Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Giving Up Sugar - After Three Weeks

Two cupcakes on a plate with white frosting and butterfly decoration.
I originally took on the challenge of not eating sugar for Lent, so I have about another two weeks to go. However, I intend to carry on controlling my sugar intake, as I've come to realise the negative impact excess sugar can have on the body. It hasn't been easy, though. In week 1 the headaches started and in week 2 I was hungry and confused, so I didn't really know what to expect from week 3. Now that things have settled down a bit I will be writing these updates as round ups, rather than daily entries, since there aren't as many changes to report. There have still been a few ups and downs though. This is week 3, as I try not to eat the world during my giving up sugar challenge.

The headaches have finally gone and the toothache has also subsided so it's been a bit more of a normal week. I still don't feel I'm seeing any real benefits to not eating sugar, but my energy levels appear to have stabilised and I'm pretty much back to where I was before. On the plus-side, though I have lost half a stone in weight, which can't be a bad thing. I haven't increased my exercise or changed anything else, so this is definitely down to cutting out sugar. Although avoiding sugar isn't easy, as a weight loss method, it's very straight forward and uncomplicated. I haven't spent any extra time or thought on my diet, but I have, almost accidentally, lost a decent amount of weight over a three week period, which I'm very happy about.

Also, and this is a weird one, I'm throwing out less rubbish. Like most people, I'm acutely aware of rubbish I produce, not just because of the environmental impact, but also as our council give us really tiny waste bins to 'encourage' us to recycle (which we do anyway). I digress, the point is, the packets and wrappers that sugary snacks come in, such as biscuits, chocolates and cakes, are often some of the hardest to recycle, so it's been lovely to have a lot less rubbish to worry about. Yes, it's a sad fact that, because I haven't been eating sugar, I've been buying considerably less too, so the family have suffered cut down too. It's a great way to avoid temptation and if I do buy them treats, I buy things I don't really like. I think if, after Lent, I decide to reintroduce some treats into my diet again, I would like to make a lot more of them myself. This way, it's more of a treat as effort has gone into it and I won't just be shovelling biscuits because they are there. With a little environmental benefit thrown in. 

Rows of cupcakes with white frosting and decorations of butterflies and flowers

I've found during this week that I seem to be hungrier, and thirstier and just generally more aware of eating than before. I would literally eat the world as soon as I wake up, which is unheard of for me, I used to forget to eat breakfast at all before, and also at night too, which is a new thing. Perhaps this goes to show how much I was eating previously without giving it a moment's thought. I don't see how I can be hungrier, as I'm not eating any less, perhaps even more, at mealtimes and I have been drinking more, to see if that helps. It seems, though, that it comes from a need to have something sweet, which is really odd to me. I don't know much about it, but I read somewhere that we are drawn to sweet things because of an evolutionary response that determines that sweet things are less likely to be poisonous and, I'm guessing this bit, maybe because they provide energy? In modern times, sweet often means unhealthy and to be resisted, so if that's true, it's kind of annoying. It would explain in part, though, why many people find it so hard to cut down on their sweet treats. I suppose the answer is to go back to basics and rely on more natural sugar, such as fruit. We'll see how that works out for me next week. 


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