How I accidentally gave up Sugar.
I've been, for as long as I can remember, that person always needing a nightcap. Anytime I would go out to eat I would always need to finish it off with a dessert. Baking has always been a hobby of mine and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of indulging in the step-by-step process, licking the spoon clean, and finishing off with a big piece of the final product. Now I hardly bake, I don't crave a sweet thing after ordering a decadent meal, doughnuts don't tempt me in the lounge; I'd say I've kicked my sugar craving. How, is by accident.
I decided back in October to try the 'Whole 30'. Essentially for 30 days you are eating foods that are healthy, chock full of benefits and has little to no processed ingredients. There are also a lot of limitations. A LOT. Grains are out, so basically everything sweet or delicious and full of gluten. All dairy- including cheese, ice cream, yogurt, and milk- alcohol and legumes (beans and also peanuts and peanut butter). HAHA, I know, why the hell would I put myself through this torture?!?! I chose to follow this eating plan because I had fallen off the wagon the last few months. There had been a lot of celebrations which included lots of alcohol and sweets, and every weekend I was over indulging in foods I should enjoy but not abuse (hello, cookies!). Suffice to say I gained a few pounds and needed to get back on track. I decided to be strict with myself and commit to 30 days of eating foods I knew were allowed on the Whole 30. Honestly, the hardest part was giving up my Friday night glasses of wine, but otherwise I wasn't missing much...until I had a crash. The first day was easy, second day so/so, third day I had intense cravings for sweets though I knew I needed to not cave. I remember eating an apple and almond butter to cure the sweet tooth, which helped to an extent but I really craved something ooey-gooey and overly sweet. But, I didn't cave in. I fantasized and salivated profusely, but, I. Did. Not. Cave. In. Apples and almond butter were my go-to. They were in the confines of the Whole 30 and just sweet enough that I'd get through the craving. Besides those first few days of crash and cravings thirty days went by seemingly quick.
There were a lot of great outcomes to my Whole 30 experience. My clothes were looser, my skin was so clear and the bags I so desperately try to get rid of under my eyes had disappeared. I had energy, I didn't feel sluggish, and, I didn't have an urge to eat sugar.
After Whole 30 I tried to stick to that eating regime but realized it was really hard. I could do it, but it takes a lot of effort and I realized I wanted to ease back into my old eating habits, and appreciate the foods I gave up for 30 days. Chris and I went back to our weekend routine of cooking dinner together and drinking wine. I started eating dairy (sporadically) again, because, hello? Cheese plates! I also was eating legumes again, because beans are cheap, delicious and filling. But, sweets were not something I fantasized about.
After the Holidays I thought I was going to do the Whole 30 again to get back on track due to the overindulgent of alcohol and cheese plates (but still no sweets!), but my diet actually took a surprising turn. I had this moment of freedom where I decided I am going to just eat whatever I please and not feel bad about it, and see where it takes me, and STILL sugar has not been involved. I've been very relaxed with my way of eating. I still try to eat healthy, but I don't feel guilty (like I used to in the past) when there's pizza, burgers and wine available for consumption.
It is the end of January and I haven't gained weight and I still don't crave sugar. I drink on the weekends, I am eating pizza and burgers as well, hearty meals, lots of carbs (LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS), and yet, my clothes feel loose and I am satiated. All I can think is because I am no longer eating sweets I am actually, a lot healthier. Every now and then something sweet will creep into my day, but I usually take one bite and I am done. It's too sweet for me, and I notice I'll get a headache right after. I don't salivate when I watch dessert porn, and I no longer crave chocolate. In fact, there are Hershey kisses sitting on my bar cart from New Year's that in the past would have been eaten but now they're just collecting dust. It's pretty amazing to no longer eat sugar because I keep reading how it causes more harm than good and it does no favor for the skin and aging (hello, approaching 30). I'm not opposed to eating sugar if I want to try something sweet, but, I don't need it every night, and usually it's a bite to taste and I'm satisfied, because DAMN sugar is SWEET!
Have you kicked sugar from your diet? How did you do it?