I’ve decided to conduct some self-experiments. I’ve been having trouble with lethargy and with my skin. I’m also aware that my eating habits have got into a terrible state again, and that my insides would appreciate some real food.
How much sugar were you eating?
The government recommendation is 40g a day, I was hitting between 100-200g. That’s between one and two Monster High dolls…! Marzipan addiction a little out of control.
For the next four weeks, I will not be eating anything that contains added sugar.
What counts as “added sugar”?
There is an obscene amount of sugar that sneaks past in seemingly innocent food. For the most part my problem is marzipan, but I will eat anything sugary if it’s there (even if I don’t like it).
Honey and fruit do not count as added sugar, nor does anything that has naturally occurring sugar. Sweeteners do count as added sugar as they come with their own set of problems.
In 2012 I went 6 months without junk food. After the initial hump I felt amazing. My skin cleared up, and I was only tired if I’d been up late or worked extra hard. I didn’t, however, realise that there was still sugar in some normal everyday things I was eating.
What’s getting cut?
As I said, the habitual marzipan purchase is banned. I’m an abstainer rather than a moderator, so that’s the way it has to be!
I have been through my cupboards to see what else has sugar in it. I was surprised about wholemeal bread. To be fair the amount is negligible, but it’s added, so it’s out. I don’t want to make too many changes at once, so breakfast will be eggs and some kind of potato instead of bread.
Vegetable stock has sugar, as do some Quorn products, vitamin tablets, oatcakes, spaghetti hoops. I noticed own brand products are more likely to have added sugar than their branded counterparts, I guess it’s a cheap way of masking the lack of flavour.
I’ve actually found myself disgusted while reading packets, especially when it’s something predominantly marketed at children (spaghetti hoops!). Again, amounts may be negligible, but when you add it all up it’s no surprise that there’s a problem! Shouldn’t we be asking why?
I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am feeling very jaded by corporations and their money grabbing lack of care for the human beings trusting them with that money. I’m already thinking longer term how it may be possible to get out of that rat race (with food at least).
You can’t do that long term…
I don’t plan to. I just want four weeks without sugar dictating my eating habits. I want to enjoy what I’m eating and know that it is nourishing me and helping me live my life the way I want.
The long term plan has always involved the 80/20 rule. If I’m out and want an ice cream, I’ll have one. Or if family serve up dessert, I’ll have it. But I don’t want it in the house unless it’s for a special occasion. Rediscovering the word “treat” here!
What will you eat?
I’ve planned my meals, I’m only making things that don’t require sugar or things with sugar in them. I was pleased that a lot of the recipes I use didn’t. I’ve also tried to account for my habits, I know I get hungry at about 11 and 3, so finding things I can have then that are easy to prepare.
If you’re really that curious, I tend to photograph everything I eat when I’m making changes or trying something out. It’s weird, no one cares, but I do it for me. It makes me more mindful when I’m about to eat, and studies have shown keeping a food diary can really make a difference.
So there we have it, don’t accept death’s donut and you’ll be fine!