Who me? No, I didn’t have any cake, nope not me
I’m not sure I have ever failed quite this bad and consistently at a project yet.
Since I am failing so bad, and this is a self-imposed project I decided to re-examine what I am doing and what my goal is. I started this month with the idea that I wouldn’t have any sugar for the month. However I clearly am not dealing well with cutting it out completely. I’m not sure why, but I think I am eating and craving even more sugar than before simply because I feel like I can’t have it. I’ve never done great with deprivation diets so I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it is disappointing 😦
Not one to allow failure to get the best of me I have decided to start again, this time with the basics: How much sugar is healthy?
According to the American Heart Association women should have no more than 25 grams of sugar per day which is equal to 6 teaspoons. For men it is no more than 37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons per day. There is no suggested amount of added sugars in one’s diet.
How much is average?
The average adult consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, and the average child consumes 32!! (That’s 92g and 133g respectively)
How much am I consuming?
I averaged around 15 grams (4 tsp), which doesn’t seem horrible, but it was mainly all from breakdowns at the end of the day.
15 grams might not seem that bad, but what spurred the project is the strength of my cravings and the consistency in their behaviour. I crave sweets consistently for the following reasons:
- they are around
- after dinner
- when I complete hard tasks
- when I am bored
- apparently when I decide not to eat sugar
Another reason I wanted to do this project is that I feel awful after I eat sugar. I feel physically bad (headache and trouble sleeping) and mentally bad because I know better. However this knowledge never seems to help me when those cravings hit.
So I’m starting this project over, but armed with more information about my self and when to be on my guard. I am going to mainly try a bait and switch technique whenever I crave sweets. Hopefully doing something else instead of just trying to ignore them will work better.
drink tea or water
brush your teeth right after eating
move around more
take a bath
start a small project
get off the computer
clean or organize something
I’ll start with those and see how this week goes!
A little more about sugar:
April’s project is having a rough start 😦
My original plan was to give up sugar for the month. I clearly underestimated both how much I love sugar and how many random things sugar is in.
IT’S IN EVERYTHING! I check for sugar in places where I know sugar will be, but it’s lurking everywhere! Which in turn makes me angry and sad about the state of our food system, which leads me to want sugar to stop being sad. It’s a vicious cycle.
Why less sugar? – well my tastebuds love it, but my body doesn’t. I get a headache, it leaves me with this weird jittery energy and I just feel bad. But that urge to have something sweet usually overpowers my knowledge that I will feel bad after.
I tried to go cold turkey and I lasted four days, which feels both sad and embarrassing.
So I regrouped (over hot chocolate) and made a plan to slowly step down from sugar.
week 1: spend a week eating normally and just check how much sugar you are really eating
week 2: cut out all instances of adding actual sugar to things and sweets (things that are clearly refined sugars)
week 3: cut out as much sugar as you can (except fruits*)
I honestly think I want sugar more when I can’t have it. To help avoid this I am going to allow one day a week where anything goes (saturdays)
* I am not going to cut out fruit. While fruits can be very sweet, they come “packaged” with a lot of fiber, water, vitamins and nutrients. The fiber slows down the digestion of the fructose in your body so your sugar hit is slower, plus it alerts your body that you are full which sugar by itself does not do.