28-day Sugar Challenge
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I've decided to challenge myself, for 28 days, to cut out sugar and refined carbs and see what happens.
Even though most days I have been staying within my ranges, almost every day has had some infusion of sugar. But reflecting back, I'm shocked at how much I used to consume over a day, even at times I thought I was doing pretty good. Tracking has really opened my eyes.
I find that the more I track and further I get into this, the more I want to replace some of my "empty calories" I track through the day with whole foods. I am proud of myself for tracking every soda and piece of candy for the last month, but I also think that those things are holding me back.
So here it is, my straight forward plan for the next 28 days - to take one further step each week to breaking my sugar addiction. NOTE: each newly added challenge week maintains the challenge of the prior week(s).
Week 1 (April 19 - 25): eliminate soda (up water goal by 3 cups)
Week 2 (April 26 - May 2): eliminate candy
Week 3 (May 3 - 9): eliminate refined carbs (white rice, white flour, etc)
Week 4 (May 10 - 16): eliminated added sugar (to tea, coffee, etc)
This does not mean that I am giving up sugar for the rest of my life, I just want to eliminate it completely over the course of a month and see how I feel, how my body responds, etc. The goals I would like to achieve with this challenge are:
* break my soda addiction
* focus on listening to my body & feel how it responds without sugar
* better plan my nutrition for the day so that I don't just tack on sugar at the end of the day to meet my ranges
I am not eliminating sugar completely from my day - naturally occurring sugars are fine, although I will be avoiding juice (which I have been doing for the last month anyway - I don't like the way it makes me feel about 30 minutes after drinking it, and I would rather eat the whole fruit and get the fiber).
I also feel like I have been gearing up for the this challenge. Since we went dairy-free around here two weeks ago (on guidance from the pediatrician), I have gotten used to not having some of my favorite "treats" with dairy - including ice cream. That also means that my access to diary sugars won't be an issue. Also, since I started tracking my food, I dropped my added sugar consumption to things like coffee and tea from 1 Tablespoon (equivalent to 3 teaspoons) to 1 teaspoon, and most recently a 1/2 teaspoon. Also the dairy ban effectively put an end to milk chocolate candy consumption. As far as refined carbs, I have been trying to choose whole wheat and whole grain versions (like brown rice) at least 3/4 of the time, that additional 1/4 shouldn't be too difficult, but I am going to have to put some effort into it.
Also, I will not be using artificial sweeteners or switching to diet soda. I would rather not have the chemicals in my body, and I have never liked the taste of them.
That's all I have for now. I may post a blog entry or two about how things are going through the coming weeks.