7 Surprising Things I Learned When I Cut Back on Sugar for a Month

I Actually Eat Pretty Well

I’m not going to lie. I thought that by dialling back my sugar the weight would fall off and I’d be at my lean and mean racing weight. You’ve read how that happens, right? But I didn’t lose weight. I didn’t gain weight either.

I realised that, despite my sweet tooth and my nightly bowl (okay, okay, scoops straight from the tub) of ice cream, I eat well and don’t have much to “cut out.” Sure, if I wanted to shed ten pounds and get to some elusive race weight, I could probably do it. But I’d have seriously sacrifice by cutting out all sweets and dialling back my caloric intake, which during marathon season, may not be as high as it should be anyway. So, chalk one up for me, for eating a pretty balanced diet and performing pretty well on the road.

Over the years I’ve learned that depriving yourself of certain foods or food groups is the worst thing you can do to your mind and body. I used to cut out carbs. I couldn’t maintain a healthy weight. I was miserable. Once I started eating everything in moderation, my weight stabilised; I was happier; and I stopped feeling like I was missing out on things.

Where am I now, you might ask? I’m not as strict as I was during that month-long period. But I am more mindful-or I try to be. I read the labels closely. I ask myself if I really need that square (or two) of chocolate that has (somehow!) made its way onto my desk. I try to limit the amount of ice cream in my freezer. And of course, I run a lot.

No, I can’t eat whatever I want, but a sweet treat tastes even sweeter after a good workout.

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