So here we are, 4 weeks into 2017 and I’m not entirely convinced that “Simplify” has been a very successful guiding principle so far! I increased my hours at work as of Jan 2nd and ran into problems with clashes between my two jobs in the first fortnight, meaning a bit of juggling and swapping things around and a couple of rather unpleasant stretches involving too much work and not enough sleep. But I survived.
I thought I’d try, partly inspired by The Happiness Project and partly by the Slow Home Experiment, a sort of sub-theme each month. For January I chose “sugar free”. After the calorie and sugar laden excess of Christmas, it seemed like an obvious choice. Until it didn’t. I have outlined some of my dieting views before and have previously identified that “Eat Less” is really the simplest, most effective underlying principle to lose weight. (It’s often accompanied by “Move More” which has merit but is not essential.) However, despite myself, I summoned (again) for Jan 1 great excitement and enthusiasm, all fired up about “No sugar.” I’ve also written about “No Sugar” approaches before, and although I am skeptical about the science behind them, I remain convinced that minimizing sugar is a good thing, for lots of reasons which have very little to do with Sarah Wilson.
But “No sugar” is not a simple as “Eat Less”. No sugar? Any sugar? Added sugar? Fruit sugar? What about dried fruit? What about a little bit of sugar? Well what about a little bit more (you’ve done well this week)? Well then why not a lot more, you may as well, now that you’ve had some today, but tomorrow you’re going back to no sugar…
And ok no sugar, so does that mean fat and protein are ok? They became my default indulgences… I can’t eat sugar but I feel like something, so I’ll eat half a jar of almonds….. not going to lose much weight or promote normal eating behaviours that way!!
Suddenly I found myself in that crazy diet mentality that I’ve been in so many times before. Eliminate something completely and it’s effective up to a point but when you slip up you write off the whole day/week etc and vastly overcompensate for what you’ve sacrificed up to that point. I spent my entire teenhood and twenties going round in circles like this, how can I be here again?
So. “Eat Less”. My diet mantra. Simplified.
(“Eat more vegetables” would be diet rule number two. We’ll leave “Move More” for another day.)