All the recent articles about whether sugar should be regulated has got me thinking about my relationship with sugar. I love sugar. My enormous sweet tooth has plagued me for long as I remember. I remember sneaking icing from the refrigerator as a child, devouring a well-deserved snickers bar on family ski trips, and hoarding those warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies in high school. However, one of the turning points in my weight loss journey revolved around reducing my sugar consumption. When I was in undergrad, my boyfriend at-the-time and I enjoyed a lot of activities that revolved around food. There was chocolate cake from Boston Market, and cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory amongst other things, so when he suggested we implement a one-dessert-per-week rule, I was skeptical, but it was something we could do together while living 2,000 miles apart, so I agreed.
Within a week, I had lost more than ten pounds. I didn’t attempt to change my eating habits in any other way other than giving up my daily dessert habit. However, I also noticed more subtle, but equally exciting results. The skin on my body instantaneously tightened, and I felt noticeably less sluggish. Thus, limiting my dessert consumption became a huge wake-up call to me that sugar was bad, and it had a negative affect on my body. I continued to follow the one-dessert-a-week rule, and gradually, my dessert became smaller and smaller. It became easier to pass-up sweets. I cheated occasionally, but for the most part, dessert became something that I associated with special occasions. It became effortless, and when I was confident that I could indulge in sugar without going back to my old habits, I gradually let sugar back into my life.
I have learned to maintain a healthy balance of desserts, but for me, sugar consumption will always be a slippery slope. Currently, I am studying abroad in Europe, and I have been eating way too much chocolate. My eating situations and habits have been far from normal lately, and I have probably been devouring at least a chocolate bar a day. Granted, I have learned to modify my overall food intake to keep from gaining excessive amounts of weight, but regardless, there is no excuse for me to be eating so much sugar. It isn’t healthy, and it isn’t necessary; thus, I am going on a sugar detox for two weeks, and these are my self-imposed rules.
- No Processed Sugar. If it doesn’t go come in the form of a fruit or vegetable, I am not going to eat it. There might be a few minor exceptions most notably the minimal amount of sugar in non-diary milk and my adore calcium supplements.
- No Soy Lattes. I drink a lot of soy lattes, and this might prove to be infinitely more difficult than giving up my chocolate habit. Aside from the fact that I truly love a good soy mocha, I have no control over what kind of soy milk coffee shops use, and I have an inkling that some of these soy milks have a lot of added sugar. So, the soy latte habit has to stop.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption. Okay, I totally hate the two drink rule because – honestly – who wants to go out on a Friday night and limit themselves to two drinks? Not me. Sorry Mom. However, for two weeks, I plan on curtaining my drinking for the sake of my sanity and my health. Also, alcohol is a huge trigger for my unhealthy eating habits, and I figure if I stay sober enough, I can maintain a baseline of self control to bypass the dark chocolate that will be sitting in my dresser drawer.
In retrospect, I should have realized there was an impending problem when I started carrying dark chocolate around in my purse to get my fix. I already had my first challenge this morning when I didn’t get porridge at Starbucks because I knew I couldn’t sweeten it with dark chocolate. I opted for a fresh squeezed apple, beetroot, and celery juice, which was also packed with sugar, albeit natural sugar. Needless to say, it should be an interesting two weeks, and I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel when I decrease my sugar consumption. I am definitely not doing this to punish myself or lose weight. I just have been eating too much sugar lately, and for me, the best way to break my habit is to quit cold turkey. My sister, who is studying in Germany, is going to join me. Anyone else in?
One day down. Thirteen days to go.