Quitting Sugar: Take Two

Back in January, I tried to give up sugar. I explained my reasons here (and the side effects here) but in the end, it all got too much and I gave up. I cut down a lot on sweets and junk and this helped a lot with the icky parts of sugar addiction but another hospital placement put me over the edge and once again, I needed sugar to function.

The reasons are the same but the method has changed a bit. Last time I went completely cold turkey – no sugar of any kind, no replacements – and was still in a calorie counting I-must-lose-weight kind of mindset. This led to headaches, exhaustion, and obsession with what I couldn’t have. Little wonder it didn’t work out.

This time, I read Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar e-book and am adapting her 8 week program to suit my own needs. The most important thing I learned from reading this is that quitting sugar is really quitting fructose. The big thing about fructose is that evolution didn’t really leave us with an “I’m full” switch for it, like it did for protein and fats, so its easy to start eating and not stop. But we knew the long and short of that already.What’s new is that a little bit of research on the net and into my own folder of dietetics stuff is that there is a link between IBS and fructose in the form of poorly tolerated foods in the FODMAP plan (which is the plan I  following – albeit imperfectly – for my IBS.) So I’ve found another reason to ditch the fructose.

I’m doing some things the same as last time – watching the sugar levels in what I eat, avoiding sweets – but for the most part I am taking a different approach.

The major difference is that I’m not counting WW points or calories. I’m not actively trying to lose weight. I’m cutting sugar only to replace it with fat. If a low fat product has a ton of sugar (and they often do), I’m taking full fat. I’m not mindlessly eating fruit to distract myself. I’m not eating a lot of bread (if I’m going to do this FODMAPs thing, I’m going to do it right.) I’m eating peanut butter and Greek yoghurt and hummus (hello former food fears.) I’m planning my meals only to the extent that I know that I have the ingredients to cook a good vegetarian dinner (tofu, lentils and quinoa are all back on the menu – I find I have missed them.) And without trying, I haven’t binged. Without trying, I lost a pound in a week (the healthiest pace of weight loss.)

Outside the food arena, I am blogging most weekdays (as you can see), I am involving myself in all manner of alternative healing (acupuncture, Reiki, EFT, meditation) to relax myself, I am exercising without a plan (and am still exercising most days anyway) and am planning my day without ultimatums to myself or with the ultimate goal of distracting myself from food. Its rather lovely actually.

What is truly astounding to me is the lack of physical side effects I have felt this time round. One week in last time, I was ready to kill anyone who came near me. This time I am energetic, mentally calm and headache free. So I think I’ll continue with this little experiment. For now at least.

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