First of all, I wanted to say a huge thank you to each and every one of you who read and shared my “How I Quit Sugar” blog post! It was the most read and shared post on here. Due to all the sharing and community love, CBC Radio found it and I spoke about quitting sugar. Let me just say that I am the last person I thought will ever speak about quitting sugar… ever!
While I am super grateful for that, a big learning opportunity for me was coupled together with the fact that so many of you were reaching out to me to tell me how inspired you were and that many of you have been trying to quit sugar. A friend of mine even started something called #SoberSeptember and is trying to stay alcohol free for a month!
I was also told that I should work in conjunction with the Canadian Diabetic Association, which I would love to.
There were some common questions and statements that I received in response to my post and I am listing and addressing them down below.
- How much sugar did you use to consume?
Almost a can of condensed milk a day. That is a whopping 54 grams of sugar a day but that was not all, I was also consuming chocolates and donuts and cakes (yes, all in one day). The recommended sugar consumption, according to the American Heart Association, is:
- Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).
- Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).
It grosses me out to even think about it now. I did feel a huge emptiness in my days that all the sugary treats used to fill in. I used to pick up a slice of lemon loaf from Starbucks each morning together with my green tea (ha ha so healthy *major eye roll*).
The point is, I was a major sugar fiend and if I can kick the habit so can you.
- When did your cravings stop?
The first two weeks were hell. I was cranky and a major pain in the butt. I wanted to punch something… anything. It was only around the third week that I felt sane again.
- Good on you, but I can’t quit it.
Yes, yes you can.
- Did you quit natural sugar too?
Yes, initially. I am now beginning to eat fruits again but only those that are low in sugar.
- Have you slipped and cheated through your #100sugarfreedays?
Yes, once. I ate two mini cupcakes to celebrate an important occasion and once on my wedding day I had a nibble on a traditional sweetmeat.
- Are you doing this to lose weight or to stay healthy?
It is a bit of both. I wanted to be in charge of my own body and was developing an increasingly negative body image but I am also conscientious of the fact that Type 2 diabetes runs in my family. While I am aware that it isn’t just caused by consumption of sugar, I am sure it is not helping any.
I also found out that South Asian women are 10 times more likely to develop diabetes as compared to their North American counterparts. YIKES!
- Why have you not substituted sugar consumption with something else?
Because that is not how it works! If you are merely substituting it with something else you are just as likely to get addicted to the substitute. That being said, if you are having a really hard time, I would recommend fruits such as blueberries that are low in sugar.
- What do you do about hidden sugars in packaged food?
You can avoid that by cooking at home, looking at the ingredients on the packaging or by doing some good old internet research. The fact of the matter is that there is sugar everywhere and it is hard to avoid it completely but you can make healthier decisions by doing your research and being aware of what you put in your body.
My next blog post will be about fruits that you can consume when you are trying to quit sugar. Let me know if there is anything else you would like me to chat about, in the comments section, and I will do my best to address it.