Home / health news / I Tried A No-Added-Sugar Challenge For A Month—Here's What Happened

I Tried A No-Added-Sugar Challenge For A Month—Here's What Happened

Let me go back a bit. By the end of last year, I wanted Halo Top or ice cream almost every night after dinner … and I confessed it more often than I would like to. ;admit.

So I decided to take control of the January-January sugar equivalent situation: a January without added sugar.

The "added" part is the key-fruit and other foods with naturally occurring sugars were correct. The USDA recommends not getting more than 10% of your calories from added sugars, which amounts to a maximum of 40 grams if you eat about 1600 calories a day. (The average American exceeds this daily limit of about 30%, according to the most recent statistics.)

While a banana sugar contains nutrients like potassium and fiber, high fructose corn syrup. "They do not really give value to your body," says Angela Lemond, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And, beware, they can put you at a higher risk for scary conditions like diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

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as aspartame or stevia) and alcoholic sugars (such as erythritrol) are not necessarily better. While all that is approved by the FDA is, in fact, safe, Lemond says that these sugar substitutes can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. She adds that some research suggests that artificial sweeteners may increase cravings for sweets. (Hmmm, maybe my semi-recent soda habit has something to do with my adult sweet tooth?)

My goal with this challenge was to "reset" my taste buds so I do not feel like it's a slave to my cravings – and Lemond says I was on something: "We crave what we eat, so if we start slowly changing the types of foods we eat, you're going to find that your taste buds will change. "

I thought that if I noticed any other positive effects in the process, hey, so much the better.

So I had a last cookie on New Year's Eve and I prepared myself. Here's how happened my month without added sugar

I spent a lot of time getting acquainted with the ingredient lists

As a person who covered the health and the Nutrition for years, I knew I should avoid just sweets and cookies, because many foods that do not taste sweet secretly pack sugar. Still, I had to refresh all the different names to add sugar (there are more than 50!) – and spend a lot of time tasting ingredients that I did not recognize.

In restaurants, I was the annoying person who asked if there was a menu listing all the ingredients of each dish. But these steps were so necessary

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Give a name to a food, and you'll probably find a packaged version or restaurant that contains added sugar including soups, sauces, salad dressings, sandwich bread, and even roasted vegetables in dietary restaurants (remember: honey is also a form of added sugar and does not have as much of nutritional value as it is believed, Lemond says). In fact, it was sometimes almost impossible to find cooked dishes that did not contain "evaporated sugar cane juice" or "maltose" (I'm looking at you, turkey bacon and sandwich bread).

I would like to be able to tell you There were foods that I was surprised to be able to eat, but … there simply was not any. I found some packaged foods that were good (you can find my favorites below). But I literally had to make my own bread every week to be able to eat the benefits of carbohydrates. Which brings me to my next point …

I became a master of meal preparation

I like to cook, but I've always been good at finding excuses to order the delivery. (I have to walk up to my dog ​​or train or maybe I was too tired of work.)

But since I knew that most restaurants were using added sugar, oh , all the time, I knew my habit to take away. So, for the first time in my life, I started preparing meals.

I'll say it right away: if you hate cooking, the challenge without added sugar is probably not for you. But I found myself really looking forward to going with my Instant Pot and my blender. (Yes, I know how lame this sentence is for someone who considers cooking a chore.)

It was great to go home for really delicious meals like beef soup- barley, chicken curry or cabbage sauce. Suddenly, I did not have to waste any mental energy during the week to determine what I had to eat because I had already decided Sunday. Very soon, I realized the number of recipes I needed to prepare my husband and myself on weeknights (two, so I had variety but I could eat all that I did), as well as all the other logistical details involved in meal planning.

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On weekends, since we could not eat out-something we usually like to do-I would do a dinner special, like homemade pizza. And sometimes I invited friends for the occasion (our social life has, of course, taken a hit during this month)

I will certainly continue to prepare meals, but now I can incorporate recipes low sugar

Here's your body on sugar:

Keeping a reserve of white-list snacks saved me life

c & # 39; is perhaps a slight exaggeration. But I had a difficult start in which I underestimated the amount of food without added sugar that I had to bring to work and an intense hanger ensued.

I started ordering my favorites in bulk and keeping a stock at my desk I would have them on hand at all times. Some of my favorites:

  • Larabar Gluten-Free Bar, Apple Pie $ 16 for 16 Bars, amazon.com
  • Peanut Butter Classic Boot by Justin & # 39; s $ 6 for 10 packets, amazon.com [19659030] Wonderful pistachios with roasted and salted pistachios $ 26 for 24 boxes, amazon.com

Find some transparent restaurants about the ingredients that they use was also a key element, as it allowed me to determine some takeaway for those days when I was not able to bring my lunch (if you have Sweetgreen or Mulberry & Vine in your region, 10/10 would recommend).

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And when all else failed, I I knew I could take a banana and an ordinary Greek yogurt from the local convenience store.

I did not notice a huge change in my energy level

People were asking me a lot if I felt better during my month without added sugar. And the truth is that I had a cold for a few weeks during the experiment, so … no, not really. I did not notice any positive changes in my skin (and I hoped so much that this experience would improve my complexion).

That being said, I felt more satisfied with my home-made dinners without added sugar. I did it by taking that I had eaten previously – so I was not as tempted to raid the pantry or the freezer after looking for something sweet for end the night with.

Give yourself tons of energy

And when I went back to eat sugar, I noticed that I just felt more ickier the days after I really got let it go. Almost like a low level hangover.

Even though I did not do it, Lemond said others might notice more stable energy and blood sugar levels, among other benefits. It depends on the person and his diet.

I lost 7 pounds

. To be clear, I did not try to lose weight. Whenever I was hungry, I ate something. I made this pizza that I mentioned three times (once with a stuffed crust!). I had a small piece of homemade bread with almost all the lunches and dinners (I was giving up sugar, so I definitely could not put down carbohydrates, too, I'm not a robot). And I still had "dessert" when I wanted something sweet (from where the bowls of blueberries and yogurt above).

When I weighed myself two weeks, I had lost six pounds. And in the last two weeks I have lost another book. A yoga teacher even said that I seemed thinner towards the end of the experience. Lemond says that weight loss often occurs when people cut added sugars, but that's not a guarantee (again, it depends on the amount of added sugar you consume before and apparently the answer was for me!). She adds that if you lose weight, it's probably around your abdomen

But what about my sugar cravings?

Towards the end of the month, things like the coconut Larabars started to sweeten me a lot, much more than they had before. Even Justin's peanut butter started to feel like an indulgence.

I am happy to report that after the experience, I still do not have the burning desire for sweets every night that I used to do before. When he hits, I often find myself looking for fruit and feeling satisfied after (who am I ?!). And when I eat something like bread or tasty soup, I can tell right away if she added sugar because I feel better.

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Of course, I was curious to see if the ice cream seemed unbearably saccharine since I had not gone there for so long. But when I ended up offering me a dough ball with chocolate chip cookies, it was very good. What can I say? You can remove the ice cream from the girl, but …

The article "I've tried a challenge without added sugar for a month – here's what happened "appeared originally on women's health

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