Sugar Detox Parameters:
- Cut out overtly sugary foods and sweets. Foods that were still consumed: condiments and sauces with less than a gram or two of sugar per serving and that sweet was not the overwhelming flavor (ie ranch dressing), low sugar cereals, and of course fruits. Foods that fell beyond the too sweet line: BBQ sauce, jams, and honey/maple syrup.
- Fell off the wagon once. While I was in Pittsburgh and throwing a tantrum because Brunton's Dairy wasn't producing chocolate milk (thanks for the head's up Jenny!), I had a little slip. Well, a big one. I had a DQ blizzard - and I'm not sorry. It was the most amazing thing I've eaten, like ever. PS - Brunton's is back in business and I'm hoping Aunt Fanny will bring me a special delivery this weekend.
- No other diet restrictions. In fact, there were a couple days that I was like, "man, I really want some thing sweet right now, but I'll settle for cheese fries." I still ate processed foods and refined carbs as much as I usually do, perhaps a tad more since it felt like another way to indulge that was "allowed".
- I lost 15 lbs. in 30 days. I'm overweight enough that it's not very noticeable - but there was a drastic weight loss up front. It began fast and furious (about a pound per day) and has slowed down to a healthy/normal pace. I think this is especially notable considering my diet was not drastically healthier than usual. My guess is that the difference is I'm much more likely to stop eating salty/fatty food when I get full. I can eat sweets forever.
- I have more energy and my mind feels clearer. I'm glad I pushed through for the second month because at the 30 day mark I didn't feel much different. I felt tired, sluggish and foggy - not more than usual, sadly that's just my usual state, but I certainly wasn't feeling major mood effects. At this point though, I would say I feel like I have a bit more energy and have a clearer head. My productivity has certainly shot up in the last couple weeks. Still not a morning person, though. I don't think there's any fixing that.
- The cravings finally went away. Again, I think this is more a second month development. These days, if it's in front of me, yeah it looks good but I'm no longer climbing the walls in the evenings begging for a fix. (seriously jb had to give me some tough love in those first few weeks - except that DQ Blizzard night...but like I said, no regrets) Also other sugar withdrawal symptoms and side effects like headaches and moodiness cleared up after a while.
Now What? Sugar Future:
I've been slowly reintroducing sugar over the last week. First a caramel latte - OMG, it felt like coming home (although it did taste a little sweeter than usual). A handful of chocolate covered almonds when we had a friend over for dinner. And today I felt myself slipping into the downward spiral that I was afraid of. I started out the day with a blueberry muffin that our friend baked - not crazy sweet, but not an ideal breakfast - even if it was freaking delicious. Then around lunch time I snuck a handful of chocolate covered almonds. At dinner I had more than a couple sips of jb's soda. And to round out the evening I had a few Andes Candies. Nothing horrific - but all those little slips in one day is how I became someone who eats sugar several times a day - everyday.
So my plan is to lay off the sugar for a short while again - and that will be the plan in the future also. A mini-detox when I have a slip-up and find myself at the end of a sugary day. Generally I'd like my goal to be one sweet treat per week. It's not going to be a hard and fast rule, but that's what I'll aim for. At times when I want to indulge or it's less realistic to stay away from sweets (say vacation or holidays) I'd like my max to be one treat per day for a three day stretch.
We'll see how that plays out in reality, but I am really hoping to keep sweets as a treat.
I want to look forward to a treat, choose it deliberately, and not lose that "OMG this is so effing good" effect the detox has cultivated.