Yes, last week we did it. Well, almost. Most of the time. But we did it! We cut out added sugar and sugary snacks for one whole week. The idea behind it was mostly that we are consuming way too much, which is probably the one problem with our healthy diet, and we wanted to see how much it really is.
In a normal week, my sugar intake starts in the morning when I have a nice big blob of Nutella on my porridge. I eat sweets all throughout the day, and if we decide to watch a movie in the evening, I always munch away on my lovely German sweets. And although I cut out on sugary soda, I still drink a lot of squash, which has artificial sweeteners instead of sugar.
So, two weeks ago already we decided that we will test ourselves: how much sugar do we really eat and how does it affect our diet? Well, looking back now, it’s incredible! I do have to admit to myself that I’m a sugar addict.
First of all, our rules:
Me and my boyfriend decided to not consume any added sugar in foods, especially no sweets and chocolate! Natural sugar and honey was okay, as we wanted it to be a mostly sweets-based challenge rather than an actual no-sugar ordeal for the start. Squash was excluded for this challenge, as was hot chocolate (although I have to admit I didn’t drink any).
After we badly failed in the first week, we learned and equipped ourselves with the following substitutes:
- fruit (apples, bananas, kiwis, melons, grapefruit, plums …)
- nuts (cashews),
- bread (if I get my chocolate cravings it’s mostly simply hunger), and
- honey (for tea and porridge)
In this week, I learned a lot about myself, and how unconscious my sugar consumption is! That’s mainly the reason why we failed in the first week, because we simply didn’t notice what we were actually eating. Myself, I was amazed by my cravings, which arose every day, sometimes several times per day when I just had a hunger for chocolate. I soothed myself with natural sugary fruit, such as melon, kiwi, banana etc., but my brain just told me ‘I want some chocolate’ all the time! My boyfriend, who took the challenge as well, had to coach me through the week and tease me into sticking to it. Mostly, I discovered, my craving was actually mis-interpreted hunger, e.g. late in the evening, and just a sandwich did the job where I’d usually have some chocolate.
I have to admit to having an ice cream at an especially hot day (that’s just obligatory!) and the yoghurt I used for avoiding chocolate actually had added sugar in it (oops.). Nuts just didn’t have any appeal to me when I felt like some chocolate or sweets, and I still don’t eat a lot now, so the fruit saved it for me.
What do we take away from this? Well, since this was far from a real no-sugar challenge (with all the squash and fruit), it’s more than obvious how much I am another little sugar addict, and how much I need to watch myself in order to make my healthy diet really count. We both agreed we wanted to continue doing a less-sugar week every now and then and simply cut it down a bit in general.
What does this have to do with un-fucking up this world? Probably not as much as zero-wasting and all that stuff, but I think making yourself aware of what limits you is a very important step in thinking out of the box and finding new ways to live. I always want to question the things I take for granted, and I certainly have done so with this sugar-challenge. And, besides, when cutting down, I won’t need to give in to chocolaty or sweety cravings when shopping, which might be beneficial for my wallet and Zero Waste peace (after all, they’re all packed in plastic) 😉
What do you think? How useful do you consider my little ‘challenge’? What are your weaknesses that you’re fighting with at the moment? How much does this have to do with un-fucking up this world, in your opinion? Let me know in the comments!