No film has ever had such a profound effect on me as That Sugar Film. If you’ve seen it you’ll know exactly what I mean. If you haven’t, then I urge you to watch it. It will change your life. Well it’s changed mine – even when other similar films didn’t. In a nutshell the film follows one guy as he eats commonly perceived healthy foods for two months and documents the effects it has on his health. In short, he ends up putting on 8 kgs, getting early onset liver disease along with a host of other nasty ailments. The point of the film is to show us not only how bad sugar is to our health but just how many foods we think are healthy are in fact, loaded with sugar and are therefore really bad for us.
Anyway, as soon as I’d finished watching the film I knew my life was forever changed. I know that’s a big call but it’s how I felt. I also felt a sense of panic wash over me because I knew if I was to be healthy I was going to have to change my diet – big time. Exactly how I was going to do that I wasn’t sure.
So I headed out and bought myself something I’ve never actually owned before – a set of scales to weight myself. I’ve never wanted to own a set of scales because I don’t like to obsess about what I weigh and I hate the thought of getting fixated on the number on the scales. I’ve always used the fit of my clothes as a guide to keeping my weight in check. When my pants start feeling a little snug I know what I need to do – move more and eat less.
When I jumped on the scales I was shocked to see that I weighed 76 kilos. Now I know it’s just a number but it’s heavier than I’d like to be. But at 178cm tall it’s still within the healthy weight range for me – although it is at the higher end. This is when it started to get really tricky. I was overweight (for me) and I knew what I couldn’t eat (thanks to That Sugar Film) but I had no idea what I could eat. Most of my favourite foods (bread, toast, cereal, muesli, rice, pasta, juice, cookies, cake etc, etc) were off the table and I felt all at sea. I knew I needed to make some big changes but where to start?
I’d recently been sent a new book to review called What The Fat?: Fat’s In, Sugar’s Out so I grabbed it for inspiration. As it turned out this book was exactly what I needed to read. I sat for the next couple of hours pouring over every single page and while I knew it was going to be hard to make these changes to my diet, I at least had a manual to help me get there.
Above: The book that has been a lifesaver in getting my eating on track.
The basic premise of the book is about cutting out all refined sugars and processed carbohydrates like bread, rice, pasta etc. So for a bread-loving girl like me I knew from the get-go this was going to be hard. The book also recommended a very handy free app, Easy Diet Diary, which I downloaded to help start recording everything I eat. I know this sounds totally laborious but it’s the best way to keep track of everything that goes in while I’m getting used to this new way of eating.
I’ve been eating this way for a week now and decided to write this post because I weighed myself today and I’ve dropped 3kgs. Now I’m sure that’s mostly water but I’m absolutely stunned by this. But if I said the last week had been easy I’d be lying. Cutting out my favourite toast and porridge for brekkie, sourdough for lunch and a whole host of my other favourite foods has been hard. But equally I’ve eaten a lot of really yummy food in the past week and if I’m honest I’ve probably actually eaten more than I normally do. The difference has been that I’ve been eating the right calories – not empty calories that don’t fill me up and are actually bad for my body – aka sugar and processed carbs.
But arguably the hardest thing this week has been my insatiable thirst. After googling I discovered that my thirst was caused by Ketosis – common on a low carb diet. It basically means my body has started to use my fat stores for fuel instead of carbohydrates. In the process it makes you thirsty – super thirsty. This symptom apparently settles down once your body gets used to surviving on less processed carbs. The upside is that it’s super easy to drink my recommended daily intake of water and it’s an indication that my metabolism has cranked up a notch or ten and my body is burning fat for fuel.
Above: Two really great books that have been super handy this week.
The one thing that has made this week easier is that my husband is joining me on this journey. His starting weight was 108kg and he’s also dropped 3kg this week. So it’s been brilliant having him to share in this experience and compare notes. The challenge from here on in will be to stay committed to this new lifestyle and continue to find fab new recipes that are healthy and delicious.
So each week I’m going to document my journey here. Partly to keep myself on track and accountable and partly to share this experience with you. I’ve become a little evangelical about this whole way of eating and I’m sure my friends are already sick of me banging on about it. But I actually think That Sugar Film should be compulsory viewing for everyone. While I may be sounding a little extreme I think it’s important to mention I’m not going to be silly about this. I’m still going to eat cake and bread and drink wine but I’m just not going to do it every day. I suppose I’m keen to find out first-hand exactly how this way of eating effects me and how it makes me feel so I can make an informed decision on how to eat long term.
In the meantime, I’d totally recommend watching That Sugar Film – I’m sure it will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food. I’d also LOVE to hear what you think about this way of eating and if you’ve seen the film I’d love to hear what you think about it in the comments below.
Take a look at the trailer below for a sneak peek at the film.