Sugar Shock

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Now that I've given carbs the boot temporarily, I can understand how our society is so sugar-crazed. Everywhere I look, it's carbs, carbs, carbs. We made a quick convenience store stop on our way home from Christmas tree cutting this past weekend, and I just stood back and looked around me. Everything in the gas station was a carb, from the fruit in the coolers to the aisle of chips and candy, to the ice cream shakes, boxes of donuts, cases of soda and shelves of bread. All that was left for a person like me to eat was a two-pack of hardboiled eggs and string cheese. Kinda depressing and eye-opening all at the same time.

Thanksgiving was another carb explosion. Other than the stuffed mushrooms I brought, I could have chosen only pickles and turkey to completely avoid carbs. I didn't pass on pecan pie just this once, but mashed potatoes, stuffing, chips, and desserts galore were like insulin hell. They tasted great, but their effects were immediate and detrimental.

This past week, I was faced with three shelves worth of specialty candies at work and a buffet with an entire section dedicated just to sweets--let alone the carbs everywhere else on the buffet tables too. Another luncheon at church allowed me a plate similar to Thanksgiving. Turkey and sloppy joe mix without the bun, pickles, and olives were all that were left for me. Even healthy-seeming carrots couldn't be had, along with the chips, potato salad and table full of goodies. Normally, I would love all those things, but right now they're presenting challenges while I'm in Phase One of the South Beach Diet.

Good thing buffets offer plenty of carb-less options like this and salad.
And good thing I really love all these things!

Gourmet treats at work. Thank goodness there were all sorts
of roasted peanuts. I settled on a vessel of pistachios.

I don't say all these things to complain. It is just really tough to take on a low-carb diet in this society. We are a nation hopped up on blood sugar, that's for sure. I think Dr. Agatston's work shows that it is plausible that all these processed foods and sugary things everywhere have been a major contributing factor to our country's obesity rates. Once you can't eat carbs, especially refined ones, you really notice how they've become our most major food group.

On top of the availability of carbs, incessantly within arm's reach, we are a society of sitters. My own job requires at least 8 hours of sitting in front of a computer. Although the job naturally presents a sedentary environment, there are ways to combat sitting disease. I myself hit up the gym three days a week at lunch and take walks the other two.

I also requested a prescription for a raised desk at work when I saw my doctor last. A lack of physical activity during working hours contributes to the problems I've been having. I do work out hard 6 days a week, but the hours of extended sitting during the day are not helping my insulin resistance problem any. This strategy of standing must be working, because I've been trying to stand for at least two hours every afternoon, and it almost makes me a little sweaty. I love being able to raise and lower my desk at will and get my butt off that chair!

I was successful in my diet this week, despite just a few tiny little cheats. I was able to bypass all the decadent goodies all around me for lean meats, low-fat dairy, nuts and veggies. The recipes I've used this week have largely been the reason I've been able to stick so closely to Phase 1. They're tasty and satisfying, so I haven't really felt deprived. Plus, I think it's true what they say. After two weeks on Phase 1, you just don't have those frenzied cravings for carbs anymore. Sure, they look good, but you eventually feel like you could take them or leave them.

From the weight I woke up at on the day after Thanksgiving to the weight I woke up to today, I have already lost around 5 lbs--the same 5 lbs I couldn't get rid of no matter how hard I tried (6 intense workouts, calorie deficit, food tracking, etc) before giving up carbs. Hopefully I'll have another successful week to report back on when I update next. Until then...

Have you ever noticed the sugar and empty carbs everywhere? How do you avoid them?

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