30 Day Sugar Free Challenge

Each month, I plan on doing a ‘challenge’ to assist me in becoming a healthier and more productive human.

February’s challenge is to eliminate sugar from my diet.

For many years I was very strict with my eating plan, only eating sugar and sweet things once per week on a ‘cheat day’, but recently I found myself on the sugar train (choo choo) far too frequently.
I’d eat the odd biscuit using the excuse I train hard. I’d put a little extra honey in my porridge because I persuaded myself I needed a boost of energy and I began craving a sweet treat after my dinner. I was starting to rely on sweetness daily and the ‘sugar train’ was just getting faster with no sign of stopping.

Then on 30th January, I saw a friend’s Facebook status: “Today the sugar free experiment begins!!!” and it was just the push I needed to make the adjustments to my diet and clean up.

I’ve put on quite a bit of weight recently (water retention and fat weight as well as the much-needed muscle for my rowing challenges). My energy and concentration levels were dwindling midday and I could feel I was becoming addicted to sugar, craving that sweet treat throughout the day. Not good!

I don’t need to tell you the health benefits of cutting out sugar from your diet, but if you are unsure, there’s plenty of articles on the world wide web, in books and newspapers so I’ll save my lecture for another day.

My challenge involves eliminating not only sugar but honey, molasses, artificial sweeteners, processed foods with hidden sugar, maple syrup, agave syrup and everything else with a glycemic index that blows the roof off.  Generally, if it’s sweet, I won’t eat it.

I’m one week in and I’m feeling great! The train has finally come to a standstill and I am about to step off it at long last. It’s well overdue!

Every now and again I’ll get a craving for something sweet, so I give myself a little talking too, make a pint of lemon water, have some plain yoghurt with dried coconut and things settle down.

What also helps is my friend (who inspired me to do #SugarFreeFeb) and I send a picture message of our meals to each other and that spurs me on.  In fact, his pictures often give me inspiration on what to eat that evening.

I wish I had taken before and after pictures and measurements of my body but I wasn’t that organised. I am sure to report back at the end of the month on my thoughts about the challenge.

In the meantime, to see what I’m eating most days, give me a follow on Twitter where you can keep up to date with my #SugarFreeFeb antics.