In honor of my site’s 2-month anniversary 🙂 (Wednesday, May 02), I am conducting an experiment on myself. Beginning today and for the next 30 days, I will not eat any refined sugar.
Why am I doing this? I have written about the dangers of sugar and sugar addiction a few times over the past 2 months, and I hope that my experiment will be able to help even one person know that they can also get off of the killer sugar.
For the most part I do not eat sugar anyway, however I will be excluding sugar-free gum (it contains a form of sugar), and protein bars (contain sugar alcohols). I believe that by eliminating both of these items that I should see a marked decrease in sugar cravings.
I will use the artificial sweetener Splenda, however not in excess. I realize that there are conflicting views regarding Splenda, however I have been using it since 2004, and it does not increase my cravings for sugar unless I use it in excess. I have experienced this before in recipes that I have made, so I will not be eating any of those dishes for the next 30 days. Perhaps this will be an upcoming experiment (to ban Splenda from my diet).
Sugar addiction is a wily thing. I originally intended to post this on Wednesday, and I kept stalling on it. I haven’t been binging on sugar, in fact I haven’t had any except for last night (I believe that the salmon I ate was marinated in something that contained sugar). However, just the thought of making this proclamation to you causes me to not want to post this.
This is coming from someone who hardly eats any sugar anymore, but who used to eat it daily, and in large quantities! Now I did have sugar while I was on my trip to Prague last month, and actually since then, I’ve had a hard time getting back into the complete health groove. Therefore, I know how it is for those (maybe you!) who are currently eating a large amount of sugar daily.
Remember, it is in almost all processed food as well as fast food, and it shows up in different forms. It may not say s-u-g-a-r on the label, but it does have other names, such as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and crystalline fructose, just to name a few.
Another good reason for committing to this today is because I have had a history of slipping up on Fridays. Perhaps you’ve experienced this also: you’ve had a long work week, and although you’ve stuck to your weight loss and health goals very well all week, on Friday night you go in the opposite direction. This can lead into a weekend of being off your game, and the proverbial “I’ll start on Monday” thinking.
Here are the guidelines that I am committing to:
1. I will not ingest any sugar for the next 30 days.
2. I will be eating natural sugar in the form of some fruits, such as strawberries, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, grapefruit, and pineapple. I will not eat oranges as they are high in natural sugar and could give me cravings for refined sugar.
3. I will use the artificial sweetener Splenda in moderation. If I notice that it gives me any cravings for sugar then I will discontinue its use. I will know this by keeping a log of what I eat which will include my detailed use of Splenda. (I personally have never had a problem with this, which is the opposite of my experience with NutraSweet).
4. I will keep a detailed log of the food that I eat.
5. I will omit sugar-free gum and protein bars from my diet.
6. I will log emotions and feelings that can be triggers to emotional eating. This will serve as a log to (I expect) show how cutting out the sugar elevates the mood and brings clarity of thought.
7. I will give you a weekly update for the next 30 days to outline the changes that I note, whether positive or negative.
Other factors that may affect the outcome of my experiment:
1. I will still be having caffeine.
2. I will be eating whole, unprocessed foods, with the exception of: plain, no salt added rice cakes, plain, no sugar added apple sauce, canned, no sugar added pineapple, plain, no salt added canned green beans. These would all qualify as processed. I also buy frozen, “nothing-added” vegetables.
3. I won’t be eating any salt, and although this is not the focus of this experiment, I think it is important to mention. Your results of banning sugar could vary from mine because of this. I also rarely eat dairy and am not eating any currently.
4. I will be exercising regularly.
Please note that I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or licensed fitness expert, but rather a person experimenting on herself and giving you the results. I already know how good I feel being off sugar because I’ve done it before, however not as thoroughly as I will be now. I expect that my cravings shall be almost non-existent for sugar since I won’t have the gum or protein bars to fall back on. I’ve noticed before that they can trigger my cravings for more “non-whole foods”.
I must be honest that I am not 100% excited about doing this. As I write this, I believe that this is likely my sugar addiction talking, however I really don’t want to commit to this because I know that when I do, that I have no choice but to follow through. This means that there is no possibility of “having just a little” or “just a taste” for the next 30 days. This means that I will not have the crutch of my sugarless gum, or even protein bars for that occasional time when I think that I “just need something else”.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, for the most part I don’t even indulge in sugar anymore, and nothing like I used to. I am conscious of the fact that I am addicted to it which makes it harder to consciously reach for it, although just writing this makes me want to run out and get some sweets! My thinking then turns to “maybe this isn’t such a good idea”, and “maybe I will turn to self-destruction and self-ruination” if I post this commitment today. Sounds like my addiction is talking again, doesn’t it? 😉
I hope that you will stick with me for the next 30 days, and that I may serve as a “guinea pig” for the future banning of sugar in your own life. If you have not already subscribed to my RSS feed, I invite you to do so now so that you will be sure to keep up with my weekly updates, as well as my daily posts on other topics related to health and weight.
You also have the option of signing up for my feed through email if you prefer (see the upper right column for the email sign up form on this page). If you are not familiar with RSS, you could refer to this post to learn more.
If you are not sure or have ever wondered if you may be addicted to sugar, I have a quiz here that you can take. I hope that my experiment can demonstrate for you that you can ban the sugar from your life, and receive wonderful benefits from doing so.
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