Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going Sugar Free

 Some fitness related things I've done over the past few days:

1) Scheduled my ACE exam for June 13th!
2) Got my BF % tested at Bally's for free this morning~ 19.8%, lower than I thought so I am happy with that.  I think I'd like to get it to 18-18.5% 
3) Went to a nutrition seminar with my dad at his gym last night, which solidified a decision I made on Monday morning:

4) That decision: To Go Added Sugar Free :D 

   I've seen a few blogger's over the past few months take-on sugar free challenges and my thought was always, "I think I'm okay with having it in moderation, I don't like to make anything completely off limits and I don't know if I want to/ can give up my morning coffee with hazelnut creamer."

   When I saw Amanda at Run To The Finish's Sugar Free Challenge, I considered it more, "It's only 10 days, I can definitely do that for 10 days."  Then I saw the dates were June 1-10th and decided maybe I didn't want to start something like that 4 days before my race when I didn't know how it would effect my running energy.  Plus I still didn't want to give up creamer in my coffee (which I only ever sipped 3-4oz of at a time).

   But recently I have been reading (like here) and understanding more and more about added sugars and its effect on the body.  While shopping this weekend although I still hadn't planned to go completely sug-free, I was more conscious of avoiding added sugars.  For example: I picked up natural PB, since most PB has some added sugar.  Still I wasn't completely sold on banning it.

   Then Monday morning I was reading The Great Fitness Experiment and in her post she had this quote,

     It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Giving up heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. [... This is] the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime.” ~ which came from the Whole 9 site (I used to read Byers Gets Diesel [and then Urban Gets Diesel], before Melissa started The Whole 9 Life site). 

      I checked out the Whole30 concept and it's a little intense for me, no dairy, legumes, alcohol, grains and of course added sugar and processed foods.  I'm not looking to do that, but the sugar and processed foods I think are worth cutting out.

    After reading that quote and knowing that the #1 thing holding me back it was my morning coffee (although of course I indulged in other sugary things),  I went ahead and had my coffee black.  And I decided that it wasn't awful and I could deal with it.  So since that black coffee on Monday morning I have been sugar free (except for natural occurring sugars aka fruits and veg).  I've also cut out most processed/packaged foods, for ex: pretzels don't have any sugar, but they are made with refined flour.

   I have never been one to ban any foods, I've always gone by the everything in moderation/ calories in-calories out school of thought.  I've never followed any particular diet program as I think they are mostly money making schemes.  But when I ask myself if I am getting any nutritional benefit from added sugars the answer is a resolute, "NO."    I can get whatever glucose my body needs from fruits and vegetables.

   One of the harder parts for me is not taking bites from my son's plate :D.  I didn't eat a load of sugar before hand, but I would take a bite of this here, a bite there, a hershey kiss or two or. . .    so all those nibbles through out the day are out.  It actually gives me a  good excuse not to rationalize mindless snacking ("I'm only having a little" X going back for a little more 5 times ).  

  Now on the 3rd day I am actually enjoying my morning black coffee, I've even been almost finishing a whole 6 oz of it now.  

   Last night at the nutrition seminar, the speaker talked a lot about sugars effects on our body and I was definitely happy that I made the decision to cut it out.  I don't have a set time on how long I plan to do this, I am considering it more of a lifestyle change.  And of course I don't plan to never have a piece of cake, cookie, candy again, just much much less.  

   For me especially, with Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome which puts me at increased risk for insulin resistance and type II diabetes, it is important that I fueling my body with the appropriate nutrients.

Have you ever gone sugar free? 

If not would you consider it?  


Claire @ Live and Love to Eat said...

I've gone sugar free for Lent the past two years, and it is HARD. The first few weeks were the most difficult, temptation wise, but my body definitely felt better. As a dietitian, I know we eat way too many added sugars. I still indulge in baked goods here and there, and good chocolate on a regular basis, but I try to limit my intake of "empty" calories, like those in added sugar or refined grains. I couldn't follow it forever.

J and A said...

I was thinking of trying this... :) I really should.

Matty O said...

Went sugar free last year. Body freaked for the first few days but that's all.

I got sick of all the effort required to go sugar free, can't really control it at restaurants.

Jill said...

I always go sugar-free 3-4 weeks before any marathon and I tell you, it gets my bf down to the mid teens - it is incredible how good I feel! Just hard the first few days - bleh. And then sans marathon, I eat myself into a sugar coma for two days - haha.

Teamarcia said...

I went sugar free for the first couple of weeks of my latest weightloss odyssey 10 weeks ago. Like Jill said, so hard the first few days but your tastes definitely change. I haven't been perfect but overall I'm so much better than I was.

Jill said...

Oh, the other thing I was going to mention and forgot before I hit send was on the Sock-Doc website, he writes a LOT about how sugar affects are adrenal glands and how our adrenal glands can affect injuries (and a slew of other things)...VERY, very interesting stuff!

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I have never tried to go sugar free before so I think this will be a big challenge especially with the kids around, but I really plan to give it my best. I also cut the cream out of coffee this week and after the first couple days have been okay with it. I drink less of it.

Keelie Sheridan said...

I'm studying for my ACE cert too! I just started, so I'm thinking maybe by August I'll be ready for the exam? How long have you been studying? Can't wait to hear all about it!

Rachelle Wardle said...

Awesome girl! You can totally do this. I went sugar free for 10 days and it really wasn't too bad. I have basically cut it out except for the occasional b-day or family party.

Diabetes and high sugar run in my family so I really try to set a good example for my family members that struggle with it.

I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

Neon Blonde Runner said...

I'm going to do that 10 day sugar free challenge in June, can't wait!

Laura Frey said...

I really wish I could based on all the benefits I have read about. But...I get so much of my daily calories from sugar I'm afraid I'd either starve, get too skinny or have issues finding food that I like to replace the lost sugar calories.

Right now I'm just not into it enough but LOVE hearing about how you're doing with it! Keep it up. I bet you'll feel great in no time!

Meg O @watchmegorun said...

I give you a lot of credit, it may not be hard, but it's not easy either. I would go sugar free if I had not...but not by choice. I'm weak, whoops.

Jamie said...

I'm never a fan of doing anything in absolutes.

Like you said, there are plenty of naturally occuring sugars that are good for you. It is all about the glycemic index and keeping an even blood sugar do you don't go high and low. Keep it even with unprocessed slow burning fuels (until you are racing and need as much fast burning sugars as you can process) and that is a much better philosophy (IMHO).

Ditching sugars for the sake of ditching sugars is silly. But if you do it with the mindset of keeping a steady blood sugar is a much better approach.

RoseRunner said...

I wouldn't consider it. I'm at a point in my life where I really, really enjoying eating without restrictions. I run enough to let my body eat what it desires. And if that is a lollypop or a few sips of my sweeties milkshake, then so be it.

I also like eating out with friends, without worrying about what the chef has thrown into the recipe. And I like not having to read nutritional labels. Life is easier that way for me :)

Alisa said...

I've considered it so many times, but the only thing holding me back is my love of baking. I don't bake all that often and I don't eat all of the goods, but I can't see myself giving that up. It's such a stress reliever to me. Maybe I can find a good way around that without using a crap ton of chemicals in my cookies and cakes!

Chelle said...

Hey girl!

You've inspired me to go (processed)sugar free too! So here i am drinking my black coffee- i think that is the biggest hurdle for me but it actually taste ok. I'm hoping that by cutting the refined sugar will reduce my cravings for decadent desserts!! Good luck with your challenge :)

Cassandra said...

I would love to go sugar free for 2 weeks. I think that would be so empowering. But it is sooooooooooo hard. Its everywhere.

Nicole @ "Haute Runner" said...

So inspirational! I really hope I find it this easy tomorrow when I officially begin my 10 days sugar free.