OK here we are at the end of the first day of my no added sugar challenge and I have to say it wasn’t that challenging in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, I know I go on about cakes and sauces and chocolate and chicken wings all the time but Monday to Friday I tend to eat quite healthily. Or at least I do on the surface of things.
For context- I aim to eat under 2000 calories a day, with a more specific goal of about 1600 on a good day in order to drop some weight. I do count macros and very roughly aim to split my calories by about 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. On a day where I hit goal this shuts off the carbs at about 160g- this however is not 160g of spuds or bread or brown rice as these also include water fibre, proteins etc. That is 160g of dietary carbs which I count on My Fitness Pal to calculate for me as I can’t extract and weigh them at home. Believe me this is all rough workings and I know it- calorie counting and allocation is not an exact science. The only way to truly know the energetic value of a piece of food is to combust it under tight laboratory conditions and then, well, you can’t eat it can you! So yes, we work on averages and we try to keep under 1600 calories and 40% carbs. And we generally work on Monday to Friday as it all tends to go to hell in a well oiled skillet on the weekends.
An additional magic calculator that I have no idea on the mechanics of tells me that I should remain under 45g of sugar a day. I’m not sure where this comes from, though the NHS recommends no more than 30g of sugars a day for an adult but does not include natural sugars in fruit or veg in this amount. Back into the grey areas already. Onward.
My edible day looked like this:
0630 standard issue breakfast shake consisting of whole milk, espresso, unflavoured whey protein and ice. No change here from a normal week day and this bagged about 11g of carbs all from milk and all sugar. Further black coffee injections at 0800 and 1000.
0945 two hard boiled eggs and some carrot sticks, again standard school day snack for me. Another 7g of carbs, probably about 4 of which are sugar.
1200 tuna salad with lots of veg and a few olives. I make my own salad dressing at home with oil, vinegar, mustard and lemon juice which are all compliant in the added sugar department. Buying readymade salad dressings can really push up your sugars and calories in general as all kinds of things can go in there so as always if you are trying to lose weight, make your own so you know exactly what you are eating.
18g in total carbs and most of those are sugar from tomatoes and olives. I dropped the tomato or chicken cup a soup that I usually have at lunch. I would also like to take a moment here to thank whatever reprobate on my floor in the office is eating some kind of sickly stinking fake cakey sweet thing that is making everything smell like cheap vanilla candles. My appetite is curbed.
1400 a pack of beetroot vinaigrette crisps from marks & spencer- no sugar in the ingredients here but a surprising 15g of carbs in this tiny little packet, but also 4g of protein and no fat. They also sounds like a million shards of broken glass in the packet, not a selling point.
1500 Got activated from those crisps and felt very hungry again so an extra bottle of water and a banana. The 45g sugar target is now trashed but I’m only just over halfway through the carbs for the day.
1545 and a small apple. I’m mostly bored rather than hungry I think.
1900 after a more energetic yoga session than I’m used to dinner was steamed broccoli with a concotion of onions, peppers, chickpeas and butter beans with lots of cumin and chilli. I would have probably chucked in a corn on the cob too but that 45g sugar limit is nagging in the back of my brain so I left it in the fridge. No holyfuck sauce to jazz up this standard week-before-payday dinner tonight due to having a sugar component. Boo. Another 58g of carbs, 13 of these sugar.
I have to say I’m pretty happy to have come in at under 1400 calories and about 155g carbs for the day and not feel hard done by, this would not have been the case if I had sneaked in my usual mid afternoon go ahead bullshit diet ceral bar or biscuit thing or, worse, visited the office vending machine. I came in with a reasonable calorie count for someone trying to lose weight but didn’t quite hit my macros goals being bang on for protein but over on carbs and under on fat proportions. That 45g sugar reccomendation we haven’t quantified was more like 78 and that is my take home point this evening. By avoiding processed foods and going whole and consciously avoiding added sugar I am still looking at about 60% more sugars than the random unquantified calulator reccomends. I think I need to put some more research into this number and how it has come to be.
Tomorrow. I will do that tomorrrow. For now, I’m off to sneak in a Marco Polo while the Mr is out for a walk so I can blog in peace, ahahahahahahaha!