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Refined Sugar and Me week 23 — Unprofitable Comparisons

Welcome to week 23 of our ongoing series about refined sugar & me in 2017. This week I am holding steady at a total of 16 pounds down from when I first started avoiding most added sugars and processed foods at the end of December 2016 — it bopped around a bit with all of the Memorial Day/last week of school eating extravaganzas, but has settled back out again.

A little more light reading

This week I also read an interesting article titled “We’re All Guinea Pigs in a Failed Decades-Long Diet Experiment,” which talks about sugar-industry funded research back in the 1960s that downplayed the health issues around sugar while emphasizing those around fat & cholesterol.

By the 1990s, when Teicholz says the epidemiological data started piling up to show that a low-fat, high-carb diet did not help with weight loss or heart disease—calories be damned—much of the damage was already done. The US public was deep in what nutrition experts sometimes call the “Snackwell phenomenon”—a devotion to low-fat and low-calorie processed snack foods, which people pounded by the bagful because they believed them to be healthy.

“This advice allowed the food industry to go hog-wild promoting low-fat, carb-heavy packaged foods as ‘light’ or ‘healthy,’ and that’s been a disaster for public health,” Lustig said.

I’ve previously run across Lustig’s work in a few articles that I talked about here, and they’re worth a look if you’re also thinking about the role of sugar and fat and processed foods in your own diet.

Unprofitable Comparisons

Beyond this light reading, though, my main hurdle this week has been trying to overcome the frustration of not seeing that dial on the scale budge — while reading about other people who’ve lost 40+ lbs this year by changing their diet (as opposed to my measly 16). This, however, is my own issue: I can’t say it to myself often enough, but others’ success has no bearing on my own — and none of it diminishes the fact that I am 16 pounds lighter, or that my clothes fit better, or that I feel better overall. Weight loss isn’t a scarce resource, and the fact that someone else might be down 40 pounds doesn’t mean that there’s less weight loss now available to me.

As unprofitable as it is to compare yourself with others, though, stopping is easier said than done. My challenge to myself for the next week is to work on being less critical; to focus on what I’ve accomplished so far, rather than on how far I am from my ultimate goal. Why not make this a challenge for yourself as well this week: Celebrate the small wins each day, whether that be in terms of diet or anything else in your life.

And now I’m going to go make a batch of Greek vinaigrette using fresh oregano from my garden, which I’ll enjoy later over some fresh-picked lettuce from my little perpetual salad colander as today’s small real food win. What’s yours going to be? 🙂

So, that’s me this week…

This year is all about slowly figuring out my own pitfalls, it seems like, and mine may or may not be the same as yours. How are you doing on your own healthier eating plan so far — and what have you found that helps you stay on track?

Earlier installments in this series

Dip your toe in with a few highlights:

And you can catch up on the whole Refined Sugar and Me series here.


Tuesday 6th of June 2017

congrats on your healthier eating and weight loss. we are talking about a lot of the same things at WW. my go to food right now when I crave something sweet or need a snack is strawberries. Driscolls are a good price at Target and with the coupon they are a bargain. I just eat them plain. no sugar needed.