Quitting sugar - is it worth it?


It’s day 21 in the eight week I Quit Sugar programme (IQS). So far, so good. I’m joined by hundreds of other people from around the world all trying to break their addiction with the ‘white stuff’ (including three other type 1 diabetics). We are all motivated by different things, for some it’s weight loss or to improve their health and well-being and for others it's pure curiosity.

The weekly readings, meal plans, shopping lists and ongoing support and encouragement help keep us on the straight and narrow and believe me there’s certainly been plenty of times when I’ve needed it. My weekends are filled with sourcing seasonal, fresh ingredients - some I’ve never heard of or tried before, like fennel (not my cup of tea) and tempeh. The weekly Sunday cook ups have meant I’m prepped and ready to tackle the week, sugar-free, no excuses.

I’m blown away by how amazing the food has been. The flavours are strong and delicious, for some reason I thought sugar-free eating would be bland. How wrong I was! Check out the food video I made here.

The key reason I jumped on the I quit sugar band-wagon was to see if it made managing diabetes a little easier. Have I noticed any changes? You know what, I think I have. Is it purely because of the IQS programme or a number of factors? Who knows? But I’ve definitely noticed a few changes and I’m loving it!

My skin is better, I’ve lost a couple of KGs and believe it or not I feel as though my blood sugar levels are a little more stable. As a type 1 diabetic I’ve realised I’m never going to completely eliminate high/low blood sugar results, it’s just not possible (please if anyone feels otherwise, let me know the secret). However as I remove sugar from my life I’ve noticed I’m having less hypos (low blood sugars) and when it does happen I can pin-point why. For example I miscalculated the carb content and gave too much insulin or I didn’t eat everything on my plate after I had given insulin to cover it all (it’s surprising how filling ‘good’ food is). I quickly correct with a few dextrose tablets and a sandwich or crackers and I’m back on track.

In the past I’ve battled with unexpected and random hypos. I’d eat what I thought was a good breakfast and then crash hours later? Sugar-crash! In my opinion hypos are one of the worst parts of being a diabetic. So I’m pretty excited to see the back of them (well the unexplained ones at least).

“Hypos can come on quickly and everyone has different symptoms, but common ones are: feeling shaky, sweating, hunger, tiredness, blurred vision, lack of concentration, headaches, feeling tearful, stroppy or moody, going pale.” www.diabetes.org.uk

I’ve got to be honest, at the end of week three I’m still dreaming of chocolate, fruit salad, wine and cheesecake. But I think I’ll stick this out a little longer, the results are too good to give up now.

For more information about the IQS programme check out www.iquitsugar.com

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