Almost 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.
By 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.