Giving up sugar

I’ve always had a sweet tooth, and have struggled with moderation when it comes to the candy that I like a lot. I apparently can’t eat just one caramel or milk dud, etc. I wanted to clean up my diet this spring, so I decided to give up artificial sugar altogether for a month.

I know some people are much more hardcore about eliminating sugar than I am. They read all the labels and avoid anything with added sugar. That wasn’t as important to me as my mindless sweet consumption. So I still allowed myself to have jam on my almond butter toast in the morning, and didn’t stress over reading every single ingredient on every label. But we cook at home a lot and I make my lunches every day, so I didn’t need to worry about what other people were adding to my food.

I also drew the line at eliminating fruit. I’ve worked hard to make sure I add over 5 fruits and vegetables to my diet every day (and usually go well over that number). I didn’t want to give up my progress on that goal.

So, I’m just finishing up week two. It hasn’t been quite as hard as I thought, mainly because I was so clear about not having any sweets at all. I didn’t buy any ice cream (one of my weaknesses) so there is none in the house, and I’m not tempted by my husband and son’s cookie stash (not my weakness). On two different evenings when I got hungry again around 9pm and had a craving for sweets, I snacked on mixed nuts or yogurt and berries instead. Success.

So what are the results? I do feel less tired and cranky in the afternoon, and seem to have more energy and a clearer brain in the evening. I also seem to actually be losing a few of the stubborn pounds that I’ve been storing around my middle. But the second result could also be because I’ve been training for a race and doing some hard workouts, too.

I hope in a few weeks when I allow myself to have sweets again, I’ll be much better at controlling my portions and have a clearer idea of how terrible sugar can make me feel.

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