Anyone who knows me well knows that, for as long as I remember, I have struggled with my weight. Over the years, I have tried various diets, exercises and more to lose the weight. While I eat better than before, and exercise regularly, I still weigh a good thirty pounds above what I should.
A week ago, my wife showed me a number of videos (linked below) about sugar. The short version is that over the last five decades or so, our food industry has added more and more sugar to what we eat and drink. While sugar is natural, when we remove it from the fiber it comes with (e.g. processing it), it becomes toxic. While my wife and I had learned to cut down on ’empty calories’ over the years (including soft drinks), we did not realize that any processed sugar, even ‘healthy orange juice’, can inflict toxic like effects on the human body… including immediate conversion to fat (which, in turn, leads to fat related health challenges). I stand convinced that this could well hold the key for not only my weight, but a few other issues I have developed over the years. Do not take my word for it. Watch the embedded videos below to learn more.
We decided to put this knowledge to the test! We immediately took steps to further reduce the amounts of refined / processed sugar in our diet… going so far as to throw away the ketchup. (Our ‘organic’ ketchup had four grams, or one teaspoon, of sugar for each tablespoon of product). We also cut out fruit juices, moved to cooking all of our own lunches, and even baking our own bread. (That last one doesn’t save too much sugar, but, hey, it’s fresh!) . After a week, I immediately noticed some difference, and I decided to blog it here. Below you will find a weekly summary of my progress. If you would like to jump to the videos, scroll down a bit. Return to this page weekly to check out my updated progress or follow me on Twitter 🙂
Week 1 – Ending 05.20.2016 – Weight: 196 – Well, I will admit that I felt hungrier than normal. However, part of that entailed Shirley accidentally switching her lower portioned lunch with mine. Normally, I have no issue foraging around work when I have a case of the muchies. However, I refrained since I did not know how much processed sugar might lurk in the delicious goods found in our restaurant kitchen. As part of this process, we generally agreed not to starve ourselves. If hungry, we can eat anything in our kitchen…as we’ve tossed the vast majority of sugar laden and overly processed foods.
While I did not lose significant weight this week (one week really isn’t enough time to measure that), we both noticed a very decent increase in our energy levels. Who would have guessed that eating less sugar would do that? As a result, we both accomplished more this weekend (and did so in a better mood) than we have in a long time.
Week 2 – Ending 05.27.2016 – Weight: 195.5 – I did hit an energy low this week…on more than one occasion. On Thursday morning, as I dragged my feet just to get ready, Shirley offered me a fruit (thankfully, no serpents were involved.) Sure enough, that did the trick. Within an hour, I felt a lot better and I was back to normal. Figuring out how your body responds to low sugar, and how to address it, proves to be half the fun of this process. As you can see in the videos below, fruit provides a much healthier source of sugar than most things in life, because the fiber slows the digestive process down. This, in turn, greatly discourages your liver from immediately producing fat cells, since your blood sugar levels do not immediately spike into the red zone.
Our overall energy levels continue to surpass our normal levels. We seem to get so much more accomplished now! My stomach seems to be unhappy, at times, with the low sugar approach, as I will often feel hungry mere hours after having a full meal. I would not say that I crave sugar, par se, but I guess that my body does miss it, and hence the false hunger signals. Since I promised that I would not starve myself through this process, I do snack on non-sugary options from time to time.
Week 3 – Ending 06.04.2016 – Weight: 195.0 – This week went pretty smooth…though all of the fiber does have some interesting…side effects. Aside from that, I think some people have fatigued of me sharing with them this ‘exciting’ news of sugar. I honestly try not to batter the same person too much about it, but sometimes they hear me speaking about it with someone else, and, to them, it sounds like a broken record. Interestingly enough, this reminds me an awful lot of sharing the Gospel. You know how important and how life changing something is, but many either do not believe, or do not want to put their faith into something that they know would force them to give up the other things they ‘love’ so much. Really, the parallels are just amazing.
Week 4 – Ending 06.11.2016 – Weight: 195.0 – My weight has been up and down this week…so I’m hesitant to move the ‘average weight’ marker here. I did see a low of 192.8, which is a new low, but I also hit a 167 earlier in the week. Go figure! Regardless, I think weight wise, I’m still headed in the right direction; especially since I eat anytime I hunger. I do not starve myself or skip meals. My wife and I continue to enjoy the sugar free life. Our energy levels mirror two decades ago. We both feel more focused than ever. We keep saying to each other “I wish I knew about this years ago,” as if performing in front of a camera for an advertisement. This excitement sometimes spills out into our conversations with friends. However, not everyone shares this enthusiasm. I had one friend who cut me off quickly as soon as I mentioned sugar, and got offended when I try to finish sharing what my wife and I had learned and experienced. Apparently, sugar has some very adamant protectors! So, I shall need to employ a bit more tact in sharing this with friends…which is hard. I have a big mouth, and it’s no longer full of sugar.
Week 5 – Ending 06.18.2016 – Weight: 194.0 – The scale keeps moving down. And while that’s not the main goal of this exercise, it certainly helps keep me motivated…that, and I was able to fit into my size 36 shorts again. WOOT! I have not worn those in years. With that said, the best benefit continues to be our higher energy levels. Honestly, even if we lost no weight, that would keep us away from sugar. It’s clearly a toxin, as bad as liquor, that you simply do not need.
Week 7 – Ending 07.03.2016 – Weight: 192.5 – I have been super busy, so I’m just updating this as a I get time. We continue to hold fast to our new resolution and the weight is slowly, but steadily, falling off as I expected. As the time goes on, I feel less and less tempted by anything that appears sugary or overly processed. I see it as sickening, poisonous and generally distasteful. I can focus so much better at work. People have not only noticed my weight loss, but the more positive attitude as well.
Week 13 – Ending 08.13.2016 – Weight: 189.5 – We continue to press forward. My appetite has leveled out, so I don’t feel hungry quite as often. I continue to adore the fact that I sleep good, and I stay wide awake during the day. The increase in concentration is such a blessing. The trade off, of course, is that my wife has to spend SO much time in the kitchen. If you don’t cook it, it probably has added sugars.
Week 17 – Ending 09.11.2016 – Weight 188.0 – Yup…we’re still doing low sugar. Two funny stories here. First, one day, my wife ate some ice creme at work during a weak moment with peer pressure involved. She ended up with a wicked headache and ended up regretting it. When you cut out sugar for a while, and go back to it, your body WILL tell you that it’s really, really bad for you. On another note, I had some sugary beverage on an employee outing. For the next two days, I could not get any decent sleep..immediately falling back into old problems. I’m happy to say I’m back to low-sugar norms, which means I sleep like a rock!!
Week 30 – Ending 12.11.2016 – Weight 188.0 – Weight really hasn’t changed, and that’s fine. I’m still enjoying the higher energy levels, focus at work, etc. Another interesting benefit…so far… Neither my wife nor I have gotten sick! Normally, as the cold season hits (in November), one or both of us get sick. Soooo many people at work are sick, so exposure to illnesses has not changed. However, we have not even had a stuff nose so far. This is hardly scientific, but my wife and I feel that the low sugar diet is keeping us much healthier than normal. Normally, I buy bags of cough drops. So far, I haven’t even had a single one.
Week 48 – Ending 04.23.2017 – So, a funny story here. A family member sent me a soup mix that, a year or so ago, I really, really enjoyed. My wife whipped it up for me, and we ate on it for the entire week. First, I got sick. Second, I had headaches most of the week. Thirdly, I had horrible bouts of insomnia. Finally, I no longer enjoyed the taste. I was only after the week had gone by that we decided to look on the package. It had added sugar. Yuck! It is clear that my body has become quite sensitive to the poison… and I’m OK with that.
Links to check out if you’re looking for more information after watching the videos below!
FedUp (Movie about food Industry)
Please watch these. If you only have time for one, the first one is the priority, IMHO.