Withdrawing From the Junk in Your Diet

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Question: I recently went on a clean diet by eliminating sugar and most processed foods. No junk foods, no sugar in my coffee, no aspartame or saccharine, very little bread and lot’s of healthy protein sources. I really want to get leaner and especially healthier. The problem is that I am hungry and I crave everything bad. Additionally, I am short tempered and just kind of mad most of the time because of it. Is it always going to be this way? How do I get through it more easily?
Answer: Wow! That is a huge step to make in your diet and lifestyle. The short answer is that it does get easier so just hang in there. The three weeks or so it can take to relieve the withdrawal symptoms is easier said than done. Eliminating or greatly reducing the amount of sugar in your diet causes you to go through a period of withdrawals that have stages. Sugar substitutes can help in the process but I am not a fan of saccharine or aspartame. The one sugar substitute we do use is a mixture of sugar and stevia is called Suncrystals which has 5 calories per packet. Look at the difference in calories by using it for a week instead of sugar. Cane sugar has 16 calories per teaspoon and you said you were using 2 to 4 teaspoons per cup and drank 4 to 5 cups a day. Substituting the sugar in your coffee with Suncrystals reduces your daily sugar consumption from an average of 60 carbs and 260 calories to 10 carbs and 50 calories. In a week you just saved yourself 1820 calories.
Ezekiel bread, which is found locally at Earth Harvest, is a much healthier choice instead of your usual white bread. If cost is prohibitive then use a heavy healthy whole wheat or whole grain loaf. Continue to have a slice of bread at breakfast with your egg whites. White wheat and some of the other wheat breads are very light and not as healthy as you may think they are. Reading the label usually reveals that the primary ingredient is still bleached flour which has little to no nutritional value. Using all fruit like Polanar on your toast instead of regular jelly will reduce even more sugar from your diet.
From the amount of training you do it appears that you need at least 1400 calories a day and you could eat as much as 1600 calories and still continue to lose body fat. Make sure that your actual portions match what your food program requires. Too often individuals fail to properly estimate portions and actually eat less that they could have. This can make you hungrier and amplifies your cravings. Making a decision to eat healthier causes your body to go through physical withdrawals from sugar and fat in addition to the emotional and habitual hunger you get when you eliminate junk. Advertisements and smells can also add intensity to your cravings. Usually the first three days of restriction are the worst. After that, the cravings tend to subside a little until the second week. Adjust the times that you eat so that you won’t get very hungry. This is usually about every 3 hours. At first, most of the hunger that you feel is emotional and from the physical withdrawal from the sweets you were used to having. It should be gone within three weeks. Drinking water keeps you hydrated and prevents you from getting false hunger pains when you are actually dehydrated. It is simpler if you drink by the clock: 20 oz. by 9 AM, 20 oz.by noon, 20 oz.by 3 PM and 20 oz. by 6 PM. A small glass of milk is good later in the evening. It’s a good provider of calcium and filling enough to help with hunger at night.
The process gets easier as you continue to plow through it and the physical changes you make by eliminating excess sugars will be worth the effort.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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