Last year I took the month of May to wean myself off sugar to jump-start healthier eating. I have a major sweet tooth and decided I wanted to lose the menopausal weight gain. I got some added benefits I didn’t count on. I had less joint pain. I increased my willpower and ate better overall.
Did I stay off sugar? NO. Should I have? Probably. I found I enjoyed the taste of fruit much more after the month without sugar since it tasted much sweeter than before. I am starting a new 30 days of sugar-free eating.
What Does Sugar-Free Mean to Me?
By sugar-free, it means I don’t eat sweets, including fruit. I try to avoid added sugar in regular food by not consuming anything over 5 grams of sugar, which means looking at food labels, particularly in tomato-based pasta sauces. I avoid any artificial sweeteners as well as it seems to be counter-productive and make me crave sweets. The only exception is that if I reach a point where I think I might snap, I will go buy some sugar-free jello. My beverages remain black coffee, unsweetened decaf tea and ice water with or without lemon. I have learned that caffeine past noon equals difficulty getting to sleep at night!
I had lost about 30 lbs over the course of a year but gained half of that back as a result of a car accident that left me with a broken back and ankle. I intended to do better with my weight at the beginning of the year but I kept falling off the wagon. As usual, I tried to do too many things at once by creating a workout schedule and trying to eat better. I have learned that getting my eating under control is definitely the thing that helps me get the biggest result. Most “experts” agree that the way we look is due to AT LEAST 80% of what we put in our mouth. Exercise will be added back once I get control of my eating again.
I remembered my success was much better after I did my sugar-free May last near so I picked January 13, 2020, to start my 30 days sugar-free this year.
I do intermittent fasting 6 days per week as well which also fell by the wayside after my car accident. I started at 16:8 (16 hours of fasting with an 8-hour eating window) and currently fast between 18 and 19 hours per day with a 6 or 5-hour eating window). I have always used Saturday as a “cheat day” to help me stay on this way of eating long term but for now, there will be no sugar on Saturdays. If I am unable to get things under control, my cheat day will become a cheat meal ONLY, not the entire day.
Update: I lost 4 lbs and I have much better self-control which was the main goal!!!