Remember back in June when I said I was giving up sugar (specifically fructose) FOR TWO WHOLE MONTHS? Well, as promised, here’s my update.
My experiment began on the 11th of June, and it began well. The first three weeks were, frankly, a bit of a breeze. Mainly, I suspect, because I don’t actually eat a lot of sugar through the week, but I also didn’t feel deprived. I made sure of that. :-) One of my all-time favourite foods is fresh bread—rustic wholemeal, laden multigrain, light-as-air white, sourdough, rye, I’ll take them all—slathered in real butter. So, I gave up sugar-laden cereals, I gave up jam and honey, biscuits and cakes were shunned, but I didn’t give up bread. What’s more I threw out the margarine and bought real butter. Yum!
The tradition in my household is dessert on Sunday nights. Let me tell you, the moment a lemon self-saucing pudding emerges from the oven all gold and steam and smelling divine, it’s a beautiful sight. I always figured it’d be the weekends that would give me the trouble. Cheese and biscuits were substituted for sweet desserts instead. And, yes, they proved a worthy substitute. However, because two of us couldn’t eat an entire Camembert and Edam in one sitting, cheese and biscuits somehow became an after dinner treat two nights a week.
Did I lose weight in this first month?
Snort! What do you think? I was eating my own weight in bread and butter, and cheese and crackers—oh, and did I mention the Saturday morning bacon and eggs?
Ah, but did I gain weight?
I repeat, NO! And weirdly my uncomfortably tight jeans weren’t quite so tight.
The DH’s birthday fell in week 4 of my experiment. I cooked a devil’s food chocolate cake. I gifted him chocolate. I was only going to partake of the chocolate cake, and only on the evening of his birthday—one slice. Except, during the course of the afternoon I ate a few chocolates. Weeelll… And a couple of hours later I got the shakes. Weird, huh? I had my planned piece of chocolate cake that evening, though, to no ill effects. Umm…and I had a piece of chocolate cake the next night too. It was really, really yummy.
In the week following my DH’s birthday (still week 4) I had a girls’ day with my mother, sister and niece. We had lunch at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I piously avoided the sweet and sour Chinese sauces. I turned my head away from the dessert table with a commendable resolution. That evening while soaking in the tub and congratulating myself on my strength of character I suddenly realised I’d had a shandy at lunch (one of our girls’ day traditions). I’d drunk half a schooner glass full of lemonade—do you know how much fructose is in soft drink! My smugness gurgled down the drainpipe with the bath water.
I spent the next seven days craving something sweet. I wanted chocolate, doughnuts, jelly babies, shortbread creams, cinnamon teacake, caramel syrup, violet crumbles and marshmallows. Food ads on TV were murder. I resisted, though not always with good grace I fear. I don’t know if the cravings were caused from the sugar I’d consumed the previous week or due to hormones or simply the fact that I’d hit the halfway mark in my experiment.
The cravings eased off and at the end of week 6 I cooked a fructose-free cinnamon teacake. It was pretty damn yummy, and well received by the DH (who wasn’t taking part in my experiment). He said it tasted like real cake, not a cake substitute. I found it very filling.
The cravings remained at bay for the remainder of my two months. On the weekend just gone, my sister-in-law came to stay—two blocks of chocolate were consumed but I didn’t have a single square. And, truly, I wasn’t even particularly tempted.
So, the overall results?
The cravings have stopped. That said I do still have the odd fleeting thought that a Golden Rough or a glazed doughnut could be nice. Having limited all things sweet hasn’t made me completely uninterested in all things sweet (I did suspect that claim in the Sweet Poison Quit Plan would prove false). However, I do feel full for longer after a meal now and I no longer go searching the fridge or the pantry for something to eat an hour or two after I’ve last eaten.
On the weight front, I've lost a kilogram—even given the fact I’m eating bread and butter and bacon and eggs and cheese and crackers (and just in case you’re worried, I am eating loads of veggies too). Plus I’ve rarely exercised these past two months where previously I’d been managing a 40-minute walk 3 times a week (hey, it’s been cold and wet and winter).I no longer get the weak, shaky feeling I often used to get in the afternoons in my pre-sugar days. Plus, my concentration span seems to have increased (go figure).
However, I doubt replacing the sugar in my diet with saturated fat is a smart long-term strategy. :-) In the future I won’t be avoiding sugar with the diligence of the last two months, but I’ll work on saving the Tim Tams and doughnuts for very occasional treats.
And just to test my willpower, go ahead and tell me what your favourite party food is. :-) I want to find out if it gets my saliva glands hitting overdrive.