What is the Sugar Free Diet?

Sugar Free Diet

by Abi Hooper |
Updated on

We all know that sugar is bad for us (SOB), but did you realise how your body benefits from ditching it out of your diet?

Find out everything you need to know about cutting sugar from your diet.

Why should I cut out sugar from my diet?

Sugar spikes your insulin levels (fat storage hormone), which makes you put on weight – particularly around the face and belly, and makes you bloated.

It also suppresses your immune system and can cause mood swings and potentially diabetes.

Sugar also speeds up the aging process, encouraging wrinkles. Shockingly, studies show it can be more addictive than cocaine. Eek.

Is the Sugar Free Diet right for me?

  • Do you get an energy slump in the afternoon?

  • Do you need something sweet after lunch or dinner?

  • Does your stomach get bloated after eating?

  • Are you unable to eat just one piece of cake and walk away?

  • Do you often feel unclear? That you’re not always sharp and on-form?

  • Do you want to lose weight?

  • Do you have an autoimmune issue and wonder if quitting sugar might make difference?

If you're answered yes to a few or more of these questions, the Sugar Free Diet might make a massive difference to your health and performance.

Check out these celebrity body transformations


CLOSER Celebrity weight transformations - slider

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Spencer Matthews, 2011

Spencer Matthews was known as a typical playboy when he first shot to fame on Made in Chelsea. He actually toldCloser Online lots of juicy behind the scenes secrets about the reality show.

spencer matthews weight loss journey2 of 74
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Spencer Matthews, 2019

Fast forward several years and he dropped a tonne of weight and it's reportedly down to his strict diet and ditching the booze.

stevi ritchie weight loss journey3 of 74
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Stevi Ritchie, 2014

Stevi Ritchie shot to fame on The X Factor back in 2014 and after getting engaged to his wife Chloe Jasmine Whichello, they both went on Celebrity Big Brother.

stevi ritchie weight loss journey4 of 74
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Stevi Ritchie, 2019

Stevi shocked fans when he revealed he lost a whopping 20kg - just over 3 stone - in just eight weeks. He also opened up about how emotional his transformation has been.

Scarlett Moffatt5 of 74
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Scarlett Moffatt, 2015

Gogglebox favourite Scarlett Moffatt was well-loved for her bubbly personality, but had issues with her weight.

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Scarlett Moffatt, 2016

A year later, Scarlett underwent a huge weight loss - dropping from a size 18 to an 8. Read all about it here.

Kelly Brook7 of 74
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Kelly Brook, 2010

Model and presenter Kelly Brook has always had perfect hour glass curves, but she shrunk to a size 8 in 2010 when she became the face of Ultimo and appeared in American Playboy magazine.

Kelly Brook8 of 74
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Kelly Brook, 2018

Approaching her 40s as a happy and healthy size 12, Kelly has spoken about how she's just not bothered about staying a size 8 anymore. But she recently shared how putting weight on her famous big boobs might be causing a bit of a health issue.

Paddy McGuinness before9 of 74
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Paddy McGuinness 2011

We've always had a soft spot for Take Me Out presenter Paddy McGuinness. But recently...

Paddy McGuinness, 201910 of 74
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Paddy McGuinness, 2019

He has been hitting the gym HARD and boy do the results look good!.

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Tina Malone, 2014

Shameless star and Celebrity Big Brother big mouth Tina Malone was a size 26 when she left the BB house in 2014.

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Tina Malone, 2017

But what a difference a gastric band makes. Tina lost a whopping 12.5 stone after an operation to reduce the volume of her stomach.

Gary Barlow13 of 74
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Gary Barlow, 1996

The Take That frontman shared this photo in February 2018 to remind himself how far he's come in his weight loss journey. Gary went up to around 16st after Take That split in 1996.

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Gary Barlow, 2017

These days, Gary eats healthily and takes part in yoga every week. He now weighs less than 12st.

Josie Gibson15 of 74
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Josie Gibson, 2010

When Josie won Big Brother in 2010, she was a size 20 dress size and reportedly weighed 16st 17lb.

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Josie Gibson, 2012

Josie famously went through a huge weight loss transformation in 2012, dropping to a size 8 and reportedly weighing 10st 2lb.

Mariah Carey17 of 74
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Mariah Carey, 2017

Mariah Carey stepped out in August 2017 with her boyfriend Brian Tanaka in New York.

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Mariah Carey, 2017

Just three months later in October, she looked dramatically different - and was reported to have undergone liposuction.

Lisa Riley19 of 74

Lisa Riley, 2012

Emmerdale actress Lisa Riley was known for her size 28 frame, but fans were pleasantly surprised by her sprightliness whilst on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.

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Lisa Riley, 2018

Lisa went under a huge lifestyle overhaul, losing a whopping 12 stone and dropping from a size 28 to a 12 before having her excess skin removed in 2017.

Dawn French21 of 74
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Dawn French, 2005

Everyone's favourite comedienne Dawn French previously weighed around 19st.

Dawn French22 of 74
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Dawn French, 2018

But in 2016, Dawn lost an incredible seven and a half stone - here's how she did it.

Katie Hopkins23 of 74
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Katie Hopkins, 2014

Controversial Katie Hopkins was a regular runner who gained a whopping 3st 5lb in just three months and weighed 12st. But Katie has always said there are 'no excuses' for people being overweight - so what happened?!

Katie Hopkins24 of 74
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Katie Hopkins, 2015

It turned out Katie's rapid weight gain was for a documentary to prove how easy it is for her to lose weight - which she did in just a few months. But we can't help but think it was all a bit of a, errr, pointless exercise?

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Tom Kerridge, 2013

TV chef Tom Kerridge weighed a dangerous 30st which he says was due to a lifestyle of late night drinking and overeating.

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Tom Kerridge, 2016

After a complete lifestyle overhaul, Tom shredded a staggering 12st - which is basically the same weight as another grown adult. Impressive work, Tom!

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Brooke Vincent, 2017

Corrie actress Brooke Vincent was already a petite size 10 but she wanted to give up smoking and get fit for Dancing on Ice.

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Brooke Vincent, 2017

And she did it! Brooke lost a dress size and showed off her seriously toned tum on Instagram. She also managed to kick her smoking habit. Yay!

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Holly Willoughby, 2015

Morning TV star Holly Willoughby has always had enviable curves and was a size 12 up until recently.

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Holly Willoughby, 2017

She looked noticeably slimmer in 2017 when Loose Women star Nadia Sawalha commented on it accidentally on live TV. Holly's secret to staying in shape is said to be a healthy lifestyle of pilates, kickboxing and a high vegetable diet.

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Lauren Goodger, 2017

Former TOWIE star Lauren Goodger has always battled with her yo-yo weight.

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Lauren Goodger, 2018

Following a tough 21 day juice cleanse at a retreat earlier this year, Lauren lost 1.4st.

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Khloe Kardashian, 2012

khloe owns the kind of curves that can only belong to a Kardashian! She is the tallest sister in the fam at 5ft 9in and she reportedly weighed just over 11st in 2012.

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CREDIT: Instagram/ Khloe Kardashian

Khloe Kardashian, 2017

Fast forward five years and Khloe shredded 30 pounds through a strict exercise regime and diet. She has spoken about how her split from Lamar Odom triggered her decision to hit the gym.

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Jennifer Hudson, 2007

Singing sensation and The Voice judge Jennifer Hudson was a size 16 when she first came to our attention as the American Idol winner in 2007.

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Jennifer Hudson, 2018

As her career grew her body shrunk after joining Weight Watchers and taking control of her diet. Jennifer dropped five dress sizes and today is a size 6.

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Christina Aguilera, 2012

In 2012 Xtina's womanly curves weighed 10 stone 7lb on her 5ft 1 frame and she wore a size 16.

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Christina Aguilera, 2016

The pop megastar dropped two stones by 2016 thanks to cutting out bad foods and being very strict with booze. But we're glad to see she's still rocking those curves!

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Cheryl, 2015

Nation's sweetheart Cheryl Tweedy has always been super slim but she sparked concerns with her fragile frame during X Factor filming in 2015.

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Cheryl, 2018

Cheryl quickly lost the pregnancy weight after giving birth to baby Bear in 2017. She was looking slim but strong at the Brit Awards 2018.

Melissa McCarthy41 of 74
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Melissa McCarthy, 2014

The hilarious Melissa McCarthy weighed just under 19st in 2014 after her brilliant performance in Bridesmaids.

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Melissa McCarthy, 2017

5ft 2 Melissa lost an amazing 75 pounds through a very strict diet and exercise regime. She looks happier (and even more amazing!) than ever.

Rebel Wilson before43 of 74
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Rebel Wilson, 2010

Actress Rebel Wilson defied the typical Hollywood body when she starred in Bridesmaids with fellow actress Melinda McCarthey.

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Rebel Wilson, 2017

In 2016 Rebel looked great after losing eight pounds at a fitness retreat in Malibu. By 2017 she'd lost an incredible 33 pounds!

Jonah Hill after45 of 74
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Jonah Hill, 2007

Jonah Hill has always been the 'cuddly' character in films like Knocked Up, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 21 Jump Street.

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Jonah Hill, 2018

What a difference a year makes! He said he lost the weight and toned up by cutting out beer, seeking a nutritionist and getting tips from 21 Jump Street co-star Channing Tatum.

Chris Pratt before47 of 74
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Chris Pratt, 2010

Chris Pratt has always been a total cutie...

Chris Pratt after48 of 74
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Chris Pratt, 2018

But he transformed into an absolute hunk after losing 60 pounds and training for Guardians of the Galaxy.

Holly Hagan before49 of 74
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Holly Hagan, 2011

Geordie Shore star Holly Hagan admitted to having a poor diet of junk food and booze when she weighed 13 stone and wore a size 16 in 2011.

Holly Hagan after50 of 74
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Holly Hagan, 2018

Holly said she wasn't happy with her fluctuating weight and took a lifestyle overhaul to drop to a size 8. She also spent £6000 on a boob job.

Sam Smith before51 of 74
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Sam Smith, 2015

The whole world fell in love with Sam Smith after releasing his debut album, but Sam has since said that he will always be self conscious of being in the public eye because he loves food so much.

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Sam Smith, 2017

Sam hired a nutritional therapist in 2015 and reportedly lost a stone in just two weeks. He then continued a healthy lifestyle by transforming his relationship with food - he's shredded 3.5 stone in total!

Charlotte Crosby before53 of 74
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Charlotte Crosby, 2013

The Geordie Shore star's weight has always fluctuated but she went from a size 10 to a size 16 a year after being crowned the winner of Celebrity Big Brother.

Charlotte Crosby after54 of 74
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Charlotte Crosby 2018

She dropped to a size 6 before releasing her workout DVD in 2015. Recently, she spoke about how her breakup with Stephen Bear helps her keep a 'revenge' body.

Vicky Pattison before55 of 74
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Vicky Pattison, 2015

After seeing unflattering bikini photos of herself at the beach, Geordie Shore's Vicky took dramatic steps and shrunk from a size 16 to a size 6 in five months.

Vicky Pattison after56 of 74
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Vicky Pattison, 2018

The I'm A Celeb jungle queen is now a healthy size 10 and lives a balanced lifestyle, working hard on her fitness regime to be happier and healthier than ever.

Natalie Cassidy before57 of 74
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Natalie Cassidy, 2005

Eastenders' Nat Cassidy grew up before our eyes and her weight was always changing. At one point, Natalie said she had size 6 - 16 clothes in her wardrobe. She even lost two stone in the three months after having her daughter.

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Natalie Cassidy, 2018

Now a mum of two, Natalie looks a happy and healthy size after giving birth to her second daughter.

Frankie Essex before59 of 74
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Frankie Essex, 2015

Frankie Essex is a another TOWIE star who has sometimes struggled to maintain a healthy weight.

Frankie Essex after60 of 74
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Frankie Essex, 2018

The Essex girl has recently used a personal trainer and bootcamp workouts to shred a stone in just a couple of months. We think she looks fab!

Joe McElderry before61 of 74
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Joe McElderry, 2013

X-Factor winner Joe McElderry won the nation's hearts with his cute smile and amazing voice in 2009.

oe McElderry after62 of 74
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Joe McElderry, 2018

He has transformed into a total gym BUFF while preparing for a West End role. He told Loose Women: 'I never promote anything apart from being healthy and fit. That is my message, doesn't matter what shape or size you are'

Ricky Wilson before63 of 74
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Ricky Wilson, 2005

Living the rock and roll lifestyle took its toll on Ricky Wilson's weight, skin and general health. I predict a diet...

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Ricky Wilson, 2016

And we were right! We had to take a double look when he turned up to judge The Voice looking noticeably slimmer and healthier in 2014!

Tom Fletcher before65 of 74
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Tom Fletcher, 2005

Tom has spoken about how he had a problematic relationship with food and depression because he felt like 'the fat one' in McFly. (Even though he was DEFINITELY our fave!)

Tom Fletcher after66 of 74
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Tom Fletcher, 2018

But Tom is healthier than ever and even posts work outs that he does with his son Buzz - possibly the cutest gym buddy ever?!

Rob Kardashian, before67 of 74
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Rob Kardashian, 2016

Rob gained over 100lb while struggling with diabetes, depression and anxiety.

Rob Kardashian, after68 of 74
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Rob Kardashian, 2018

But Rob's recent Instagram posts like this suggest that he's lost the weight. He also posted a throwback to when he was bigger, along with the caption: 'I don't look like this anymore ud83dude02 #thetransformationiscoming #staytuned #nosurgery #putinwork'

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Jazmine Franks, 2017

Hollyoaks actress Jazmine Franks has always had a petite frame.

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Jazmine Franks, 2018

But the star now looks seriously lean after dedicating herself to a new fitness routine and healthier lifestyle.

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Laura Barton, 2014

The Emmerdale actress confessed to being addicted to sugary drinks and drinking a whopping FOUR litres per day.

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Laura Barton, 2018

After exercise and cutting out sugary drinks, Laura lost three stone within three years.

Emma Chawner, 200773 of 74

Emma Chawner, 2007

During Emma's first audition she told the judges she "couldn't do anymore" singing and after they told her she couldn't sing, her parents went on to confront them all. The dramz.

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Emma Chawner, 2019

Fast forward 12 years since her first audition and Emma revealed after swapping junk food for a healthy lifestyle she dropped 12 stone in just two years.

What do I have to give up for the Sugar Free Diet?

  • Low fat dairy: when they take out the fat – they often replace it with sugar (as the flavour becomes lost). Low fat yogurt contains around 6 teaspoons of sugar. Full fat/whole milk yogurt makes you feel full and satisfied

  • High sugar fruits such as mango, pineapple and melon. Fruits like berries, green apples and grapefruit are ok because they release sugar more slowly into the bloodstream.

  • Granola, high-sugar cereals and bread (which contains added sugar).

Can I substitute sugar?

Beware of low-calorie artificial sweeteners, studies show that some sugar substitutes can be just as harmful - if not worse - than the real thing. Some nutritionists recommend naturally-sourced sugar substitutes such as Stevia, coconut sugar and agave syrup.

Celebrity followers

Former Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh and Caggie Dunlop are both fans of celebrity nutritionist Madeleine Shaw’s sugar-free plan.

Hollywood legends Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin have also recently been inspired to quit the white stuff to lower their blood sugar.

Millie Mackintosh follows Madeleine Shaw's sugar free plan

Sugar Free Diet recipes

Breakfast: Quinoa and Berrie Porridge by Madeleine Shaw

Quinoa and Berrie Porridge by Madeleine Shaw
©Madeleine Shaw at madeleineshaw,com

Serves: 1


100g of quinoa

200ml of water

50ml of almond milk/organic milk/ coconut milk

a pinch of sea salt

1 tsp of cinnamon

50g of mixed berries


  1. Wash your quinoa in a sieve. Place the quinoa in a pot (that has a lid) with 200ml of water.

  2. Bring the pot to the boil then let it simmer (with the lid on.) Add the pinch of salt. After 15-20minutes the water should be almost evaporated. Take the lid off to allow it to evaporate if it hasn’t already.

  3. Add your milk, cinnamon and berries, keep the lid off and stir the ingredients around for a few minutes, let the milk soak up and serve.

Lunch: Sweet Potato and Coconut Cream Soup by Madeleine Shaw

Sweet Potato and Coconut Cream Soup by Madeleine Shaw
©Madeleine Shaw at madeleineshaw.com

Serves: 6


500ml chicken stock or water

4 TBSP of coconut oil

1 large white onion

400ml can of coconut milk

500g of sweet potato

1 fennel

1 courgette

2 TBSP of fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves

A large pinch of sea salt and pepper

1 lime


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan (with lid). Roughly chop your white onion and place in the pan. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

  2. While this is cooking, peel your potatoes and chop them into inch-sized cubes. Place them in the pan for a few minutes with the onions.

  3. Grate the ginger, peel the garlic and cut into 8ths. Cut the fennel and courgette into approximate inch cubes. Place this all in with the potatoes; then add the coconut milk and stock/water.

  4. Turn up the heat to almost a boil, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30-35 minutes.

  5. With a stick blender or potato masher, liquidise the soup.

  6. Cut the lime in half and squeeze it in.Add salt and pepper to finish.

Dinner: Chilli Chicken with Hummus by Sarah Wilson

Chilli Chicken with Hummus by Sarah Wilson
©Sarah Wilson at sarahwilson.com

Serves: 2


_**_coconut oil, butter or ghee, softened, for frying

4 chicken thigh fillets

1 teaspoon

dried chilli flakes or powder

sea salt and black pepper, to taste

8 tablespoons hummus

2 large handfuls washed salad leaves

1 lemon, halved lengthwise


  1. ****Heat a frying pan or skillet on a very high heat.

  2. Trim fat from chicken and bash with your fist to even out the thickness. Rub with a little oil and sprinkle with chilli. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Sear with the oiled side down for 3 minutes. Turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Smear hummus over the base of 2 plates. Top with chicken and serve with leaves and salad on the side.

Dessert: Chocolate Crackles by Sarah Wilson

Chocolate Crackles by Sarah Wilson
©Sarah Wilson at sarahwilson.com


4 cups puffed rice

1 cup dessicated coconut

1 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup sugar-free drinking chocolate powder, or Miessence Berry Radical

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder, optional


  1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl.

  2. Heat the coconut oil until melted and allow to cool slightly, then pour over dry ingredients.

  3. Stir well, then spoon into patty pans.

  4. Refrigerate for around an hour or until set.

Where can I find out more about the Sugar Free Diet?

Visit madeleineshaw.com or sarahwilson.com

WATCH...Lizzie Cundy BUM LIFT: See the results for yourself!


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