Join the No Sugar November Challenge with me!
The winter months and holidays are prime time for a few extra pounds to creep along our waistline. While this may be fine for some it can be frustrating for most. I for one don’t enjoy sitting at the Thanksgiving table with an already bloated stomach or making sure I have an elastic waistband on because I know what’s coming. Have you been there too? In other words, I want to be able to enjoy the upcoming holidays and indulge a little all while staying on track with my overall health and fitness goals. You can do this with me!
Why No Sugar?
Refined and processed white sugar is generally consumed more often then it should be in day to day life. This type of sugar enters our bloodstream very quickly and gives us a sugar high while making our pancreas produce a lot of insulin in order to lower our blood sugar levels. Once the insulin from our pancreas is sent out to our bloodstream we then experience a sugar crash. This low causes us to feel hungry sooner then later which tempts us to reach for more food and sometimes even more sugar.
Ultrarunner, Dr. Stephanie Howe Violett, once explained during a nutrition talk I attended how all sugars, no matter what type they start as (think a doughnut versus a banana) always end up as the same type of sugar once they are absorbed into the body. So, it’s not that sugar is necessarily bad. The main difference is the complexity or how long it takes your body to absorb the sugar.
Athletes, runners and all walks of people need sugar in their bodies in order to function, so I’m not talking about all carbs and natural sugars. My main focus for this challenge is refined white sugar. Think of things like candy, desserts, coffee syrups, processed food with added sugar and my favorite culprit – ice cream.
Eliminating refined sugars in your diet could lead to possible side effects such as:
- Increased energy levels
- Tasting more flavors in food as sugar tends to mask our taste buds
- Potential weight loss or at least avoiding the holiday weight gain
- Less mood swings
- More quality sleep
- Decreasing your craving for the sweet stuff over time
If you need some great recipe ideas for using natural sugars check out the Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook. Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan co-authored this amazing book and I have tried numerous recipes. Some of my favorites are the Superhero Muffins, Greek Bison Burgers and Kale Radicchio Salad.
In the past I’ve taken the 12 step program approach to cutting back on sugar in my diet. This might be helpful for you during the No Sugar November Challenge.
How the No Sugar November Challenge works:
- Pledge to take the No Sugar November Challenge by following Travel iN Fitness on Facebook and Instagram, share the challenge with your friends, and comment below to keep yourself accountable.
- The guidelines…. all white sugar products are off limits for the entire month EXCEPT one cheat day! Yes, that’s right, cheating can actually be a valuable practice for sustainability as long as it’s in moderation. Since this a month long challenge we will only have 1 cheat day. I’ll go into detail later about what happens after the challenge in December. I’ll personally take my cheat day on Thanksgiving but if a better day works for you that is fine. Stay true to yourself and honor that cheat day. If you have a big slip up before then and consume a lot of sugar, that might void the cheat day. You can do this… 30 days without white sugar can be life changing.
- All artificial or sugar substitutes like Stevia are off limits!
- Take some type of measurement on November 1st. This can be a photo of yourself, weight, waist circumference or body fat %. Take another measurement of the same on November 30th. Use this information to see measurable results for your hard work and discipline.
- Make a plan for how to fight off the craving monster when all you can think about is having sugar and you feel like you can’t live without it. More on tips to avoid falling off the wagon soon.
Once you accept the challenge Congratulate Yourself! This is the first of many steps to making your health a priority for the next 30 days…. and onward.
What will be the hardest refined sugar item for you to avoid in November?