Well it has certainly been a learning curve. I’ve become so much more aware of how many things have sugar as a key ingredient in them and also how many things have a decent percentage of sugar making up carbohydrates.
This week I didn’t eat anything with refined sugar, no fruit and no processed carbs. My diet involved a handful of dense carbohydrates a day (quinoa or basmati rice), eggs, meat, non processed cheeses, nuts/seeds/beans and lots of vegetables.
Why no fruit? The idea is to adjust my palate to crave sugar less; just as our palates have been conditioned to crave sugar… they can be conditioned to crave it less… It’s truly amazing how many things in life can be boiled down to habit.
Yes, I know – vegetables have sugar in them too. Perhaps I should have cut out high-in-sugar vegetables as well but that just seemed a step too far for me.
To be honest, aside from the no fruit thing, this week hasn’t been too bad! But wow I miss bananas. Until this past week I have probably had a banana a day for the whole of 2015.
So far I haven’t noticed a difference in my cravings or in my energy levels. I haven’t been working out much this week though as I’m fighting off a cold. The one workout I did do, I really noticed a difference in my appetite without processed carbs and quick sugar spikes from my usual banana fix.
The plan for week 2 – bring back fruit! One portion a day, keeping refined sugars as well as processed foods out of my diet.
Remember that it is the effort that counts and it’s OK if you’ve slipped up once or twice… I certainly have (moment captured on Instagram here). You don’t have to be as strict as I am trying to be either. The goal is to reduce your sugar intake and change your habits.
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.
Compared to Dan, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I have less to cut back on than he did. The two of us have had very different experiences this week… I don’t think Dan had one sugar free day, but he was certainly eating significantly less sugar than he usually does and that’s what matters.
what about Artificial Sweeteners?
Sweeteners are low-calorie or calorie-free chemical substances that are used instead of sugar to sweeten foods and drinks.
Using sweeteners will not help you change your palate and as a result you’ll still crave sweet treats.
I won’t get into the debate about this chemical substance but I believe it’s best to eat natural and avoid chemically devised substances as much as you can.
If you have given it a go – let me know how you’re finding it!