Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sugar Free FAQ's

I've had a lot of people asking me questions about my new quest to be sugar free, so in the true spirit of divulging TMI on the internet I've compiled a list of my most frequently asked questions and answered them all for you right here.

What prompted the no sugar diet? I felt like I was addicted to sugar and the temporary burst of energy it provided. I was finding it harder to keep my weight stable and I was growing increasingly worried about my long-term health and the example I was setting for the kids.  

How are you doing it? The way I'm doing it is that I'm completely avoiding sugary foods six days a week and indulging in something special once a week (usually Sunday).  

Is this permanent? At this point, I'm viewing it as a permanent thing. Eventually I hope to get to a point where I'm not as obsessive with my sugar fixation and that I will be able to indulge in those special treats that come along (even if it's a couple times a week). But for now I feel like I've got a long way to go, before I can reach that kind of self-control.

How do you handle the cravings ? At first, it was just pure mind over matter and not wanting to cave in front of my kids. I've been chewing gum like crazy too. One of my biggest challenges here is that I found myself subconsciously filling the hole that sugar left in my diet with other carbohydrates, like homemade bread and cereals. While my homemade bread is whole grain and my cereal choices were healthy, I still realized that I was plugging a hole. Now that I'm more conscious of it, it's not as bad. I'll still use a bowl of Cheerios as an afternoon snack, but not the mindless eating of them by the handful. I still struggle day-to-day with cravings, especially on stressful days, but they've become much easier to handle now.  

Did you get headaches? I did get headaches (and stomach aches) occasionally from the withdrawal, but I found the hardest part was being tired. I had been using sugar to keep my energy level artificially up and I really missed those jolts of energy that sugar gave me. With that though, I quickly realized that while I missed the jolts, I was also missing the crashes that inevitably followed the burst of energy. I feel like I have been much more even since beginning this quest. Even-energy wise and even-tempered.

What about Cami's treat baking? Do you still always have treats in the house? Well, let's see....right now we have a heaping plate of peanut butter bars Cami made on Sunday for our FHE treats and 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies we ordered before we started our quest. They're both hidden out of sight, but it's common that we have treats of one form or another in the house at any given time. Having said that, one of the quickest benefits of Glen and I embarking on this journey, was that it was not as rewarding for Cami to bake treats as often as she had been. She is now focusing her efforts on making more special treats for Sundays, which have to last until FHE too. It's been a very good change for the whole family.  

What about social eating? While I still struggle more with my private eating habits, social events have been difficult too. Like last night at Enrichment night, there was a homemade cake on every table and everyone was sampling all the different kinds. I had to intentionally throw away my silverware and refuse the plate, so I wouldn't try to snitch just a bite. I also find that the more people I tell, the easier it is to refuse, because I don't want to embarrass myself by cheating in front of knowing eyes. 

Have you lost any weight? I have no idea. We just bought a scale on Saturday, but I do feel more svelte and calm if that counts for anything.

Any suggestions or techniques you want to share? It's much easier if you can get your husband on board with it too. Glen had always been very resistant to any kind of drastic dietary changes like this, but he finally realized that this was a moderate approach that thus far has been very maintainable to us. Granted we're only about 6 weeks in, but I'm hopeful that we can keep this up for the foreseeable future! I also believe that accountability is huge. That's why I talk about it on the blog and openly tell friends and family about it.

Have you ever tried drastically changing a bad habit before? What kinds of hurdles did you face? Any words of wisdom for me?



Steve-Rosanna said...

Amazing will-power. Must've come from Mom's side of the family.

We did go sugar free for about six months a couple of years ago as a part of a Syndrome X project. It was hard at first (couple of weeks), but gradually the cravings subsided and went away.

We lost considerable weight and never ever felt better. Sugar is such an unnecessary part of our lives it seems.

We admire you!

JenJ said...

YEAH!! Go Goolds!!
I wanted to let you know an awesome side effect of no sugar. I did this for at least two years because of Audrey and pregnancy etc. Anyway, you start to notice the sweetness of other foods. Like Fruit! And veggies!! I had no idea how sweet a vegetable can be. And now, even though I eat sugar again, I don't crave it at all and I don't eat just to get sugar. I find myself only wanting a REALLY GOOD dessert instead of just a handful of fruitloops. Know what I mean??? You are awesome to do this Lara! I did it for my kids. You are just doing it because it is good for you.

Charlene said...

That is awesome and I'm proud of your accomplishments so far!!! We have been looking at eating healthier in our family, and we are trying to eat sugar less. However, I dont' know if I can get my hubby and the kids to give it up completely.

I did stop eating red meat a few months ago, because of stomach issues I have been struggling with for a few years. I don't have them anymore and I can't tell you why. I did eat a hamburger last Friday since December and was sick during the night. So it seems to be working.

angela said...

Good job! I recently limited it to one or two times a week (and just one serving!!) and I am feeling good because I am now in control! At least I am in control of one thing, right?
Keep up the good work!

K said...

I really should join you on your no sugar diet. I just want to know how you make it through that time of the month without constant sugar.

Annette said...

Way to go, keep it up!! So now are you training for a marathon??