So the month is up and I have successfully completed my month of going sugar-free for Cancer Research. I am so proud of myself as I honestly didn’t think I could do it. As well as resetting my taste buds which was my main aim I also lost 9 pounds which I am ecstatic about. I thought I would share a post with you and let you know which habits I am going to keep and what I have learnt. Grab yourself a cup of tea as this is going to be a long post.
Sugar– first off I am not going to stay sugar-free 100% of the time, however, I plan to stick to it 80% of the time and treat myself occasionally. This challenge has reset my taste buds which means somethings do a appear sweetener now which means I am likely to eat less sugar anyway. This morning I actually had a minnie chocolate brownie and found it very sweet and couldn’t have managed a nother one, where as before I could have happily eat at least 2 in a row. I am going to continue reading labels if something is over 5g of sugar per 100g I am going to avoid it where possible with the exception of the odd chocolate, cake or biscuit treat. I am also going to look at sugar alternatives like fruit sugar, sweeteners, and honey which are better for me.
Hot drinks– before this challenge began I cut out sugar and sweetener from all of my hot drinks which for the first week was pretty hard. I am now able to drink black tea with milk and no added sugar. However with fruit tea, although the taste has improved I feel like I still require a small amount of added sweetness so I will either go back to adding one sweetener or using honey or another sugar alternative.
Drinking water– One thing I will definitely be carrying on is drinking water rather than squash throughout the day. I am not saying I will never have squash or flavoured water again but my taste buds have adjusted and I am now quite happy to just drink water. I was never a big drinker of fizzy drinks, only when I have alcohol which I am not going to lie will happen ( especially when I celebrate my birthday in Mexico).
Protein for breakfast– this is something I will definitely be keeping up, previously I would have either breakfast bars, cereal or toast for breakfast and was always hungry within a couple of hours. As I was unable to have these things whilst sugar-free I have been having omelettes, egg muffins or plain yogurt with fruit. I have noticed that I can go till lunch without needing a snack which is great news for my waistline. Also at the weekend for the first time since I was in my teens, I had oat porridge for breakfast with peanut butter mixed in. The reason I haven’t eaten it for so many years is due to being sick after eating it when younger. I didn’t mind the taste but the texture didn’t sit well with me. I am going to try again with different flavour combinations and hopefully, I will grow to like it.
Salads for lunch or dinner– although I would occasionally have a salad for lunch (brought from Asda) I would mainly have salad as a side dish with a main meal. Whilst sugar-free I have had salads for lunch as well as dinner. I have really enjoyed trying different salad leaves and toppings. At first, the thought of not being able to have shop bought dressing was quite daunting but I have enjoyed having my simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. When making my own salad I will continue to have my homemade dressing and only have shop brought on occasions as I do love Cesar dressing.
Nuts and seeds– at work normally I would snack on dried fruit or biscuits but on this challenge, I have been having raw nuts and seeds which I have found to be more filling and better for my waistline. However, in the first few weeks I think I was eating too many nuts in a day, which was counteracting the exercise I had been doing so I wasn’t loosing as much. I have learnt that even though it is healthier for you everything in moderation, as its easy to overeat because you think its good for you. On my desk I have a little pot with a mixture of nuts, seeds and cocoa nibs, so that if I ever feel a little peckish I can just grab a handful. I bought all my ingredients separately as most mixed bags contain dry fruit which I was avoiding on sugar-free as they are higher in sugar when dried. This is something I will continue however I have noticed as the month has gone on I haven’t reached for snacks as often throughout the day.
Fruit– in the absence of chocolate and biscuits, I managed my sugar cravings by having a small handful of either fresh or frozen berries everyday. This is something I will be keeping up as I have really enjoyed having berries as they are my favourite fruit. I usually mix them in with plain yogurt. I have also blended the fruit whilst they are partially frozen with some yogurt and made my own homemade ice-cream/ sorbet and it was yummy.
Bread– the hardest part of this challenge has actually been bread, I was unable to find a loaf of bread which did not contain sugar as a listed ingredient. I really miss having toast, especially when having eggs. I also of course miss pizza, but my bank balance is not complaining as it has stopped me from ordering takeaway. I will be going back to eating bread but will look for a low sugar option. Also, I will occasionally have pizza but will also look into making my own low sugar base at home.
This challenge has open my eyes to how many savoury items contain sugar and how easy it is to go over the recommended allowance even without having sweet items. As some of you will know from reading my previous posts I am going to Mexico this year and I am going to enjoy myself. All in all this challenge has really changed me for the better, I have reset my taste buds and lost some weight at the same time. The thought of letting the charity down and having to give people back their money spurred me on to keep going through this challenge. I have already signed up for my next challenge which is a virtual walk, more on that in my next post.
I will do another post in a couple of months and let you know if I have stuck to sugar-free 80% of the time. If you have any questions please ask in the comments and please follow my blog to keep update to date and find out when my next post is live. If you managed to get to the bottom, thank you so much for reading. Please comment below with the phrase “I am sweet enough” and I will be sure to comment back.