Do not get me wrong. Being an avid runner – and also the nutrition editor of Runner's World – does not mean that I can eat whatever I want, even though people tell me that. All the time.
I still have to supply my body and runs with whole foods, good fats, fruits and vegetables and make sure I do not eat anymore when I burn.
But I would have heard much of this sugar-free craze, and the truth is that I have a crazy sweet tooth: I eat ice cream every day. I even did a taste test here at work. So, if anyone could stand to reduce his sugar, I would have thought it was me. I gave myself a month to see what happened. Here were my guidelines:
Natural sugars, on the other hand, were fine. I would not cut out any fruit and still be able to sweeten my (full fat!) Natural yogurt with a little honey.
2. Not more than 8 grams of sugar per day
My favorite breakfast is the yogurt with cereal mentioned above. That's why I've searched for things that contain less than eight grams of sugar. To be honest, I came up with this number: I'm not a registered nutritionist (although I work a lot with them). But eight grams seem to be a fair amount of sugar, especially if it's mostly natural.
It turned out to be difficult to find a cereal with so little sugar that I had to prepare it myself and add some honey for the sweetness.  . 3 I could still have fun
It was about restricting myself, not depriving me and making me feel miserable. So if something came up (a birthday party, a nice dinner with dessert), I would not refuse. Also, over the years, I've learned that it's easier to develop good habits if you're not so strict with yourself. A complete sugar depletion would probably have taken until the second day. Okay, okay, 1.5.
HERE IS WHAT I FOUND
1. I felt lighter – at first sight
As expected, I felt great in the first few days. Rejuvenated. The keyword, however, is "felt." A few days were not long enough to cause a physical change – unless I had eaten only fast food three meals a day. But I was so excited about the prospect of trimming my sweet tooth that it had taken me. In the course of the 30 days, however, I did not feel different.
2. I Uncovered Willpower
I do not feel I'm missing in the Willpower Division – I ran seven marathons and prepared for all. I'm not afraid to do hard work, be it 90 degrees or single digits. But when it comes to my sweet tooth, all bets are closed. For example, during the Passover, I will not touch any crumbs of chametz (wheat, corn, rice, beans) as this is not allowed. But in general, I just can not say no to a few ice balls.
This experiment helped me to see that I could reject this point at 2:00 pm. a bite of dark chocolate or the nocturnal bowl of frozen beauty, and that felt good.
3. My Skin Broke Out
You hear stories of people cutting out sugar (or other "bad" things) and their skin is glowing, their hair is silky, their lips are sparkling. That did not happen. In fact, I set off in Kinnakne. To be honest, I have been struggling with acne for a while, and my dietary change may not have been the cause, but it happened within a week of cutting out most of the sugar. And I say it here.
4. I ate more fruits and nuts
I love fruit. I better eat vegetables (thanks to my local CSA!). But to satisfy my sweet tooth, I turned to the fruit. I've noticed that I feel so much fuller with fiber content (which I often write on the pages of Runner's World, but it's always nice to be validated first-hand). Organic cashew nuts (unsalted, roasted) became my staple food. Rich in fat, yes, but filling, delicious and easy to eat.
5. Sugar is in everything
No, seriously. I thought I knew that when we reported about it a few months ago. "Hidden sugar" blah, blah. But no, really. Sugar is in everything. (Gluten too.) I've learned to read nutrition labels even more accurately than before, which helped me make healthier choices.
6. I got creative
My homemade granola was just one example. I've noticed that my friend has always said: It's best to do things yourself. I love making cookies, but they are full of sugar. So I took one of our recipes and optimized it to make it a little healthier. (The office loved them, although I'm not sure what they loved more: the biscuits or the fact that the nutritionist brought them in.) Instead of Nutella, which I usually add to my oatmeal (along with proteinaceous peanut) butter!) I made a honey-sweetened chocolate spread avocado-based. And for better or for worse, I took a few bites instead of my ice.
7. I eat pretty well
I will not lie. I thought that by choosing my sugar back I would lose weight and achieve my lean and medium race weight. You've read how that happens, right? But I did not lose weight. I did not gain weight either.
I found out that despite my sweet mouth and nocturnal bowl (okay, okay, shoveling straight out of the box) I was eating ice cream well and not much to "cut" out. "Sure, if I wanted to lose ten pounds and gain an elusive weight, I could probably do it. But I would have to cut out all the sweets and probably recall my calorie intake, which may not be as high during the marathon season as it should be. Chalk one for me because you are fairly well-nourished and do pretty well on your travels.
Over the years, I've learned that the worst thing you can do is to deprive yourself of certain foods or food groups mind and body. I cut out carbohydrates earlier. I could not maintain a healthy weight. I was unhappy. When I started eating everything in moderation, my weight stabilized, and I was happier and no longer had the feeling of missing things.
Where am I now, could you ask? I'm not as strict as this month. But I'm more careful or I try to be. I read the labels carefully. I wonder if I really need that square (or two) of chocolate that (somehow!) Got onto my desk. I try to limit the amount of ice in my freezer. And of course I walk a lot.
No, I can not eat what I want, but a sweet treat tastes sweeter after a good workout.
This article originally appeared in Runner's World.