No Added Sugar – Evaluation

Wow, January sure flew by didn’t it?  Hopefully it was as enjoyable a month for all of you out there as it was for me!  We were treated to some fantastic spring like weather in Calgary and I managed to get my bike out a few times, plus go running in shorts!  I also got a good start on my goals for 2015 and feel like I made some good progress towards them this month, which is a great feeling!

As always, the turning of the calendar brings to a close one monthly challenge and marks the beginning of the next.  My challenge for January was to go the whole month without intentionally eating any added sugar or sugary foods and treats.  Aside from one accidental slip up on January 2nd when I inadvertently ate a single smartie that was hiding in my trail mix, I was able to successfully complete the challenge!

So what have I learned from this experience?

  • Although the first week was a little tough and filled with some sugar cravings, if I just replaced them by eating something else, something healthier, they went away pretty quickly.
  • Having turned down desserts, walked by cookie plates and bags of chocolates for the past month, I have proven that I can rein in my sugar cravings. Sugar has always been a personal weakness of mine when it comes to will power.
  • I found that by consuming less sugary/processed snacks and more natural/whole foods, my energy levels were more consistent throughout the day. That is definitely something I enjoyed.
  • Physically I started the month at 174 lbs and tipped the scales at 170 lbs on January 31. I believe that mostly has to do with the decrease in empty sugar calories combined with my high level of exercise in the month.  It’s like they say, diet and exercise are the two prime drivers of weight loss, and there is no magic pill!

How will my sugar consumption habits change going forward?

  • I’m not going to be swearing off sweets for good, I love chocolate and ice cream far too much for that. However, I do believe I will find it easier to pass on that second helping of dessert, or second handful of M&Ms.  Ultimately it’s like my mom always says, “Everything in Moderation”.
  • Given my fairly active lifestyle as I continue my triathlon training, my body needs sugar.  I’m going to continue to try to get that mostly through complex carbohydrates that are more slowly digested than simple carbs.  However, I won’t lie, I am looking forward to getting back to having a glass of chocolate milk after a hard workout!
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