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I have been dealing with being overweight for years. I finally just came to the realization that I’m fat because of sugar – or at least that is my hypothesis. I’m really at a loss for why I’m the way I am and others aren’t. So, I’m testing my theory.
I’ve been trying to find information about low sugar / no sugar dieting. I haven’t found much in the way of people talking about their own experiences, there are some but not as many as I thought there would be. I found a website through a search engine which was promoting a whole diet program about it. That seemed just too commercialized for me. Anyways. I wanted to put in my 2 cents.
I’ve been cutting my sugar intake since December 2017. It has been 4 months. I have been trying to stick to under the 24 grams of sugar allotted per day. I had read that 24 grams was the guideline for women and just stuck to that number.
What happens when you watch your sugar intake…
Here are some of my observations:
The first 2 week were hellish, but it gets better. The two months was still a bit hard. I’d say after the third month, it wasn’t as bad. I’m still trying to abide by the daily limit. I have had several “cheat days” where I treat myself to one dessert. I have had ice cream on a couple of those days. I had some other small treats at a family event. It gets easier, I can walk through a bakery and not feel all antsy about it now.
I don’t crave sugar like I did. I hate to say this because it seems a little silly, but sugar seems like it really is an addictive substance. I’ve read that and it seems like BS, but try taking it out of your diet and you will see. I got headaches, muscle aches, cranky, overly moody. I do think I was addicted to sugar. When you start to control how much sugar you have, you really notice when you aren’t able to eat whatever you want when you want it.
Read the label. I ate a piece of “healthy bread” and noticed that it tasted really “good” for health food. I read the label…4 grams of sugar. No wonder, it had 4 times more sugar than a piece of plain white bread. So, just be aware of it, they put sugar in everything. I’m not saying the healthy bread is worse than white bread, but it had sugar added. So, yes, it had more fiber, protein, etc. but it also had extra sugar so you have to keep track of it. Hidden sugars are found in salad dressings, condiments, yogurt, granola bars, cereal, milk, etc. You have to check.
My taste buds seemed to change. I can taste sugar now a lot easier than I have ever done before. I can taste it in restaurant food and eat accordingly. I’ll be more likely to push aside something that has extra sugar and eat real food instead.
I seem to be satisfied with a smaller amount of sugar as well. If I eat a piece of toast and have a small amount of jelly (maybe once a week), I am very aware of the sugar and can appreciate that it is a treat. I do not feel the desire to be gluttonous.
I appreciate real food more than I did. I think about food a bit differently as well. Food is fuel. When dining out, I try to pick food that is going to be a better at sustaining me. I appreciate what I’m eating. Vegetables can be delicious and satisfying too.
I am smaller. I went down two notches on my belt. While I haven’t had a chance to weigh myself, I have definitely gotten smaller. I’m not going to concern myself so much with my weight in pounds. My arms and legs and stomach seem smaller than they were. I’m going to measure my success in terms of keeping up what I’m doing. I’ll try to reduce carbs here and there, exercise more. My goal really is to be healthier. The rest should fall into place.
I feel less jittery. Can’t really explain this, it is just something I noticed. My feet don’t “burn” at night the way they did.
Most days I think I am under the 24 grams of sugar. I read that sugar from fruit doesn’t count towards your daily allowance, but I try to go by the daily allowance and work the fresh fruit into that. For example, a grapefruit is supposed to be 8 grams of sugar. I use stevia (ZERO! sugar) in my tea or coffee. I’m not drinking diet soda when I can help it. I might have had 3-4 Coke Zeros in the last few months. I am not drinking alcohol either.
All calories are not the same. I read the back of a yogurt cup, it said 21g sugar and 150 calories. Imagine someone who is eating 1500 calories a day, theoretically if they ate 10 yogurt cups, they would have eaten 210 grams of sugar for the day, but still stayed in the 1500 / day! That alone would mean they exceed the daily allotment for sugar by almost 9 times. I can only imagine that this could be partly to blame for my lack of success in the past, a seemingly healthy and harmless granola bar and yogurt for breakfast alone could have exceed my daily allotment for sugar! Avoid “diet foods” anything that claims to be a “diet” food, read the label. I have read that artifical sweeteners aren’t good for you, they kill off the good bacteria in your body, and I avoid them when at all possible.
I feel more in control. I felt completely out of control before. I felt like there was no hope, that trying to lose weight was a daunting and unachievable goal. Compared to how I felt 4 months ago, I feel more positive and disciplined. My good habits are rubbing off on others.
I’d love to hear from anyone who has also cut sugar from their diets and how it has effected you.