Well, I’ve endured yet another low-sugar week. If you missed my first post, here’s the quick recap: research shows that sugar is biologically addictive, so I’m eating foods with less than five grams of it to see whether I feel different. I’m cutting out processed sugar, but the natural kind (think fruit) is totally fine.
It hasn’t exactly been a piece of cake (pun intended). I’ll see my peers chowing down on cookies or soft-serve ice cream in the dining hall, and to be honest, those desserts look pretty darn good. Yet my sugar cravings are actually disappearing. I don’t yearn for sweet treats as much as I did before. Perhaps it’s purely psychological: maybe I’m subconsciously afraid of crashing after eating sweets. But then again, maybe this whole “sugar is addictive” idea holds water, and I can attest to it. The less sugar I eat, the less I crave it. Needless to say, I’m excited to see if my cravings disappear completely. Sounds impossible, right? Yet, if I keep my streak going, it could become a reality.
Here’s my latest reflection. Our social lives largely revolve around sugar. What movie night or party is complete without cookies or candy to munch on? If you’re trying to go sugar-free and you’re the only one not eating, you might feel left out. Or, what if your friends invite you to get ice cream? If you’re cutting sugar, you might opt out of it, but then you might end up feeling isolated. But it’s still possible to enjoy hangouts without the sweets. At parties or game/movie nights, strike up a conversation away from the food table, so you can avoid temptation. Eat something before you go to gatherings so you don’t feel hungry and enticed by the treats at hand. Bring along an apple, banana or peach, and while your friends are snacking, you can whip out the fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth. Your peers will likely applaud your self-control.
Tip of the week: We all know that outward appearances can be deceptive, so beware of foods that appear sugar-free. Case in point: veggies in my school’s dining hall. Eight tablespoons of carrots with glaze contain five grams of sugar.
Surprised? You could be perpetuating the cycle of addiction without even knowing it. Try your best to check the nutritional information of anything that’s not raw. When you do eat raw veggies, they don’t have to be plain and boring. I prefer raw carrots and hummus. It’s a super easy snack, and hummus is filling and sugar-free.
Veggies also work well with low-sugar salsa or olive oil.
For inspiration, here’s a salad I made last week: spinach leaves, carrots, olives and kidney beans with hummus on the side. If you’re a meat-eater, you can add chicken or tuna to your greens and still keep it sugar-free.
If you want to dismiss dessert cravings, join me on my journey. Here’s to another week of surviving without sugar!