#1  
Old 01-01-2019, 11:59 AM
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30 Day No Added Sugar Challenge.

Anyone want to join me? I've been planning this for about two weeks and I start today. I probably should have posted earlier in case anyone else wanted to get ready to join in the challenge. I've done a bit of research and made some purchases for my groceries.

So far my tea doesn't taste nearly as good. I'm used to a hot, sweet, creamy drink every morning. I still have the hot, and creamy but no sweet which is going to be a challenge to get used to.

The challenge is no added sugar at all. Naturally occurring sugars like fructose and lactose are fine, it's only added sugars that are off limits for a month. I eat way, way too much sugar and I start to get a headache if I go too long without it so I know I need to cut way back. I don't plan on going sugar free for ever, but I think a month without it will be a good way to get over the sugar addiction.

https://skinnyms.com/no-sugar-challenge/
https://skinnyms.com/50-names-for-sugar/

Here are a couple of links to get started, if anyone is interested. I debated weighing myself before and after but I didn't really want it to be about weight. But I did weigh myself anyway just as another way to measure how it's going.

If nobody else is interested, I'll just let the thread drop but if there are others who want to join, we can give each other encouragement and maybe some helpful hints.
  #2  
Old 01-01-2019, 05:23 PM
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Go, FloatyGimpy, go! Keep us posted.

I'd offer to join you, but it would be cheating. My wife and I haven't had a sugar bowl or added sugar to anything except baked goods for nearly ten years. We don't drink any type of sweetened beverages either...just water, club soda, juice, or unsweetened iced tea. Once you get used to it, you won't (and shouldn't) go back. There's already too much sugar in just the basic prepared products (like salad dressings) one buys at the store.

(We don't use any artificial sweeteners and don't have any in the house.)
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:19 PM
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Sure, I'll join you, with the caveat that some of the prepared meat in the house has "less than 2% dextrose" added.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:22 PM
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What are we talking about as added sugar? Does that mean just something that I personally add sugar to (like a cup of tea)? Or does it count foods which I buy in the store which have a lot of sugar in them (like ice cream)?

Last edited by Little Nemo; 01-01-2019 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:32 PM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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I would join you but I have to wait till the cookies are gone. I have done this before and it was hard at first, then much easier, and then I got to the point where I had to make an extra effort to find tomato sauce with no added sugar because the stuff with added sugar bothered me. Sadly, I have relapsed. Well, not with the tomato sauce but, you know, with the cookies.

I find chai spiced tea is a lot better without sugar than some other varieties. There are enough spices to keep it interesting. (I don't add milk, either.)
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:29 PM
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No sense being overly wasteful which is why I prepared by eating up the stuff that has added sugar. Last night for New Year's, I had sushi and today I ate the rest even though it does have some added sugar.

Added sugar means any non-naturally occurring sugars. So the sugar found in fruit and milk is fine but the sugar added to the majority of store bought foods is not. There is a huge list of things that are added sugar in the second link in my op. Many of those added sugars aren't actually bad for you, like honey and maple syrup. The problem is that I've become so dependent on the sweet taste that all of my food has.

I think this is going to be very challenging for me. I've had a low-grade headache all day. My tea wasn't really enjoyable at all. For breakfast I had plain oatmeal with blueberries and cut up banana which was actually really good.

I have Hypoglycemia so I'm hoping to stop having those sugar highs and lows and more stability.

There's added sugar in so many things! I don't mind the work but it's a shame that we (I) have become so used to sugar in everything.
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Old 01-01-2019, 07:50 PM
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I'll join you. I need to give sugar the boot. I have a feeling that my self-diagnosed caffeine addiction is more of a sugary drink addiction... I practically run off of syrupy sweet coffee, tea, and soda.
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Old 01-01-2019, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by oscarhopper View Post
I'll join you. I need to give sugar the boot. I have a feeling that my self-diagnosed caffeine addiction is more of a sugary drink addiction... I practically run off of syrupy sweet coffee, tea, and soda.
Same here with my tea. I'll have an entire pot of tea over the morning hours. The tea itself isn't bad, it's all the sugar I add to it. Last week I started cutting down on the amount I put in each cup of tea and didn't notice a huge difference so I thought it would be no big deal this morning and boy was I wrong. I really crave that hot, sweet drink.

And no artificial sweeteners either, so no stevia or aspartame. Those trigger dopamine just the same as regular sugar so the cravings don't get less, they can actually get worse (according to what I've read anyway and I'm inclined to believe it).

I just finished my dinner and it was really delicious. I had whole-grain orzo with tofu and steamed veggies.

OK day one complete.
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Old 01-03-2019, 07:43 AM
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I'll give it a shot. (After the cookies) The repercussions will be hard to handle! But after a few days, I should become humane again....maybe
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Old 01-03-2019, 01:33 PM
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Day 3 and my tea tastes significantly better. Not sweet and delicious but way more palatable.

I'm finding that I'm hungry all the time, though. Even after having eaten a good-sized meal. Is that just my body craving some of the sweet, white death? I don't know but it's a bit frustrating.

I'm sleeping poorly but not feeling as tired as I normally do so I don't know what's up with that, either.

I made some homemade mayonnaise for the first time because I couldn't find any with no added sugar. It's really tasty! Just a whole egg, a cup of olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. I also made some bread because I couldn't find any without sugar.

The staff room was completely full of delicious looking baking and chocolate treats but I didn't give in. I also told my coworkers so they don't try to offer me stuff.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:14 PM
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I haven't had sugar for 20 years now (well almost no sugar), hypoglycemia risk of diabetes, by now I've completely lost the taste for sweet stuff. About a year into it, I offered a visiting friend some coffee, poured him a cup and he asked "where's the sugar?" oh, um... So I stopped offering visitors coffee and tea.

I've also cut down on salt, for taste I make my food spicy or have it with tangy fresh herbs like basil and peppermint. Instead of mayo I use avocado or pesto, and if I have fries, instead of ketchup I have them with vinegar or dijon mustard.

President's Choice's range of Blue Menu has a lot of sugar free and low sodium food, e.g. pasta sauce and peanut butter. For bread, here in Vancouver I found some decent sugar free ones made by "Olivier's Breads," not sure if it makes it to the Island. When I was on the Island I found some nice multigrain bread made by a local brand (from Tofino?) not totally without sugar but low enough. Some of the Middle Eastern style pita breads are also sugar free.

Try eating smaller but more frequent meals to keep the sugar level constant, that might get rid of the hungry feeling. I also have a late dinner otherwise I wake up hungry in the middle of the night, or try to have something light but high protein near bed time, like an avocado or peanuts. You may want to get a glucose meter and test your sugar level regularly.

Good luck. If you're hypoglycemic or have a history of diabetes in the family it's definitely good to cut out sugar.
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Old 01-04-2019, 11:37 PM
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While I don't plan on going sugar-free for ever, I do think I'll continue not adding it to my tea. It does taste better with it but I'm very quickly getting used to not having it. I also am missing having a cold pop in the evening but it's not that big of a deal really.

There used to be Ezekiel bread at the grocery store that I know doesn't have sugar but they don't seem to carry it anymore. Good to know about the President's choice options. While I've found that there's sugar in just about everything, I'm also finding a whole lot of no sugar added options, as well. Tonight I had delicious chili with quinoa and black beans and corn bread with some cantaloupe for dessert.

I do have Hypoglycemia but I've never purchased a glucose meter - maybe I'll pick one up tomorrow.

Day 4 done!
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:39 AM
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From my experience in avoiding sugars, the biggest challenges were
1.) finding foods without added sugar
2.) paying for it

Good wishes to all who accepted the challenge.
  #14  
Old 01-07-2019, 12:13 AM
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Today was definitely a challenge. I have the day off with no errands to run so I have been home and the "sugar snack bug" has been poking my brain all day. All I want is some pop and ice cream. I didn't cave, though. I had some microwave popcorn instead.

I think my taste buds are changing, I had mashed turnip with my dinner and I couldn't believe how sweet it was. In fact that sweetness is what almost made me break and have something with sugar.

Anybody else have any updates? Anyone? Beuller?
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Old 01-07-2019, 09:35 AM
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Try the freezer for Ezekiel bread.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:26 AM
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well done you for staying strong - the 1st week of these things are the worst so you've done well.

My wife and I are on day 3 of our January detox - it's a bit more extreme - no sugars, no oils, no carbs, just fresh vegetables and even then there are limits - no potatoes, no avocadoes, only apples, grapefruits and lemons for fruit. no caffeine or alcohol. plenty of water

we did it last year for 4 weeks and the changes you experience are interesting - headaches and dizziness for the 1st couple of days, your palate changes, and your desire for heavy food also diminishes. by the end of the month our appetites had shrunk noticeably. eating fresh crunchy veg gets a bit boring but it's only a couple of weeks I lost 9kg over the four weeks and only put on 5 over the rest of the year.
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Old 01-08-2019, 10:47 AM
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:20 AM
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About 15 years ago, I realized I was drinking ~500 calories a day, between sodas, sweet tea, and sugar in my coffee. I switched to Splenda for sweetening my coffee and my home-brewed sweet tea, and pretty much stopped drinking sodas altogether, since there really aren't any diet sodas that I like the taste* of.

So now, except for the occasional (and I do mean occasional - often months go by without one) sugared soda when the only alternatives are diet sodas and water, I'm drinking essentially zero calories per day. I won't say it's caused me to lose weight, but it's made it a lot easier to maintain a decent weight.


*Given that I really like the taste of my Splenda-sweetened sweet tea, I really don't get why soft drink makers can't come up with diet sodas that I'd like.
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Old 01-08-2019, 11:23 AM
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One week down. Though weight-loss wasn't my goal, I'm down 2.5 lbs. I've definitely been eating much better this week. Healthy, delicious meals made from scratch. I went to the local health food store and found some things I was looking for, like Ezekiel bread and no sugar mayo.

I thought I'd stumbled upon an amazing thing when I looked at the ingredients of flavoured club soda - no sugar! I figured it'd be like orange pop. Wrong! It was so gross. Still miss sugar in my tea but I've switched from milk to cream so that makes a bit of a difference.

There's an idiot at work who keeps offering me chocolate and candy. He's keeping a daily tally "day 5 and counting!". "Wot an idiot" ~ Hermione Granger.
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Old 01-08-2019, 12:03 PM
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Students brought in a treat yesterday, and in context, not eating a piece of the sweet bread would have created more trouble than it was worth.

Last edited by susan; 01-08-2019 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post
There's an idiot at work who keeps offering me chocolate and candy. He's keeping a daily tally "day 5 and counting!". "Wot an idiot" ~ Hermione Granger.
More like "what an asshole." Especially if he knows you're doing it for specific health reasons. It's jerky enough to go out of one's way to tempt someone who's simply trying to lose weight, but definitely 'asshole' territory if he knows you're hypoglycemic.
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Old 01-08-2019, 03:55 PM
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Can't match that one but it has been 4 weeks since having coffee.
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:18 PM
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Just dropped in to say thanks for the inspiration. I'm ten pounds overweight due to an injury (no biking, no soccer). Then I saw this thread, so...

I've started doing no added sugar and minimal carbs... after breakfast. That's my one compromise... I love breakfast cereal (more than any of my dogs or kids).

Man, it's almost impossible to avoid bready snacks. I often do my reading and artwork in various coffee joints. Nothing low carb there! Nope, just shelves 'n' shelves of scones and muffins.... arrrrrgh! I'm trying to fill up before I do that (I've been ducking into a local greasy spoon for eggs 'n' bacon, just to forestall sugary treats).
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:03 PM
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It's tricky at first, for sure. But I've come to realize that it's easier than I thought it would be to avoid added sugar. I'm not doing anything else like low carb or low calories/fat/salt whatever for the time being. Just the no added sugar is enough of a challenge for now.

The constant hungry feeling I had seems to have gone away and I find I'm not even all that hungry at all. I wasn't hungry at breakfast but still had my oatmeal, wasn't hungry for lunch but still had my veggie wrap and I wasn't all that hungry for dinner but ate it anyway.

I haven't been having the afternoon sugar crash that I normally have and even my skin feels smoother.

It's definitely more work to choose meals/snacks and prepare them but knowing that it's not forever - just 30 days - makes it a lot easier.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:59 PM
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I'm getting a lot of hunger that's really "My tummy is bored, and my gut flora wants carbs!"

Just spent an afternoon craving a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, had a bowl of eggs and sausages instead.

Also, crunchiness helps stave off boredom. Carrots dipped in peanut butter are my go-to for "I've GOT to have a snack!".
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:06 PM
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My substitute for soda (pop) is Pellegrino and POM pomegranate juice.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:37 PM
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I'm getting a lot of hunger that's really "My tummy is bored, and my gut flora wants carbs!"

Just spent an afternoon craving a bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats, had a bowl of eggs and sausages instead.

Also, crunchiness helps stave off boredom. Carrots dipped in peanut butter are my go-to for "I've GOT to have a snack!".
My cravings have greatly subsided. Today is day 11 and I don't know if I'm just in the right frame of mind or if I've gotten over the craving hump but, while I know I'd enjoy having some goodies, I don't have the "OMG I need chocolate cookies!!" feeling anymore.

I like carrots for a snack but I like mine dipped in Hummus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hajario View Post
My substitute for soda (pop) is Pellegrino and POM pomegranate juice.
I know fruit juice with carbonated water would be tasty but I'm not having fruit juice. Even though it has no added sugar and would technically be OK - it's just pure fructose without the fiber.

But I've never had Pellegrino, or any kind of carbonated mineral water. Are they tasty plain or are you supposed to add them to something flavourful?
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:47 PM
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I love Pellegrino plain. Good water with tiny bubbles. I donít like Perrier as well it has larger bubbles.
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:59 PM
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Well I tried both Pellegrino and Perrier and disliked both. Ah well, I'll survive.

Day 14 and I hate to sound zealot-y but there's been such significant changes in my body that I'm becoming convinced that too much added sugar is really horrible.

I'm having zero blood sugar lows which is a huge change. I've passed out with low blood sugar before, which really sucks.

A weird and unexpected change is my feet aren't sore anymore. I stand for most of the day and, at the end of my shift, my feet are on fire. I almost can't walk and end up sort of tip toeing around with my feet throbbing. I'm on day 6 of 7 and my feet are perfectly fine. Not even kind of sore which is a huge change.

I normally feel really bloated and my abdomen will be really tight to the touch. That's completely gone. I'm also hardly hungry at all. The desire to snack and eat and snack and eat just isn't there. Today a coworker tried to convince me to have some of her chocolate covered popcorn and I just wasn't interested.

I've cut down my GERD meds by half and I'm less gassy. The skin on my face is so soft! But my hair feels sort of dry??

Anyway, I'm extremely pleased with the results two weeks in.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:50 PM
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I almost wish I took sugar in my coffee/tea or drank soda, because it would be so easy to give them up. But especially in coffee and tea, sugar makes them taste terrible to me. Yuck.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:05 PM
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The 13th of the month seems like a perfectly fine day to start this challenge.

I started considering what I would do then realized that anything but a very restricted, pre-established diet was going to lead to displacement so: Water, tea, coconut milk, peanut butter, meat, vegetables and supplements are all I'll eat this month or I'll admit/justify it here.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 01-13-2019 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:01 AM
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Hi. Getting back to SDMB after a longish hiatus. I'm in. I lost about 30 lbs last spring / summer but I stopped my disciplined eating around (Canadian) Thanksgiving, and since November I no longer walk to work (I used to live about a 20 minute walk from work, but my office moved 16 kms east. I don't walk it anymore) I'm noticing some of my new clothes are starting to be tight again. I can't have that. Having a big number birthday this year so I want to get healthy and be at a more healthy weight by then.

I already gave up pop about six months ago and use a soda stream. I generally just add some lemon or lime juice to the fizzy water. My son likes making assorted concoctions with the sugary syrup but I kicked that and I hate aspartame. I don't add sugar to coffee or tea. There are herbal teas with "honeybush" in them that the longer you steep the sweeter they become. I know there is a tomato sauce at Costco that is organic and no added sugar.


P.S.Floaty-Gimpy We do have to connect sometime I go to the Island. I'm there almost every month. (My parents live in Parksville, so every visit includes Nanaimo)



There is half a tin of Danish butter cookies in the house. I'm sending them to school and events with my son. (He has inherited my family's love of feeding others... but missed the ectomorph somatotype.) The chocolates are gone. I had 0% fat greek yoghurt and some canned pineapple (canned in own juice) with a sprinkle of chia seeds.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:16 PM
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First day, first failure and now I'll do at least one notch better tomorrow.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 01-14-2019 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mona Lisa Simpson View Post
...There are herbal teas with "honeybush" in them that the longer you steep the sweeter they become. I know there is a tomato sauce at Costco that is organic and no added sugar.


P.S.Floaty-Gimpy We do have to connect sometime I go to the Island. I'm there almost every month. (My parents live in Parksville, so every visit includes Nanaimo)...
Oh, I must try this Honeybush tea!

And yes, we should! I'm in Parksville, too, so even more convenient.
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Old 01-14-2019, 10:22 PM
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Definitely joining you. My doctor told me I am definitely not diabetic, but still, sugar has No redeeming value. Most fruits are sweet, so that's where I go if I want sweet. I don't always want that, sometimes after I've eaten chocolate, I get a craving for healthy food, like green beans.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:59 AM
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...Most fruits are sweet, so that's where I go if I want sweet...
Blueberries are my new best friend. I have them everyday, along with banana, in my oatmeal.
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Old 01-15-2019, 08:59 PM
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Second day: Failure, smaller than yesterday's, bigger than tomorrow's.
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:30 PM
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Second day: Failure, smaller than yesterday's, bigger than tomorrow's.
You can do it!
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Old 01-16-2019, 07:48 PM
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Well I've cheated. I'm sick with a sore throat. I stuck it out yesterday but today my throat is on fire so I've had throat lozenges, diet ginger ale with orange juice and Nyquil - all of which have sugar or sugar substitutes.

Ah well - I only feel sort of guilty.
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:36 PM
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You can do it!
Eventually. Not today though! It was a slighter slip-up than last time, I might hold to it 100% tomorrow. I know it's worth it but my gut doesn't know that enough when the cravings hit.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:33 PM
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Well I've cheated.
I say that's no big deal, just get back up on that horse and keep trying!

Quitting junk food is like quitting smoking. I have a friend who 'practiced' quitting for years til it finally took.

That's how i'm treating this. It feels like the hardest thing I've ever done. I'm back teaching for the fall, and just today I had to walk past a dozen donuts, a plate of bagels, a box of cinnamon sugar pretzels, and a bowl of Fun Size Snickers.
Aaaaaaaargh!

"Hi, I'm digs and I'm a donut addict..."
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:58 PM
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I need to tie myself to a mast when cravings hit and sweet foods are around.
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:30 AM
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Well I have Strep Throat and am on antibiotics. Dr's orders to have lots and lots of liquids so I'm forced to have Ginger ale and juice.

But that's all so I don't actually feel like I really "cheated". I'm not having anything else with sugar other than the liquids and meds.

MichaelEmouse try to 'white-knuckle" it when those cravings come along. Literally stay sitting where you are and hang on to the chair and repeat "Don't get up, don't get up".

Last edited by FloatyGimpy; 01-18-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:20 PM
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MichaelEmouse*, can you replace sweet cravings with other cravings? (I mean, besides fondling large... never mind)

I was on a long drive today, and I never used to do that without 1000 calories of junk food. I had cravings galore, but I'd loaded a great audiobook** on my phone and brought crunchy stuff*** instead of sweet stuff.



*Tales of the City reference? If so, I found the real-life Barbary Lane (got up at dawn and walked across San Francisco... and it was worth it).

**JK Rowling wrote a trilogy of detective tales (as Robert Galbraith), and now suddenly there's a fourth one out! Was nicely distracting.

***Carrots, red peppers, and mixed nuts (the good stuff with lots of cashews and pecans and salt).
  #45  
Old 01-18-2019, 08:27 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Digs- thanks for the laughs from your first line.
  #46  
Old 01-19-2019, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
Digs- thanks for the laughs from your first line.
That's my job here... and I figured fondling works for any persuasion. Who doesn't need a good fondle?

But there's a kernel of truth there. I'm in my third week of No Carb Hell, and I've gotten desperate and thought "Could abject lust distract me from donuts?"


Narrator: "Sadly, abject lust did not distract him from donuts..."
  #47  
Old Yesterday, 11:39 PM
MichaelEmouse MichaelEmouse is offline
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This is why I wanted to be strict: I'd bought a large box of oatmeal packs before seeing this thread. I found myself eating from it often. Then I realized that the oatmeal bowls I was making for myself had had about as much sugar as two cans of soda. I threw out the packs and I'm waiting to see how the cats like the box before I decide whether to throw it out too.

I know that if I make it past 2-3 days of very low sugar, i'll feel great and I'll wish I'd done this sooner. It's like climbing a very rough hill that gives access to a great park.



Quote:
Originally Posted by digs View Post
MichaelEmouse*, can you replace sweet cravings with other cravings?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FloatyGimpy View Post
MichaelEmouse try to 'white-knuckle" it when those cravings come along. Literally stay sitting where you are and hang on to the chair and repeat "Don't get up, don't get up".
I will try something like that. I'm thinking that meditation or intensely focusing on something else might be effective. I might do alright if I can give myself runner's high early in the morning but I've had difficulty with my energy levels.
  #48  
Old Today, 12:03 AM
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FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
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I've been having plain oatmeal with blueberries and banana added. I add a bit of cream as well. It's so delicious that I like it more than the flavoured packs that I normally have. I definitely will continue with that rather than going back to the flavoured ones.
  #49  
Old Today, 04:53 PM
Fir na tine Fir na tine is online now
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I'm sure we have a sugar bowl somewhere in the house. But I haven't seen it in years.
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