Tuesday, June 20, 2017

How I Survived a Week Without Sugar

One week, Seven days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes, 604,800 seconds

Without sugar.

Wait, that's too easy. The internets tell me I must eliminate ALL sweeteners (sucralose, aspartame, and yes, even stevia) to really change habits, curb cravings and discover how my body reacts.

So I tried this once before but I crashed and burned! I made it one day and I felt miserable all day. What was wrong? Maybe I was just having a bad day anyway but I simply felt irritated all day and that was not fair to the people around me lol! So I quit.

However, about a week or so later, a #healthspo account on Instagram did it and I regained my motivation and determination. This time, though, I had a new mindset! I focused on the fact that this was my personal choice. I am in control. I am choosing not to consume these things because I want to be kind to my body. I want to see if I will feel any different/better. I choose not to consume these things versus I can't, I'm not allowed, etc. This shift in mindset seemed to make all the difference.

Some of the biggest changes I had to make:

Breakfast was: oatmeal with loads of stevia and nut butter that was sweetened

Breakfast became: eggs with potatoes, eggs with fruit, eggs with cheese and spinach, plain rice cakes with cream cheese and smoked salmon

I honestly didn't mind switching up my breakfast but I did find that having a few strawberries at the end made me that much more satisfied. It was like a breakfast dessert lol! I also discovered that smoked salmon (at least the brand I purchased) has sugar in it, however on the nutrition facts, it reads 0g sugar, so it must be a trivial amount. Since I had already eaten it, I let it slide. These breakfasts were perfectly satiating to get me to lunch.

Caffeine was: coffee with stevia, Monster energy drinks, diet soda
Caffeine became: cold brew coffee black

Well black coffee is not my favorite thing in the world, I much prefer the flavor of the cold brew. It did the job of giving me my daily dose of caffeine!

Snacks were: protein bars, protein ice cream, beef jerky which had sugar in the ingredients, yogurt with sweeteners in the ingredients, etc.

Snacks became: sweet potatoes with no sugar added sunbutter or peanut butter, popcorn, rice cakes with tuna, protein smoothies (fruit, coconut milk and protein powder with no sweeteners), natural almonds (watch out for added sugar in smoked or roasted varieties), larabars, kind pressed fruit bars and fruits and veggies

This was a bit of an adjustment but I actually found it easier as I went out of town for the weekend because I only brought appropriate snacks and didn't snack as much. I enjoyed getting to eat more fruits and veggies and larabars which I haven't had in a while. The smoothie was a little disappointing because it was far less sweet than my protein fluff but I guess that's the point lol!

Unsweetened Smoothie Bowl topped with Unsweetened Coconut, NSA Sunbutter and Cinnamon
Supplements were: creatine, protein, BCAAs and pre workout all sweetened with stevia or sucralose
Supplements became: NADA, yeah I just drank water at the gym!

Takeaway: I honestly do not regret doing this because I didn't notice any negative effects. I felt much better about myself knowing I was eating more vegetables and Whole Foods. It also really affected my habits, at least for now. I used to DUMP stevia in my oatmeal. I haven't had oatmeal yet but I'm hoping now, I will be able to be more moderate.  I'm not sure how many long-term studies have been done on stevia but too much of anything is too much. Also, during this time, I didn't notice any headaches which I get if I drink too many monster energy drinks or diet sodas in a row. I also drank a lot more water and I think this may have benefited my regularity in bowel movements. (TMI? Lol!) Besides that, I didn't notice too much of a physical effect. I'm hoping now I can find a happy balance. That's always the goal, right?

What do you think about added sugar and sweeteners and doing a "detox"? How insane is your sweet tooth?

Disclaimer: I don't think that this is something you need to do, it was simply an experiment I wanted to do to see how my body reacted. Eat yo sugar if you like!

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