Back in July, I decided to cut out processed/refined sugar from my diet. It was originally supposed to be a three-week long sugar smackdown but I decided to make it a lifestyle; permanent, albeit not very strict (in the sense that I have cheat days; I did eliminate all processed sugar the first three weeks).
By the way: I must mention as early as now that I never gave up beer. I did some research (on the internet lol) and found that most beers don’t have processed sugar. If anyone there has a reputable source saying otherwise, please let me know.
It’s been over two months since I said good-bye to muscovado sugar in my coffee and I can honestly say drastically cutting down on sugar is one of the best things I’ve done for my body. It
was is torture, of course, what with my penchant for all things bad for me. I love chocolate, condensed milk omg, yogurt, ice cream, mung bean hopia, cakes, soy sauce, brownies… the list goes on. Admittedly, I’ve strayed the past couple of weeks and have been lazy and gone back to eating too much white rice. I’m hoping to re-calibrate next week and get back on track.
Because processed/refined sugar makes you fat. That’s my personal reason for quitting. If that’s not good enough for you, here are 146 reasons why sugar is bad for you.
Because eliminating sugar turns on the “fat burning mechanism”:
By eliminating sugar your body finally has an opportunity to utilize the fat it has stored for energy. When you consume a lot of sugar, the body rarely needs to tap into its fat cells for energy (there are exceptions to this, but not going to go into that). That’s because immediately consumed sugar provides the body with glucose or the fuel it needs to move, live, breath etc…. The problem is, we are eating WAY too much of it and the body can’t use it, so it stores it as fat for later. If you eliminate or reduce your sugar intake, or eat foods that have a very low glycemic load, your body has a chance to ignite this fat burning response.
Here’s a list of things I’ve cut out (exceptions: cheat days):
- white/brown/muscovado sugar
- sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners
- soy sauce
- dried fruit
- white bread
- white pasta
- vodka/rum (mostly because I mix this with soda), flavored liquor
- fruit juice (unless it’s real juice aka you bought a mango and squeezed it yourself and didn’t add anything to it except maybe some water and a splash of milk)
- milk tea unless it’s basic no-sugar milk tea
- anything that lists sugar, fructose, glucose, corn syrup, aspartame etc as an ingredient
Plus the usual guys like chocolate, cake, ice cream, yogurt etc. Avoid anything packaged that says “sugar-free” because that probably contains artificial sweeteners and from what I’ve been told, you’re only supposed to be consuming that if you’re diabetic. Otherwise, your body can’t process it and it only turns into fat. So yes, throw out that box of Splenda.
- fresh fruit
- soy (preferably unsweetened or reduced sugar) or regular milk
- powdered milk (NOT milk drinks like Bear Brand or Alaska)
- brown/red rice; white rice sparingly (supposedly, heh)
- proteins (I <3 bacon and eggs)
- whole wheat bread
- cinnamon (to sweeten coffee)
(Like any sane person, I have cheat days. I will have some Yan-yan or cookies or flavored milk tea with pearls etc etc)
I remember the first week, I had a crazy craving for chocolate; I picked up a Mars bar and almost gave in to it… until I checked the nutrition facts. FIFTY-FOUR GRAMS of sugar, it said. I put it back and got green apples instead.
Giving up sugar is surprisingly easy (once you get used to it) and the cravings do go away. What’s tricky is avoiding it in non-sweet stuff. It’s really important to check labels. For example: I wanted pancakes the other night and almost picked up a box but decided I really didn’t want those ten grams of processed sugar. The same goes for Yakisoba or some corn/potato chips— these things aren’t necessarily sweet but they do contain sugar. I’m not saying avoid processed sugar at all costs but if you can, why not?
One of these days, I am going to do a serious three-week sugar detox and cut out all alcohol while at it. The fact that I think I can’t go without beer for 21 days means I really need to do it!
Do you think you can? Eliminate processed sugar for three weeks, I mean.