Kate's Cuisine

Mar 31 2014

What I Learned Going Low-Sugar, Low-Carb

Lessons Learned

As many of you know, for the month of March I had given up some of my favourites. Chocolate cake, potatoes, and pasta were all off the menu as I changed my eating habits to low-carb and low-sugar. I wasn’t off of them completely. I still took sugar in my coffee, and I’d be lying if I said I had never taken a forkful of rice at the dinner table. But for the most part, I tried to stay away from them. Here’s what I learned.

I can’t do the no carbs thing. It’s just too hard for me. I did not have one plate of pasta the entire month, and it just about killed me. Bread I think I could actually give up pretty easily, that one wasn’t too tough. But not having lasagna or linguine or freshly made pasta dough for the entire month was just too hard. Carbs, I’ve come to accept, are a part of my life. And they will continue to be a part of my life. And while I might try not to fill up on them too much or too often, if March taught me anything, it was that I love them. I need them. I want them.

Sugar on the other hand, is a different story.

I think I used to be kind of addicted to sugar, and I don’t think I even realized it until I started this challenge. I was that person that needed something a little sweet after meals, or that liked to satisfy my sugar tooth while I sat and watched television. It was never to the extreme. I’d never eat an entire bag of chocolate chips or anything. But all those little bits and pieces here really can’t be good for me. And while I obviously knew that, I don’t think I realized just how much I was eating or more importantly, how much I depended on it.

Sugar is something I think I could definitely cut back on significantly, and quite easily. I found that after a couple of weeks, I didn’t even really miss it that much. And ya know what? Because I wasn’t eating it nearly as much, I didn’t crave it anymore. I no longer need a little piece of chocolate after I eat, nor do I go searching the cupboards hunting down those sweet snacks. It turns out that sugar is much like nicotine (this coming from someone who also just recently quit smoking.) The less of it you take in, the less you want it. I also heard on Dr. Oz this month that “where there’s no sugar, there’s no cancer.” So I guess maybe sugar has more in common with nicotine than I had originally thought.

So what are the lessons learned from this month of March? I love carbs, and am not willing to give them up; or for that matter, even limit myself to them once or twice a week. Sugar was an absolute addiction for me, and now that I’ve realized that, I can take it easy on the stuff, not want it nearly as much, and maybe become just a bit healthier in the process. Don’t worry, that’s not to say that there won’t be recipes of cakes and pies going up on the site. I’ll still eat them, and because I don’t make a whole lot of desserts anyway, I will probably still make them just as much as I used to. But all those “little” sweets I’ll be staying away from; those two cookies I used to reach for mid-day, or that bite of chocolate after a meal, or the donut my husband (used to) pick up with my morning coffee.

The bottom line is that I do feel better about myself. And while I’ve made some big changes over the past couple of months, and Lord knows they haven’t been easy, I do feel better because of them. I also now realize and understand that sugar can be addictive, and all those people who said it before me weren’t just flapping their gums. And just like any other addiction, it’s something that can be dealt with fairly easily and that (yay!) you might not even have to give up completely to get over it!

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