Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sugar, oh honey-honey

I love sugary treats.  Cookies, cupcakes, and other pastries.  Ice cream, Fro Yo, and gelato.  Twizzlers, M&M's and other candy.  I 'm not really picky, I like them all.  However, diabetes runs in my family.  I tend to be hypoglycemic myself.  And I am of the thinking that it is sugar that is making us all overweight.  So, while I love a good sugary treat, I definitely don't need it.  And I usually feel the after-effects.  A candy hangover, I suppose.  I typically feel tired, foggy (that lovely not-real feeling I hate) and sometimes my side hurts.  Poor pancreas.  So, I often try to give up sweets.  I have tried giving it up completely many times, only to fail.  I am starting again, and I tweeted about it last week.  But I didn't give specifics, so, when I posted pictures of Key Lime Pie ice cream this weekend friends in my real and virtual world had questions.  So...lets chat!  Here is how I am choosing to cut sugar out of my diet:

I am going to avoid all refined sugar (white, brown, granulated, name it) Monday-Friday.  I am going to continue to have fruit because I like it and I have found that my body does need a little bit of sugar to feel normal.
During the weekend I am going to have a sweet treat here and there.  These were my picks this weekend:  

Green Tea Frapp!
Tangy and sweet!
A new favorite :D

I do the same thing with my eating.  During the week I am fairly strict with my diet, eating lots of veggies, fruit, nuts, and lean proteins.  I workout 5-6 days a week.  So, during the weekend I may allow myself to indulge in a couple fun meals.  Some call it "cheat meals" or a "cheat day" but I don't really like that terminology.  I am not cheating.  I am not bingeing.  I am just sitting down to a meal a little heavier in calories than my typical meal and contains a few more ingredients.  I don't eat everything in sight.  This article kind of sums it up.  I think I am on the 80/20 plan, where 80% of the time I am pretty rigid in my diet and 20% of the time a little more lax.  Notice I said a little more.  So, again, not eating candy bars and chips all day, but Friday may bring pizza and Saturday a scoop (or two) of ice cream.  This also helps to keep my body guessing, revving up my metabolism.  Similar to how you shouldn't do the same exercise routine for months on end, you shouldn't take in the same calories day in and day out.
I feel so much better when I avoid processed food and refined sugar.  Lighter, happier, more even.  I have my moments of cravings, especially in the evening after a long day of teaching fitness classes. Last week I made a tasty avocado-blueberry smoothie with unsweetened cocoa powder.  I froze some of it and ate it like ice cream when I was off work. It was sweet and filling without going off of my no-sugar diet. Don't worry--I am perfecting the recipe and will be posting soon!  

This method, of Monday-Friday strictness followed by weekend leniency, worked well for me when I cut soda out of my diet, as well as cutting out fast food.  So I am hoping it works for sugar.  I am so thankful that I have friends in my life that "keep me honest" when it comes to the plans I have for health and nutrition.

I hope this answers questions that may help you decide to cut out refined sugars from your diet.  If you want to continue the conversation, lets chat below!  And, please, follow me on Twitter.  Follow me on Instagram.  And, if you see me eating a giant cupcake on a Wednesday afternoon, yell at me!


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