All things cruising well, most of you are probably a good few days, if not a little longer, into this sugar quitting caper. I’ve loved following how you’re all going.
First up, some little house keeping:
* I have a new Facebook I Quit Sugar page: I’ll be updating it mostly daily with new helpful information and tips and offers… feel free to wade into the community and hang out there.
* If you’re on twitter, use the #IQS hashtag. See what everyone else is saying, support each other, post photos of the food you’re making. It’s a growing thang!
* And I invite you to join the IQS mailing list here. To be really honest, I haven’t thought of how I’ll be using it yet, but I PROMISE it will be only for special offers and information. NEVER spam.
So, how’ve you been going?
I think the general vibe is that most of you have skipped the easing off process and gone straight to NO SUGAR. All good.
But equally, no stress if you’re taking a slowly, slowly approach. I did and I found it was the best attack.
This week we’re introducing some more fat and still cutting back on the sugar, gearing our bodies up to the change.
Also no stress if you’ve QUIT. Then lapsed already. Seriously. No stress. This might happen from time to time.
And no stress if you’re just getting on board now.
Let me share three things:
1. We’re doing this gently. When we’re gentle, things feel good. When things feel good, we continue. Studies show we’re more likely to stick to a resolution if we’re compassionate with ourselves as we go.
So your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to back off. Be gentle.
2. Studies show it’s OK to lapse. Most “will power” research has shown it takes 21-28 days to quit a habit. Such research is based on abstaining for the whole duration. But more recent research by University College London shows it’s more like 66 days….BUT a lapse here and there is fine, so long as we return to the intent (and don’t throw in the towel because, dammit, we failed AGAIN).
3. This is NOT a diet. That is, it’s not a restrictive, mean process geared at slapping ourselves around about the way we’ve lived previously. It’s an experiment. Experiments work a lot better than draconian diets. Playing is better than being told to NOT do something.
Another thing I’m picking up on: the eating more fat thing is SCARY. This week I really recommend upping your fat intake. I outline the right kinds of fats in the book, but post below if you need more clarification.
Two things I want to share:
1. All that scary talk about fat? A lot of it stems from some dodgy research from the 1960s by Ancel Keys. And it’s WRONG. Definitely watch the short video – to arm yourself with the facts.
2. Just try the fat thing. Then move into the no sugar thing. And stick with it a week or two and see if you lose weight. Just see. Observe your body. Report back. (And if you want to see how others found the more fat thing play out, read here.)
Try this for hunger/cravings:
I found this the other day – Kapai Puku Naked Blend muesli – nothing but raw nuts, seeds and a little rice bran. You could make up your own, but then you don’t get the nude dude on the packet. I’ve been mixing it with a tbls or two of coconut oil in a little cup, plus some raw cacao powder (about 1/2 a tsp), and putting in the freezer for a minute or two until it’s hard. An instant chocolate protein snack. Eat in the afternoon. Wait 15 minutes. Then see if you have cravings or are in the least bit hungry until dinner?? You could make up a batch and put in an icecube tray, take to work and pop out one or two each afternoon…just an idea.
Some of you have cravings at night, after dinner. I did, too. It’s my binge zone. One tip shared on this site was to clean your teeth after dinner, so you don’t eat more. I take it one step further: try this Miessence Anise toothpaste. I know this sounds dumb, but it does feel like a “treat” – the licorice flavour satiates that need for a little “something”.
Your Questions Answered:
OK, so each week I’m going to wade through your comments and answer as many as I can, with the help of some experts along the way.
Today we have:
Anthia Koullouros a naturopath, herbalist and food educator based in Woolahra, Sydney.
Nat Kringoudis a Chinese Medicine practitioner who is something of an obsessed expert in fertility issues, based in Melbourne.
Both will answer further questions on the blog, too.
Karina asks: I don’t need to lose weight (my BMI is already just normal borderline underweight) and I found when quitting sugar previously I’d get the shakes, feeling faint. Not sure if this is withdrawal symptoms or just as I have normal/low blood pressure anyway?
Anthia: This is withdrawal symptoms. When you are in the rhythm of using sugar or carbs as your fuel source you need to manage the highs and lows of energy, appetite, moods etc with sugar or carbs. A low is the withdrawal of sugar. Start eating more wholesome fats & proteins and this will kick start using fats as fuel which is more sustainable and balanced and you will not experience the highs or lows or withdrawals.
Lauren asks: I’m also going mainly grain free and I’m wondering about Polenta? Being corn it’s not really a grain, but I’m wondering what your take on it is? Also are lunch meats like salami and ham ok to have? Do you still eat legumes?
I’ll focus on the grain-free thing first. Lots of you have asked if you should be cutting grains at the same time. My answer: no. Do one thing at a time. Gentle! After 8 weeks, then you might find your body is curious to cut starch out. Some paleo folk will argue it’s easier to quit sugar without carbs. But they’re ignoring the psychological factor of adjusting to new eating habits.
To the other questions…polenta is a grain, salamis and hams are great, but choose good quality ones (and look for nitrate-free and pasture fed), I personally don’t eat many legumes, but this is due to AI issues.
Hayley asks: Is there any chance you can post a guide as to how much fat you needed in your diet to replace the sugar? Last time, I felt as if I was eating too much and put on weight, but when I still craved sugar and got hungry, people suggested I needed to eat more!
Good question. And the answer is: you need to listen to your own body on this (which YES is hard when it’s confused by too much dieting and toxins etc). Eat fat and a little protein with every meal – especially with veggies (the minerals, which will help make you feel satiated are ONLY absorbable with fat). So. A tbls of butter or oil on veggies. And a piece of meat the size of your palm, or a thick slice of cheese, or two eggs or…. With snacks, it’s easy to go overboard and want to eat in the kind of bulk you used to eat carb-y snacks. No. We’re talking a tbls of coconut oil. A few slices of chicken etc.
And this is the trick to adjusting: eat a small amount of indulge-y, good fat or protein. And then wait 15-20 minutes.
Go for a walk. Hang the washing out. Make a call, so that you don’t go back for more. I bet you will find that’s all you need.
Mia Bluegirl asks: Any suggestions on how to appease the PMS monster without chocolate? I reckon I could literally eat a whole cake right now.
Nat: Vitamin B immediately balances oestrogen and boosts the feel good chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Foods high in vitamin B include several seafood varieties, eggs and cheese. One teaspoon of vegemite packs a good punch of Vitmain B along with some other useful vitamins. Of course, you can also supplement with a quality product to knock PMS on the head.
Shell asks: I’m on day 3 and my skin is breaking out and I am having headaches!
Nat: Perfectly normal as your body adjusts to the new way of eating. As your body withdraws and rids of toxic matter, it needs extra special care – make sure water intake in this phase is high and constant throughout the whole day (minimum 2 L) to help flush out the stored toxins. Ensure there is adequate rest to speed up the healing of the body and keep exercise at a lower intensity to allow your body to fully do it’s cleaning job properly.
Lauren O asks: is Berocca okay?
It doesn’t contain fructose. But it does contain aspartame and acesulfame K. I’m not a fan of most fake sugars, although these two are in fact digested by the body.
My take: avoid eating stuff that has ingredients you don’t understand.
But then also: if you love Berocca, it’s such a small amount of fake sugar, give yourself a break and enjoy it.
NikkiC says: I’m training for my first marathon this year…. and am interested in hearing if anyone has any sugar-free substitutes for energy gels, to use on long runs??
Look for glucose as the sugar. Glucose is what you need, not the fructose, anyway. I noted some running sites have discussions about this. That said, as a runner, you’d be in a position to be able to cope with fructose, while running. So I personally wouldn’t stress too much if you down a goob.
These are a few I get asked a lot…
Can quitting sugar prevent AI diseases down the track?
Simple answer is yes. Sugar, I believe (most research points this way) causes most of the issues leading to metabolic sydnromes and AI issues. For more on this
What do I eat at parties?
White spirits and soda or wine; meats and cheeses, but avoid all sauces; nuts and chips. I really advise, if it’s a cake/biscuit-based affair, you bring your own. Check out the recipes on my site.
What about lemon in my water? Lemon’s a fruit.
Lemons contain about 1% fructose. And how much are you consuming? A squeeze? Knock yourself out!
Each week I’ll include some extra interesting stuff to check out. Wrap your visual gear around these:
Eating sugar causes overeating. Proven.
And did you catch this on the New York Times site? Everything already out there that’s geared at making us lose weight, doesn’t work. Losing weight, via the methods pushed by the diet industry, is pretty much impossible…I postulate: perhaps it’s the low-fat, restrictive approach we’ve taken. What about full-fat/no sugar and gentle?
That’s all for this week. Give me feedback on what else you’d like to see hear. I’ll post info about the webinars shortly. And don’t forget to check out the
New FB IQS page
And subscribe to the IQS mailing list here.