This No Sugar Challenge is brought to you by my high cholesterol numbers in January.
Yours truly was given a challenge for three weeks from a registered dietitian nutritionist who was out to change my ways. This is what I had to do when it came to sugar:
1. No added sugar
2. No white rice or white bread
3. Only whole grains
4. No beer only 4 ounces of red wine per day
No added sugar rules out a lot of stuff like cookies, brownies, ketchup, honey, jam, and juice.
She told me that after I did the challenge, foods that I thought would taste good would stop tasting as good to me. I was very curious to find out if what she was saying was true. Would I stop liking brownies, white rice, or chocolate?
The first thing I had to do was take a look at my bread. It was Dave’s Killer Bread and it had 5 grams of ADDED SUGAR. Dave’s bread is organic and whole grain but it would not make the grade for my challenge.
I wrote about my favorite bread with no added sugar after I recognized that I could not eat Dave’s and stay on my challenge. My new bread and I made friends and I started the day with avocado or peanut butter toast.
I made brown rice in my rice cooker and stayed away from all desserts.
Was this hard? YES!
What did I do if I had a sugar craving? She did not rule out fruit or dates. Medjool dates are a favorite of mine and have a lot of natural sugar. If I wanted a cookie, I ate a date. I could have done the same thing with raisins.
You could say that I was cheating but I asked her if dates were okay before I started the challenge. I ate apples, oranges, and bananas so I was still getting sugar but not processed sugar.
Initially, I thought that to stop eating sugar you had to just cut out sweet things but the white rice and white flour got my attention. I dropped crackers except for Triscuits (which are whole grain).
After three weeks of this, I was ready to be done. I missed my treats and I was wondering if what she said about tasting food differently would be true.
A couple of weeks after I finished the challenge, I had a food emergency and hit a Starbucks for a brownie. I love their fudgy brownies with a hot cup of coffee. My first bite blew my mind. How could I eat this? It tasted absolutely terrible.
I am not kidding you. I was sickened by the cloying sweetness of the brownie and I threw it out. Never again.
Another night, I took my son to our favorite ice cream place for a treat. This is a small business with very delicious flavors. I bought my usual “kiddie” size of vanilla (boring, I know) and took a bite. I gagged at how sweet it was. Again, it didn’t taste how I remember it tasting.
I would not say that the effect of the no sugar challenge was sudden. It kinda crept up on me that these foods that I used to enjoy tasted very bad to me now.
The other day, I ate a fresh strawberry and it tasted SO SWEET. Like never before had I tasted one that sweet and I am wondering if it was the strawberry or if it is me.
I think it is kind of amazing that my tastebuds and cravings changed in only three weeks. The no sugar challenge has made it much easier for me to avoid eating empty calories as I am more aware of eating sugar.
The sugar in fruit, on the other hand, is far more satisfying than it was before. All hail to the mighty orange!
Have you tried a no sugar challenge? Did it change you? Would you give it a shot if you knew it would help you be healthier?
Other posts you might like:
What are added sugars? They are the sugars that are really hard to avoid in packaged, processed foods but things are about to get easier.....
Do you know how hard it is to find bread with no added sugar? Recently, I went off of sugar for three weeks and I had to search!....