The Sugar Free Challenge

Firstly, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Everyone!! Thanksgiving is about celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year with family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for and am excited to share this year’s Thanksgiving feast with an old friend of  mine who lives up north near the Lake District here in England. Kelly is preparing a feast today and I cannot wait to indulge!

Starting tomorrow however, I will be attempting a sugar free diet for the rest of the month. And I challenge you to be conscious of your sugar intake as well.

Until doing some research, I would have said I have a very low sugar diet. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth and I make most of my meals and snacks with no added sugar. It turns out however, that though my sugar intake may be lower than average, it is much higher than the recommended daily sugar intake, which is 6-9 teaspoons.

Going sugar free was my roommate Kailee’s idea after a recent chocolate binge in Switzerland (can’t blame her!). We have been reading up on it and plan to use many of the recipes and advice provided from Deliciously Ella.

At a high-level, here are a few high-sugar items which you should consider cutting out of your diet completely…

minimize your sugar intake by CUTTING OUT THE FOLLOWING:
  1. Soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices
  2. Low-Fat ‘diet foods’ often have fat removed from them which get replaced with sugar
  3. Canned fruits preserved in sugary syrups
  4. Dried fruits
  5. Candies and sweets
  6. Processed/ pre-packaged food (Heinz ketchup is 24% sugar!)

Getting more meticulous, keep an eye on your intake of the following very nutritious but high in sugar foods…

MODERATE your sugar intake by limiting the following:
  1. Honey
  2. High-in-sugar fruits (bananas, figs and mango to name a few)
  3. Carbohydrates (which are essentially, complex sugars)

Sugar provides us with energy (aka calories) but zero added nutrients and can strain your liver during digestion. I can’t say that I would be able to go sugar free when training and racing as I don’t know what I would have done without Gatorade and gels during races or long rides. But generally, being conscious of your sugar intake is extremely important outside of endurance sport. There is no need for a sugar rush at 3PM in the office when you could train your body to accept energy from a more nutritious and less addicting source.

I am looking forward to sharing my experience over the next few weeks… it will be tough to say goodbye to dried dates and cut back on honey and bananas… these have been staples in my diet recently.

But first, Thanksgiving dinner awaits!




5 responses to The Sugar Free Challenge

  1. […] You can slowly reduce your sugar intake and decondition your sweet tooth by simply cutting back one step at a time, rather than going ‘cold turkey’. Too see what foods you should cut back on, check out last week’s post, The Sugar Free Challenge. […]


  2. […] Since moving to London I’ve increasingly been developing a ‘sweet tooth’ and look for something sweet after dinner. Since cutting it out of my coffee earlier this year and out of my diet over the past two weeks, I think I am slowly chipping away at these cravings. We’ll see how I fair with one week left of The Sugar Free Challenge. […]


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