Sugar Saturdays Essay

Submitted By aschmi36
Words: 1090
Pages: 5

Sugar Saturdays It was about ten years ago on a Saturday when my father and I were walking through the mall in Downtown Salem discussing how much sugar we eat. Too often we found ourselves indulging in candy bars, ice cream, and sugary sodas. My dad was on a mission to lose the weight he had gained over the years. When he was younger, it had been easy to drop a few pounds, but not anymore. I suggested we should not eat sugar for a whole week and see what happens. My dad was up for the challenge. As an eleven year old, I didn’t know that my simple suggestion would lead to a lifetime commitment. When the next Saturday rolled around, my dad brought me a cookie and asked if I was ready to start again on Sunday. “Of course!” I replied. I was surprised but happily agreed because I thought it was a fun challenge to share with him, something that my dad and I did together. Was eliminating sugar from my diet ten years ago a benefit to my health? Yes, I truly believe it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We didn’t change anything else about our diet, and over the next few months, my dad lost almost fifteen pounds. I don’t remember the immediate effects it had on me, but I definitely notice an impact now. Limiting my sugar intake causes me to have more energy, crave sugar less, keep my weight at a healthy level, and also improve my overall health—both physically and mentally. Having more energy is one of my favorite things about eating less sugar. I never really thought about it until I took a nutrition class in college and learned that eating sugary foods causes your blood sugar to spike, which is followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, making you feel tired. During my “Sugar Saturdays”, as much as I enjoy a sugary dessert, I notice the negative side effect of feeling like I need a nap. When I am not eating sugar, I am more motivated to clean my house, go shopping, or do my homework. It is very interesting to me that by reducing my sugar intake, I actually crave sugar less than I used to. I thought denying myself sugar would make me want it more. When I do crave sugar, I can easily satisfy myself with a fruit salad. My body is used to eating limited amounts of sugar, so when I eat too much, I start to feel nauseous. Knowing I am going to feel bad if I eat too much sugar is a big help in controlling cravings and limiting the amount of sugar I eat. I believe that my self-imposed sugar restriction has helped me maintain a healthy weight all my life with minimal effort. By not eating sugar during the week, I am not consuming donuts, ice cream, soda, cookies, cake, and a hundred other foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition. It is easy to eliminate a large number of unhealthy food choices by just saying I am not going to eat sugar. Finally, by not eating sugar, I am much more health conscious and aware of what is in the food I’m eating because I read the labels. I am looking for sugar on the labels, but it educates me about other potentially unhealthy ingredients like sodium and fats. I know more about the food I eat now because I am keeping an eye on sugar. Another big health benefit is to my teeth. I have never had a cavity, and I believe this is due to low amount of sugar in my diet. Limiting my sugar intake has not only benefited my physical health. My dad and my “no sugar” rule has taught me many things over the last ten years and improved my mental health as well. Making a promise and sticking with it is empowering. It helps me realize that I can do anything, if I stick to the plan. My ability to stay committed to not consuming sugar has shown me the benefit of…