When I embarked on the Two Week No (Added) Sugar Challenge, I thought it would be one of the hardest changes I’ve made.
Instead, it was one of the easiest. Easier than exercising every day. Easier than not eating at my computer.
So easy that when I hit the two week mark on Wednesday, I decided to keep going. Since I won’t wake up buff on my birthday (my knee pain has kept me from any intense exercise) I figured this was the best way to keep Project 40 going. After all, I was inspired to make changes before my 4-0 so I’d feel better. And not eating added sugar has, without a doubt, made me feel better.
What I’ve loved:
- No more sugar crashes. No more headaches or sluggishness after eating sweets.
- I don’t have to negotiate with Valentine’s Candy. Or leftover birthday cake. Or the dessert menu at restaurants.
- I’m forced to think much harder about everything I eat. I’m not snacking between meals or grabbing random things–a handful of cereal here, a granola bar there–because so much of it has added sugar.
- My kids are eating fewer sweets because there aren’t homemade goodies in the house.
What I’ve learned:
- Avoiding added sugar is easy when you’re surrounded by good food at home–like my favorite smoothie, fresh fruit, and unsweetened dried fruit. But not so easy when you’re traveling. On a recent trip, I avoided so many things that I ended up going hungry.
- Nuts and nut butters are delicious but dangerous. I have to work hard to limit myself to one serving a day–otherwise, I’d end up taking in 1,000 calories a day from Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter.
- Sugar doesn’t have the pull on me that I thought it did. After two days, I didn’t crave it anymore. In these past two weeks, I’ve gone head-to-head with three cakes, warm molten lava brownies with vanilla ice cream, cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven, homemade apple pie, and chocolate chip cookies (not that anyone’s keeping track of course). Though I still want something sweet after a meal, that feeling is diminishing every day.
So I’m extending the challenge until March 24, the day of my 40th birthday. What happens then? For starters, birthday cake. Then hopefully, I can find a balance between no sugar and too much sugar (and that probably doesn’t involve candy corn).
Want to join me in March? Let me know! And follow along on the Real Mom Nutrition Facebook page.