Monday, October 28, 2013

Sugar Free Month


I want to address something today that many people can be kind of defensive about. Sugar.

Sugar permeates pretty much everything we can buy off a shelf in the center of the grocery store. The average American is addicted to sugar, and has no idea that they are. I had no knowledge of how badly I needed sugar until I went an entire month without it.

So today is the beginning of a sugar free two months. Instead of saying "Oh I'll start my diet after the holidays" I am just going to completely cut sugar out for the next two months. The first time I started a sugar free month was in May. I did a whole four weeks, and lost seven pounds without any other kind of diet or exercise. So obviously sugar is a huge factor in my diet. I couldn't drive by a frozen custard joint without stopping, could not resist any cookie or other sweet treats at church or work events. All of my teeth were sweet teeth!  Randy on the other hand can only ever eat a bite of any dessert, and never gets his own, but just eats a couple bites of mine. All of his teeth are meat teeth. He really only craves savory foods, so when I'm jonesing for a pint of Ben and Jerry's, Randy is ready for a 16 oz steak. Just take a look at my bad food board on pinterest, and you will see the kinds of treats that haunt my dreams. I'm beginning to get weak against the sugar fiend again lately.

But no more. I am abstaining from sugar until December 27th. What I mean by this is no added sugar to my diet. I won't be eating anything that has fake sugar in it either, diet sodas and other things with artificial sweeteners in them aren't really any better for your body. I won't deprive myself of fruit and other things with natural sugar in them, but I will be avoiding white bread and flour, white potatoes and other starchy things that are full of empty calories. No cereals - with the exception of rice krispies, hardly any sugar in those compared to most other cereals.

Now I know that avoiding sugar may seem like an easy feat, but in our country in this age of processed foods, nothing could be further from the truth. Take this for example, one whole tomato has roughly 22 calories and 3 grams of sugar. That is in a whole tomato. One tablespoon of ketchup has 19 calories and 4 grams of sugar. One tablespoon! When I use ketchup for fries or other things, I use at least 5 tablespoons, and that's being frugal with my guesstimate of how much I use. That is ridiculous. Do tomatoes taste so bad we have to put as many calories and sugars into one tablespoon of ketchup as a whole tomato contains? I feel like they have to load our foods with sugar to mask all the chemicals they pump into it.

This is about how I feel after loading up on sugar, not the best. Sluggish and fatigued the rest of the day, maybe even a headache or two with more cravings for sugar. 
A Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut has less sugar in it than 3/4 cup of Fruit Loops. And who actually only eats 3/4 cup of cereal? It starts when we're young.  Sugary foods are marketed as healthy nutritious parts of meals. We've all seen the commercials with the cereal, shown with fruit juice, milk, a piece of fruit and it says "Part of a complete breakfast!". Yogurt, chocolate milk, fruit drinks, cereal, toaster pastries, and prepackaged lunch snacks are all marketed towards health conscious mothers, and shown as what the "cool" kids have, so the moms and kids are both wanting to purchase it. A ham and cheese lunchable has 36 grams of sugar in it! Those vitamin waters, the first two ingredients are water and sugar! Gatorade, vitamin water, powerade, its all just sugar water. Yet it is advertised as healthy. I see people throwing those back like.. well likes it water.

I am going to try to focus on eating plenty of vegetables and fresh fruit, lean proteins and reducing the carbs I eat. The point of this isn't really to lose weight, although that is an added plus, but its to promote healthy eating habits. When I finished my sugar free month in June, I didn't even want any sweets. I pretty much kept eating how I had been, but I didn't hesitate to indulge in a small frozen custard shared with Randy every few weeks. I actually got headaches when I drank sprite and ate other sugary things, which kept me from overindulging in sweets like I used to. The thing that messed me up was going on the Disney cruise. So, I'm going to avoid sugar during the holidays and get myself back on track!

I don't expect anybody to do it with me, but if you feel that this might be a good exercise for you, then by all means join me in my sugar free month! It certainly can't hurt!

The first week is the hardest, but thankfully I have plenty of projects to keep me busy during this very irritable time.

I hope you enjoyed reading, and maybe learned something. Until next time,



  1. Yeah...I like Coke too much to go totally sugar free! But I absolutely applaud the efforts! I'm very glad to hear that you avoid the artificial sugar, as well. I'm amazed at how many people see it as healthy! It's great to know how much weight you can loose just by cutting out the "easy" stuff! (I say easy...I'm a big fan of starch...) Best of luck! I can't wait to hear about how it goes! :)

    1. Oh I love coke too. I used to drink waaay too much of it, but I found a system that really helped me cut back. My husband only drinks water, so we got rid of having soda in our house, and when I went grocery shopping or ran errands, I would buy a small bottle of cola to reward myself for having to venture into Walmart or other tedious stores/errands. Before I went sugar free, I only had a cola about once a week. So I wasn't completely depriving myself, but I did have to earn it.

  2. Very inspiring! I will check back soon!

    1. Thanks! I made it through the first two days, woohoo!