A little over 3 months ago, I finally made the decision to embark on a sugar free lifestyle. This has ultimately been life changing for me and required buckets of discipline and persistently resisting temptation.
In this post, I will talk about why I made this decision and what changes I have noticed, especially after a lifetime of constantly eating too much sugar.
The following video was hugely inspiring to me but my dear friend ‘Ketodawg’ was the main reason I embarked on this life-changing journey.
I will talk a little more about ‘Ketodawg’ in my next post but for now, please watch this video before reading any further.
Many of you, just like me, have probably enjoyed eating pasta, bread and starchy foods for as long as you remember. Many of you have a sweet tooth and can’t imagine life without sugar or processed food.
In my case, my childhood was filled with sugar. Both my parents had a sweet tooth and they allowed me to eat and drink sugary things as young as 2 or 3 years of age. I preferred drinking chocolate milk instead of regular milk and loved sugary cereals for breakfast. We always had packs of biscuits in the house and I learned to bake cakes before I learned to cook food.
In many households, this was and still is the norm.
Did you know that more than 5 grams of sugar in your bloodstream, can already be harmful to our bodies? Our bodies are not made to carry more than this amount in any given moment.
The World Health Organisation advises that we don’t have more than 25 grams of sugar per day.
If I take a moment to consider what my daily intake of sugar and carbs was for most of my life, I would say it exceeded 200grams a day. I am pretty sure I was already insulin resistant, which would have eventually lead to type 2 DIABETES.
I loved comfort food, so would regularly cook high carb foods such as pasta, rice and potatoes and I enjoyed bakery items, cakes and biscuits daily. I managed to reduce the sugar in my tea from 2 teaspoons to half a teaspoon, but that was still not good enough, as I was drinking 6-8 cups of green tea per day. At my absolute worst, I weighed 72 kilos. I was completely addicted to sugar, had always been an emotional eater and essentially learnt bad eating habits from a young age.
My father developed type 2 diabetes from an unhealthy, overindulgent diet and this is sadly what killed him in the end, at age 70.
For nearly 3 months now, I have been following the Keto Diet which means reduced carbs, no sugar and lots of healthy fats and leafy greens. This reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.
The first week I started Keto, I was having intense cravings for all the foods I couldn’t eat. I was reluctant to throw out all of the yummy biscuits that I had brought back from a trip to Greece. I was also convinced that I wouldn’t be able to give up pasta, which was my go-to food most of the time, especially when I was really busy with work.
In the first 10 days of my Keto diet, I experienced Keto flu symptoms just as I had predicted from the research I had done. I reduced my intake of carbohydrates and sugars to a maximum of 25grams per day, which in turn made me feel lightheaded, fatigued, irritable, low and achey. To compensate, I was drinking plenty of fluids so I could feel better. A keto diet can cause you to rapidly shed water stores, increasing the risk of dehydration.
After this initial 10 day period, my cravings for sugary foods had gone and I was getting used to my new lifestyle.
My body had already started burning ketones from fat instead of glucose. This was evident in the fact that I had started losing weight.
The most amazing thing I started noticing was that I was no longer having these afternoon energy crashes, where I felt like I was going to fall asleep. I also felt like I had better mental clarity, less of a ‘foggy head’ and my energy levels overall were hugely improved.
I lost a total of 10 kilos, which I am extremely proud of and I feel much more confident in my body than I used to.
Last but not least, I have generally felt more stable in myself. As I have lived with the effects of CPTSD all my life, I have definitely noticed that I am much calmer and more positive now. This has been extremely important to me, as I never wanted to be on medication for my symptoms.
My friends and loved ones have also noticed that I am much better in myself and have even commented on my skin, saying that I have a healthier glow.
Overall, I would highly recommend cutting out sugar and processed foods.
Since these lead to chronic inflammation in the body, which eventually cause Type 2 Diabetes , Cancer, Alzheimers and ill mental and physical health, it is a no brainer for anyone that is looking to be healthier.
If you suffer from anxiety, depression, PTSD or CPTSD I would highly recommend changing your diet, before resorting to medication. A good diet and regular exercise does make a huge difference. I have seen the results myself.
What is your experience?
Do you pay attention to what you eat and listen to your body?
Have you noticed any changes at all when cutting out sugar and processed food?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Love Athina ❤