No Refined Sugar

Discussion in 'Diet and Nutrition' started by Tobias Wissmueller, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Since Monday I am avoiding everything that contains refined sugars.

    Although am very active with cycling 100km per week, kettlebell practice, active weekends and intermittent fasting (16/8), my belly fat proofs to be very stubborn.

    So, I have decided to do the obvious, to improve my nutrition, and in a first step, to remove all refined sugars.

    So far, so good. Am still alive but feeling hungry all the time.

    Is it normal or is my mind just playing tricks on me?

    Any hints and/or healthy recipes to satisfy the sweet tooth, to satisfy the feeling of being hungry?
    DCM, ShawnM, Tirofijo and 3 others like this.
  2. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    Not any sort of dietitian here, just my own experience...

    I think it's normal but goes away really quickly, like within 2 or 3 days of not having sugar.

    My favorite is to buy a bag of frozen tropical fruit chunks (especially mango and pineapple), and eat them frozen, one piece at a time. It's sort of like chewing on ice and candy at the same time. :)
  3. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    @Tobias Wissmueller,
    How much refined sugar were you eating? And have you removed all obvious sources or gone beyond to eliminate any packaged foods that have 'sugar' in the ingredient list?

    Yes, even relatively small pieces of fruit will satisfy a sweet craving once you recalibrate away from straight up table sugar.

    Personally when I want to attack that last bit of fat around stomach I have to cut fats as well, eliminating table sugar or foods that obviously have added sugar just won't cut it for me.

    When I'm trying to loose a little fat, I find it helps a lot to just become comfortable being hungry. As it sometimes feels quite painful to push your muscles when resistance training, most of us become comfortable with that sensation and even learn to appreciate it - it isn't the pain of harm or damage but of progress. Is a very different way of thinking, but learn to look at pangs of hunger the same way - as a feeling of progress.
  4. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    @Tobias Wissmueller
    How much calories did you eat before for how long?
    How many calories are you eating right now?
    What is your maintenance?
    You seem to be a very active guy, do you have an "honest" number if you maintenance cals?
    This is purely personal observation, but oftentimes inactive, fat people tend to underestimate their caloric intake/overestimate their needs, while active folks oftentimes tend to underestimate their needs.
    What is your body fat? How much fat do you want to lose?
    Do you monitor your calories/macros?

    Sugar (which sugar in particular?) per se is not the problem. Nothing inherently fattening about it. Limiting additional sugar is a good way to spare empty calories (i.e. ditch sugary soft drinks or fit them into your makros). But don't fall for the trap that eliminating sugars will magically transform your body/health that will only get you into the freaky land of dogmatism. The problem with sugar/sugary foods is not so much the sugar but rather the lack of protein/fibre/micronutrients.
  5. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Am working from home today, which is much harder. If feels like the house is stuffed with sugary things up until to the roof ... But I have managed.

    That sounds awesome, thank you, Anna! Have put it on my grocery list!
    Anna C likes this.
  6. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I cannot quantify how much exactly. From my "usual" Snickers in the afternoon, to coke for lunch and some sweets after dinner ...

    Am raising my own awareness right now and checking every packaged food for additional sugar and when I find something I will post it in an Instagram story. An hour ago, I found out that the vegetable broth powder we use has additional sugar. Would never have thought that ...

    At some point, when I am over and stable with the sugar thing, I have to address that as well. Living in Bavaria, fatty foods are everywhere ...

    Now, THAT is an interesting way of viewing it. Indeed, a very interesting way of thinking. So its like a feedback loop which signals that my system is "running low". But then I need to find the right point where to start feeding my body again with the right things.

    Actually, this reminds me of my Buteyko sessions, where, by intention, I enter a state of "air-hunger". Over the course of many months, my CO2 tolerance level is rising because my body adapts to this change.
  7. Tobias Wissmueller

    Tobias Wissmueller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    One answer to all four questions: No idea at all.

    Have installed MyFitnessPal during last years summer vacation. Have not looked at it once ...

    Let me ask a very naive question in return: Is it really necessary to know all these numbers and track my calories in order to loose that fatty ring around my waist?

    Currently my body fat is at 21%. My belly circumference at naval-level was at 106cm couple years ago. Now it's at 96cm and am able to hold this level more or less. I want to go down to 87cm.

    Same as above: No, do I need to?

    The last sentence is gold and something that will stick with me. That is why I am raising my own awareness towards those empty calories and now searching for alternatives.

    But I don't understand this part of your post "ditch sugary soft drinks or fit them into your makros". What does it mean to "fit them into your macros"?
  8. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Most of the time, we get hungry on a schedule, not necessarily because we need an infusion of nutrients right then. I look at (quite mistakenly I'm sure) as a sign that my body is switching over to more fat reserves.

    While technically untrue, mentally it just allows me to feel positive about my rumbling stomach in the same way a good workout feels to my muscles - "Ahhh, made it there again!"
  9. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    For the normal, otherwise healthy people I think it is a very powerful thing to understand what "hunger pangs" vs actual "hunger" is. A single, short duration fast - 16 hr, skip one meal, whatever - can be a great teacher to determine if one is actually in need of food or not.
  10. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Big difference. I would wager that many of the people privileged enough to be able to contribute to this forum haven't experienced actual hunger
  11. Dekapon

    Dekapon Triple-Digit Post Count

    When writing this I've gone one month without sugar. No candy, no ketchup, no cakes, desert or sweet fruit etc. (I eat lots of vegetables and 1 banana a day.) Did the same in December, one whole month without sugar. That month was awful, this one has been okay...

    Be ready to sleep...a lot. I think I slept/napped all evenings the first three days. The first two weeks were awful to be honest. Cranky, headaches, tired and just bored...
    But then something happened and I got back control over my body and life, felt much more focused and about 5% smarter.

    I've tried before to go without "refined sugar" but ended up just eating a kg of oranges, ready made tomato sauce, kiwis, frozen mango with yoghurt, canned pineapple (including shooting up the juice between my toes) to get my fix for 2-3 days and then went back to eating "normal sugar". :confused: It's better to go cold turkey, skip the fruits and eat carrots or roasted chickpeas instead.

    Training helps, or the endorfins released afterward does. Eating large portions of healthy food as well, don't go hungry. Having your hands occupied also. A long exiting video game is better than watching a movie.
    Try getting a few new habits. Like drinking a pot of chai tea instead of "diet" soft drinks, learn that not everything has to taste sweet to be pleasurable.
    It's tough but doable, just need to get through the first couple of days, then it gets easier, and I wasn't joking about the 5% smarter thing, you really feel like that at the end of the month.(y)
    Don't be a slave to the sugar industry!
  12. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Knowing your calories/macros makes weight management measurable and more predictable, since you can manipulate those variables and monitor the outcome on your weight/body composition.
    However, it is def not necessary. "Fit it in your macros" just means that if you want to have a soft drink of, say, 200 calories you have it and therefore cut 200 calories on another end. but obviously this only works if you monitor those variables.
    If you don´t (and you absolutely do not have to) eat like a reasonable adult, i.e. cook your own food rather than take-aways, make reasonable food choices most of the time. Try to develope an intuitive feeling for nutrition.
    This is a good ressource to get you started on this: Dietetically Speaking - No Nonsense Nutrition!

    Avoiding unnecessary sugar like soft drinks, sugar in tea/coffee, sugar on already overkill-sweet stuff is great, but avoiding sugar (and by that I mean sucrose, i.e. table sugar) just for the sake of avoiding sugar is dogmatic nonsense. Never again cake and candy? That´s not going to happen. Just develope an reasonable relationship with it.
    Tobias Wissmueller likes this.
  13. Marc

    Marc Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    No offense, but this is terrible advice and promotes a really unhealthy approach to food.

    However, this sentence: "Try getting a few new habits. Like drinking a pot of chai tea instead of "diet" soft drinks, learn that not everything has to taste sweet to be pleasurable." is valid.

    Yes, it is good to avoid sugar, where unnecessary. Yes, it is a good idea to be more mindful about eating and better have a piece an apple (or is that "forbidden" due to it´s sugar content?) rather than some pastry that you mindlessly gorge down on your way back home...
    But never again anything that contains sucrose? Dogmatic BS!
  14. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    I wouldn't call it dogmatic BS. I will make a bad comparison; but you wouldn't tell an alcoholic to develop a reasonable approach to alcohol? Some people are better to just quit.

    Now, I did admit it was a bad comparison and I don't know how addictive, if it's even the right word, sugar and such is, but I can't help but have a look at the state of the western man of today and realize that there is something serious going on. If there was an easy fix, we wouldn't be where we are.
    Janne Karhunen, krg, Snowman and 3 others like this.
  15. deviant

    deviant Double-Digit Post Count

    Over the years nutrients have taken turns for the bad spot. First - fat. Any fat. The source of all health evil. Then some fat - "good" fat - managed to escape the prison. Turned out that saturated fat is bad and mono- and poly-unsaturated are good guys punished for no reason. And so Olive Oil took charge. Little did they know (most of everybody) that about 30% of olive oil is saturated far. But never mind that, it's Mediterranean, so it must be good. Mind you, diets around the Mediterranean vary so much nobody knows how to define the Diet, but again, as long as olive oil is there it's it.

    For a long time dietary cholesterol was a bad guy (still is mostly). Who reads the studies that show that cholesterol that you eat has very little effect on cholesterol in your blood. Who cares, right? And so the labels marketing "cholesterol free" foods are abundant.

    For a short while trans fats were bad guys. But then you have to try really hard to get any meaningful amount of them in food, and studies connecting trans fats and disease don't correct for the most common and most known risk factor: overeating.

    Finally, in the last couple of decades fat get gradually replaced by sugar in the bad spot. Now, it turns out, we are sick because of sugar, probably of refined white variety. maybe high fructose corn syrup too.

    From time to time we catch a glimpse of what's to come next. Some talk about the acidity of protein and how bad it is for your kidneys. In a decade or two we will be left with no nutrient that's good for us.
  16. deviant

    deviant Double-Digit Post Count

  17. Dekapon

    Dekapon Triple-Digit Post Count

    Some offense taken. I notice you only tell other people what to do, not talking anything about yourself. It's easy for a person that has been fit their entire life to say, "don't do that, do this!".

    I'm talking from my own personal experience and what happens when you go a month without any sugar after eating it in some form everyday for years.

    I like Antti's comparison with alcoholism. When asking advice on quit drinking you can't say "No Beer?? Or even Cider?? Cider has vitamins in it, you idiot!!!"
    I was invited to a birthday party this weekend, so I decided in the beginning of last month that I wouldn't eat any sugar until that party so I could treat myself without feeling bad.
    And with exercise, a high fibre/high protein diet (boiled potatoes, meat and piles of raw vegetables mostly) and no sugar at all I feel the best I've felt in years. Better than any therapy. I've tried doing only diet and exercise and having sugar on the weekends, but it's not as effective. I get depressed and tired from having eaten sugar. You don't notice it until you're off it.

    Yes, fruits are healthy, and after this month I'm going to eat more raspberries and apples. But like I said, for me it didn't work cutting out refined sugar and eating fruit. I just ate 3 whole oranges in the afternoon, then ate 3 more, then went down to the store to buy more.... same the next day... and the next day...and then it was the weekend and I walked home from the store with a bag of oranges and cookies. :(
    I was getting the same sugar rush from sucking on the oranges that I got from eating refined sugar, constantly thinking about sugar, so for me it's better to just stop eating it.
  18. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    And I thought I had a sweet tooth...
    Tobias Wissmueller and Dekapon like this.
  19. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    Lack of activity, and lack of activity during childhood is my best guess. Beyond that, the average person has detectable levels of over 200 man made chemicals in their blood...before they are even born. Many of them never tested for safety and virtually zero tested in combination.
  20. More than 500 posts

    Statistical Fact

    Actually, it is a statistical fact that the majority of individual counting calories "Under Report" the amount of calories they consume.

    One of PBS's TV program followed a woman around for a day, filming her. She said she was consuming 1800 kcal a day and not losing weight.

    Nutritionist determined her 1800 kcal daily intake was over 3,000 kcals.

    Body Fat Percentage

    This is one of those question that need to be dropped.

    The majority of bio-electrical devices sold to measure Body Fat Percentage are incredibly inaccurate, even when the right protocol is used.

    The protocol being that you must be well hydrated. So, taking the reading later when your hydration levels are higher should provide the most optimal measurement.

    You cannot have worked out or eaten for about 3 hours prior to measuring your body fat.

    Bio-electrical devices are "Site Sensitive". That mean if you have a hand held bio-electrical device it is most sensitive to the upper body. The scale models you stand on are sensitive to the lower body.

    That means if you store more fat in your lower body and use the scale device, it will show that you have a higher Body Fat Percentage than you really have. Same with the hand held device.

    If you store less fat in your lower body, the scale device will show you have a lower Body Fat Percentage; it the same with the hand held device and lower upper body fat.

    All Other Devices

    James Kreiger review of all other method of measuring Body Fat found they are iffy.

    Body Fat Testing (See on this site)

    Your Best Friend

    1) Tape Measure. A decrease in the area you store fat demonstrates you are losing body fat. For men it usually the waist and for women it usually the thighs and butt.

    2) The Mirror or a Picture: Taking a picture every few weeks (Before and After) provide great feed back and inspiration if you doing well.

    3) Clothing; When you pants become lose in waist, butt and thigh tell you that you are losing fat.

    Your Calorie Check Book

    Knowing how many calories you consume per day is vital to writing and following a caloric deficit weight/fat loss program.

    3 Day Recall

    Prior to wright a calorie deficit diet plan, you first need to know how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis.

    That is accomplished by count everything you consume in three days and then dividing it by three. One of those days need to be a weekend day, when you eating habits change.

    Caloric Deficit

    Independent of each other, Dr Layne Norton and Dr John Ivy found that a 20% reduction in calorie intake maximized the amount body fat lost while protecting lean muscle mass retention.

    Kenny Croxdale

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