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Kick sugar and go sugar-free

I’m Becks and I’ve kicked the sugar habit...

...sounds like I’m at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting I know, but I’ve been clean for 23 days now and I feel it’s about time I shared my experience with you.

Why wait until now to speak up about giving up sugar? Last time I attempted to go sugar-free I shouted about it loudly from the rooftops and told everyone I was doing it whether they wanted to know or not. I had very mixed reactions from friends and relatives who mostly said “Wow, really! I wish I could do that but I love chocolate too much” or “Don’t be ridiculous, you need sugar in your diet - what’s the point?” apart from Tamara our Nutritionist who said “Go, girl, you’ll feel much better for it I promise. Sugar
is the one thing our bodies don’t need.”

Needless to say on that occasion I lasted about 4 or 5 days before I caved in and had to admit failure.

So this time I was more wary about boasting about what I was up but now I feel so good I need to share it with you.

Why am I giving it up? I’m doing it because I was worried about my Blood Sugar levels and there is a bit of Type 2 Diabetes in our family. I had adopted a bit of a sweetie eating habit (Peanut M&M’s to be exact) on almost a daily basis and post Christmas I felt tired and run down. My skin was grey, I was seeing the start of a spare tyre when I looked in the mirror and to be honest I was a bit frightened about letting myself go. As a Practice, we have got involved in the SugarSmartExeter campaign which has opened my eyes and I also thrive on a challenge and I wanted to see if I could really do it for a month. As February only has 28 days that has to be a bonus and if Chris Evans can do it then so can I!!

What have I given up?

To make it slightly easier on myself I decided I would just give up refined sugar which meant I could still have maple syrup, agave nectar etc. although rather bizarrely I haven't really bothered with any of it. I don't have sugar in my tea and I don't eat cereal for breakfast so that bit was quite easy - I just needed to recondition myself to bypass the M&M shop!!

What do I eat for a sweet fix?

Initially, in the first 3 or 4 days when I was craving something sweet, I made Almondlicous Balls recommended by a friend (made with dates, almond butter, cacao and chia seeds) but the problem with that was that I wanted to eat them all in one go which rather defeated the object. I had a couple of Naked bars but didn't really like them so I went cold turkey and decided to just get on with it.

How is it going? It’s OK. Actually, it’s more than OK it’s really rather good. Strangely I don’t really crave sweets or cake at all. I can happily have cake or biscuits around me and not feel the need to partake; in fact, I’m being rather snobby about it all and turning my nose up at it. I think it has heightened my other senses and I am very aware of how beige or lurid in colour the sweet ‘treats’ tend to look. (Although saying that I was tempted last weekend when Em brought a piece of Red Velvet Cake home from work. Telling her to eat it quickly and then leaving the room saved me on that occasion, fortunately). I have, however, spent more time reading food labels and it’s amazing to see what actually has
sugar in it. I don’t think I have become a sugar bore (tell me if you think otherwise!) How do I feel?

How do I feel? I FEEL GOOD -

I FEEL GOOD - na na na na na na - I knew that I would! I absolutely have more energy and feel less tired. I’m sleeping better, I’m eating better, I’m drinking gallons of water and exercising more. My headaches have disappeared and I don't seem to have that afternoon slump that I used to struggle with. I haven't lost any weight, though. Will I carry on?

Will I carry on? Do you know what? I think I will. However, it’ll be different on the first of March when I know I can have something sweet if I want to. I suspect if I do indulge it will taste uber-sweet and I bet it makes me feel lousy so I probably won’t because I like how I feel now.

Fancy giving it a go? It really hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be so if you think you would benefit from being sugar-free then why not give it a go? Tamara our Nutritionist would love to help you reassess your diet and can be contacted via Bryony at Life Dental & Wellbeing.

If that seems like a step too far then why not De-chox for March and raise some money for the British Heart Foundation at the same time?

Good Luck!

Chrissy Still
Chrissy Still
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