Fitness Series: No Refined Sugar

The second monthly goal I had in November was to eat no refined sugar and I decided to continue into December with it. I did this mostly to cut out eating baked goods and chocolate but also because I was craving sugary food all the time and then not enjoying it!

I have terrible self control when I have things in the house that I love to eat that may not be good for me. I overindulge in all things baked and will pick up a dessert “just because”. So, November was to get myself back in control and to resist the temptation of sugar. (Cutting out refined sugars would also help in my journey in losing weight. Bonus!)

This challenge was more difficult than I thought it would be. I’m typically good about eating clean during the week and indulge on the weekends so, as I expected, the first week was fairly easy until the weekend. It was my friend’s birthday so we had a birthday dessert while we were out for drinks. But, instead of having a whole dessert to myself we shared one between four of us so I only had a few bites!

The third week was probably the most difficult because by that point I was craving sugar HARD. I really had to talk myself out of buying sweets and even went to the grocery store once and had to tell myself to put down the brownies (I did). I felt good physically (especially combined with going to the gym daily).

By the end of the month, I had a treat and felt physically TERRIBLE after! My insides were dying and it has honestly helped me from not buying sweets in December! It was a great challenge to kick-start being healthy again and I’ll definitely be keeping this one up.

I also did some reading about the effects of refined sugar throughout the month and thought I’d share some of the facts I found.

  1. Obviously, eating too much sugar can cause weight gain but it can also lead to diabetes and tooth decay. It’s something I KNOW but for some reason it’s not something I think of when I pick up a piece of cake. How much is too much, really??
  2. It can be addicting. Interestingly, studies have shown that you can get addicted to sugar. It “stimulates the same pleasure centres of the brain as cocaine or heroin”. No wonder I crave it all the time! I definitely have been eating it way too much and I’m glad I did this challenge.
  3. Sugar has a negative effect on the digestive system. “Over consuming sugar can feed the infections such as Candida (yeast), and result in bloating, gas, and other unpleasant digestive effects.” Let me tell you, after going without it for almost a month and eating a treat, it was true (and terrible to deal with).

I’ve had some treats at work the past few days and I felt immediately awful after. Physically terrible, not “I shouldn’t have done that” terrible. But I somehow, I want more! I think “No refined sugar” is a goal I’ll continue through to the new year. My body certainly needs and wants it!

References:

  1. https://www.livestrong.com/article/441681-the-effect-of-refined-sugar-on-the-body/
  2. https://dailyburn.com/life/health/sugar-addiction-detox/
  3. https://allergyfreemenuplanners.com/2013/02/14/how-sugar-throws-off-your-digestive-and-hormonal-balance/
  4. https://www.theroutinefix.com/blog/how-quitting-sugar-can-drastically-improve-your-digestion

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