The whole point of dropping the sugar (and I mean all sugar except sugar from dairy and fruit) was to lose my deep cravings for sugar….
I had reached almost one dessert per meal and I needed it to stop. After reviewing my pics from the beginning (in Sept, 2010) during my blog re-organization, I noticed that the desserts began popping up a little in posts for October near Halloween, increasing at Thanksgiving. Then, Christmas had a slew of dessert pics, daily if not at each meal or more. I had given myself the green light during the holidays for holiday foods.. justified because I have kids and I didn’t want to deprive the kids of the holiday goodies… But when January hit, I should have dropped the desserts from my menu. However, because of all the sugar in my system, I craved it like crazy and couldn’t shake that feeling. February came and I took this as an opportunity to stifle the cravings once and for all. I’d hoped to give up sugars as well as sugar substitutes.. but realizing that sugar substitutes inhabited lots of the “healthy” foods I eat on a regular basis, I began researching to see if it was really necessary to drop them out of my diet as well. What I found was that research did not conclusively prove that sugar substitutes caused cravings for sweets, it only suggested it.. and they advised you to not eat the substitutes “just in case” it was a culprit in causing the cravings for sweets. After allowing my sugar substitutes back into my diet, things became much much easier for me. I will say that at the beginning of Feb, the first 3 days I had a horrible headache that was non-stop… I believe because of sugar withdrawals. Once that was past, it was probably 15 days or so before I stopped picturing yummy desserts in my mind. Now, if some sweet is RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME, I drool a little bit, but I feel I can control it. Out of sight, though.. out of mind. My cheats on sweets this month happened for Valentine’s dinner dessert, a birthday celebration cookie, and today’s sweets from Double Dave’s (which were minimal). Some people say that after they have gone without sweets for a while, that any sweet was just way too sweet for them. That didn’t happen for me. The desserts that I had as my “cheats” were absolutely delicious.. a tasty bit of heaven.. and I think that will always be true for me. But, what I was trying to accomplish through this experiment was to alleviate a constant nagging of my brain, demanding a dessert after each meal. That, I believe, I accomplished. The hardest part, however, is yet to come. Adding just enough of anything in which you are “addicted” so that MODERATION is obtained is the kicker. I never try to wipe out any particular food from my diet, unless of course, I just don’t like the taste. But what I’ll be trying to accomplish next is adding just a tad of sweet dessert, that it doesn’t overtake my life and setback my goals…and at the same time that it’s not completely eliminated from my diet, which if denied completely I’d at some point explode and binge on every dessert in sight.
Surprisingly, my weight did NOT go down during this time. I was not trying to lower my calorie intake, however, and just because I eliminated the sweet didn’t mean I eliminated the “snack” time. I just made healthier, more nutritive choices for my snack time.
Energy levels did not drop because of the sugar elimination. So many of us who do a lot of cardio and are the “energetic” ones in classes are sweet eaters. And I, along with quite a few of my friends, have always been under the notion that a lot of this “ENERGY” was coming from the SWEETS that we eat. This is NOT what I found. The heart rate stats that I’ve been posting on my workouts were making sure that my heart rate stayed constant, on average, before the experiment as well as after it began. I believe my stats, before my heel injury, proves that. Once I had my heel injury things changed, but I believe that the cause of the change in my heart rates at that point was because I could no longer perform plyometrics, deep lunges, etc., advanced moves.
Mood, on the other hand, was affected by the elimination of sugars. I laughed at my husband because he says he’d like to take a vacation away from home at the beginning of each of my experiments.. hehhee. This, I assume he means, is that I’m not the most easy person to live with as I go thru withdrawals. Later, after the headache was gone, was much better. I can say that because I don’t feel terrible guilt from eating sweets day in and day out, puts me in a much better mood all around.
Again, I didn’t lose any weight during this period of time, but by choosing other healthier foods in their place, I feel that my strength grew by leaps and bounds. I’ve been concentrating on my weightlifting, especially trying to build my hamstrings… but even my upper body has seen improvements in strength as well. Yay !!
Overall… a great experience with Experiment #2 Cravings BE GONE !! Let’s keep er going !!
An update with my friend Laura… who also held thru this month with no sugars … WooHOO, Laura !! today when I asked her how she felt about this being the last day of the experiment? she said .. last day? really? already? and said that it didn’t matter, she was continuing on with it !! She had only one cheesecake cheat during the month and has said that she’s gonna do my next experiment with me … EXPERIMENT #3 Eating Clean and Shredding the Fat. She and another friend are waiting for a list of what they need to buy from the grocery store.. anxious to SHRED that FAT with me !! Hello 6-pack ABS =) Right in time for swimsuit season !!
Because I’ve been so restrictive in my diet for the last 2 months, I’m giving myself a breather for a week … I’ll begin Experiment #3 on Wednesday, March 9th.. so if you’d like to do this with me, watch this week for posts about what’s to come .. the changes in the workout & the changes in the diet. I’ll publish a general list of foods soon, so we can all get our shoppin done !!