I am psyched! Only yesterday I threw down the gauntlet and asked you rocking readers to join me in my war on sugar-addiction (you can click here if you missed it). I never dreamed anyone would actually agree, let alone many of you. So let me open this post with a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone of my amazing compatriots who are also sugar’s bitches and are going to head-butt it in the nuts alongside me.
In no way do I have any idea of what I am doing. My degrees in filmmaking definitely don’t attribute any useful qualification or knowledge, unless you need a camera fixed. And even then I’ll just tell you to send it to someone who can fix it. I am merely a dad on a mission to set a better example for my children, and asking others to help me struggle against my own weaknesses.
With that out of the way, here’s the plan peeps!:
- We start on Monday 17th of August (that means no Coco Pops for brekkie)
- This is a cold turkey approach that will likely be rather difficult
- There will be no processed sugars allowed for the first two weeks
- Fresh fruit can be used to deal with the crippling cravings, BUT should be gobbled sparingly
- Honey is also banned in the first two weeks
Here’s the gist of why we’re doing this. According to That Sugar Film, and other anti-sugar factions, the Big Bad that we’re attempting to beat is actually FRUCTOSE – a specific kind of sugar found naturally in fruits, and also in processed sugars. This is the one they claim is highly addictive, is not well utilised by the body and has a tendency to turn into dangerous fats around our middle and our organs. Click here to read one anti-fructose insight from Australia’s sugar guru David Gillespie. There are nutritionists who dispute this claim (you can read a group of Aussie nutritionists response to David Gillespie’s first book Sweet Poison by clicking here) but they don’t really say much more than excessive consumption of sugar is bad for you, just not specifically fructose.
Either way lowering our intake of sugar is suggested to be a good move. Outside of medical fact and scientific research, my own experience of quitting sugar last year for a few months taught me these things:
- Sugar is definitely addictive. Whether it is fructose or overall sucrose, it makes me crave more.
- The addiction makes me mentally want to eat, even when I’m not very hungry. Hello weight gain!
- Sugar dulls my tastebuds (flavour gradually came flooding back!).
- The ‘tyre’ of flab around my middle/hips shrunk.
- I had more energy when not eating sugar because I was no longer crashing into a sugar-low.
Overall, when we gave up sugar, Phenom-A-Mum and I suddenly found that we were eating less at every meal, without planning or trying to. We needed less salt or sweetener in our food because we could taste the natural flavours. And we lost weight because we matched the quit campaign with some achievable exercise.
Getting through the withdrawal and cravings is a bastard; I’m not going to lie to you.
The upside is that the worst of it only lasts for a couple of days. Once you start to purge the sugar from your system you lose the constant desire for it.
There is always a downside and here it is. When you eat sugar again, after quitting, it can take you right back to square one if you let it. This is nothing more than a battle of wills and we can win it if we decide to.
To recap – our simple quit plan:
- No sweets, lollies, chocolates, confectionary, cakes, sweet slices or any other bloody obvious yummy thing that is full of sugar.
- No soft drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks (with a small percentage of juice in them), no sugar in your tea.
- No homemade naughtiness that you claim is healthier because you made it yourself (I’m guilty of this).
- No fruit juice.
- Watch out for hidden sugars in anything that claims to be ‘Low in Fat’ or ‘Healthy’. We’re talking flavoured yoghurts, Lean Cuisine or similar pre-made meals, muesli bars, and health snacks like sesame snaps or those tasty coconut & apricot balls.
- Also be aware that most savoury highly-processed foods also contain a good measure of sugar to help put flavour back in (even those delicious Cheezels. Sad face).
- Avoiding alcohol will make this easier, not only because booze is full of sugar, but it also lowers your mental defences.
Tomorrow I’ll come back with some information about fruit, seeing as this supposedly bad fructose is fruit-based.
And if you want to join our awesome QUIT SUGAR BATTLE SQUADRON then come and say so on the BKLK Facebook page or send me an email.
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