recipes or feeling the effects of Die-Off, just remember how good you’ll feel when you’ve got your health back. This will help you refocus on what’s important.
1. Keep Your Goals Realistic
When you start the Candida Diet, you may feel overwhelmed by the changes in your dietary habits. That’s okay – everyone worries about how they’ll cope with less caffeine and fewer sugary snacks!
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You can help reduce the intensity of the diet by easing into it gradually. You don’t necessarily have to quit your favorite treats cold turkey. That’s why some Candida dieters find it better to slowly change their diet for a few weeks before fully adopting the Candida diet protocols.
This is especially recommended if your current diet is very different from the Candida diet, or if you’re addicted to sweets and junk food.
If you really think you can’t go without your afternoon chocolate bar – don’t. At least, not right away! Instead, give up one vice at time. This helps you adjust to the restrictions slowly without having to suffer through cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and feelings of deprivation. When you getting used to living without all of your treats, you can fully embrace the Candida Diet.
2. Dealing With Cravings
One of the sneakiest things about intestinal Candida overgrowth is the way that it makes you crave sugar. But you’ll be surprised at how quickly your taste buds adjust when you cut sugar out!
Psychologists have suggested that sugar cravings can be satiated by enjoyable, fun experiences. So, fill that void by creating some special time for yourself. Do the things you love doing – shopping, watching a movie, going out with friends, or learning how to make new Candida-friendly recipes! You could even try a new hobby like pilates or photography.
Whatever you do, make it something that takes your mind off needing to snack and helps you feel more balanced and fulfilled.
3. Try The Anti-Sugar Herb
Thought you couldn’t resist the taste of sugar? Wait until you try Gymnema sylvestre. This little herb is known as the ‘anti-sugar’ herb in ayurvedic medicine because it desensitizes your taste buds to sweet things. What that means is it makes candy and chocolate taste … like nothing. A great way to put you off eating them!
Gymnema has other health benefits that can keep you on track with your Candida diet. It helps to balance your blood sugar levels, which can also reduce your cravings. It also helps regenerate beta cells in your pancreas. Beta cells have the job of secreting the insulin that takes up sugar into the cells for energy. At the same time, gymnema can help make your cells more sensitive to insulin, so you won’t need as much to satisfy a craving. (1)
Try taking a few drops on your tongue before a meal and you’ll find you’re less desperate for a sweet treat afterwards. This effect usually lasts about three hours.
4. Remember Why You’re Doing The Candida Diet
Sometimes, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about a restrictive eating plan. When your motivation levels are flagging, you need to remind yourself exactly why you’re doing the diet.
One way to keep yourself motivated is to write down your reasons for wanting to tackle your Candida.
It could be that you want to feel better and have more energy each day, or to be more productive at work. You might want to overcome your constant digestive problems, or to be free of those yeast infections. You might even want to run a marathon!
Whatever it is, write down your goals on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge. That way, you’ll see it whenever you’re tempted to sneak a snack!
Remember – if you do succumb to temptation occasionally, don’t beat yourself up. You’re only human, after all! A few slip-ups won’t ruin all your good work. Just get back on track as soon as you can and continue as normal.
As you progress through the weeks, you’ll find your health improving – so it’ll be even easier to stick to your diet. Motivation will come naturally once you start seeing what your willpower can achieve.
5. Discover Other Treats
Do you know how delicious low-sugar, gluten-free treats can be? For example, something as simple as unsweetened nut butter is right up there with some of the most amazing foods on earth. It’s also great for keeping your blood sugar stable. It’s so rich that just a spoonful or two will satisfy your longing for dessert.
Keep a jar of nut butter on your desk at work, or in your bag. Having it on hand will help you get through those nasty cravings throughout the day while also supplying some healthy fats and protein! And best of all, you’ll be keeping your blood sugar steady and reducing the chance of any crashes.
The combination of protein and fat has other benefits, too – like keeping your brain functioning properly and your skin healthy.
6. Re-train Your Taste Buds
It’s possible to train yourself to prefer healthy foods to sweet foods. This will go a long way in helping you overcome those sugar temptations!
Start by eating plain, unflavored Greek yogurt as often as possible. It’s a great snack and you can add Candida diet-friendly foods to it such as nuts and berries.
You can also begin introducing more sour and ‘umami’ flavors into your diet. Familiarise your palate with the tastes of gut-healthy foods such as leafy greens, sauerkraut, and pickles. (Sauerkraut is also a fantastic source of probiotic bacteria, which will help balance your gut microbiome!)
As you progress, you can add more bitter greens to your main meals, such as watercress, dandelion greens and bitter melon. These greens are a powerful source of nutrients and their bitterness will stimulate your digestive system, helping you to break down food more efficiently. Even better, a few weeks of exposure to bitter foods will help to ‘reset’ your taste buds, which should mean you’re craving sugar less.
7. Find Alternatives To Your Favorite Foods
Missing your Friday night takeout? All you need to do is experiment!
Examine the list of foods that are ‘allowed’ on the Candida diet and consider how you can use them as substitutes in your favorite dishes. You may find that you can still eat variations of your beloved dishes simply by swapping out some of the ingredients.
Take the dishes you’re used to and break them down into their main ingredients. You can then check your Candida foods list for alternatives to those ingredients. For example, if you love spaghetti bolognaise, why not replace the pasta with zucchini noodles?
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And if you really can’t go without sweet treats, embrace the world of natural sweeteners! Monk fruit extract and stevia are natural sweeteners that contain zero sugar but effectively satisfy sugar cravings.
Stevia leaf extract can be up to 250-300 times sweeter than table sugar, which makes it a high-intensity sweetener. You only need a very small amount! Low-carb sweeteners like xylitol, monk fruit extract, erythritol, and stevia can be used in baking, beverages and other treats.
8. Find A Friend
If the Candida Diet seems too tough to manage on your own, find a friend! It’s highly likely that you’ll find someone in your circle of friends who is on the Candida diet or another low-sugar diet like Keto. So, why not go pair up and do some meal planning together?
Having a buddy on a similar diet plan is a huge motivation booster. You can keep each other accountable and share your thoughts (and grievances!) as you progress. You’ll also be more likely to stay on track, because a slip-up will let your friend down, too. And if either of you do slip up, you can comfort one another – and get back on track.
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If you’re looking for a more comprehensive Candida treatment plan, check out the Ultimate Candida Diet program, written by Lisa Richards and Dr Eric Wood. This plan is based on the latest research into Candida Related Complex, and contains everything you need to know to beat your Candida overgrowth.