A couple of months ago I started to take a hard look at my diet. Now, I had put on a couple pounds over the past year, but that didn't bother me so much as the fact that I didn't seem to be eating as healthy as I should be. Half marathon training and then full marathon training had given me an excuse to pig out and I full took advantage of it (fun fact- a lot of people gain a bit of weight when marathon training because it makes you want to eat everything).
I started to get concerned about the level of sugar in my daily intake. Now, I didn't actually track sugar content, but I had an inkling that eating a sizable handful of chocolate chips every night was not exactly a healthy intake of sugar. It was time for drastic measures.
I'm not completely mean to myself, so I decided to cut sugar out starting the day after I got back from Cuba. And by cut out, I mean I would not eat or drink anything where sugar was one of the first 3 ingredients, but I could still have natural sugars and honey. This meant no Kraft peanut butter, no ketchup, no bottled salad dressing, no cheap spaghetti sauce...you get it. Sugar is in everything! I also decided to shorten it from 1 month to 4 weeks because March seems very long when you really want some candy.
The idea of this whole experiment was not to lose weight (lol beer and nachos were still a-ok) or to stop eating sugar forever (sadface), but just to lessen its sweet, sticky hold on my daily diet. I am happy to say that it went pretty alright! I did cheat a few times, as there were a lot of birthdays this month, but over the past 4 weeks I had 3 pieces of cake (and one was really really small!), one cookie, and one serving of ketchup! I also had Gatorade and energy chews that may contain sugar on my long runs. That is not too shabby though! Especially when you remember last weekend was Easter! I have stored my haul away until Friday, which is my break sugar fast day. I plan to break it by going to Sweet Jesus for some ice cream!!
I would also like to mention that I didn't have any pop! And for someone who used to drink 3 Coke Zeros a day, and then finally moved to 2-3 regular cokes a week...this was a big step! I gave up "fake" sugars awhile back so there definitely wasn't cheating in that way.
I am actually feeling pretty good after 4 weeks of a low sugar diet. It is amazing to feel like I cheated so much, and yet that would have seemed like NOTHING with my old diet. I am definitely going to try and avoid sugars now as much as possible and just save them for fun treats. Like ice cream. And cookies. And ice cream sandwiches made with cookies.
Oh! I also meant to add, my physiotherapist said that there is evidence coming out that a low sugar diet can help with inflammation and that this is an excellent move to help my leg heal!