As you may recall, back in March I had a revelation about eating sugar and subsequently gave it up. This was not an intentional or planned detox or diet. It just happened. Now 5 months later, I am updating you on my journey without sugar. You can read how this all started in my April 30 blog post “My Journey as a Sugar Addict”.
Since the beginning of March I still have not had any “sweets” or “deserts”. I do use honey and GU during long training rides and runs. I also have had a few homemade snacks that have had small amounts of honey or agave in them. Aside from that, I have stayed away from sugar. So how do I do this? Do I crave sweets? How has it affected me? These are the questions I want to discuss.
As I stated in my original post, I do not endorse “giving up” certain food groups, this is my journey and what has worked for me. I believe I am an “all” or “nothing” person. I have a hard time keeping things in moderation; however, it has been much easier for me to not eat sweets, since I do not crave them anymore. Studies have shown that when you consume sugar, it triggers hormones that cause you to want more sugar. Occasionally, I see certain deserts that look good, but I really have no desire to eat them. I also take a few seconds before eating something to actually think about it what is in it. I want to make decisions about what I put in my body and not just randomly shove food in my face. Another key for me is not allowing hunger to control me. Bad eating decisions are made when you are starving.
I feel that not eating sweets has calmed my mind. When I ate sweets before, I was out of control and ate too much. Then I would double up my workouts to burn the extra calories and this made me crazy. Many people have their own reasons to consider making a drastic change in their diet, but for me I feel it has affected my mood for the better. Also remember, I still get plenty of sugar from fruits and dairy. Plain Greek yogurt has 6 grams of sugar (lactose) in 1 serving and a banana has 4 grams of sugar. As an endurance athlete, I need energy however I try to get it as naturally as possible.
I will say that I have no plans to make this a permanent change, although I have no cravings or desire to eat sweets either. This is about taking control of the food I put in my body and not letting it control me. I encourage my athletes to make the best decisions for them and give them the tools and information to do so. You only get one body and you choose what to do with it, so choose wisely!