Here continues my recount of my I Quit Sugar journey.
Today is my 7th day sans sugar (almost) with the exception of an accidental, surprisingly sweet Thai lunch mid-week. I sidestepped many sugar traps throughout the week, and the funny thing is, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I declined the chocolates that were brought to our table after a dinner out, last Friday, as well as the Eton Mess that was served after a barbeque on Sunday. I made the Cookie Monster cupcakes for my boyfriend's nephew's first birthday party without tasting them or sneaking a single morsel of decoration. I even binned the leftover choc bits (that hurt!). I shunned the cheesecake that was shared for a workmate's birthday yesterday. When I look back on the past week I can see that is a LOT of sugar avoidance, and I'm pretty pleased because, were I not "doing IQS" I definitely would have eaten every one of those things without hesitation.
Throughout the past week, a few people have questioned what I'm doing, and although they're probably not all religiously following this blog, I thought I'd keep track and write a little bit about that here.
I've just happened upon a lot of literature in the past couple of years about the perils of sugar consumption and therefore, it just no longer sits well with me to be eating so much sugar. I can't keep happily ignoring the information without worrying about my health.
I imagine that it would be quite a bit harder for someone who is used to drinking a lot of juice, soft drinks, energy drinks, non-natural yoghurt, desserts and so on, to quit sugar. I have gradually cut back on a lot of those things over the past couple of years so it's not been such a gigantic leap for me. One of the hardest things to give up is juice. There's nothing better than glugging down a tall glass of fresh cold juice! (Unfortunately, it contains the same number of teaspoons as a glass of coke, about 10-12.)
Everyone has their own weaknesses and for me, it's mostly emotional consumption of junky foods. And then of course, as this past week showed, it's just not saying NO often enough. There are so many social activities where sugary foods and beverages are involved, and if you don't pick and choose, if you just say yes to everything, you end up eating and drinking a lot of sugar.
It's my goal to stay away from sugar for 8 weeks (as set out by Sarah Wilson in 'I Quit Sugar') because I want to form new and hopefully lasting habits around sugar, so that I learn it's not necessary to medicate with sugar. I don't want to give up treats for life; I want to significantly lessen my consumption of sugar and replace it with better habits and alternatives, and keep sweet foods for special treats. For me, sugar has crept in and has become more than just an occasional treat, and that is why I am trying to re-calibrate.
What's more, I just plain don't feel good about myself, and don't feel physically well, when I overdo the sugar. So why should I want to keep doing that to myself?!
As for the reasons why sugar is so bad? An extract from I Quit Sugar:
More and more research is being done on the effects of fructose on our bodies. A number of studies have found that fructose:
- inhibits our immune system, making it harder to fight of viruses and infections
- upsets the mineral balance in our bodies, causing deficiencies as well as interfering with mineral absorption
- messes with fertility
- speeds up the aging process
- has been connected with the development of cancer
- is linked to dementia
- can cause a rapid rise in adrenaline, as well as hyperactivity, anxiety and a loss of concentration
- fructose converts directly to fat
- fructose makes us eat more
- Frutose makes us FAT!
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