Eight days ago, I decided to get a grip on my out of control sugar consumption. I already knew I was eating too much sugar, and that this was probably the main reason that I was having trouble losing weight, but I was still shocked when I sat down and counted up how much sugar I had eaten in one ordinary, average work day, where I ate just under 2000 calories and did no vigorous exercise. A grand total of 120g. The recommended intake is 25g. Some of this sugar does have the mitigating circumstance of being from fruit. But not all of it. Here are some of the shockers I uncovered:
- Vegan protein smoothie: 35g
- Half a can of baked beans: 10g
- Small bag of jelly beans: 35g (okay, this one isn’t particularly surprising but I do like jelly beans so thought I ought to include them)
- Squidge of brown sauce: 3.5g
- Can of peas: 1g (okay, this isn’t a lot, but can you believe they add sugar to peas?)
I read some blogs by people who had given up sugar entirely, but I felt this was probably overkill, and decided to impose the following rules:
- Do not eat anything where the first or second ingredient (not including water) is any form of sugar.
- Do not add sugar to anything.
- Buy reduced sugar/sugar free versions of things, compare brands and buy those with the least added sugar
- Raw fruit is allowed but no fruit juice or evil vegan protein smoothies
- Before or after a run/other vigorous exercise a small sugary thing such as a Nakd bar or a small fruit juice is allowed
- One can of coke allowed if momentally hungover
For the first couple of days I had an incredibly dry mouth, a headache and was extremely grumpy (alright, I’m always grumpy). I started seeing jelly beans every time I closed my eyes and started eating everything in sight, mainly carb rich things, and including a Grab Size pack of Chilli Heatwave Doritos which are in no way any healthier than sugar. I ate and ate and still couldn’t fill that jelly bean shaped hole. By Sunday I had actually gained a considerable amount of weight and was on the verge of giving up.
However, by Monday, the fog started to clear and I started to feel a lot better. The feeling of being constantly hungry that has plagued me all my life was starting to go. For the first time in ages I went a whole day without eating anything other than my three meals, and no desert with any of those meals. I began to wonder if I had been mistaking a sugar craving for hunger all this time and actually eating when I wasn’t hungry (something that I always heard other overweight people talking about doing and could never understand).
A week into my reduced sugar diet and I have lost 1.2kg compared with this time last week! I really hope this continues to work.