No-Sugar Diet: Four Months Without the Sweet Stuff
I am known to be a bit fickle on health matters at times. I am known to try many new things, but often give up midway without going the full distance. This is why most of my friends and family never took my sugar-free diet seriously.
However, things are slowly changing, as I have stayed off sugar for more than four months. As we are nearing the dawn of 2019, my resolve is only getting stronger with every passing day.
As I said in my previous article, I only stayed away from added sugar. I keep off any concentrated and man-made form of sugar. I stay off white crystal sugar, jaggry, palm sugar, and fruit juices. Natural sugars in its original form as found in fruits and other foods are perfectly fine with me.
I have made an attempt to look at the science behind sugar addiction. Please note that I am not a medical professional. I am merely a health enthusiast.
Improved Energy Levels
This is the huge benefit for one to feel it to believe it. It is normal for most people to feel a bit tired in the late afternoon hours. I used to have such problems and I would often dismiss it as an inevitable outcome of ageing or other lifestyle factors.
Nowadays, I do not feel tired at all and there is no drained out feeling either. My energy levels stay consistent from morning till evening. Sugar is usually associated with instant energy but the absence of it makes me feel more energetic. I know this sounds a bit paradoxical.
So my inquisitive mind started searching for answers. I found the answer in the connection that exists between blood sugar levels and insulin secretion. Whenever we take chocolates or other sweet stuff, our blood sugar shoots up. Our body has an inherent control mechanism by releasing insulin to contain the blood sugar level. Insulin also helps in converting glucose into energy.
What happens from now on is interesting. The high blood sugar level starts dropping as the pancreas secretes more and more insulin. The secreted insulin continues to be at an elevated level even after the blood sugar drops back to normal levels. This results in blood sugar level dropping further to below normal levels. This is when we start feeling tired and crave for more sweet stuff.
When we have another sweet, we would feel better and the cycle starts all over again. A person who is addicted to sugar would not always have high blood sugar level as one would expect. His blood sugar level would vary widely oscillating between a very high and a very low level. This wild oscillations in sugar level become the cause and effect of sugar addiction.
Without added sugar, there is perfect harmony and balance in our body as the insulin secretion would be only moderate. There are no major spikes and drops in blood sugar level. This explains why we feel good when we stay off added sugar.
This wild oscillations in sugar level become the cause and effect of sugar addiction.
Blood Sugar Levels and Insulin
I was sharing my diet experience recently with an elderly couple who happens to be our family friends. They are a couple in their sixties known to us for over two decades. Among the two, the husband does not bother much about his diet whereas his wife used to be very watchful of her diet. When they both had recently done a fasting blood sugar test, the sugar level was found to be higher for aunt as compared to uncle.
Narrating the tests, he told me "one should not take such diets seriously. See, my fasting blood sugar level was lower than that of my wife. She is the one who avoids so many stuff and I don't. Probably, one need not abstain from food that they enjoy".
I asked him about the doctor's assessment of the reasons for such a difference. The doctor did not seem to share any specific reason for the same.
This sets my mind thinking. A person addicted to sweet stuff is like a factory producing insulin at a faster pace. While performing a fasting blood sugar test, he would not have had any food or sweet stuff for a long time. With a higher load of insulin because of his sugar addiction, it is natural that his blood sugar level would drop faster as compared to someone who is not addicted to sugary stuff.
The blood test results could be misleading without taking into account how much it fluctuates and our food habits.
A person addicted to sweet stuff is like a factory producing insulin at a faster pace.
I am not an obese man by any definition of the word. I used to weigh around 68 kg or 150 lbs before I started my diet experiment. Now I weigh 64 kg or 141 lbs. It is not a significant reduction but I never needed one. Much of this reduction have happened around my belly area and so this is a welcome change.
There is a direct correlation between insulin levels and obesity. The more insulin the body has, the more fat that it tends to accumulate. The weight gain would not be uniform and concentrated around the belly area. So if you have not thought of quitting yet, you should quit now for this one reason.
This is a positive effect I had felt soon after quitting sugar. I used to sleep for just five hours a day. This has improved to five and a half hours per day now. I am hopeful that this could touch six hours soon.
Another important benefit in this diet experiment is the improved quality of sleep. I get up feeling fresh these days. Earlier, I used to I get up with a heavier feeling or tiredness.
A sugar free diet is also expected to promote hair growth and arrest hair loss. However, I am yet to see a noticeable change in reversing hair loss. I have probably started this diet too late in my life (late forties). I guess giving up the sweet stuff earlier could have helped. Anyways, there are so many other benefits for me to feel good.
Temptations and Cravings
The cravings have completely disappeared now. I no longer miss sweets, chocolates, ice creams or pastries. The world is a generous place with enough sweet stuff that we don't need added sugar.
Fruits, sweet potato, yogurt and tomatoes taste sweeter now than before. My taste buds have become lot more sensitive and appreciative of the truly good things in life. I love my coffee without sugar these day. I hope to stay this way for ever. I wish you can quit sugar today and make your life sweeter.
How does one know if there is a need to quit sugar?view quiz statistics
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.