For the majority of us, what we eat is constantly on our minds. ‘I’ll be good’ and ‘one won’t hurt’ are phrases we use all-too-often. But if you’re a sweet tooth, saying no to a biscuit or that last scoop of ice cream is not a done thing.
Recently, my friend and I decided to get into shape for summer, and cut the crap in our diets. The first few days were easy. My motivation to be fit was at an all-time high, I couldn’t wait to start my new exercise regime, and prepare and eat new meals. But by day four, the cravings started and all I wanted was a piece of cake. Or a chocolate bar. Or a donut. Or just anything with sugar, for that matter. Saying ‘no’ to myself was getting harder and harder.
As we soldiered through the first week, we motivated each other to stick out the cravings, but by Sunday night, a tub of ice cream had made its way into my freezer and I just couldn’t say no. Half a tub later, I felt super guilty, but so content. I took it upon myself to look into just how much damage I’d actually done, and downloaded an app to count the sugar content of everything I was eating. I found out that the half-tub I’d devoured had a total of 32.5 teaspoons of sugar in it, and I felt sick to the stomach.
I felt that I had undone all the hard work I’d put in over the course of the week, and felt a new motivation to really monitor what I was putting into my body. Everyone knows that sugar is bad, and that there’s sugar in almost everything, but the more I played around with the app, the more I realised that we are unknowingly consuming 30 to 60 teaspoons of sugar daily. The sugar in low-fat yogurt, iced teas and muesli bars – seemingly harmless foods – all add up.
Downloading the app has been incentive enough to start saying no to myself, rather than justifying unhealthy habits. After all, we owe it to our bodies to know exactly what we’re putting into it. Next time you pick up a chocolate bar, ask yourself, one won’t hurt will it? Then imagine eating six teaspoons of sugar, and see if you still feel like it.