I gave up refined sugar today. My goal was to make it at least 4 weeks because my record is 3 weeks.
I made it 7 hours.
To be fair to myself I didn't mean to do it. I went to lunch with someone who was riding with me for work today and we went to my old faithful, Panera. As we were talking, I absent mindedly got a small cup, filled it a quarter full of half Sprite and half fruit punch and drank it as I do every time I'm at Panera (that inch of soda is the only soda I ever have). Then I realized what I'd done.
To not be fair to myself my hotel tonight gave me a warm cookie at check in and I ate it. But back to giving myself credit (I'm liking this "I am awesome!!!" game) I went to Chick-Fil-A for the second time ever and ordered a grilled chicken salad. And an order of small waffle fries but they don't count because it was only the second time I had ever been there. Therefore the cookie was my reward for not getting chicken nuggets. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
(On a side note, I am convinced that no one gets as excited over stupid random stuff like I do and there is not much I love more than Chick-Fil-A. The fact that they say "My Pleasure" after every time you say "Thank you" is beyond amazing. It's magical. It makes me downright giddy.)
So why am I giving up sugar? It's because I am a sugaraholic and I will crave it like an addict craves crack. It will get so bad that if I have nothing else in the house I will eat a spoonful of straight sugar. I have never been an overeater in my whole life so it's not about that, it's more about craving sweet things until I eat something that is. When I cut out sugar for a few weeks it helps me stop "needing" it or thinking that I do.
For the last 2 years I have cut out refined sugar (almost) completely off and on to reset myself. I have never noticed any weight loss from it but I know that people who lose a lot of weight from cutting out sugar will also cut out all bleached flour and fruit. I am ok without bleached flour because I rarely have it anyway but I can't give up fruit. I don't eat a lot of vegetables so I feel like fruit offsets that (in moderation). During strawberry season I eat literally 2lb a day, it's a problem. The bun would be pretty sad if I didn't eat fruit anymore too because we both have a serious apple addiction.
The things that I typically cut out are anything that I usually eat that are sweet (besides fruit): jam, chocolate *sob*, Luna bars, gum, you name it. The only thing besides fruit that I allow myself is yogurt because I just can not get used to Greek yogurt straight. I just can't. I don't eat it a lot though, usually just after my Sunday long runs when I am trying to get as much protein as I can in.
It turns out that my "cut it out" method works pretty well in regards to my sugar problems (and more recently to other areas of my life) and it helps me stop thinking about it. Eventually I am able to add it back in in small amounts and that things usually stay good for 6 or more months (until I eat a half a gallown of vanialla buttercream frosting and the whole things starts going downhill). If you're having a hard time moderating yourself with something just cut it out completely. It will be hard the first week or two but I swear that once you get used to it you will barely even think about it. Don't do it gradually, just get rid of it. I promise you will get a lot of clarity from it.