10 Aug 2015

Quitting Sugar | One Year On

I can't quite believe it is a year since I decided to make some positive and initially rather drastic changes to my eating habits.  I decided to have a go at the I Quit Sugar 8 week sugar detox last August and although I may have not followed it to the letter (by not completely giving up fruit), I can say it has definitely changed the way I eat for the better.

Now I never went into it planning to give up sugar forever, my ideal goal was to break the habit of binging on sugary treats and using them as rewards or comfort.  I wanted to stop turning to sugary juices and squash instead of water, stop feeling the need to have something sweet after a meal and to rid myself of constant lethargy and mood swings.

My diet now is so much better than it was a year ago and I really didn't think that it would be so different.  Whilst I didn't necessarily regularly eat unhealthy savoury dishes, the sweet snacks and desserts that I was consuming were cancelling out any healthy choices I was making.  I find that now I can't tolerate sugary things nearly as much as I used to, which has stopped the binging completely.  If I eat any more than a small amount, I get a headache and just feel generally crappy, so tend to avoid it on the whole.  I don't feel like I'm missing out as I would had I completely eliminated it from my diet, so both my attitude and my body are healthier as a consequence.

I love to cook and I love to eat even more, so the challenge of trying alternative recipes was really enjoyable for me.  I have accumulated a few recipe books which have really helped, but have also learned how to adapt other recipes that aren't necessarily low sugar to begin with.  

Meals shown above are an example of some of the recipes I've been trying and from L-R are:

Mozzarella, red onion, basil and tomato tart.
Mexican style prawns with sweet potato wedges, peppers, jalapenos, corn on the cob and homemade guacamole and salsa.
Berry, avocado and spinach smoothie bowl, topped with strawberries, almonds, coconut and blueberries.
Baked feta with chilli and garlic, Greek salad and paprika pita chips.

Whereas I didn't go into it with weight loss being my primary intention, it certainly was a pleasant side effect.  A lot of the weight is from water because sugar is stored in a solution three or four parts water, so you can imagine that drastically reducing the sugar in turn drastically reduced the water retention.  Since last August I've lost a total of 10lbs (4.5kg).

Now would I recommend giving it a try?  Yes, I really would.  The advice I would give is listen to your body, if you feel like eating no fruit whatsoever is going to make you feel awful, then have a small amount, but don't overdo it.  A lot of the recipes in the IQS books are pretty low carb which definitely doesn't suit everyone, so adapt and make it work for you.


If you want to see my weekly posts during the detox you'll find them here and if you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments or send me a tweet.  


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6 comments

  1. Well done you! I tried to give up sugar for a week and needless to say by day 3 I was off the eating plan. It has made me think about how much refined sugars I consume and allows me to make better decisions for my body. Your meals look amazing! I do agree with you on the fruit....not something I want to give up.

    https://www.majeang.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you! I found that the only way I'd be able to stick to it was by committing to it publicly on here and documenting the whole process. It helped so much with my willpower. x

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  2. This is great! I did the same thing last summer but not to the same extent as you, I just lessened my intake, but honestly I could probably do a complete detox...maybe i'll try!
    Great post! Those dishes look AMAZING!
    xx
    Kenzie
    Behindhazeleyes06.blogspot.com

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    1. It was hard, but I'd still totally recommend it. I was so shocked at how much better it made me feel, plus what it did was not just make me stop eating chocolate/cake/etc, but all of the processed foods of which 99% have added sugar too.

      Thank you :) x

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  3. I've cut out sugar for defined periods but then always seem to slip back into the habit. I think I should really give it another go as I did feel much better with less sugar! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

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    1. It's definitely fine to have some once in a while, the amazing thing about the detox was it really helping with my old chocolate binging behaviour x

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