I'm the kind of person who enjoys her sweets, like seriously enjoys them. cookies, cake, and chocolate milkshakes, infact, almost anything chocolate. However, when I was in college I decided to stop drinking soda and I also severely limited my sugar-intake. It was a surprise for me to see just how much energy I had gained from boycotting these two indulgences. However, over time I started eating more sugar again, and who can blame me? Sugary foods are everywhere and they're so damn good.
However, 24 days ago on December 14th, 2012 to be precise, I adopted a sugar-free diet. Now, I have fairly strong willpower, but I have to say, a sugar-free diet, especially for me, has been hard. But with any addiction it takes awhile for it to leave your system and for your brain to forget the need and desire for it. Surprisingly, some have been supportive, others have tried to sabotage my diet by trying to tempt me. But overall I've kept to the diet and I'm pleased with the results. It also helps to set some basic ground rules, anything inside the house with sugar in it is off-limits. Outside of the home, it's harder to know what might or might not have sugar in it. The best rule of thumb is to avoid foods you know for sure has sugar in it, but for entrées my policy is more lax. It's too much headache to worry about potential sugar in your dinner.
My goal was to gain more energy to get more done throughout the day, especially after work when I use to feel really tired and sluggish, I had little desire to work on side projects and had a hard time focusing. I've found not only that my focus is back but so is my energy, so long as I have a proper sleeping schedule I can work fairly solid until I go to bed. I've also realized just how little food I actually have in my house if I take away all the sugary foods. Which has indirectly caused me to eat more real food instead of snacking on a sugary delight.
I will definitely continue my diet, but you're probably wondering, why not just cut the amount of sweets I eat down to a rare occurrence instead of going cold turkey? My thought was this was the best way to kick the habit, by getting it out of your system as quick as I could. I wanted more energy as fast as possible. That being said, in the future I don't see anything wrong with have an occasional cookie or slice of cake. But it will have to be part of a meal, too often I replaced my breakfast, lunch and dinners with sweets.
So If you have a something in your life that you find unsatisfactory, for example, lack of energy, I hope this inspires your to take the steps you need to redeem your problem. Sometimes we have to look at what we love most to fix our biggest problems.
Photo Credit: A little sugar in my bowl via Flickr