Giving Up Sugar: Part One

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Follow our six-week diary as two ELLE staffers try to give up sugar...

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Giving Up Sugar: Sophie Beresiner

I am writing this first entry into my anti-sugar diary to reaffirm the reason I am doing this. It is 16.00 on a Monday and I am struggling to say the least. The tipping point came when Amy - who seems to fly through any challenge - told me I couldn't have the bubble tea that I very weakly researched as my healthy alternative, and very strongly craved because it is very sugar heavy. Her view was I must retake my seat and carry on depriving myself of everything that gives me pleasure immediately.
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This may sound strong but it is the cravings talking. I have been off sugar since 1st January. My morning-after guilts were becoming worse than a remorseful hangover. At least then I had a fun night to show for it, and it wasn't a regular occurrence. The run up to Christmas in a magazine office on the other hand is a binge opportunity of epic proportions. And I'm an all or nothing kind of a person, so having consumed it ALL, I have to now resort to NOTHING.

I already knew that sugar was not my friend, my cancer treatment teaching me that tumours love sugar. I went through a period of extreme abstinence; no red meat, sugar, soya, dairy, caffeine, alcohol or wheat. The deprivation didn't affect me so much then, since I had bigger fish to fry. But having come out the other side I felt I deserved to live a little. Enjoy whatever I wanted to enjoy and eat cakes till the cows came home.

Therein lies the guilt, and herein lies the challenge to break this terribly difficult and delicious habit and get back on the straight and narrow. I started with all good intents and purposes but already accept that I value joy as much as I do conscience, so try as I might, I am not going to be as strict as Amy.

My rules are:
No puddings
No chocolate
No sweets or cakes or cake pops or refined sugar
Fruit is fine. Wine is FINE. A girl needs a treat.
Which means cheese and extra chips and however damn much bread I can fit in my stomach is okay because I am abstaining from sugar.
I'm hoping this philosophy will wear thin, because my trousers are getting quite tight…I'll keep you posted.

Giving Up Sugar: Amy Lawrenson

I have been off sugar since before Christmas. I knew I was going to be starting Laura Thomas’ Mentor Me Off Sugar Detox Plan, £295, a while back and I figured now is as good a time as any to start.

Sugar is just so awful for you and approaching Christmas seemed like the time I could fall off the wagon of healthy eating big time, so I didn’t eat a single Quality Street or mince pie over Christmas. No sugar passed my lips (in food form) - I did, however, have a couple of Bailey’s, okay I had copious amounts of alcohol.

For me banishing sugar from what I eat isn’t too tricky – I love eating omelettes and avocado for breakfast and I no longer crave that 4pm sweet treat. But it’s booze – I love wine. So, I’m ditching the drink and limiting my sugar intake to as little as possible (a teaspoon of maple syrup here and there, oh and a few berries every so often).

The problem with sugar is that it’s in a LOT of processed foods so Laura encourages you to forgo packaged food for homemade meals. Which could prove time consuming – I’m going to have to get a lot more organised and try to follow the first week’s meal plan as best I can.

I have a couple of dinners in the diary but I’ve forewarned them that I’m not eating sugar.

This week’s tip: sugar comes in many guises (hidden away in ingredient lists) so Laura offers a handy sheet that you can print out with all the white stuff’s guises. Try to familiarise yourself with the names – you’ll see them popping up a lot in the foods you eat.

Read Laura's blog and find out more about the Mentor Me Off Sugar Detox Plan here

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