Wednesday, February 11, 2009

No Sugar

I'm on day 2 of my healthier diet regime...no sugar and no soda. Well actually I should call it a low sugar diet. You'd have to go pretty extreme to eliminate all sugar, and I don't know that the health benefits from the last little amount make a very big impact. I get rid of all sugar based foods...deserts, syrup, candy, high sugar cereals... I still eat a good amount of fruit. The health benefits of fruit far outweigh the impact of its fructose on the body. It's obvious that regular soda is eliminated in this diet change, and I include diet soda/drinks in the things to go also. The artificial sweeteners can have some pretty bad effects on your body. Splenda is the big name right now. It is a name brand of sucralose. The advertising for this product looks nice, but in reality you are poisoning your system with chlorine! It wasn't very thoroughly tested before FDA approval and many natural health professionals consider it as dangerous and detrimental as other artificial sweeteners like aspartame. A warning for people on meds: it can even affect your body's ability to absorb some prescription medications.

I did this a year ago for about 6 months and it felt great - my energy was higher and steadier, my mood didn't fluctuate as much, less frustration/more patience, and best of all my sleep was super restful. I gradually slipped out of it when my triathlon training picked up. I would have a high sugar drink (like Gatorade) during and after a workout to replace the blood-glucose levels that are depleted during long, high intensity sessions. This allowance started to slip into other areas, and by the time the holidays came around I was back to eating deserts, snacks, whatever... And lately I've found myself drinking way too much diet soda.

So, yesterday I cut myself off. I haven't had any bad cravings yet, and I slept much better last night. I almost always sleep all night, but with this diet change I wake up way more refreshed and rested! Last time I did this, any cravings disappeared after the first couple of weeks. I've learned to stay proactive with eating. I eat a lot of healthy snacks between meals...cereal, eggs, peanut butter toast, fruit... The soda drinking was more habit than anything else, so it's easy enough for me to grab water instead. Or, if I want something flavored I brew some fresh tea.

It's easy for me to become complaisant with my diet, since my weight doesn't fluctuate. I've always stayed between 160 - 165 no matter what I ate. So, I stay focused on the better energy I have...and I like the discipline and structure of it. It presents lots of small challenges and many successes, giving me lots of intrinsic rewards...yay for me!

1 comment:

Steph Finnianous said...

Woo hoo...way to go Dan! How long did this last?? Are you Still doing it? We cut out sodas...many years ago, and can't tolerate now.