Sugar Detox - Part 2
When I tried doing my first sugar detox in October, I actually only made it five days! The goal was 21 but I only made it through the workweek; everything fell apart on the weekend. This was harder than I’d anticipated. So, I decided to give into the holiday season and eat mostly what I wanted while still sticking to a paleo diet about 70% of the time.
Feeling yucky after the indulgences of the holidays and with my birthday at the end of January, I figured this would be a great month to really give it my all to avoid sugar for 21 days straight. I’m on day 11 today and it’s been pretty incredible! To be completely honest, I’ve had to eat a few bites of dried fruit on about 4-5 occasions when my blood sugar was low or dropping. My rule has been to use glucose purely for medicinal purposes.
As I reported back in October, the best thing about not eating sugar is how stable my blood glucose levels remain with very little effort or attention. I can go several hours without testing and when I do, it is in range, typically around 120 mg/dl. Also, I’m not thinking about my blood sugar constantly, worrying about whether my bolus was too big or too small for what I ate. I’m usually giving myself 1 unit per meal if my blood sugar is 130 mg/dl or higher and I’m eating any amount of carbohydrate.
Here are my other observations halfway through this detox:
Dawn phenomenon is easier to manage because I know I’ll need 1-2 units each morning depending on my fasting blood sugar. My breakfasts have very little carbohydrate so that doesn’t complicate the morning bolus question.
For the first time in forever, I’m successfully avoiding the bedtime snack since the only things I’d normally crave had sugar in them. I’m getting better sleep because of skipping the bedtime snack and not having to wake to test and correct as I’d almost always have to do when I ate something sweet before bed.
The first few days were the toughest as I still craved sugar. But, after making it over that hump, I’m not craving sweet at all. It’s really been such a relief to eliminate the “should I eat this or not?” question from nagging at me during the day. Plus, I feel better; more energy, fewer headaches, more clear thinking.
It has also been eye-opening to read labels and see how often sugar is added to foods we think are carb-free such as bacon! That was kind of shocking to me.
This process has increased my mindfulness about what I’m eating. Good example: on my first day I was in the office talking to my Team and absentmindedly grabbed a handful of honey roasted peanuts. We chatted for awhile and I told them that I was starting this detox. It wasn’t until several minutes later that I realized what I’d done… I exclaimed, “Oops, I just blew it! Those were covered in sugar!” After a couple days it was much easier to be aware of what food was around and whether or not I could eat it. Mindfulness, such a simple but powerful thing.