Tuesday, March 4, 2014

seven days without sugar (sort of)

It all started one fateful morning at breakfast when my boyfriend commented that I could never do a carb-free diet because "you could never go without sugar." CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. 

So starting last Monday, I vowed to go sans sugar. I wasn't too picky about it (I didn't regulate any added sugar in any processed foods or anything from restaurants, for example) but was mostly trying to cut out the snacking on chocolate chips and springing for dessert every night. Anyone that knows me knows I love my chocolate (I even put chocolate chips in my oatmeal) but I guess I never considered it to be a serious issue because it's kind of my only vice: I don't really drink soda, coffee, or alcohol or eat a lot of refined carbs, for example. It's hard to deny, though, that sugar is super controversial right now and I wondered how my body would adjust if I did try to cut it out.

but still, sugar = cocaine must be a BIT dramatic, right? | source

So what happened? 

  • Cravings. I thought that the sugar cravings would be the worst part. Although I might not believe a lot of the articles out on sugar now, I do definitely believe it's addictive. But I think just deciding to not eat it (and my competitiveness and willingness to prove Gabe wrong) was enough to overcome the cravings  for dessert. I do think that because I wasn't indulging in as much sugar, though, I craved carbs more (which makes sense, given sugar is a carb. And butter.)

    • Emotional eating. I did notice I craved it way more when I stressed, so it's clear that sugar is my comfort food. It was kind of strange to realize it so clearly, actually; to come home from a long day at work and want nothing more than a Slurpee or a cupcake. This definitely helped me realize that when I'm feeling stressed (which, let's be real, is a lot of the time) I need to be more conscious of how I react to it and avoid eating dessert just to alleviate the stress, because it clearly doesn't actually help the matter.
    • Celebrations. Along the same lines, I really wanted to indulge in dessert as a way to "celebrate;" celebrate the end of a long week while we were watching a movie, for example, or celebrate while watching the Oscars. As opposed to the realizations about emotionally eating dessert, I actually feel okay with these cravings; I think it's okay if sugar is my indulgence food (or "cheat" food, if you want to call it that) as long as it's deliberate and in moderation. And not, you know, celebrating the fact that it's Tuesday.
    • Weight. Okay, this is one I really didn't expect; I lost three pounds over the course of those 7 days. Which is pretty extreme, especially given the fact that I ate basically an entire thing of Crazy Bread over that time (see aforementioned carbs craving). I guess I knew that not eating as much sugar would have an effect physically but I didn't expect that much of a drastic effect, considering the desserts I generally ate every night before this weren't that extreme (most nights dessert was just a cookie or a salted caramel chocolate).

    Now what? I'm glad I realized that consuming sugar is my first reaction to stress; just knowing that makes it easier to make better choices. But to be honest, the point above that had the most effect on me was the weight. It's insane how much sugar was affected my weight and I didn't even realize it. That alone makes me want to continue to make a strong effort to lower my sugar intake, but I really do enjoy chocolate too much (and am not so weight-obsessed) that I'm going to cut it out completely. 

    As for my first day post-sugar-free? It's possible that seven days was enough to kick the habit; the only sugar I consumed today was handful of chocolate chips. But that certainly doesn't mean I would turn away a perfectly good cupcake.

    1 comment:

    1. Interesting! It's cool to see how your body reacts to dietary changes. I've also cut down on sugar (almost entirely) and now I can't handle it anymore. I don't even crave it. When I eat sugary things now I salivate like crazy and my whole body tingles - I can literally feel the "sugar high" coming on. The occasional chunk of dark chocolate is nice though :-) PS love the Mean Girls GIF. xo