On November 1st, I will be through 77 days of my Holistic Hundred Challenge. The goal was to go 100 days with no sugar, no grains and doing 100 body-weight exercises each day. As I type this post, I’m still on track for my goal. I’m very proud of everyone that has joined me on this journey and there have already been some great success stories that have come from making these changes.
The last 23 days of the Holistic Hundred Challenge will coincide with something I’ve done the last two years…No Sugar November. The first time that I decided to try to go nearly an entire month with no sugar, I thought it would be fairly straight forward. Just cut out the sweet tea and no junk like donuts, cookies and cake. Pretty simple, right. Well, I found out that there were hidden sugars in SO many things that I ate on a normal basis. Things like yogurt, cereal, salad dressing, trail mix, pasta sauce, etc.
I’d like to encourage everyone to give it a try this year. Cut out all forms of sugar from Tuesday, November 1st until Thanksgiving morning (November 24th). The two post below will give you more details on exactly what to look for on food nutrition labels.
If you are wondering WHY you should cut out sugar, here’s a quick list of some benefits that you may not realize will come once you eliminate it:
- Clearer Skin – A study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006 showed that those participants who had a high-sucrose diet also had a higher level of systemic inflammation than those who had an overall decrease in sucrose consumption. Sugar spikes insulin levels—and more insulin and inflammation means more acne.
- More Energy – You may think that without sugar, your energy levels will drop. Fact is, after a few days, your body will recognize that you are not going to pump sugar in every few hours like usual and it will start to switch to burning fat as fuel. This results in sustained energy, instead of a roller-coaster throughout the day as your blood sugar spikes and drops. You will notice this particularly in the afternoon when most people usually get an energy slump between 2pm-4pm that calls for a candy bar, soda or another cup of coffee to get them through the rest of the afternoon.
- Motivation – Once you start reading labels and being mindful of sugar intake, you will find yourself making better choices in other areas of health and fitness. You will be motivated to eat the salad at lunch instead of the sandwich. You will want to exercise as you get more energy and see the pounds coming off!
- Better Sleep – Sugar triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which interferes with sleep. By giving up sugar, you should be more awake and alert during the day, and also better prepared to fall asleep at bedtime.
- Clearer Thinking – Keep forgetting things? Sugar could be the culprit. A study at UCLA found that a diet high in sugar hinders learning and memory. Over time, eating sugar may actually damage communication among your brain’s cells, the study showed.
I hope you will give No Sugar November a try this year. Get your spouse or partner on board and make it a challenge. If you slip up, start again. Let’s take this journey together and see how much better it makes you feel. And you can still enjoy that pumpkin pie and sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving!
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Wishing you optimal health and peak performance,