Let’s talk about sugar today. Specifically, why I decided to quit sugar recently.
For the last few months, the Whole30 has crossed my mind frequently. I downloaded all the materials and started planning for the effort. My April Directive for Meal Planning began as a “step 1” to getting myself psyched up for the Whole30. I definitely still want to challenge myself with a solid 30 days of Whole30 eating, but it can’t happen yet, despite the program saying “you must start ASAP.”
I’m someone who has to think, plan, and then do, so I’m ramping up slowly. I realized dairy is already, more or less, out of my diet. That’s easy! Sugar is therefore the first plan of attack in my preparation for the Whole30.
I purchased the “I Quit Sugar” book by Sarah Wilson and am super excited to have already made it through the first three weeks of the 8-week sugar detox. Her thoughts on ramping up slowly completely align with mine so her suggested plan is working very well for me so far. My meal planning efforts have also helped tremendously and are absolutely necessary to accomplish such a withdrawal from sugar.
I also read the recommended 6-9 teaspoons of sugar as 6-9 grams for the first week, so I probably got more of a jump start on detoxing than suggested for the first two weeks, even though she recommends a slow burn towards detoxing. That’s okay by me! By the way, one teaspoon equals 4.2 grams of sugar. She clearly illustrates in the book what this means as far as the fructose/glucose breakdown in different foods and why a glass of wine is totally ok (yes, please!).
I’m really excited at the prospect of giving up sugar once and for all. It’s no coincidence I decided to start this program the day after Easter. Easter candy is BY FAR my biggest weakness, so I have just under one year to completely rid myself of the obsession with Cadbury Eggs (20g of sugar in just one egg).
Giving up sugar was a really difficult prospect for me, and it is for most. Here are 5 tips for giving up on sugar, once and for all!
1. Write down your meals.
I realized my problem isn’t fruit juices, giant soft drinks, or barbeque sauces, it’s binging on candy! In order to identify and troubleshoot the real problem, you have to log your eating habits.
2. Meal plan.
Okay, so now you know what you already eat. Go ahead and modify it to be healthier and write that down too. Preparation is key in giving up sugar and if you don’t plan ahead for when hunger or cravings strike, you’ll set yourself up for failure before you begin.
3. Grab a buddy.
Everything’s more fun when you’re not alone. Grab a buddy and challenge each other to stay on track. Your buddy could live in the same household as you (which makes following good eating habits easier) or they can be a good friend you talk to every day. Whatever works!
4. Have a long term plan.
Giving up sugar just to lose some weight is a bad idea. Sugar is addictive and it’s not something that should be given up as a temporary fix. Mentally prepare to change your habits once and for all. It’s not necessary to give up every gram of sugar ever, nor is it necessary to give up fruits, but moderation is key. 6-9 tablespoons, or 25-38 grams of sugar per day is recommended. If you start looking at labels, you’ll see you can eat absolutely fantastic and delicious food within the confines of this allowance. No depravity required!
5. Love your body.
What better reason is there to give up sugar than to prove you love your body? Food is fuel. The way I see it, if each meal is a gas station meant to fill your body up on its daily road trip, sugar is the gas can in the trunk meant for emergencies. You only ever really need just a little to get you to the next gas station.
Good luck to all who are going through the journey of detoxing from sugar, and congratulations to all who came out the other side feeling better than ever! I’m so ready to get there too.