As a nutritional therapist you’d expect my sugar consumption to be low. And it was. But there were a few things that I’d chosen not to give up; a nice glass of wine and good quality chocolate. And as my philosophy is all about eating what you enjoy and creating balance rather than restriction this was my little treat.
Earlier this year I became one of the experts on the I Quit Sugar programme and for the first time in my life I thought I would give up sugar completely. I was curious as to how I’d feel and whether it would be a big deal for me.
Here’s what happened
- I gave up chocolate but still had the occasional glass of wine (you’re allowed!) but towards the end of the programme I’d stopped drinking as well.
- You give up fruit for 4 weeks. Now I thought this was going to be tough, I like fruit and it’s a staple for my breakfast. But it was much easier than I thought and I actually enjoyed doing it (I actually ate fruit about twice through the whole 8 week programme in the end).
- I became really aware of when I wanted sugary foods and when I was craving them. Usually when tired and stressed (this is the body’s natural response when you’re feeling that way but grabbing a sugary snack does more harm than good).
- My tastebuds changed; I was craving whole foods all the time and my cravings for the sweet stuff completely went away by the end of the 8 weeks. I was free from my sugar cravings!
- I believe in balance and now, as a busy Mum, I believe in making things easy for yourself. So we buy bread, we have use some tinned products and we have mayonnaise in the fridge. But doing this has reinforced just how much sugar is packed into processed foods like mayonnaise.
- But the best bit was that my skin was glowing, really glowing (in fact I kept getting lots of comments!) and I had even more energy.
I had my first sweet stuff for my birthday a couple of weekends ago, some ice-cream and I thoroughly enjoyed it. However when I reached for the chocolates I didn’t enjoy them at all. Not one to be defeated I gave them another go this week and still didn’t enjoy them. Now that’s amazing for me!
So where am I at now the programme has finished?
It’s made me really aware that actually I was more of an emotional eater with the sweet stuff than I realised. The hardest times were when I was stressed or tired, however that did change and towards the end of the programme my cravings had gone completely. I won’t be using things like mayonnaise anymore (I only used it very occasionally any way), instead I’ll be using yoghurt, olive oil and I’ll probably try making my own as well. I’ll probably still reach for the good quality chocolate every now and then but at the moment I don’t want it.
Giving up sugar is one of the best things you can do for your health. I never thought I’d be the one saying give up sugar but I’d definitely recommend it. Get curious and see what it does for you.
If you want to know a bit more about sugar, have a read of my post ‘The truth about sugar.’