Last year when I was experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (IF), I really enjoyed it for a few reasons. One of the main reasons though, was that it helped me to really understand my own hunger cues and it helped me to stop eating out of habit. Well, I’m not following IF anymore (although I’m contemplating it right now), mostly due to scheduling and getting sick of packing three meals for work every single day. But even though I followed IF for a few months and really became in tune with my own hunger/satiety cues, I hate to say that those habits have slipped away over the past couple of months with an increase in stress and an unforgiving schedule.
I seem to have fallen into my previous ways of eating out of habit and not really paying attention to what I really want or when I really want it. I’m not sure if this can be blamed on stress, or if it’s really just mental laziness on my part. Either way, it needs to stop, and I need to figure out some way to shift my habits back towards those that I developed while following IF (without actually reverting to a strict IF schedule).
On Hunger Rage…
Speaking of my eating habits, while falling back into the mindless eating trap, I’ve also become once again sensitive to the evil beast known as Hunger Rage. This type of rage rears it’s ugly head when I let myself get so hungry that I become a shaky, irrational, must-have-food-at-any-cost monster, and it’s been happening more recently lately. But I think I have a pretty good idea of why..
On Sugar (aka, the devil)…
Unfortunately, I think I have a pretty good idea why both of the above things have been happening lately: Sugar.
The past two weekends I’ve eaten a stupid amount of sugar. Stupid.
Stupid meaning that last weekend, I ate a ton of sugar in one day, had a horrible sugar hangover that entire evening, and felt like absolute crap for a couple days following it. So then what did I proceed to do this weekend? Sugar it up again, leading to the same hungover, comatose feeling that I had had last weekend. Seriously, last night I couldn’t even move from the couch without feeling like I was either going to hurl or pass out. Or maybe both.
The problem with sugar is that when you have it, you want more because it makes you happy initially. Your body then wants more, and more in order to get that same “high” that you experienced previously. This leads to sugar overload, insulin spikes and crashes, and all of the craziness that comes along with that (such as hunger rage, feeling hunger pangs at inappropriate times, and your brain telling you that you must eat ALL THE FOOD).
I will probably write a full post about the highs and lows of sugar consumption soon, but for now I’m still on too much of a sugar hangover to even think clearly. For now, I’m going to avoid added sugar for a while, even if it kills me (which I’m pretty sure it won’t), and let you know how I feel in a week or two. Will I do a whole month of no added sugar? Well, I guess I have to say I’m going to to make this official. If I cheat, I promise I’ll let you all know, so that you can sugar-shame me (but you wouldn’t really do that, would you?).
Anyway, I’m off on my no-sugar-added adventure. My greek yogurt bowl this morning had some vanilla extract mixed in instead of honey, and I feel a little better already… although that may just be the sugar of this weekend finally leaving my blood stream.
Readers: Do you avoid added sugar like it’s the plague? Or do you let it sneak in once in a while? Have you ever followed IF and did you find that it allowed you to become much more mindful about hunger, etc?