Sugar, you’re going down

sugar

I’ve always had a sweet tooth.  When I was young, my family used to tease me for having a huge bowl of ice cream nearly every evening. I couldn’t get enough of dessert in any form.  I wish I still had the photo of Amber and I enjoying huge pieces of frosted cake back when we were roommates in 2005.  It wasn’t until I started trying to eat better that I realized my addiction to sugar and that I needed to break it.  Breaking that addiction has been a very difficult thing to do.  Recently, I came across the The Three Day Sugar Detox. It looked innocent enough so I decided to give it a go.  The authors of the book, The Sugar Detox recommend that to break an addiction to sugar, one should start with a three day sugar fast.

Three days without any sugar? Really?

Yes.

Three days without sugar lays the foundation for your brain to begin weaning off of it.  I’ve heard that if you want to quit smoking  you can break the habit, at least in your brain, in just three days.  I reasoned that the same concept could apply to a sugar addiction.  The first thing I did was throw away all the sugary things in my house.  If it wasn’t there, I wouldn’t eat it.  Then I recruited my husband to help keep me accountable.  I told him my plan and asked him to keep asking me if I’d stuck to it.  It really helps to have someone on your side when you’re starting something new, especially if it’s something as life changing as this.

One of the biggest problems people have with starting a new diet plan is mapping out how they’ll change their current eating habits to reflect the eating habits they are striving for.  This book does all the work for you. Here’s the 3 Day Sugar Detox plan.

DAY ONE

Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs

Mid-morning snack: Nuts

Lunch: Poached Chicken Breast with mixed baby greens and half an avocado

Afternoon snack: Sliced peppers with two tablespoons of spinach hummus

Dinner: Edamame, salmon with stir-fried broccoli and mushrooms

 DAY TWO

Breakfast: Three eggs scrambled with sautéed spinach

Snack: Nuts

Lunch: Tuna Niçoise salad

Snack: Sliced peppers with hummus

Dinner: Pork tenderloin, sautéed Brussels sprouts and mushrooms with lettuce salad and avocado

 DAY THREE

Breakfast: Three-egg omelette with shrimp, sautéed spinach and tarragon

Snack: Nuts

Lunch: Grilled turkey burger with sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and sautéed mushrooms, plus kale chips

Snack: Sliced peppers with hummus

Dinner: Baked cod over bok choy and mixed greens

 **Drinks allowed over the three days: One cup of unsweetened black coffee per day, unsweetened green and/or herbal tea in unlimited amounts, minimum 64 ounces of water a day. 

That all sounds delicious doesn’t it?  It was! And the best part was, I think it worked.  I have fewer sugar cravings and more self-discipline.  In the past two weeks, I’ve only had one sweet treat.  I’ve come a long way!

There was one problem with this whole thing however.  I suspect some of our readers will have the same problem.  IT WASN’T ENOUGH FOOD.  I learned the hard way that you need to eat A LOT of food if you’re working out rigorously or if you’re breastfeeding or, if you’re like me, both!

I decided to begin this detox on a Monday about two weeks ago, the same Monday that I decided to go back to CrossFit style workouts three times a week.  Early Tuesday morning, I woke up around 3AM famished.  I was freezing cold, shivering in fact.  I felt extremely weak and was seeing stars.  I took my temperature and it was very low, lower than what I thought it should be so I took it again, a little higher but still too low.  I thought perhaps my blood sugar was low so I ate an orange.  Yes, that was against the eating plan but I was desperate. I left the peel right there on the counter and crawled back into bed, exhausted.  The next morning, I didn’t feel much better.  I was supposed to have some friends over but I called and told them I’d have to reschedule.  When my little one took a nap, I did too.  After a nap and very large breakfast, I don’t even remember what I had, I felt better.  Lesson learned.  You cannot blindly follow a diet plan if you’ve got special needs.  You must take those into account, whatever they are.  In my case, I’m breastfeeding and working out.  Breastfeeding alone burns between 400 and 600 calories a day, depending on how much milk your baby needs.  Couple that with a CrossFit style workout and the answer is clear.  You must replace those calories burned or else you will suffer.  But I want to lose weight, won’t my body just burn the junk in my truck to use as energy? Well, it’s not that easy.  It’s too much to go into in this post but no, it’s not how it works, especially for breastfeeding.  Don’t compromise the quality of breast milk by eating less food.  Less food means less nutrients going into your milk.  Fat is not going to magically turn into breast milk.  Milk is made from what’s in your blood.  Nutrients from food go into your blood.  You get the idea.

You can do it no matter what you’ve got going on.  It just make take some tweaking.  Moral of the story, eat more if you’re working out hard, breastfeeding or extremely active.  Your body needs food to burn.  You’re trying to squelch those sugar cravings, not induce them by starving yourself.  Be smart.  In the end, I followed the eating plan but added more servings and snacks. 

To keep myself motivated to keep sugar out of my life, I researched sugar and how it affects your body.  I came across the following YouTube video.  It’s a little long, 1.5 hours long, but it’s so worth watching.  The speaker isn’t boring, he’ actually very intelligent and humorous.  I guarantee you’ll learn a lot and it will spark you to change your diet too.

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