March 10, 2015

the 20 day no sugar challenge: day 1

there are two ways to do this 'no sugar challenge': hardcore or 'I don't want to turn into a bitch for 20 days' version. Let me explain.

Not fun. At all. Because so many foods have hidden sugars in them: mustard, ketchup and many other sauces, cereals,  ALL fruit juices on the supermarket shelves (because they contain FRUCTOSE which is just another word for SUGAR), breads, pastas, spaghetti sauces and of course usual suspects (all chocolates, desserts, ice creams, flavored yoghurts) Going cold turkey on sugar is hard. Basically, all you can eat are nuts, veggies, proteins (meats & fish), a few dairy products (eggs, cheese, plain yoghurts) and very occasionally, a piece of fruit. NO BANANAS during the hardcore no sugar challenge. Blueberries, strawberries, watermelons are okay like once or twice a week when you're desperate.  If you are up for that - by all means, go for it. Not only do you detox, you're sure to lose weight too.

It's totally do-able. But it's hard. You really have to concentrate on this and basically work around the detox ie your no sugar challenge will be your focal point over the next 20 days. It's impossible to do as an afterthought. At least it was for me. Because you have to really plan and buy your food accordingly.And please, do not substitute sugar with artificial sweetner. Artificial sweetner is just evil. It will make you more hungry and is totally counterproductive.

The no sugar challenge 'I don't want to turn into a bitch but I do want to lower my sugar intake' version: 
You want to actually get through this without disrupting your entire life. You want to reduce your sugar intake, liven up those depressed and suppressed taste buds and feel good about yourself. Choose ONE of the below items to omit.

1. No sugar in your coffee (benefits: you'll drink less coffee because it's not as delicious anymore and you might even come to appreciate the beauty of an espresso straight up. Just coffee. Worst case, you have something to look forward to after 20 days. And if you lessen the amount you put in your coffee after 20 days, that's good too, no? Start small)

2. No chocolates: this is for the severe chocoholic. My dad always used to abscond from eating chocolate during lent. He wasn't really religious or anything but it was kind of a helping hand from heaven. Plus, you always appreciate things more when you give them up for a while. Absence makes the heart grow fonder totally applies to food. If people think it's going to make you give up chocolate  forget about it. That's not how it works. Giving up chocolate is a constant battle. There is no 'go without xyz food type for x amount of time, you'll never want it anymore. Nope. Craving sweets is an addiction like anything else. So reducing sugar intake every once in a while is a good thing. We have something to look forward to at the end of 20 short days. (I say that now. Ask me again on Friday!) Kidding! I'll stick to it. I promise!

3. No soda: really? You drink soda every day? Well, you shouldn't. It is absolute crap. Its the worst thing in the world. Replace immediately with water. Yep. Water.

4. Desserts (cakes, donuts, cookies, candy bars, pancakes, waffles, muffins - you know, all that stuff with like a pound of sugar in each serving)

Choose one of the above and omit from your daily diet. After 20 days you can be proud. It still ain't gonna be easy. Nothing to do with food is easy. But it's possible. I will have daily tips (and info on how awful sugar is for you - make crib notes to carry around when you get a craving)  posted here and on my facebook page

We can do this!

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