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3 Months of no Obvious Sugar my take~ aways.

Obvious Sugar: What is the Definition?

Happy Valentine's Day! What a perfect day to talk about the benefits of eliminating sugar. Cakes, candy, cookies, spoonfuls in coffee or tea, syrups, jams, jellies, and honey - all of these things are obvious sources of sugar. I stopped consuming all obvious sources of sugar, like the examples mentioned above, on November 14th. I did have one exception on Christmas morning: my husband's homemade monkey bread. However, that was a planned exception, and the decision was mine. I encourage all my clients to take control of their health before a doctor starts making the rules for them.

I also had one other stipulation to quitting sugar: I was still going to have my three cocktails a week. By the way, the cocktails we drink are sweet martinis - chocolate, salted caramel, minty chocolate, and espresso, to name a few. So, they do contain obvious sugar, but they are part of my plan. Now that I have explained myself, let's talk about my takeaways.

Takeaway #1: The drinks I was making room for are now too sweet, so my drink has changed, and it contains a lot less sugar. A LOT!

Takeaway #2: There is absolutely no reason to have sugar in my life. Honestly, everything feels better, and all I have experienced is positive. I'll delve more into this in Takeaway 3.

Takeaway #3: Pain reduced by 80%. After-dinner snacking urges are gone; when I am not having dessert, nothing sounds good after dinner.

Takeaway #4: Focus and concentration are up by at least 80%. I can get things done quicker and with more ease.

Takeaway #5: Energy levels are consistent rather than having big ups and low lows. My energy is maintained throughout the day.

Takeaway #6: Sleep: my sleep score improved by 25 points over the last 3 months. My energy is great, but I am ready for bed at bedtime, and my quality of sleep is much better.

Takeaway #7: Weight loss. As I mentioned in my last sugar blog, I had lost 6 lbs, but it did not come off right away. I have now lost a total of 9, but again, this takeaway was not as positive as I wanted. I thought eliminating sugar would help me drop a lot of weight quickly. NOPE - I still have to be patient and aware. I realized I had reduced my sugar, but I had also increased portions unnecessarily: nuts and nut butters, crackers and cheese, veggies (yes) and hummus. While these snacks are nutritious and healthy, my portions went up. Reining that in is next, as well as reducing all added sugars.

What's Next: It's interesting how I had forgotten about jellies, jams, syrups, and those things are all full of added sugar. I didn't forget, of course, but I could have easily overlooked them. Over the last 3 months, I have not had pancakes, waffles, or jelly with my PB. My eyes are now on all added sugar in all products. It is 100% unrealistic to think I can avoid sugar altogether.

So, my rule of thumb is no more than 2 grams of sugar per serving, and I stick to one serving. I have baked and made many things that ask for sugar in the recipe, including my beloved breakfast cookies. Most things do not need sugar, but some will. I use only 1/4 of what the recipe asks for, and I never use white sugar. Instead, I use dark brown sugar, date syrup, real maple syrup, or honey from my home state. Fast fact: Raw sugar is not better for you.

Most of my baked goods are perfectly fine without any sugar. I'm not making cookies and cakes. Things like breakfast oatmeals, breakfast cookies, and banana or zucchini breads I sweeten with applesauce and don't add oils or sugars. As you can see, I do not use sugar alternatives because I don't like them. You are welcome to use them, just do the research needed to make an educated decision.

So, next time you say, "I could never go without sugar," challenge that thought. You can do anything you set your mind to. Stop leaning into your limiting beliefs; they are holding you back. Know what you are putting in your body. Treat it like the temple it is. Sugar is never needed in a diet. Quitting it will ONLY bring positive results - physically it might hurt a bit emotionally, but it's time for you to take control of your diet and stop letting sugar dictate how you feel.

Here's to a balanced, clean life,

Coach Paris

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