On Sundays, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago.
Today, I want to dive in and discuss sugar. I’m going to go with the assumption that we all know we need to minimize our sugar intake – particularly added sugars. So I won’t be writing about the dangers of sugar today. Instead, I want to tell you what I experienced when I cut out the sugar doing a Whole30.
If you read my earlier posts, you know that I embarked on the Whole30 on March first with the intent to participate for the entire month. You may also know that I found the first few days to be a bit rough and depressing. I didn’t blog to much about it because I didn’t want this to turn into a journal about the Whole30. But what you should know is that I did it for about two weeks and then decided that was enough.
Now, I didn’t stop doing the Whole30 because it was hard. I stopped because I was a bit bored with the eating, and I was tired of the excessive amount of thinking I had to do in relation to what I ate. But those first 2-3 days were literally the worst of it because that’s when the sugar cravings kicked in.
A friend of mine said she couldn’t do this diet because she couldn’t give up her sour gummy worm addiction. I imagine her cravings might be worse than mine because she carries sour gummy worms around in her purse (you know who you are!). That’s ok. Sometimes I carry a coke around in my purse. For real.
On Days 2 and 3 (and possibly 4), I had to take naps. They lasted for about 60-90 minutes. I literally crashed out. I was miserable. I wanted something sweet (ok, fine, I wanted chocolate). I never got a headache, but my brain felt cloudy and I was grumpy. I didn’t want to do anything but lay around on the couch and be grumpy.
But by Day 4/5 I had gotten over that hump and things got to feeling really, really good. My mind was sharp. I had plenty of energy to spare. No more wanting a nap. No more being grumpy. It was like a veil had been lifted from me. It was a fantastic feeling.
Did this help my yoga practice? I’m not so sure, but I can’t really say given the short amount of time I followed the diet. However, what I can tell you is that it was worth it to kick the sugar habit. Not being a slave to cravings is a great feeling – very freeing.
If you’re interested in doing this diet, or just want to cut your sugar intake down, I have a few recommendations. First, if you are hooked on soda, I would recommend getting unhooked from that before you go any further. I know how awful it is to kick a soda habit. I don’t see how it would be possible to do this diet and kick soda at the same time (ok, you could, but it would be a truly rotten experience).
Second, be kind to yourself. I treated myself to a facial and a massage during this whole experience, and it was such a great idea. Find a way to get your mind off food. My mind was super focused on food starting around Day 3.
Third, drink tea! I never found anything that said you couldn’t have tea so I just drank what I felt like. I made hot tea every evening and sipped it while I watched tv. It gave me something to do and took my mind off of food.
While I wasn’t too jazzed about how limited my diet was, I did appreciate the opportunity to reflect on my sugarintake and see what it was like to truly by unplugged from it. Just that experience alone makes this diet worth a whirl.
If you want to make slow changes to your sugar intake go here to get some ideas.
What is the one thing you can’t imagine yourself giving up for a diet like this?