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A few teaspoons

‘I’m trying to eat no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day’, says I to a colleague. She looks at me as if that isn’t particularly hard. Then I tell her, apparently the average person eats 40 teaspoons a day. Hmm… 6 does now look challenging.

I’d heard somewhere before that when they take fat out of a product, they often replace it with sugar but I have never quite appreciated just how much sugar. When something says 20 grams, that’s quite meaningless to me. After watching That Sugar Film by Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau, it suddenly made sense. By turning those grams into teaspoons, I could start to grasp how much there really was. And in case you are wondering, the answer is 5 teaspoons.

The startling thing aboutĀ That Sugar Film was here was man who ate the same number of calories; did the same amount of exercise; and avoided soft drink, chocolate and ice cream and still put on weight. At the end of the experiment, he kept eating the same amount of calories, performing the same amount of exercise and he lost weight. So it seems all calories are not created equal.

Just how accustomed I am to food tasting sweet was made obvious when Andrew did the shopping and proclaimed he had bought all items which were low in sugar. Instead of the vanilla bean yoghurt we normally had, he bought the perfectly plain one. It has 1/3 the sugar of the vanilla bean counterpart. We cut upĀ the strawberries and dished out the yoghurt. Neither of us could believe how sour the yoghurt tasted. For me it was only saved by the strawberries and I have quite possibly been turned off yoghurt for life! Andrew – who had asked for extra yoghurt – was pulling faces throughout the whole experience. I feel quite confident that he is not going to want yoghurt again either.

It has taken me quite some time to convince Andrew to even watch That Sugar Film. I get that. A film about eating too much sugar does potentially conjure images of utter boredom with some patchouli smelling vegans who advocate tofu at every meal. It’s quite different really. Damon’s regular breakfast is poached eggs, bacon and avocado so the vegan theory really doesn’t play.

If I had known watching the film would drive Andrew to want to empty the cupboards at 10pm, I may have chosen an alternate viewing time. Still, I’m pleased that I’m not going this alone. There’s nothing worse that deciding you aren’t going to eat chocolate and then finding some in the cupboard and then you go through the process of trying to convince yourself not to eat it! The only sugar i’ve ever been able to pass over at Andrew’s place are jelly beans (evil little creations) and whatever goes in the emergency sugar tub in case of a diabetic low. I never eat what’s in there. I know it’s critical when he goes to that tub that something is inside. Now for Andrew, what’s in that tub is in fact the only high sugar item in the household. The pasta sauce; baked beans; cereal; mayonnaises are all gone.

I’ve never been one for fad diets e.g. only eat bananas, or eat all the meat you want but no carbohydrate. A couple of years ago I lost a few kilos by counting calories. As soon as I stopped counting the calories, the weight went back on. It’s not huge – just a few kilos. However now I find myself at the top of my healthy weight range and with some beautiful clothes that I spent many hours making, which do not fit. So it’s time to try to lose the weight and keep it off. With the help of an app, counting calories can be done. However, counting to 6 is ever easier! So far it’s been 7 days and I think I may have lost 0.5kg. I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that it takes about 4 weeks to make something a habit. So I’ll let you know in another 3 whether I crashed out of this little experiment too early.