You probably wonder why all of a sudden I’m writing in English. Well, that’s because I think this subject is of world wide interest so maybe others should benefit from my experience. Because giving up on sugar can be a real life changing experience. So, I am currently trying to give up on sugar and the keyword is trying. It’s damn hard and temptations are there each and every moment because, surprisingly, there is sugar in everything we eat. Well, not quite everything we eat but almost everything we buy. At this point I have to give credit to a really good friend of mine who has actually opened my eyes about the amount of sugar I was eating and I have to admit it was quite a lot.
WHY AM I DOING IT?
Anyway, I think I should start with the Reason for all this giving up on sugar madness. 🙂 It was not a New Year’s resolution, and I didn’t lose any bets. At some point in time it came to my attention that sugar and carbs are the cause of getting fat. But, like every other guy who eats chocolate every now and then I thought that I wasn’t eating that much. I’m 36 years old, about 1,80 meteres high (that’s about 5’11” in feet) and since I’ve graduated from college, about 14 years ago, I’ve been always packing about 85 kg (about 187 pounds), more or less.
I don’t exercise very often but I’m not sitting on a desk all day either, so I’m moving around from place to place all day and I thought that made me active. Every winter holiday season I’m getting 3-4 kg fatter but normally, until March or April I’m back at 85 so that has never been an issue. This year something was different. I was always feeling distended, no matter how less I ate and at some point it was a pain in the ass to even tie my shoelaces. Breathing heavily, always feeling sleepy and tired, always in a lazy “I’m not going to work today” mood. I was feeling 63 not 36 and that felt bad!
And this is where my friend that I was telling you about earlier enters the stage. I knew that he was on a low carbs and low sugar diet for a while but I used to think that he was a bit exaggerating and over-dramatising this whole “sugar is bad” thing. We went to the mountains one weekend and we talked about it for a while and then I’ve decided to give it a try. It came naturally, I didn’t make any goals out of it, just to see how it felt. And it felt good, so I carried on.
HOW AM I DOING IT?
At this point I have to say that I was never a huge fan of candy and chocolate but I had periods and periods. Sometime I would eat a lot of candy and sometimes I would just give it up. So at the beginning it wasn’t that hard to say no to candy and chocolate. It wasn’t something new. This time though, I gave up on a lot more and that meant a lot more things that had sugar in them. First I started to read the labels and I was like “4-5 grams … it’s not that much”. But then I noticed that it was per 100 grams and I suddenly realised that a 400 grams of simple 2% fat yogurt has about 20 grams of sugar (that is about 4-5 teaspoons according to any cooking book if you didn’t know). After that I’ve read a lot of labels.
The first week I felt a bit dizzy but I tried to keep myself away from the temptations. I was only eating fruits to get my sugar and by the end of the week I was already feeling better. I have to say that in parallel I was trying to eat less carbs also and that meant that I gave up on bread, cereals and potatoes also. Basically I was eating a lot of meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruits. And from time to time some gluten free crackers.
Now, three weeks into this sort of a low carb, low sugar diet I feel a lot better but I feel the temptation to eat sugar is growing. Yesterday I had a Coke and although the taste wasn’t that good, I felt kind of good. This week I also had a burger and that means bread. No fries though … keeping away from that. This is why the article is called “giving up on sugar is not easy!”. Because it ain’t.
- Stop buying candy, chocolate and sweets at home. You should have no hidden stash, no nothing, because when the sugar rush comes … well, you won’t resist.
- Start measuring the amount of sugar you eat by teaspoon. 4-5 grams = 1 teaspoon. Think about how many teaspoons are there in a candy bar or in a Coke, or even in a fruit flavoured yogurt. This will make you more conscious.
- The human body needs sugar but don’t worry about it, there is plenty of sugar in fruits and other things that you wouldn’t imagine.
- Start reading about how what happens to sugar in your body once you eat it. It’s simple chemistry and you will easily understand how most of it turns into fat.
HOW AM I FEELING?
First of all, in three weeks I lost about 3 kg (about 6 pounds). But I’m still not exercising a lot. I started running but only twice a week. Still, I have to admit that I’m running more than I used to and I’m not feeling that tired. I can easily tie my shoelaces and that means I no longer feel distended, I’m breathing ok, I don’t feel lazy and I sleep a lot better. And it’s only been three weeks.
SHOULD YOU DO IT?
You can always give it a try. This article is not meant to motivate you into giving up on sugar or following a low carbs diet. It’s just my experience and if you decide to do it and feel the same way, than there’s two of us and that means chances are it works. You can leave a comment here or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about your experience. Maybe we can start a club! 🙂 If you want to know more about the low carb, low sugar diet, go here.
I am not a doctor (well, technically I am, but a Doctor of Philosophy :)), nor a nutritionist, so the things I’ve just wrote are not to be followed as a recipe for losing weight. All of the above facts are just my story about how I’m trying to give up on sugar and how that makes me feel. I am not, in any way, saying that this will make YOU lose weight or make YOU feel better. Take into consideration that when starting a diet you should always check with your doctor first and follow his or her instructions.