21 Jul 2014

I'm Quitting Sugar

Image from iquitsugar.com
I am a raging sugar fiend.  It is my ultimate weakness, but only up until recently have I really accepted this as fact.  Despite my unhealthy obsession with chocolate and my complete inability to only ever have just a bit (if it is in the house, it will be eaten).  Despite my embarrassingly disgusting ability to devour a whole pack of Kinder bars in one sitting...

I didn't want to admit to myself that I have a problem, the thought of not being able to have it scared me. Chocolate is there for when my days don't go so well and it is comforting, an instant burst of happiness.  I am however, stuck in a vicious circle of sugar highs and really horrible sugar lows and mood swings.  I would just put 'being hungry' down as the cause, when really it is my constant battle with my blood sugar levels turning me into a crazy person.  I have days when I can't concentrate at all, I quite literally can't get anything done. My concentration span is terrible and I get so tired in the afternoons.  Whilst I'm not really overweight, I have been gradually gaining pounds since my late teens, regardless of the pretty healthy diet that I have (chocolate not withstanding) and the amount of exercise I do.

I didn't know where to start really and I'm still a little bit lost, but I did stumble across the I Quit Sugar books and decided to give them a whirl.  There is an 8 week detox period where I cut sugar out of my diet, in a way to kind of reset my brain to not crave it so desperately and essentially to rehabilitate myself from my sugar addiction. 

From what I can gather, I spend the first 2 weeks reducing my sugar intake and then from weeks 3 to 8 I pretty much cut it out completely.  This includes fructose, meaning I would reduce, but not completely cut out the amount of fruit I eat (which is a LOT, we're talking sometimes 3 bananas a day just for starters).  I figured, it is only 8 weeks, if it works then great and if not then it was worth a shot anyway.  I'm still learning, finding my feet and also trying to keep an open mind, as it can be so easy to be swept up in all of the technical talk and forget to listen to what my body actually needs.  After the detox period, I should be able to be free from the cravings and be able to have only the amount of sugar my body needs, not what my brain craves!

I thought it would be interesting to use me as a guinea pig to see if it actually does what it claims to, so if any of you were thinking of giving it a go, you can use me as a reason to or not to.  I think I will do a week by week diary entry of how I feel, what I've eaten, if I've lost any weight and how it has impacted on my life.  I by no means am going to be preachy and the sort of person who forces ideals onto others.  I am doing this for me because I feel that it is important for me to change my own habits, not to try and force them onto others.

I'd love to know if there is any genuine interest in this little experiment, so please let me know what you think in the comments.  I'm currently on day 4 and doing quite well, but for the love of chocolate please wish me luck!

Hope you're having a wonderful day.
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12 comments

  1. I would just recommend that you be super careful...your body needs some sugar!! As long as you're being healthy about it and still getting all the nutrients you need though, good for you! I couldn't do it - I like fruit and chocolate way too much! I've been a vegan for a month now and the vegan chocolate is amazing :) A lot of sugary candies have gelatin in them so I can't have them, so that helps with the sugar factor...and losing the HFCS? Best thing ever :)
    ~ Samantha
    samsamcherie.blogspot.com

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    1. Don't worry, I'm not the sort of person to follow these sorts of things right down to the last detail. Still going to be having fruit and veg, just not excessive amounts. I am scared, fruit and chocolate are so amazing. I'm hoping it'll go smoothly, we shall see! I will be making some vegan desserts whilst on the detox, so I probably will be sharing them on here too :) x

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  2. I'm actually quite interested after reading this. I was wondering, how do they suggest replacing the sugar that your body needs then? If you really cut down on fruit too, which is more a natural sugar. Just curious, I'm not judging, I love the idea of being healthy but I'm just naturally curious.

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    1. The interesting thing about what the books claim is that we don't technically need fructose, plus I'm supposed to cut out ALL fruit for the remaining 4 weeks of the detox, that part I am definitely going to be playing by ear and am still skeptical of. I will still be eating vegetables and from what I've read in the books and from other sources, both carbohydrates and fat can be converted into glucose if the body needs it. I'm no nutritionist, so I'm doing a lot of reading up on this and will let you know more in my first diary post :) Hope that helped x

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    2. Sorry for the late reply, I just read your update and remember that I asked the question :)
      It's completely true, the body will convert stored carbs and fats to glucose, as long as those energy stores are there. But to stored carbs, you have to consume either carbs or sugar in the first place. I was always under the impression that sugar from fruits, being natural, is better for you as long as you're not going crazy with it them it's ok. But like I said, I'm not judging, just wondering. If you feelbetter and happier from this then good for you.
      Generally speaking, the carbohydrates contained in plants, cellulose, is not digested by own system. I'm pretty sure of this. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes though.

      My only concern would be, if your body was unable to replenish the stores of carbs/fat then the next energy source is muscle and then you're not in a healthy place any more.

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    3. In terms of what the book suggests is that you cut out all fruit, honey, agave and anything containing added sugar for the final 4 weeks of the detox. Not saying that it is a good idea, just that if it is only 4 weeks, it can't be too bad. I on the other hand, knowing my body, don't feel like cutting out all fruit is the best plan for me. I most certainly won't end up in a position where I'm depriving myself so much that my muscle starts being broken down ;) I understand your concern, as there are too many people looking for quick fixes and almost like any weight lost is good weight loss, despite in cases like with the Atkins diet, it is actually muscle weight you're losing and not fat.
      Thanks again for your reply x

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  3. I am really interested in this experiment and would love to see how you get on. I have also been cutting out processed sugars and have found I am feeling much better. Instead of binging on dairymilk I've turned to the much better 85% Green and Blacks which has unrefined sugar in it and doesn't seem to make my blood spike as much.

    Good luck on this journey Anya! I will be following along with you xo

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    1. Awesome, I'm really glad that you're genuinely interested. Thank you so much, I hope it will be successful and that my willpower doesn't falter. I feel like all I see now are ads for chocolate, ice cream, biscuits...gahh! x

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  4. I can identify with so much of what you said about chocolate providing an instant burst of happiness and being stuck in a loop of sugar highs and lows. I've recently started to cut down by making little changes (swapping orange juice for lemon water, swapping chocolate for berries) and although I haven't cut it out completely and still get occasional cravings I feel so much better! My energy levels are more stable, my skin has cleared up, I've lost a few pounds and generally feel all round healthier. When I do have sugar now I notice it makes me feel unwell and I've been toying with the I Quit Sugar plan to get off the white stuff for good, so definitely interested to hear how you get on! x

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    1. It's so good to hear I'm not alone in this! I hope that I will experience positive changes like you seem to have in cutting down on refined sugar. I'm just coming into my second week of the 'cutting down' stage and I do feel a bit better, but I will go into more detail in a post about that soon. I hope this experiment will be interesting for you and will hopefully be helpful in some way too. x

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  5. I'll be really interested to see how you get on with this Anya and as Kerri said how you make sure you've got the right amounts of everything you need going in. It's something I've often thought about doing, I get dreadful migraines when my sugars drop too low and I'm sure it's an over dependence thing rather than a genuine biological reason. Really look forward to seeing how you get on - good luck!!
    M x Life Outside London

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad that this will be interesting for you! Yeah I'm going to be especially careful that I make sure my diet is still balanced. Oh I am completely with you on that one, I have spent years blaming my severe sugar slumps on something biological, when really they are inevitably brought on by lots of sugar in the first place. Thanks again :) x

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