Do you remember how I posted a TED talk a few weeks ago that included a talk about 30 day challenges? If you missed it, here it is again.
Well, guess what guys? I said I would and now I am… I’m doing a 30 day challenge starting tomorrow. I’m going to quit sugar.
The I Quit Sugar movement is huge in Australia at the moment after the “Sweet Poison” by David Gillespie and the Sarah Wilson “I Quit Sugar” sensations caused massive stirs amongst the health community. Whilst the specific of what the sugar free diet looks like has sparked a hefty amount of debate, it has highlighted an important point that we are eating far too much sugar. Although 6 teaspoons a day (approx 25 grams) is the recommended daily limit, the average Australian is reported to have over 27. When you think that a 50 gram chocolate bar has around 7 teaspoons, you can see how it adds up quickly. In fact many processed foods, (including sauces, juice and ready-made frozen meals) are packed with a surprising amount of the hidden sweet stuff.
Let’s be clear. When I refer to sugar in this context I am talking about fructose (there are other types of sugars, such as glucose, sucrose and lactose). According to the I Quit Sugar website, fructose can only be processed in the liver leading to fat storage, is highly addictive and does not send signals to the brain telling it to stop eating (which essentially leads to overeating). Plus, we all know how bad sugar is for your teeth.
Because I’m doing it for 30 days, I’ve decided to go big. So it’s no fruit for me for the next month (goodbye beloved acai bowls) as I throw myself into this challenge. Even though I don’t really eat refined sugar and rarely eat any processed foods anyway, I know that I have recently been eating too much natural sugar lately. We’re talking about 4+ pieces a day. Something about the climate and lifestyle at the Gold Coast has really increased my, normally savoury, sweet tooth.
Although my exercise routine has stayed the same, I feel as though I am getting to the point where I am needing that sweet fix for breakfast or after dinner – so much so that my mini muffin top is starting to make me question whether my jeans have shrunk a little over the summer.
Before you say it, I know that fruit is good. It is full of fibre and essential vitamins… This is not going to be a permanent change and I will substitute it for a variety of fresh vegetables so that I am not missing out on anything. But I want to see how my body reacts when I completely deprive it of its usual sweetness overload. It’s also important to note that on a energy needs basis, I’ll be replacing sugar with healthy sources of fat (as if I needed another excuse to eat more peanut butter).
I doubt it’s going to be easy, but how much of a challenge would it be if it were?
This is not going to be sweet.