Quitting Sugar: Week 3. Fructose
Today marks the end of week three of my formal journey to quit sugar following Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar (IQS) program. This has without a doubt been the hardest week of all so far. But more on that later.
I find the while topic of nutrition fascinating and could go on for hours but I am not a nutritionist or dietician so I will leave the details to the experts. All I know is that I am addicted to sugar and my research on many health topics leads me to want to detox from the stuff.
Now when I say I am quitting sugar, I mean specifically fructose because not all sugars are created equal. Regular table sugar is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose and it is the fructose portion that is the problem.
What wrong with fructose?
Here is some information from the IQS website to explain.
Fructose is highly addictive. Some studies say it’s more addictive than cocaine. Our bodies were originally designed to gorge on fructose because it’s such a great source of fat. Which was fine back in caveman days, not so much today because the gorging is daily instead of occasionally.
Fructose passes directly to our livers and promotes fat storage. Fructose can only be processed by the liver, which puts immense strain on this organ.
Fructose makes us eat more. (Oh great!) The problem is that Fructose has no corresponding “we’re full now, stop eating” switch (or enzyme) in our brain. It also interferes with our hunger hormones grehlin and leptin, leaving us feeling hungrier.
Fructose consumption is linked to type-2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cancer, heart disease and stroke.
The 8 weeek IQS program and Fructose.
Weeks 3-8 are fructose free which is to break free of the sugar addiction. That means this week excludes fruit and that I am finding hard. On any diet fruit is my go to sweet relief and going without has been harder than I expected. Once the body had detoxed from fruit it can be reintroduced back in moderation later.
The purpose of the “sugar detox” is to allow our hormones, metabolism and taste buds re calibrate. a kind of Control Alt Delete if you like.
Small amount of sugar and sweetener are introduced back into your diets, to see if your body actually wants it anymore. I am assured that when you quit fructose, you get your appetite back in working order and find your food freedom.
Some sweetners are still allowed
The IQS program sweetens food with fresh fruit and vegetables whenever possible.
It also includes rice malt syrup, which is a blend of glucose and maltose and completely fructose-free.
Occasionally you can stevia, a plant-derived, fructose-free sweetener that’s 300 times sweeter than sugar apparently but I haven’t tried it yet.
All artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, except xylitol and erythritol are avoided.
Cakes, cookies and desserts, even the fructose-free kinds, are regarded as “sometimes foods”. We all know this, of course but, Sarah assures her followers that when we’re not consuming large amounts of fructose our appetite hormones recalibrate. This means we can stop after that one slice. I am looking forward to this!
My week so far.
As I mentioned this has been the hardest week. The first week was a breeze and I wondered what all the fuss was about. By the end of week 2 I was tired and grumpy but I had worked 5 days and those of you who have been following my story know how full time work affects me! I thought the work load, travelling to Melbourne and studying, was to blame and I am sure it did not help.
Week three was not fun
I have been craving chocolate and lollies. I can actually identify that I want that sugar hit and I know I will feel (temporality) better. Again I did a lot of driving last week and usually snack on sweets when I drive. I am tired and achy and have had the odd very mild headache. I am not in a good mood and my thoughts feel a little fuzzy. Now with my recent roller coaster ride with the black dog this has been a bit alarming. My support team are in on my detox program and watching me closely.
The end of week three
I am not a purist. The last few days of this week I had a few drinks. Rod and I had our first weekend off as a couple together, without work or family commitments since Christmas.
We headed to the Blues on Broadbeach festival with a group of friends and had a great time.
I did not succumb to chocolate cake or ice cream but did have 2 G&T’s each night. WOW, do you know how much sugar is in tonic water?