Kicking the Habit

Posted: August 17, 2018 · By: Dave Elton · Comments: 0
Under: Blog
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A Month without Sugar…..

For a few months now I have felt that I was eating too much of the sticky stuff. Getting your head around cutting down on it is a completely different issue. How do you start? It’s everywhere. Stop eating chocolate? But the sugar is still there, in bread, cakes, sauces, breakfast cereals etc. in-fact it’s laced in virtually all processed food. I call it a gift from our corporate gods! Some figures I read recently alluded to the fact that the average adult now consumes the equivalent to 109 lb’s of the stuff per annum when in the not too distant past it was just 6 lb’s!

I’m not expecting this to be easy. Some people have compared kicking the sugar habit to the equivalent to a drug addict quitting cocaine. So I’ll take each day as it comes. The early potential pitfalls could include:

  • Headaches
  • Moodswings
  • Lack of energy
  • Low attention span
  • nausea

So I don’t expect it to be easy.

I’m going to try this via a diary form. Here goes:

Conclusion

One month down on a project I’d never even considered up to five weeks ago. I found this more of a mental challenge rather than physical. The first two weeks had their moments but in all honesty the final two weeks felt pretty much normal.

Pro’s- 2 kg lighter, very little snacking between meals, enjoy the main meal more, slightly more energy, slightly better sleep,

Cons- sweet cravings (occasionally), tired and weak (occasionally), itching skin (occasionally). Most negative points happened in the first two weeks.

Overall- Worth the effort and I hope it makes me cut down on sweet things and think a bit more of what I am eating. Pretty much the way to avoid sugar is to think “if it’s packaged it more than likely contains sugar.” Now a days, excessive eating of sugar is possibly the huge reason for obesity and lets face it the temptations are everywhere. Most things that are on offer in supermarkets are bad for us. 4 packs of this, 6 packs of chocolate, tubs of sweets, cake and the list goes on.

So although I have to admit that natural sugars passed my lips in the shape of fruit/ dried fruit overall a good job was achieved.

Exercise- From an exercise point of view and particularly cycling there was a point were I wasn’t looking forward to cycling, in-case I ran out of energy. This was easily averted by eating a good breakfast and carrying a couple of pieces of fruit as well as a bags of mixed nuts and dried fruit. Eating this concoction every 15 minutes was huge plus and carried me through rides of 100 km. Drinking plenty as well as frequently was also key. I used glucose in my water as a supplement. A tub from a local chemist is a very reasonable price.


Day 31…15 September 18

Morning weight: 86.7 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, scrambled egg, smoked salmon, bacon, sausage, egg, tomato, mushroom, coffee, greek yogurt, chicken stir-fry,

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: 55km cycle


Day 30…14 September 18

Morning weight: 86.6 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, sausage roll, health bread, sardines, greek yogurt, chicken noodle stir-fry,

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: Short cycle


Day 29…13 September 18

Morning weight: 86.4 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, egg, bacon, sausage, cheese, salad, prawns, greek yogurt

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: Short cycle


Day 28…12 September 18

Morning weight: 86 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, bacon and sausage roll, crisps, coffee, apple, crackers, cheese, pork steaks, spagetti, tomato sauce, greek yogurt

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: 62 km cycle


Day 27…11 September 18

Morning weight: 86.4 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, greek yogurt, cheese, crackers, smoked fish, vegatables,

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: Light walk


Day 26…10 September 18

Morning weight: 87 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, steak, wedges, broccoli, carrots, humus, cheese, greek yogurt

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: none


Day 25…9 September 18

Morning weight: 87 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, health bread, cheese on toast, greek yogurt, spanish omelette

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: 42 km cycle, light walk


Day 24…8 September 18

Morning weight: 86.3 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, toasties, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, spaghetti bologaise,

Feeling: tired,

Exercise: none


Day 23…7 September 18

Morning weight: 86.5 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, smoked salmon, salad, pasta, burgers, tomato sauce, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, quich, salad, spaghetti bologaise, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds,

Feeling: Tired but better than yesterday

Exercise: Short cycle, gardening


Day 22…6 September 18

Morning weight: 86.8 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, smoked salmon, salad, pasta, burgers, tomato sauce, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds,

Feeling: Tired, feel like I’m coming down with something

Exercise: Rest


Day 21…5 September 18

Morning weight: 86.2 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, health bread, sardines, cheese pie, salad, greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, Guinness

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: Short cycle


Day 20…4 September 18

Morning weight: 86.3 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, health bread, crisps, sausage roll, greek yogurt, fish, potato,vegetables

Feeling: Good,

Exercise: 42 km cycle, light walk


 

Day 19…3 September 18

Morning weight: 86.5 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, toast, health bread, kippers, chicken, potato, carrots, broccoli, greek yogurt,

Feeling: Good

Exercise: Light walk


Day 18…2 September 18

Morning weight: 88.0 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, toast, crackers, cheese, spanish omelette, greek yogurt, dried fruit,

Feeling: Tired but otherwise good, a mad half hour of craving in the afternoon.

Exercise: Light walk


Day 17…1 September 18

Morning weight: 86.6 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, seeds, coffee, cheese toastie, chips, nuts, mandarins, cheese, burger, chicken, sausage, greek yogurt, Guinness.

Feeling: Good

Exercise: 100 km cycling

Bridges of Ross-Clare


Day 16…31 August 18

Morning weight: 86.3 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, sausage, rasher, bread roll, coffee, cheese toastie, chips, spinach pasta,  greek yogurt, Guinness.

Feeling: Good

Exercise: Light cycling


Day 15…30 August 18

Morning weight: 85.7 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, toast, pastie, crisps, bread and butter, greek yogurt, pizza, chips,

Feeling: Good

Exercise: 24 km cycle


Day 14….29 August 18

Morning weight: 86.3 kg

Diet: Porridge,fresh fruit, water, dried fruit, water, tea, toast, stewed apple, greek yogurt, potatoes, mushrooms, bacon, health bread, cheese.

Feeling: Still a bit stiff from Monday. Otherwise fine

Exercise: 35 km tandem cycle


Day 13….28 August 18

Morning weight: 86.4 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, toast, chicken and mushroom pasta, cheese on toast, greek yogurt, fresh fruit,

Feeling: Sore Achilles and hamstring after yesterday

Exercise: Light walk


Day 12….27 August 18

Morning weight: 86 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, toast, coffee, apple pie, greek yogurt, seafood and noodles, smashed chickpeas, salad and flatbread.

Feeling: Best day yet

Exercise: Light cycle 9km and walking football 1 hour


Day 11….26 August 18

Morning weight: 86.3 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, tea, toast, coffee, sausage roll, health bread, greek yogurt, lamb, yam, carrots, new potato, apple pie,

Feeling: Good. Best day yet

Exercise: 5 km walk


Day 10….25 August 18

Morning weight: 86.4 kg

Diet: Porridge, dried fruit, fresh fruit, water, health bread, peanut butter, prunes, tea, mandarin, fruit bar, fried egg, cheese, toast, greek yogurt, peruvian burgers, rice

Feeling: Best day yet

Exercise: 100 km of cycling: A bit worried going into this but no problem in the end. A good breakfast and eating and drinking during the ride did the job.


Day 9….24 August 18

Morning weight: 86.1 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit, water, health bread, fish and chips, salad, greek yogurt, apple crumble, banana, fruit, tea, peanut butter,

Feeling: Morning: Normal! Afternoon: fuzzy headed, tired

Exercise: Light walk and cycle


Day 8….23 August 18

Morning weight: 86.5 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, fresh fruit,tea, water, health bread, tuna, greek yogurt, fruit, crackers, coffee, crisps, steak stir-fry, apple crumble

Feeling: Morning: just hungry. Afternoon: good

Exercise: 20 km cycle and felt good


Week 1 overview

Weight loss: Approx 3 kg

Diet: Breakfast has really consisted of porridge or shredded wheat with health bread, fruit and tea. A little boring but not too bad, though I do miss the variety of cereals I sometimes ate as well as white toast and marmalade. Lunch and dinner haven’t been too bad or too much of a change. I suppose the biggest loss is the desert side of things. The handy muller rice or yogurt. Now it’s very much greek yogurt and fruit

Exercise: Exercise has remained pretty much the same. The one difference being recovery. I’m finding the muscles very sore afterwards and as the week has gone by my energy levels have been feeling quite low.

Overview: So far so good. It’s not been easy as I would expect, but not quite as difficult as I anticipated. the muscle reaction has been the biggest surprise and drawback. There hasn’t been too many times when I have craved the sweet stuff and it lasts for just 30 minutes or so. Usually some fruit helps. Side effects have included headaches (first day), a feeling of coming down with flu and itchy heat bumps which come and go very fast.


Day 7….22 August 18

Morning weight: 86.8 kg

Diet: Shredded wheat, raisins, seeds, tea, health bread, water, mandarin, coffee, kippers, greek yogurt, banana, prunes, aubergine pasta,

Feeling: Very achy and stiff muscles, light-headed and a potential sugar crash in mid-afternoon.

Exercise: Light walk. 11 km cycle (Not much energy. Can feel hunger pangs from the off)


Day 6….21 August 18

Morning weight: 86.5 kg

Diet: Porridge, raisins, seeds, tea, water, Irish homemade bread, cheese, ham, health bread, sugarless apple pie, greek yogurt, banana, aubergine pasta, prunes, mandarin,

Feeling: Very achy and stiff muscles, other than that…good. Afternoon: quite tired and light flu-like symptoms,

Exercise: Light walk, short cycle


Day 5….20 August 18

Morning weight: 87.3 kg

Diet: Porridge, raisins, seeds, tea, water, Irish homemade bread, banana, salad, rochfort cheese, home-made sugarless apple pie, greek yogurt, salad, macaroni cheese

Feeling: Morning: good. Overall as good as I’ve felt since starting.

Exercise: Short bike ride, walking football (1 hour)


Day 4….19 August 18

Morning weight: 86.8 kg

Diet: Porridge, raisins, seeds, tea, water, health bread toasted, 2 boiled eggs, nuts, mandarin, banana, coffee, cheese, yogurt, chicken, yams, potato, Irish homemade bread, carrots, chips

Feeling: Morning:  Quite good. Afternoon: tired, craving for something sweet, hungry, aching legs

Exercise: 50 km cycle (fast one for me). This was an average speed of 27.5 kmph. The pace was held constant for most of the cycle. I found when we opened up for a sprint though that empty I could get weak at any moment feeling coming over me. Once the speed was reduced normal service resumed. 5 km walk


 

Day 3-18 August 18

Morning weight: 86.7 kg

Diet: Porridge, raisins, seeds, tea, water, health bread, lemon, banana, mandarin, nuts, dried fruit, 2 poached eggs, 1 bacon rasher, chicken, roast potatoes, salad.

Feeling: Tired during the cycle, but so was everyone. Very tired and aching leg muscles. Not how I’d normally feel after such a cycle. Other than that quite good. Starting to feel full after a meal. Thirsty

Exercise: 95 km cycle. This was something I wasn’t particularly looking forward to as I wasn’t sure how my body would react. I was dreading the dreaded bonk! 3 days into something like this and you’d expect the body to be protesting. After 50 km I felt ok but made sure I snacked on banana and mandarin during the cycle. The route was quite hilly which was testing. The break was a challenge. No scone/donut/chocolate bar which might be the norm on such a spin. Just tea, a banana and dried fruit and nuts. The 35 km home through Knocknagoshel was tough, I thought the hills were never going to end. In the end 4 hours of cycling got me through 95 km!

Cycling towards Knocknagoshel


Day 2-17 August 18

Morning weight: 87.7 kg

Diet: Porridge, raisins, seeds, tea, water, health bread, seafood and veg pasta, yogurt, fruit

Feeling: Fuzzy head in the morning. Quite good there after.

Exercise: 5 km walk


Day 1-16 August 18

Morning weight: 88.5 kg

Diet: Porridge, raisins, seeds, tea, water, salad, fruit, yogurt, cheese, smoked salmon, pasta, courgettes, anchovies, health bread

Feeling: A little light-headed and very hungry before lunch. Thirsty

Exercise: Light gardening


 

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