December 22, 2018

Living Without Granulated Sugar

It's been less than a week since I decided to tighten up my eating habits and after 25 years of drinking coffee (late starter), I hid the granulated sugar container out of sight and started having my daily two cups of coffee ... black. I don't have any historic revelations to speak of but I have noticed some differences. One is my loss of appetite. Tuesday - Friday I ate less than a 1,000 calories per day without intentionally starving myself.

A shock to me was that I enjoyed the taste of coffee without sugar. Now before you email me or list in the comments section all the substitutes I could use to replace granulated sugar ... save yourself the time and trouble. I am not interested in any of that crap. I don't care what it looks like or what it does. Years ago I tried all of it and had coffee come back out through my nose. The taste of coffee with those "fake" sugars simply sucked.

Like I wrote the last week, I'm not attempting the Keto carbohydrate theory. I know that there is no way in hell I am going to eat less than 20 grams of carbs per day. NO WAY !!!!! I mean one banana alone is 27g of carbs. No, I'm not giving up a banana a day just to be "low carb", screw that.

All I intended to do was to cut out what was making it hard to lose weight. Am I fat? Some people say I am not, that I look proportionally built. The few people I have run into at the store, that have not seen me since I retired, have mentioned I have lost noticeable weight. Still I'd like to get down to 185 pounds, standing 5'10".

Please don't send me any lessons on diets, nutrition, suggestions, etc.

I'll tell you why. I know enough about nutrition, what's good, what's bad, what food does or doesn't do. I know ... water water water water. For me that means pee pee pee pee. When I was much younger I was a strict vegetarian for eight years. I took one semester class in college dealing with nutrition. While bike racing part-time, nutrition and heart rate recovery was important. Nutrition was monitored and studied. In recent years I have read medical journals to see what is good or isn't with current research or lab tests.

I as hit my 30's, due to work schedules and locations I fell off the wagon hard from that veggie diet, eating when I could and what I could. I went back to red meat, lots of carbs, fast food, junk food ... anything I could eat or wanted to eat. I didn't log into a food app (not invented yet), I didn't keep a food diary, I didn't count calories. I just ate.

Granulated sugar was BIG in my diet ... in coffee, on cereal, on grapefruit, on oatmeal. Throw in all the pasta, whole pizzas eaten, never just one sandwich or just one burger and mix all of that eating with getting older ... slower metabolism ... and I was headed for a heart attack. In fact when I took a job related physical, the doctor asked me how long did wanted to work. I answered "65" .. he replied if you want that you need to lose 20 pounds.

I was 50 years old at that time. Here is the strange thing ... based on what I weighed that day, I lost those 20 pounds he suggested soon after I retired from work at 62 years of age. Interesting. I want to lose 15 pounds more.

I have always eaten pretty healthy overall. I never sat around gulping  64oz "Big Gulps" and downing a large bag of Cheetos followed by a small case of twinkies. My problem was and always has been portion size, plus high calorie foods. I believed in moderation for everything. I called that "my diet" ... moderation. Plus I never logged my food intake into an app or I would quit logging food in.

I noticed a trend when I didn't log my food intake ... I gained weight ... I ate more ... impulsive eating took over. Now I log my food intake for short periods of time just to check on if I am eating right. I'll stop logging in food today because I have seen the results and know that I am eating what I should be. Plus I have gauged how I feel. Energy? Heartburn? Hungry?

There are still battles of fighting through strong urges to make a "junk food run" ... As recently as last night I was thinking of making a short grocery run Saturday morning. I wanted to buy some ground sausage (good fat and protein), a little flour and a quart of whole milk. You do know what those three ingredients make don't you?

Sausage gravy over that tin of biscuits I'd buy and bake ...

That's not all I was planning to buy ... oh no!!!  LOL ... I pictured myself walking by the freezer department, opening the door, reaching in to grab A COUPLE of containers of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. As a reward for eliminating granulated sugar this week. (only a justification)

Since it's only 7:30am, the store I was thinking about going to is not open yet. It will be a BIG TEST to see what happens or will I even go. By the time I take Stella for a 8am walk, spend a little time thinking, it's very likely I will not make a trip to the store anytime soon. It just gives you an idea what I visualized last night just after I went to bed.

I went to bed too early ... now Stella is confused as hell, because we woke up early. She had her breakfast kibble at 5am. She and I have been waiting for daybreak and the clock has been extremely slow getting there. She has moved from sitting and staring at me to laying down sleeping in various spots, not knowing what to do.

Back to that granulated sugar.

By looking at the daily nutrition section of that food app, MyFitnessPal, it's amazing how much sugar your body takes in with good healthy food. I mean I have had zero deserts of any kind, no sugar, plain pink grapefruit, oatmeal only with blueberries and most food high in fat and protein ... still the sugar nutrient count higher than I expected.

No sugar takes away the feeling of bloat or feeling fat. I am not hungry soon after eggs/bacon like I am after a 1/4c of dried oatmeal before it's cooked. BTW, I am eating the oatmeal only to get rid of the small Quaker Oats container I bought the last week. After that, no more.

It's not only no granulated sugar ... but no grains that make me feel better. Even after four to five days. I've also noticed that the past couple of years anytime I cut out grains. A short book called "Wheat Belly", a free online download, points out some amazing things different from what we have been taught. I read that a few years ago.

For a long time I have not had set meals. I eat during the day when I'm hungry not because "it's time to eat". I might have nothing but baked salmon or I might add steamed broccoli to that. Last night or mid-afternoon I had nothing but a large thick NY strip for an early dinner ... yes Heidi and Stella shared the fat that I cut off or could not chew. They love the smell of steak. To Stella that means a 12" hanging drool in anticipation of getting some.

Not once the past four to five days did I automatically reach for that sugar container. I poured coffee and went back to my computer desk.

In closing, I know real changes will not be seen for months or even a year. I think if I take it one day at a time, no granulated sugar, occasional pasta in a small portion, or a section of lasagna, I'll see major differences by this time next year.

This is NOT a diet ... just a way of eating. I've changed my own definition of moderation.

I was going to wait to blog this morning but I knew at 8am the skies were not going to be any better than yesterday, where they would be too dark for good hound photos. Plus I had the urge to write early this morning and not wait a few more hours. What I am thinking of doing is posting again later this morning like I use to on this blog .... a paragraph of content and a lot of photos of the hounds this morning.

If I waited until after lunch, Heidi would be more photogenic and would actually be out of bed by that time so she could be included in the photo session.

Now, IF I can just delete that thought of Ben & Jerry's this morning I'll be fine for the day.

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