For about 4 years, an article by the American writer Michael Grothouse has been available in the Internet.
He gave up sugar for 2 weeks and thoroughly described his experiences and fantastic results.
And since from time to time it is posted by familiar people in different translations, I decided conduct an experiment.
I have been dealing with eating disorders for a long time. I conduct research, give lectures, write articles, and most importantly, I am engaged in psychotherapy of people with certain disorders (most of the disorders that I encounter are triggered by such nutritional restrictions). I actively participate in the work of the Association of Doctors and Psychologists “Eating Disorders: Therapy and Prevention”, and I enter the organizing committee.
I also do not restrict myself in food at all (based on the principles of intuitive nutrition Evelyn Triboli, Alice Resh). So let’s go!
Here we have a psychologist, 42 years old. Having a rather sedentary lifstyle, activity – morning exercises, 10 minutes, walks, gym 2 times a week. Sugar is present in my life in the form of sweets and pastries, cheesecakes and cottage cheese casseroles, as well as some alcoholic cocktails include carbonated drinks. I rarely eat packaged juices, prepared yogurts and products where there is “hidden sugar”, so these we can exclude. During the day I drink 2-3 cups of sugar-free coffee with candy, muffin or fruit, which we will replace with fruits only.
“I even ate whatever I wanted,” writes Fast Company columnist Michael Grothouse, “fish, chicken, pasta, diet soda, fruit yoghurts, and once a day some sweets (M & M’s or brownies). I also like to drink coffee with a few packets of sugar. But calories are calories: if I do not go beyond 2000 kilocalories per day, I know that I will not gain weight. ”
But then the doctor advised Michael to completely abandon sugar, because it “makes us annoyed, pushes us to hasty and stupid decisions”
Michael. “On the first day, it seemed to me that everything would be easy. I ate a lot of fruit, had fish for lunch and steak with vegetables for dinner. I missed sugar and milk in coffee, but I had no particular problems. ”
Me. The first day, my hypothesis: I won’t feel the difference. Let it be for now.
Michael. On the second day, everything changed dramatically. Although I had a hearty breakfast and lunch (two oranges, eggs, then whole grain rice and vegetables), at about 2 pm it suddenly seemed like I’ve been hit by a truck. Dizzy and sore head, which usually did not happen to me. And this went on with some interruptions for another two to three days. At this time, I passionately desired soda and sweets.
Me. Day two. I feel uncomfortable while drinking coffee without candy, while my favorite “Golden Wreath” stays in the refrigerator. Such victims for the sake of science. 🙂
Michael. On the third day, my hands started to tremble. It was terrible, terribly difficult not to eat anything sweet. “Since you did not indulge your habit, your brain came to persistently demanding sugar,” says Rebecca Boulton, a nutritionist I contacted to understand what was going on. “This is an adaptation period during which desires become more intense, before you feel better.”
Me. Day three. Nothing like this. I still feel uncomfortable. “Golden wreath” is being eaten by the husband, well, you understand. 🙂
Michael. More intense? By the end of the fourth day, I would sell my dog for one brownie. I lost my focus so much that I was worried about not being able to write articles that I had to finish this week. I even wanted to drink an energy drink “for the sake of health” (but restrained myself). I was very annoyed and even depressed. I became nervous and impatient, it was difficult for me to focus on something. “The body was programmed to receive energy from sugar,” Boulton explains, “and it takes time for it to get used to getting it from somewhere else.” It’s like a hangover. ”
Me. Day four. Feeling fine. I eat a mandarin or persimmon when drinking coffee. Not impressed.
Michael. But on the sixth day, something has changed. The distraction began to go away, as did the headaches. Fruits began to seem sweeter. On the eighth or ninth day, I experienced more focus and clarity than ever in my life (well, lately). I began to work more productively – I listened attentively to people during the interview and could quickly respond to their answers with new questions and ideas. I have never worked with such speed. When I read a book or article, I absorbed more details and information. I felt smarter.
Me. Around this time, I met with a friend in a restaurant. Once again I felt strange when she ordered dessert, while I did not (for the sake of the purity of the experiment).
Michael. I did not expect that refusing refined sugar would help to sleep better, but it happened. On the sixth-seventh day, I began to fall asleep 10 minutes after I went to bed. Before it took me about half an hour. I also started to wake up earlier, and getting out of bed in the morning became easier.
Me. Still barely open my eyes in the morning. Observing no desire to get up earlier than 8 a.m…
I have consumed as many calories as before. I ate a lot of fat (red meat, avocado) and a lot of carbohydrates and natural sugar. But the refusal of refined sugar led me to losing 5 kg in two weeks. “Eating more protein, fiber, fruits, and vegetables boosts metabolism, and the body burns calories more efficiently. It’s not about the number of calories, but about the quality of the food and how the body processes it,” – Boulton explains.
Me. My weight is stable.
Michael. New life
I still feel hungr sometimes – but not so often. I feel full for seven to eight hours in a row. Now I understand that when I felt hungry (every three hours), my body simply required another dose of sugar.
Hmm, how many times a day this dude eats? With intervals of 7-8 hours. I still need at least 3 meals + a couple cups of coffee in between…
The experiment is very simple, well-described, and definitely glorified the author. In my opinion, you can feel such a difference in well-being washing down a dozen of chocolate bars a day with liters of sweet soda or packaged juice. An ordinary person who eats a few sweets or a piece of cake a day would not feel the difference.