New Years is a great time of year for people to develop new goals for themselves and habits. One I decided to challenge myself with was reducing no sugar, at least for 7 days. I was curious what it could do to my body, and how it would better myself. First off I will admit, it wasn’t exactly no sugar completely.
I eliminated added sugar from my diet, in addition to watching the amount of natural sugars I ate (fruits, vegetables, etc.). I looked at nutrition labels and tried to not eat something that contained more than 4-5 grams of sugar per serving.
Yes, natural sugar is found just as much as added sugar, so it was important for me to acknowledge this fact too. I tried to limit my fruits that I consumed to have a low glycemic index, helping with reducing my total sugar intake overall for the week.
What is glycemic index you ask?
Glycemic index is a number given to food items, and it is based off of how fast your blood sugar (also called blood glucose) will be affected by consuming that food. For instance, straight glucose has a glycemic index of approximately 100. As far as determining if the number means it has a high or low glycemic index, just remember the number 55. If it is greater than 55, this is a high glycemic index food. If it is below 55, then it is a low glycemic index food.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sweets. It is the biggest flaw in my diet. Candy being the biggest treat for me, and quite possibly the worst for me. Just in case you were curious, a diet consistent in high glycemic foods causes rapid fluctuations in blood sugar throughout the day and could potentially lead to Heart Disease, Type II Diabetes, and/or weight gain.
After the holiday season, this seemed like the perfect time for me to do this “sugar cleanse” after many, many holiday treats. Let me just tell you, this was NOT easy for me, considering my favorite time to grab a sweet treat is after dinner when I am relaxing from the day.
Here’s some things that I noticed over the week:
- I had headaches on days 2 and 3 as my body was adjusting.
- I had acne the first couple days, but it quickly cleared up.
- Following day 3, I felt great – mentally and physically!
- Day 4 was the hardest, I had come so far, but still so far to go. I just wanted something sweet! (I’m being a tad dramatic because some do these sugar cleanses for 30 days….baby steps people…baby steps…)
- I drank more water.
- I lost a few pounds.
- I had WAY more energy, especially motivation to go workout.
Now here’s a disclaimer: the way I decided to do my own sugar detox, is not researched based, I didn’t follow any set guidelines or programs, and it was just something I wanted to try personally for myself to help me feel better.
In conclusion, I plan to take this week and move forward with it, and constantly recognize what is on a food label and what it means, while occasionally enjoying my gummy bears (maybe just not as much)! There are many words on food labels that are hard to understand, but as long as you start somewhere and try to teach yourself the good and the bad on food labels, it’s a great start. This was a good start for me personally, and I feel great!
Below are some good resources I used and that can provide additional information on added sugars and glycemic index: