Sunday, 8 September 2013

Experimenting With Quitting Sugar: Week 1

So, one week into my six week no sugar experiment. How am I finding it?


Actually it has been pretty easy. I mentioned in my last post about this that I've never been a fruit lover, and as I've been following (roughly) the Slimming World plan for 2 years now, I've been on a fairly low sugar diet for that time anyway. 

So, no horrendous withdrawal, big plus. Aside from checking labels carefully to make sure that the sugar content is low, it really hasn't taken much effort to make the change. My colleagues have been really supportive and have taken care not to offer me cookies with our afternoon coffee, and have been interested in learning why I'm making this choice. Which is great, because I spent a fair bit of time a week at work, and it would be awful to have to fight against a torrent of cookies, cake and criticism. I am on my own in my office at the moment though, as my roommates are all away, so this may change once they reappear. They are both cookie fiends as well.... I've resolved that I can handle it as long as I'm making the cookies.... looks like I'll be doing  a lot of baking once I've decided to reintroduce sweet things into my diet!

Any benefits to show so far?

Weight: I'm not sure I've lost much weight, maybe half a kilo. But.... I do feel like I've lost some cms: my face to me looks slightly leaner, my cheekbones seem more obvious. And I think my stomach is getting flatter. 

Skin: My primary motivator. Well, this week has been incredibly stressful, and my skin reacts really badly to stress. So, no improvement there so far. I think I need to be patient though (this is difficult considering next weekend is my graduation and I'd like to look good for the pictures!), and hopefully I'll see some results. 

What challenges have arisen?

I went out for dinner and drinks with my colleagues on Wednesday night, and sat through all of them eating dessert without any problem. Having a nice glass of wine instead probably helped... 

The biggest challenge has been this weekend. I've been making Christmas puddings and mincemeat in preparation for Christmas, and the smell of sweet fruity pudding steaming is so amazing. That and I've been using a lot of muscovado sugar, which I love. I could eat that stuff out of the jar, it is amazing. I did sneak a little taste of the pudding mixture to taste, and licked my finger after I'd scooped all the treacle off the spoon, but it was only a little taste.... 

Any other observations?

I also drank the last mouthful of Guinness that was left in the can after I'd made all the puddings and I actually liked it! I'm not sure whether that is because I've been drinking Czech dark beer a lot or I'm so used to drinking Austrian beer that Guinness now tastes better, or whether cutting out sugar has had that much of an impact on my taste buds that quickly.

Saturday lunchtime we went to the market to buy fruit and veg, and meat for dinner (its a much better and more economical way of shopping than the supermarkets here, and so much fun), and decided to stop and have a beer/spritzer in the sunshine. I hadn't eaten anything so decided a plate of something would be a good idea, and picked a falafel and hummous plate as it looked to be the thing with the least sugary things on it. The bread that accompanied it probably had a smidge of sugar, and the tomato/aubergine thing was also quite sweet, but there wasn't much of it. For probably the first time ever, I couldn't finish a plate of food! I was absolutely stuffed. Once you take the sugar out of your diet, the difference to the way your body processes food becomes very very apparent. Still full 5 hours later, I was quite grateful to be making something quite light for dinner!

How is the next week looking?

Week 2 of quitting sugar completely will probably be ok during the week, when I have all the control over my eating, but at the end of the week we go to Paris for my graduation. I haven't been to France for a long time, but I think it will be ok - as far as I remember a cheese board is usually a dessert option, so that will do nicely, but breakfasts might be fun what with me trying to avoid white bread because of the sugar content, and croissants being firmly off the menu! The reception following my graduation ceremony will also be interesting - hopefully the canapés will have some no sugar options!

Whatever happens I'm not going to get stressed about it. That would kind of defeat the whole point of it all! 

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