My experience! Giving up added sugar!

What I have learnt from giving up on sugar.

At the beginning of this year I was facing a health crisis, having reached the back end of my twenties with fitness failing fast and never having ever lost the small tyre of fat that I hold around my belly and lower back I decided to make lots of changes to my diet in order to lead a more natural and healthy life. I gave up eating and drinking many things with my main aim to avoid added sugar.

Now don’t get me wrong here avoiding sugar completely is not ideal and almost impossible when it is contained naturally within most foods, and I can’t go a day without milk, fruit and vegetables creeping themselves inside of me like a cat to shade, and well neither should I as they are staple foods to a healthy diet, although I am careful to choose the rights fruits and vegetables and made the healthy switch to skimmed milk while ago.

However, the point to me waffling on is to describe one of the most significant feeling’s I have felt since I made these changes. As I said I had avoided added sugars, no longer did I add a teaspoon to my cup of tea, eat sweets, or chocolate (as regularly as I had before) or indeed drink high sugar content carbonated drinks, and that Is where I have seen the difference.

A few weeks ago I was out with some friends enjoying the sun, when a friend arrived having just been the shop with some treats for all of us, having ran out of water and sweltering in the midday sun I accepted a can of coca-cola (I must point out other high calorie, high sugar, nasty drinks exist too) it mustn’t have been more than 20 mins before my speech velocity increased, my energy levels rose and I slid in to a state of mania, somewhat like a child who had just had their first espresso. A heavy coffee drinker for a number of years this was not a caffeine induced state but a serious sugar rush, I can’t say at the time I didn’t enjoy the feeling, I mean all the other ingredients to that moment were sublime, and lying in the sun talking with friends is my favourite past time.

However, the true negative came a couple of hours later when the sugar had been absorbed and the welcoming properties had faded to leave me somewhat in a state of a hangover, a self-induced bad head, it was a sugar crash. Possibly the first in my adult life. This made me realise what I had been doing to my body for years upon years of having an addiction to sugar, and in particular sugar based drinks such as this can I had consumed. The crash, the lethargic feeling of wanting to sleep and not being able to concentrate any more to chat with my friends left me with a feeling of why? Why would I ever want to drink one of these drinks again. Perhaps before a high intensity sports activity, but never when socialising with friends in the middle of a day, the only sugar pick me up I will ever need now is an apple, or some other fruit containing large amounts of sugar, but never do I ever want the feeling of having such a sugar crash. And I would never have known this if I hadn’t made the active choice to cut sugar out of my diet, and in particular these sugary calorific drinks.

I am lucky I suppose that I love water, especially iced with no other flavouring and this has enabled me to replace what I did drink for years with what is the most obvious healthy alternative. However, if you don’t like the simple cooling taste of water there are plenty of healthy and low sugar options to make water the drink for you, whether it be simply adding a slice of lime, lemon, cucumber or a slither of flavouring powder or sugar free squash. One thing for sure is a I can tell you through experience is that if you can ditch sugary drinks for a few months, you will never want to return to them.