WHAT HAPPENED AFTER I GAVE UP SUGAR

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I can't really recall why I decided to give up sugar. I guess I just got swept up in the hysteria around doing so and decided to give it a go. The countless stories from talkback callers, and the media in general, about how giving up the ‘white devil' has changed their lives. This run is my second attempt. I managed 11 days sugar free last month but succumbed to the temptation at a leaving dinner for my brother. He was returning to Europe the next day, so Mum, Dad, my brother and I went out for a family dinner at Eight at The Langham. I announced at the start of the dinner that I was now sugar free and therefore WOULD NOT be indulging in dessert. However that promise slowly faded each time I returned to the buffet and in the process passed the chocolate fountain. Of all the bloody things! How was I supposed to say no to a chocolate fountain? I mean, I am not without self control, but I couldn’t, and I didn’t. And so after a good few rounds of savoury I was gorging myself on chocolate cake, caramel slice, lemon meringue pie, and of course, litres of chocolate sauce. Bugger!

Buuuut, a surprising thing happened. Eating sugar again was just ok, but it was the mind blowing experience I was expecting. Prior to that first bite of chocolate cake dripping in chocolate sauce, the anticipation was real. But it never eventuated. And so I tried everything else that was on offer, thinking maybe the cake was just lacklustre. But no. Nothing hit quite like I was expecting it to. This is in no way a slight on the chefs/bakers at Eight, but more (I think), an insight into how I had mentally built up to joy of consuming sugar in my mind. 

Claire Turnball from Mission Nutrition once told me that it takes 12 days to reset your taste buds. So if you are salt fiend, try and go without for 12 days, and following that, you want for everything salty, or need to coat everything you eat in it, should be reduced. So at 11 days without sugar, maybe the reset had been completed. 

So anyway, after a relapse a couple of weeks back, I am now nine days into (what I have promised myself), is 30 days without sugar. It's funny, it wasn’t until a caller rung talkback on Monday extolling the virtues of his sugar-free life and explaining how his mood had improved, that I realised the same had happened to me. And although there was a wee relapse, if I look back across the last few weeks I am so much more even, mood wise, than I have been almost ever. I’m having ups and downs (of course, I am human), but not to the great extents I feel like I used to. I’m still no delight first thing in the morning, but the process of getting up and going to the gym has been easier of late, and has required a tonne less coffee! Is it all due to being (almost) sugar free? Perhaps. I don’t really feel like much else has changed. I am still working too much, sleeping too little, eating and exercising well (I’m pretty good with the latter two), so it could be?

Aside from the more constant mood, and saving $$$ on $1 mixed bags (oooooh I’ll be a millionaire in no time), I have lost a little bit of stomach fat. Not that I am in any way overweight or need to lose weight, but I have noticed a weeeeee tightening around the abdominal area. Which, let's be honest, is welcomed by most.

So there we go, my experiences after a couple of weeks (but in reality nine full days) of a diet with no sugar. FYI I am not avoiding fruit or anything with natural sugars, just those manufactured, wrapped in plastic type foods full of sugar. Those along with sauces that contain it, sugary drinks, and the delights in cafes and restaurants that look like recipes that could’ve come from one of Joe Seager's cookbooks, and therefore contain no less than 1.5kg of the stuff!

It will be interesting to see where I am at following the full 30? A ripped torso and completely zen like Buddha hopefully...

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