June 30th marked one month that we’ve been doing this challenge and I didn’t even realize it until it had already passed! I’m going to take that as a good sign because it means I’m not counting down the days until I can eat sugar again (as I thought I would be).
If you’ve been reading this blog since the beginning, you know that when we first started this challenge I was curious to see how not eating sugar would affect my sugar cravings and energy levels. I am happy to report after one month that I think both have definitely improved.
It seems like I have only noticed these changes in the past couple of weeks. Maybe it was going to China and breaking away from my normal routine, or maybe it is just that it takes that long for results to start showing, but I’m finally starting to feel a difference in my body. Honestly, in the beginning I felt terrible. For the first couple of weeks I was actually feeling worse than I had been feeling before I cut processed sugar out of my diet and was wondering if it was really worth it to continue. Perhaps I was eating more of something that I hadn’t been eating much of before (such as soy or more grains), but whatever it was, it has gone away now and I’m feeling much better.
I’m actually feeling really good about myself right now. There were only a handful of times that I craved sugar in the past month and those times are becoming fewer and further between. I have also noticed that certain foods that did not taste that sweet to me before, now taste much sweeter. I first noticed it in China when I bought what I thought was unsweetened tea and it turned out to be sweetened. I thought it was disgustingly sweet, but my husband said it tasted normal. I noticed it again when I got home and ate a handful of Kashi Go Lean cereal. I used to think Go Lean tasted pretty much like cardboard when I ate it dry, but the other day I could actually taste some sweetness in it. Each of these little improvements give me motivation to keep going….we’ll see how I feel in another month :).
I know I have already said it many times before, but it’s worth repeating for any of you who are thinking about giving up processed sugars—it is liberating to pass up sweets and desserts altogether rather than battle with myself not to eat too much.
As far as my energy goes, I mentioned in my last post that while I was in China I noticed a significant improvement in my energy levels. Even though I was walking around for hours and hours each day, I still felt like I had a lot of energy. Despite the fact that I am a pretty active person and get plenty of sleep, I normally get really tired during the day and often feel like I could fall asleep at any point. I only felt like that once or twice in China and I think those feelings were justified from all of the sightseeing. Hopefully this trend continues :).
I think it’s important to put a little disclaimer here. By sharing with you my journey, I am not trying to say that cutting out processed sugars are the answer to everyone’s dietary woes. Every body handles foods differently—some people can eat diets very high in fat while others can eat a lot of sugar without seeing any noticeable difference in their weight, energy levels, or overall health (more on this later). Just because I have noticed a difference in how I feel does not mean I think cutting out processed sugars will ‘fix’ everyone’s problems. However, I would encourage you to play around with what you eat to find out what works best for your body.
On that note, I’ll leave you with some more pictures from our trip :). These were all taken in Beijing. I’ll share some from the other cities in the next couple of days.
Question: Have you ever cut anything out of your diet? What was it and for how long did you do it? Did you notice any improvements?