When you’re ready to tackle the no sugar / no flour experiment it would be great if you were highly motivated, but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Sure you need some motivation to make a run at this, but in the end, it is the commitment that will change your life. Your commitment in the first two weeks and then the month will show you results both physically and mentally that you can’t even comprehend right now as you read these words. Your commitment will allow you to experience something so drastically different that your motivation for continuing on will skyrocket. This happened to me around 25 days into my first month and I started thinking how I could tackle another month to really test myself, and then another, and then another.
You will find that the three areas of success in this experiment begin to feed off each other and will cause you to think about what other challenges you can overcome in life. My results kept me motivated to see how much farther I could go with so little effort being expended. My motivation fed into my commitment of the experiment because I knew it gave me results quickly. There was a time around the third month when I’d buy a smaller pant size even though I could barely fit in them, after the first week of wearing them, they fit comfortably, and then by the second week of wearing them I was pulling them up through the day. This cycle would then continue onto the next size. Talk about motivation to keep going.
So what’s the secret?
The secret to success is sweetness, or rather the elimination of it for a month. Now I’m not saying all sweetness is created equal, because some would say fruit is sweet, but it doesn’t seem to hit your brain like the pure stuff. I’m talking about the sweetness that comes from sugar, artificial sweetners, chemicals, corn syrup, and the many other names it can go by. Your brain is addicted to sweetness and it really loves it. There’s a whole pile of science to back this up and if you need it, then please visit these links and other resources:
For me personally, I think back to my healthiest times and no matter how diligent I was, I still found ways to keep sweet on my tongue. I might use sugar free candy or ice cream, maybe some “low-fat” cookies here and there. Artificial or even natural sweeteners that were “better” than sugar, but still gave me the taste I craved. I would become the healthiest “un-healthy” eater you can imagine, trading my love of sugary items for their artificial second cousins who weren’t quite as horrible for me. The problem was that my brain never learned it could go without sweet taste for very long. This issue never let me build up any defenses against the armies of sweet I would encounter at special functions, parties, and on the go. When I would encounter “real” sweets without having my no sugar options, I would try to be strong, but would eventually cave in and start down the sweet road of healthy living failure.
This time I’ve realized something different than before, especially since going through the experiment. It’s difficult to put into words, but its most like an emotional disconnecting from sweet things. This allows you to maintain your impartiality when encountering sweet foods you couldn’t resist before. It’s interesting to me now when I look at a tray of brownies at a function I attend. My brain registers that they are there, and I have a vague memory of how much they meant to me in the past, but the food doesn’t hold any power over me anymore.
Take a moment and think about your life when it comes to sweets and treats. Odds are that you find yourself emotionally connected with sweets due to the constant programming since our birth. We have cake on our birthdays, typically celebrate our successes or special moments with ice cream, and even stop for a cold slushie or soda on a hot day. Try to recall a week in your life that you didn’t have something sweet, but I’d say it’s unlikely you’ve had one. You see, our lives today revolve around sweet things and we’ve become a society of people who medicate themselves with sugar when things get rough, sad, or stressful. Trust me, I know full well the power sweet held over me when I felt I “had” to stop for snacks on the way home from work after a tough day.
Even after a month of going without sugar and feeling good about my progress, societies “norms” still had a hold on me and I still felt guilty that my kids weren’t getting regular sweets. I had become so programmed by sugar’s society rules, that it was difficult for me not to buy them some ice cream, soda, or candy just to show them that I cared or was thinking of them. Don’t get me wrong here, I haven’t become an “anti-sugar” parent around the house, so my kids still get candy every so often. I’ve just come to realize that there are other ways to show my kids how much I love them instead of buying them food items that are potentially harming them.
Getting the sugar out of your system allows your brain to process these thoughts more clearly. I’m not sure I would have thought of any of these things when I was eating sugar, I would simply go to the store and buy some ice cream for me, and then pick up the kids their favorite flavor without thinking twice. Ask yourself what sweet behaviors you are promoting to your family members, and if it’s worth it. To truly evaluate the answer, tackle the experiment for one month and free your mind.