Idea 2: No Refined Sugars for 30 Days

sugarAlmost everyone is addicted to sugar and most of us don’t even realize it.  It is in almost everything, especially any food that is processed.  For the past two weeks I’ve drastically curtailed my refined sugar intake in order to try and lose a couple stubborn pounds and reduce body fat.  Although the results haven’t been overwhelming, my weight and body fat have been trending slightly downward each week.

In addition to sugars, I’ve been reducing my grains.  That means no cereal, bread, pasta or rice which is normally a staple in my diet – especially as a runner.  I do continue to eat lots of fruits and some quinoa, so this is where I continue to get my carbohydrates.

I decided to experiment with the no refined sugar, no grains way of eating to try and control the wild swings in my blood sugar.  Although I consider myself relatively healthy compared to the normal population, I was still susceptible of mood swings and feeling great for a period of time, then fatigued and tired an hour later, until I got my next fix of sugar.  The biggest benefit I’ve noticed is that these mood swings and bouts of fatigue seem to be less extreme.  Also, I normally need a short 20 minute nap in the afternoon to refresh, but seem to be needing them less often.

I must admit, the first week without sugar or grains was really tough.  I was just craving a cupcake or a bowl of cereal.  Going into a grocery store and walking past the deli and bakery was torture.  But after the first week of detoxing, this week has been easier to stay away from the sugar and grains.

So I plan to continue my no sugar, no grains experiment for another couple weeks and reassess.  The jury is still out on whether or not avoiding sugars and grains will improve my running.  As far as I can tell, it hasn’t hurt it, I’m still putting in the miles and training with no noticeable ill effects.

So here’s an idea.  For the next 30 days, try to avoid all refined sugars and significantly reduce your grains.  Take your weight and body fat percentage today, if you have scale that can measure both, and see what happens after 30 days.  Also, take note of how you feel day to day and see if your mood and emotions are more stable.

fitness-confidentialBy the way, the no sugar, no grains concept is not my idea.  It is from a no-nonsense Hollywood trainer named Vinnie Tortorich who has been preaching this simple message for some time with credible results.  He’s also recently published an interesting and entertaining book called Fitness Confidential that has received outstanding reviews.

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2 Responses to Idea 2: No Refined Sugars for 30 Days

  1. I’d love to hear how things go as you continue on this path. I’ve been doing this off and on for a bit over a month now. I’ve noticed considerable improvements during my Ultra Marathon races since doing this and a faster recovery time.

    Cutting out grain was the hardest part for me, I like my cereal and toast in the mornings. I’d love to hear what you are substituting with. I started using honey in my coffee instead of sugar, and now I like honey more. 🙂

    Not many runners out there with this “healthier” eating style, so it’s hard to find good (easy to make) substitute recipes or ideas out there…

    • Thanks for the comment. Must admit it hasn’t been easy, but I think after a month, I may be able to stick with it for a while. I’m trying to get my body to learn to begin relying on burning fats instead of carbs for energy, which should help with my endurance during marathons, so hopefully I’ll begin seeing results.

      I think most runners are still victims of having carbs pushed on them, from gels to energy drinks, but I’m starting to read more articles where endurance athletes, especially the triathlete community, are moving toward more of a fat based diet. Not sure one size fits all, but I can see certainly see the merits of training your body to rely less on sugar.

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