How I Felt When I Gave Up Sugar
Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, so the The Sugar Detox diet book tells us. We are easily led into obesity and ill health. This book encourages us to take a closer look at the ingredients of our daily intake of food and drink. The devil, we learn quickly, is in the detail.
Although the Sugar Detox offers a plan for a month the key to the programme is the initial three day total detox. I started mine after a weekend fuelled by a friend's birthday, wine and cake.
I would advise others to read the book more closely than I did before beginning and get their fridges detox-ready. Because sugar is everywhere.
I don't eat any meat, regularly eat fish, have always loved vegetables, eat too much cheese and have no problem notching up five a day in the fruit department. I drink no caffeine, rarely, if ever, drink spirits, but enjoy wine. In short, before I started the sugar detox I felt I ate quite healthily whilst also acknowledging if there was chocolate in the house it would not last long.
The total cheese and fruit ban was a shock but the first big hurdle I failed to clear was the protein heavy breakfast. I could not begin to make myself three eggs 'any style' before noon. So I started day one without the 'most important meal of the day' and, I might as well admit now, days two and three as well. I'm not sure, despite the useful and clear information about proteins and carbohydrates that the book includes, how much of an impact dropping this meal had on the rest of the detox and whether it affected my weight loss. I felt perfectly well without frontloading on protein and as I'd chosen three days where I was working close to home any lack of energy was not immediately obvious.
I was quite hungry by the time it came to snack time. I dutifully weighed out 1oz of almonds and tried to eat them all mindfully. Lunch was tuna, salad and an egg. The only drinks I had were water or herbal tea. By afternoon I felt a little lightheaded. I did not remotely fancy their suggested sliced bell peppers with spinach hummus as my afternoon snack so I measured out more almonds. I may have added an extra one or two.
Supper was poached salmon, spinach, broccoli and mushrooms. The principle is to fill up on lean, low-fat protein options and eat a generous vegetable allowance to avoid being weighed down and to avoid clogging the arteries. It isn't just another low-carb diet they tell us, despite banning pasta, bread and rice.
I felt virtuous when I went to bed and hoped that the detox would help with my current bout of insomnia. It didn't.
The following day the lightheadedness increased. Lunch and snacks (partly due to my ill-preparedness and partly due to not eating meat) were very similar to day one. Supper ditto. By day three I was still not sleeping, slightly headachy and when I went for a brisk 40 minute walk (as per their advice) I felt the ground slightly falling away from me in a cotton wool-headed kind of a way. Any more vigorous activity would have been a struggle. I'd have liked a little sit down partway through my supermarket shop.
By days four and five I was hitting my stride. I felt more energised, clear rather than light-headed, willing to put work into scrutinising ingredients and food preparation. I did not even glance at the chocolate covered rice cakes in the cupboard. I felt good. My mother told me that I looked great, like I'd lost weight and younger. Really? I thought she must have spied the cover of the book!
After five days I had lost four pounds, but feel they were 'easy' pounds post-birthday booze and sugar-icing. It will be interesting to see if they stay off as a limited amount of alcohol, some fruits and blessed cheese are gradually re-introduced.
My experience to date has been positive, but if followed closely, the chapter on dining out would quickly get readers blackballed from their local restaurants for unreasonable requests. It is a 'white collar' diet that is for sure. I wish there were a version of the Sugar Detox for those who can only afford low cost food and drink and don't have the time to fiddle around with measuring out their almonds. I also wish that it had helped cure my insomnia, perhaps there will be another diet for that?
Click here to buy: The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great and Look Years Younger