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Tea and Toothpaste

So my newest life plan is to try out quitting sugar (and basically anything sweet) for the next few weeks. I started on Sunday, July 1st, which must have been a week ago now, right?

I have discovered a few things in the short period I’ve been off sugar:

  • I am, sadly, addicted to caffeine. Mark was telling me that and I was sure he was wrong, but man, today without Diet Coke, my head was aching and my temper was short.
  • The cravings are ugly. I find myself thinking about sweets at the most random times. And if I don’t immediately start doing something else, they can end up taking over my head.
  • Tea and toothpaste are my new best friends. I have drunk about a gallon of green tea today (read somewhere that it inhibits appetite — maybe because you’ve got so much tea in your stomach?) and brushed my teeth like four times (my dentist will fall over in a dead faint).

I feel almost ridiculous posting anything about this experiment after only two days, but I also feel like if I don’t I’ll give up sooner.

Giving up Sugar is Hard

I knew it would be hard, but I’ve never really sat down and tried to do it systematically. I have, on occasion, attempted to reduce my carbs intake in general, attempted to reduce my calorie intake, and many other things. I decided to go with getting rid of sugar because it’s hard, but not, perhaps, as hard as removing most/all carbs. I did like how I felt while I was doing that, but couldn’t keep it up for the long term because like every food under the sun contains carbs. Okay, not fats or proteins, but woman can’t live on bacon and eggs alone, and I get really tired of nuts after a while.

What’s sad is how the cravings manifest. Sometimes they show up as just a thought, “I think I’d like something sweet about now.” Then when that doesn’t work, it switches to “hunger.” I put this word in quotes because seriously? you’re hungry? You just ate dinner — a wonderful salmon filet, some spinach and a glass of whole milk. How can you possibly be hungry. If I successfully brave that phase, the headache starts. Not like I can tell today the difference between a caffeine withdrawl headache and a sugar craving headache. At this point, they both end up the same way — with me staring longingly towards Jaryth’s bunny grahams and the last strawberry while my mouth waters and my stomach rumbles.

Which is Where Tea and Toothpaste Come In

I’m trying two suggestions to deal with the cravings: drink lots of tea and brush your teeth after every meal. The tea part doesn’t seem to be helpful beyond the extra exercise as I head to the toilet all day long. But the toothpaste! Now that is working well. I have no interest in any food — sweet or otherwise — after I’ve brushed my teeth. I wonder if it’s the flossing? Nah!

Of course, all this typing about cravings has got me thinking about bunny grahams again. So, I’m off to the bathroom — gotta brush my teeth, again.

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