I managed to convince Karen to post again! Over to you Karen!
So today marks two full week since my month off sugar and caffeine ended (if you didn’t read the original post natural sugar in fruit was still allowed as was a half a glass of pink grapefruit juice). I won’t lie to you, I was very excited to get to have sugar again ! Obviously for me 31 days is not enough to totally eradicate the cravings, but then I didn’t see my sugar less month being the first step to completely eliminating sugar from my diet, rather it was a way to become more mindful about my consumption of it.
Sugar for me had become a habit, not something I stopped and truly enjoyed eating ! I knew I was using sugar to make my mood better of an afternoon, with 2 kids sugar is a great way to “take the edge off” so to speak and cope with the melt down of tempers that frequently occurs in the homes of small children in the run up to bedtime – many a mother will back me up on this point. Many a mother also said (upon finding out I was sugar free for a month) to me something along the lines of “oh my gosh I couldn’t survive my afternoon without sugar, are you crazy ?”.
We all know that the over cosumtion of sugar isn’t good for us on some level but do you really know how bad ? Google the phrase “effects of the over consumtion of sugar” or some similar phrase and you will literally get millions of hits. Most of us wouldn’t be surprised to see side effects like weight gain, diabetes and tooth decay, but did you know that some studies (do your own research as opinons conflict) suggest the over consumption of sugar is linked to increased incidents of a wide array of serious illnesses. It can also increase your chances of suffering deppression (ironic given the fact many of us use it to lift our moods by treating ourselves to something sweet when we are feeling down – icecream post break up anyone?) and also plays a part in speeding up the aging process making your skin duller and wrinklier than your friends who aren’t over indulging their sweet tooth (DEFINETLY time to put down the break up icecream!)
Studies vary a fair bit in how much sugar they claim we consume now adays but the thing they do all agree on is that our consumption of refined sugar is seriously up on what it used to be and that it isn’t a good thing. So what did I gain from my month of sugar ? A reminder of how bad too much sugar is for me and an icreased awareness of some of the possible side effects. I am also more mindful of when I choose to eat sugar. And what have I lost … ? Well for starters 2 kilos (this was not a goal, just a nice upside) and I have also tried to cut out soft drink, a favoured form of sugar consumption for me and not drinking alcohol at all it tended to be the thing I drank when others are drinking, now I try to limit myself to one glass.
So where has all this left me and sugar ? We are definetly still friends, I just realise now sugar isn’t as freindly as I first thought. I am trying very hard to keep days in the week free of refined sugar and I also have no doubt I will also eliminate sugar from my diet again for a month (ideally twice a year at least) as it really makes you more aware of what you are eating. I will keep you posted on how sugar and I get along with each other.
How do you get on with sugar ? If you are one of those people who can take it or leave it then I am seriously jealous !
Lots of love ….. Karen