New year’s resolutions, part one of one million: I quit sugar for 2015. Why?
I don’t think added, white sugar is unnecessary bad if you are able to consume it in modest amounts. Am I? Doesn’t look like that.
Last spring I limited my sugar intake to one time per week, Saturdays. Every time I was craving something sweet during the week, I was able to think, that I can have it next Saturday. Fine. As earlier described, my Saturdays often had a moment I had a sugar high and a very sudden crush down. Cool? Not really.
After that, I then decided to live almost two months on a quite a clean diet. I was thinking, that I can have all the sweet stuff I want after that time period. Suprisingly, or actually not, after that two months, being in the fittest condition of my entire life time, I did not really crave for sugar. Sure the Peanutbutter cup Ben and Jerrys I had on 1.6 tasted heavenly, but I hadn’t really craved for it. It was more now-as-I-“can”-have-it-again-I-will. And add some salty liquorice in it. And taste all the other sweet stuff I hadn’t had in two months.
First, no cravings. Then, the sugar cravings started again.
During some re-organizing of life I also managed to stuff into myself a pretty respectable amount of candies I had transported from Finland. What was new to me, was, that I really felt how the sugar affected my body: Beating hard, sweating, digestion not working as perfectly as normally etc. After eating lots of sugar I also easily felt mentally bad, especially as it often didn’t even taste as good as I had remembered. And I noticed, the more often sugar I ate, the more often I had cravings for it.
Then I cleaned my food intake for a while again, fighting against the cravings. During the vacation in Bali I took it easy, as food was prared and due to surfing twice per day I was able to burn the calories anyways. No dramatic changes in weight, but my skin clearly didn’t like the white stuff and decided to totally explode.
After that? Christmas was coming, and the sweets were not just at the stores and home, but at the workplace, every-single-day. From time to time I joined the feast, and suddenly I felt like I had a problem: Every time I saw sweets, I had to decide if I take them or not. When I had taken them, I had to decide if I take more of them or not. As long as I didn’t take more, I was thinking about taking more of them. When I had taken enough of them, I felt physically very very bad, and then mentally even worse.
I once read a decription about alcoholism where it was mentioned, that actually you can define an alcoholic not just by the amount they drink but by the amount alcohol controls their thoughts. To be quite honest, I think at some point I had the same. I have never been the type who has candy at home and eats a little bit every day: If there is something like that in the apartment, it shall be eaten!
So why I decided to eliminate added sugar for 2015 and say no fore sweets, cupcakes, cookies, most of chocolate and traditional baked goods? Because life is easy when you do not have to choose. And, I can have all the sweet stuff I want in 2016, right? Now I know though, that I should have it only if I really feel like having it. And still think twice.
For now, I don’t need to think at work when I see something “good” if I take it or not. I don’t need to think at home when my flatmates ask if I want to have a piece of cake. I don’t need to think in cafés with my friends if I take something else than coffee or tea or not. I have eliminated all the pain of choosing, and all I can say at this point, that is great! Options are what makes the modern living so hard.
I am not going to extremes and saying no to fruits, but I also know, that when quitting sugar, it is better not to eat a bag of dried fruit to eliminate the craving – that just not work to quit the physical sugar addiction. I also hardly will say no to real champagne or go crazy thinking if there was though something added into my restaurant main course dish, but other than that I am quite clear.
Best of this: Already after three weeks I actually do not even feel the urge to eat sugary stuff. And my skin is finally getting better as well. We will see if this goes on.