Confessions of a Sugar Lover
Recently, I have been noticing some negative changes to my body that have shown up in my energy levels and skin. I am constantly tired (yes, I know lack of sleep is a big part of this, but I also find myself lagging after eating certain foods), occasionally have severe stomachaches (which have been problematic in the past), and, perhaps the most visibly, I have occasional acne for the first time in my life. At 21 years of age, it doesn’t seem as though the appearance of acne could be due to those “raging hormones” I had when I was a teenager.
Being on the P90X program, I have also seen some major positive physical changes. But it’s hard to keep up with the workouts when I am so exhausted, and lately I’ve been feeling as though I’m not using the program in the way it was intended. In other words, I’ve slacked. Major.
As I look around the blogosphere and note all the wonderful results people have been having from instating their own “crap free” and macrobiotic challenges, I’ve been doing a lot of self-reflection. Big shout out to Maggie and VeggieGirl for all of the help and advice you have provided me so far! But if I’m honest with myself, I know that there is really only one aspect of my diet that I could see myself having the motivation to change dramatically. It also happens to be the one aspect that is the most likely contributor to my bad skin and low energy levels.
I’ve been calculating my added sugar intake for the past three weeks, and have been astounded at how quickly the grams add up. I’ve ranged anywhere from 60 to 100 grams on a given day – that’s a lot of added sugar, especially when I read that the recommended maximum is roughly 40 grams. A little can really add up. (Note: I don’t count natural sugars such as fruit in this assessment.) Although I enjoy my Coffee Cocoa, nutrition bars, Barney Butter and rice pudding, eating them all on the same day isn’t the best idea, and may be part of the reason why my skin is so dull and sensitive.
So it’s decided. As of today (because why not start now instead of waiting for next Monday?), at the end of each meal, I am recording the grams of added sugar (not to be confused with natural sugars found in foods such as fruit) and am aiming to be under 25 grams for the entire day. This may not seem like a far reaching goal for some of you, but for me, I think it’s going to make a huge difference.
If I find that it still hasn’t helped my skin and energy levels by the end of next week, I will make the necessary adjustments. I feel that this goal will allow me to discover the “added sugar” that I find truly enjoyable in my diet, and figure out ways to incorporate it in moderation. I don’t think I could just give up my beloved Coffee Cocoa, and with this plan, I don’t have to.
Thanks for letting me get my thoughts out on “paper” I hope to find out more about what it is and where you find it as I go through this process. I think it will be a real eye opener, and hopefully you can learn something from it, too.
Question: What do you know about added sugars? How do you approach them in your daily diet?