Today I was going to write about how I advise detoxing slowly and how changing your diet one step at a time is the healthiest way to detox. I was going to spend the last week gradually reducing the amount of junk I’d been eating and slowly increasing the amount of healthy food I’ve eaten. Then I was going to tell you how this had made it so much easier for me to begin my more strict diet today. However, this is what actually happened…
Why easing into a diet slowly doesn’t work for me
I had one day at the start of the week where I didn’t eat anything too unhealthy, then I had my best friend to stay for the weekend. We went out for meals, she kindly looked after my children while I caught up on sleep and we enjoyed a rare UK heat wave. I enjoyed not preparing meals and we had loads of ‘treats’. I knew my diet was staring next week so I wanted to enjoy a final blowout before the hard work of transitioning to a healthy diet began. My friend was able to easily ration herself to one ‘treat’ at a time where as I have to eat the whole packet and then start on the second and third packet. Why is this?
Is it lack of willpower or a serious sugar addiction?
I actually don’t think it’s a lack of willpower. I managed to have enough willpower to stick to a 100% raw food diet for 6 solid months and didn’t have a single bit of anything cooked or unhealthy during this time. So I know I’ve got enough willpower to do something once I set my mind to it. So I blame a sugar addiction.
And by sugar I mean refined sugar. I think the sugar consumed in whole fruits doesn’t lead to such addictions and is exactly what the body needs for good health.
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Supposedly refined sugar is more addictive than cocaine. When rats were given a choice of water, sugar or cocaine, most of the rats chose sugar, and even the rats that were previously addicted to cocaine chose sugar.
All or nothing dieting
I am definitely an all or nothing kind of dieter when it comes to sugar. I only have to have one little taste of refined sugar and I can’t stop shovelling down anything sweet in sight. However when I go a while without any refined sugar in my diet I totally stop craving it and stop even seeing packaged foods as food. I see them more as drugs. As most processed foods contain sugar, for me to give it up means making almost everything from scratch.
So this is what I’m doing from now on. I’m not going on a calorie restriction diet, but I am going on a refined sugar free diet eating almost all foods from scratch. This is the best way I’ve found to reach my ideal weight, reduce health problems and have amazing amounts of energy.
Am I a perfectionist?
I don’t think so no. I can achieve a work life balance and I totally agree that it’s better to have occasional treats if you think it’s important when it comes to socialising and leading a more balanced life. Unfortunately I just can’t manage to have any unhealthy treats in my diet without going overboard with them. And that’s fine by me as it means I am healthier as a result. Some people call this binging and having disordered eating but I just think some people are more sensitive to the food they eat than others and I’m one of them. I’m not the only one. Plenty of my friends tell me they are unable to cut sugar out of their diet and therefore can’t seem to get the willpower to lose weight. I think we underestimate the powerful effect sugar actually has on a lot of us.
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Some people I know are able to just have one ‘treat’ a day and feel fine, and others have to completely avoid processed treats. What type of healthy eater are you? Are you an all or nothing dieter?
I’m looking forward to showing you my healthy meals very soon so make sure you subscribe to stay up to date with my progress.
For more tips on overcoming food addiction, read this great post by Carrie from Carrie On Vegan.
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Have you thought about how you will maintain your weight once you lose it? It is something that has been on my mind as I diet. I don’t want to lose all this weight and then put it back. It seems like I will need to really change my relationship with food. I’m fine with that but I find it interesting how my friends often have a hard time with it. I’m watching my calories very carefully which means my meals are also small. My eater friends told me I was more fun when I was eating more. I don’t understand why they can’t eat while I abstain or why we can’t do things that don’t require food.
In response to your sugar comment. I have really found that losing weight has been going faster since I gave up refined sugar too. I use agave nectar, maple syrup, some honey and occasionally stevia. My blood sugar seems more stable and I don’t get those intense cravings like I would after having refined sugar.
I wish you well on your weight loss adventure and look forward to hearing all about it!
Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie says
I am EXACTLY the same. Moderation hasn’t been easy for me in any aspect of my life! :) So I choose All-Healthy, All The Time! <3
Definitely an addiction and I’m pretty sure I have it too. My issue is maintaining. I have this fear of not being able to eat my yummy refined sugars…ever. So I let this fear take over which then leads me to having a bite here and there of something. I have gone cold turkey before and it worked. Like you, I even craved it less. To the point where most desserts, even when I tried a bite, were too sweet! But then it slowly changed. I began eating refined sugars and it all went to crap. I thought I could do it in moderation, but guess not. So now I’m back at it again. I probably should go all or nothing, but I’m trying this moderation thing. And also practicing self love. If one day comes and I eat 4 cookies, then okay. I’ll try again the next day. I had a bad few days, but for the last week, I’ve been doing good and craving less. I wish you well on your journey! I look forward to reading updates.
I am definitely an all or nothing dieter-I cold-turkey’ed Soda, chips, chocolate for Lent 4 years ago; store-bought cookies and Starbucks 2 years ago and am still doing great at that…now I need to work on snacking :)
Hi, Kathryn. I have the exact same problem re sugar and like you, have read a lot of books. I am quite a bit older, but have had chronic fatigue as well as hair loss. All the d…. doctors could not help me, so I read and read and read as much as I could. Both problems are related to sugar and starch consumption (including cereals, potatoes and rice). As it turns out, both sugar and starch ( which converts to sugar) feed the bad bacteria (yeast ) in your intestines. We all have both good and bad bacteria, but when the bad takes over, it causes all sorts of inflammation from arthritis ti chronic fatigue to heart disease. More and more people involved in the field of natural medicine are beginning to realize this. Anyway, to fix this you need to lay off sugar and especially corn syrup (in candy bars, soft drinks all sorts of coffee drinks too) as it is probably the worst regarding feeding the bad bacteria and actually, the more you eat of it will make you hungrier for sugar because you are making more bad yeasts in your gut and they are getting hungry.
However, I am not here to scold you, but I want to help. What has really helped me is taking a good probiotic and eating a good quality yogurt without any sugar. I add unprocessed fruit to my yogurt and for some reason (probably the fiber in the fruit, the fruit sugar doesn’t seem to hurt me) . I was vegan for 2 years but went back to being a vegetarian (as I noticed I just felt better and didn’t seem to be as hungry all the time) . Anyway, you could use coconut milk yogurt instead. I also drink water with lemon in it as this makes my system less acidic and also kills the bad bacteria. I also had to give up drinking black and/or green tea and I take Curcumin (Tumeric) which seems to help. You probably should ask a knowledgeable doctor about taking curcumin since you are nursing, but maybe you could use tumeric on foods, etc. If you do this, I think your sugar cravings will lessen. I now have a full head of hair and do not have chronic fatigue. However, my doctor doesn’t seem to care how I did it!
I hope this helps and I hope you get a good night’s sleep. In fact, since you are breast feeding, avoiding sugar might also help your baby. I wish I had known this 16 years ago with my baby who had colic and could never sleep through the night! I think she may have been getting bad yeasts through my milk!
Oh, I forgot to add, I don’t eat wheat (starch) either. If you get hungry, you could get the Greek yogurt an.d put fruit on it with a little stevia. Try it; I think you’ll be amazed!