Nutrition -- cutting out the sugar

Entry #1531, Wed, October 10, 2007, 11:17 CEST (Cooking)
(posted when I was 29 years old.)

Sometime in late August, I decided to start cutting down on sugar. In particular, I wanted to cut out refined sugars and other "empty calories." Since then, I've had no soda and very little candy. I still get sugar from juices and I haven't made any effort to analyze non-candy foods for sugar content. But I think it's probably safe to say there's been a non-trivial decrease in my sugar consumption.

The strange thing is, in the past couple weeks I've had several dreams in which I either drank soda or had a candy binge or something similar, and then woke up feeling guilty for it. Very strange.

But other than the odd dreams, I think the overall effect on my mood has been a good one. Granted, it would've been hard to be in a bad mood during Oktoberfest, but still.

There were two reasons for this decision.

I was curious if blood sugar fluctuations were affecting my mood, and I thought it was a good place to start improving my diet so I can start losing weight again.

Some time ago, I brought in a big container of gummibears to work and placed them in a common area to be shared. Since then, we have had an unending supply of candy, because others started taking turns to bring in candy. This has probably been going on for six months. It's dangerous to have a large source of candy near your desk.

I started becoming more aware of the effects of the surges in blood sugar. Gone are the days where I could drink several liters of Mountain Dew and call it a good day. The sugar highs and subsequent crashes started having strange effects on my mood, and so that alone seemed like a good reason to quit.

Also, my weight has been edging upwards again. When I first got here, the increased walking and regular Ultimate Frisbee had a great effect on my weight. But over the past six months or so, work stress was high (in particular due to traveling to Riyadh several times), so I was more inclined to eat candy (which was readily available) and I couldn't make it to Ultimate as often due to travel (including several trips to Riyadh).

Since making my choice, I haven't touched the work candy supply once. Instead, I've started a work supply of sunflower seeds and nuts. I've also worked to up my intake of complex carbs at home and am trying to eat a portion of yogurt every day.

We'll see how this goes.


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