Friday, March 20, 2009

Going off Sugar -- It Helps to Have a Plan

My posts here have been a little lacking lately. Things have been a bit crazy and I just haven't gotten around to it. So I thought I'd take a little break today and tell you about Joe and I going off sugar. Some people think I'm CRAZY or that it's too strict and I'll cave or that they'd never be able to do it. So I thought I'd tell you a little about our plan and how it's been going great so far (I rinsed chocolate cake batter off my finger today instead of licking it off, that was a moment of triumph!).

So here's the plan:

Why we decided to get started:

-I saw this lady on PBS the other day and she said you can kill your cravings by eating 3 pieces of fruit a day for a certain period of time and then weaning off the fruit (so going from refined sugar to natural sugar to eventually less sugar, even of the natural type).

-I also read in this book that eating sugar can contribute to increased anxiety---I'm a worrier, this is not something I need more of in my life.

-Eating lots of sugar is not conducive to losing weight and I would really like to lose some weight before we decide to start our family.

-We don't like feeling like we "need" sugar. It really can be an addiction and we don't like feeling that way.

-We want treats to be just that, a treat. We don't want to waste our calories on so-so treats just because they are there (aka sugar cookies with no frosting---what a waste!). We'd rather wait and anticipate and indulge in our favorite treats (hello cheesecake or quality dark chocolate) and abstain from other treats.

-We want to feel better and appreciate food more. And seriously natural foods like fruit and carrots taste so much sweeter now that I focus on them.

How we stay motivated:

-We eat lots of fruit

-We stay busy so we aren't munching out of boredom

-We aren't working much on restricting other areas, at least not for now, so if I munch (and I do) at least it's not on sweets

-We aren't being as strict with the sugar thing as we could -- we could cut out honey and all products with high fructose corn syrup, etc.. etc... we haven't. Not yet.

-We have prizes. Good ones. Ones we would not purchase for ourselves under normal circumstances.

-We aren't abstaining completely for the rest of forever. Our plan is 2 weeks of strict sugar deprivation (no sweets, no candy, no cake, no anything of the sort -- though I did eat a handful of kettle corn which Joe, my judge, waived).

Why this is sustainable:

-The long term plan (after the first two weeks) is to have one treat a week. And a prize for sticking to this for a month. And then we'll re-evaluate at that point. Because seriously if they have glazed donuts at work I'll think "hmm...glazed donuts are good...but do I really want that to be my one treat for the week...um, no, I'll save it up for an article cirlce peanut butter cup shake"


So there you go. I'm not crazy. I am sticking to it. And we are staying motivated. It's not a diet at all, it really is a mindset, a change of lifestyle to being people who eat healthy most of the time and look forward to sugary treats as just that, a treat. An amazing anticipated treat. Because I love sugar, I really do. But I love the benefits of eating it sparingly.

So wish me luck. And I encourage you all to try it too. And make a plan, it'll help.

4 little remarks:

Rae said...

I found you off LRS and think you are very cool! I have to say I agree with your sugar plan. I know a lot of people who have sworn off all sugar forever and then feel absolutely guilty when they budge. It is also wise for you guys to get the sugar beast out of your system before having kids because then maybe it will be a little easier to have them off the sugar beast (I have 4 so I can talk here!) I feel some sugar is fine, it is when that is your main craving you get into trouble. Good luck with your plan.

Sarah Flib said...

I like it. Thanks for the full disclosure. :) This plan sounds sustainable because you aren't saying "never again," which is what it sounded like before. Good luck!

Tannie Datwyler said...

I never thought you were crazy! I just wondered how long you were going to do it for. Some people go off all sugar for months. I like your plan a lot. Richard and I have eaten way too much sugar lately (Christmas, Valentine's...) till it seemed like we always had candy in the house. I'm glad it is gone, but I for sure had some sugar withdrawls for a few days.

emily said...

Love it Anna! What an awesome choice and plan. Good for you! Michael and I have started talking about doing something like this (i.e. me only baking once a week). I think it's a great idea and a good pattern to set for your future kids!

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