Throwdown Thursday: Diet or Die. Surviving the Sugar Detox

As we prepare for our poker pilgrimage, Paul and I know we need to shed some pounds.  Being in shape will be critical to fully enjoying our poker travel lifestyle. We’ve spent a lot of time in the past year talking about losing weight, but pretty much no time actually losing it. Enter the sugar detox diet.

We were both in great shape about four years ago. However, fitness rapidly wanes when your primary forms of entertainment consist of poker playing, TV watching, and wine drinking. After the fish tank epiphany on our summer cruise, we decided it was time to get serious about shaping back up. Last month I happened to come across an article about a sugar detox, which led me to Mark Hyman’s, book The Blood Sugar Solution. Which led us straight into hell.

Paul: Maybe gorging ourselves on my birthday weekend with every bagel, piece of cake, croissant, bottle of wine, etc. that we could get our hands on was not the kind of prep we should have been doing. Following that with a week of no carbs, no sugars, (even fruit is out), no wine, and no caffeine is no picnic.  With only water, tea, meats, vegetables, nuts and a waning will to live to subsist on – our house wasn’t pretty.

Heather: Just shoot me now. I’m seriously considering whether life is worth living without chocolate lava cake.

Paul: And we chose autumn in New England, when the state flag of Massachusetts officially changes to a cider donut, to start this madness. Those delectable round demons are everywhere. In the grocery store today, they were the first thing I saw when I entered. And that was in the produce section! Sadists clearly run that store.

Heather: Really, if you think about it, there’s no good season to start a sugar detox diet. Winter has Christmas (and Valentine’s Day!). Spring has Easter. And summer has… Hey! Why didn’t we start this whole thing in the summer when it was blindingly hot and subsisting on iced herbal tea and vegetables might have actually seemed appealing? What happened there?

sugar detox diet
Where’s the ice cream?!

Paul: We were in the powerful grip of joy. You remember that don’t you? Those evenings where you would trill “Hershey’s kisses?” and I’d respond “How many my love?”.  You’d follow with “Now what’s the crunchy snack?” and I would list the smorgasbord of options. And we’d gorge ourselves like it was Henry VIII’s last day on earth.

Heather: *sigh* Right. Those were the days. Now we’re white-knuckling it through an hour of Fleabag and heading up to read before the hunger makes our eyes roll back in our heads.

Paul: But hey, think about all the healthier habits we’ve learned so far. Brown rice is a fine replacement for white rice. Trader Joe’s instant falafel – not a bad substitute for bread with our grilled chicken salad. Soft yellow corn tortillas are actually better than flour tortillas! And despite hunger scrambling our cognitive process and increasing our irritability, no one has lunged for the sharps’ drawer yet. Our marriage can survive anything if it survives a joint sugar detox diet.



 

Heather: Yes, collective hunger and caffeine deprivation are definitely relationship challenges. Fortunately, we seem to be pulling together rather than apart. So far.

I do have to admit that I’m rather proud of myself for giving up Diet Coke after 35 years. I’ve got my 15-day chip and everything!

Paul: “My name is Heather, and I’m a Diet Coke addict.”

Yeah, I didn’t think that was likely. You don’t even look too much like a strung-out junkie. But I did not think my odds of beating the regular Coke addiction last year were high and that went away too.

Now, about that pesky wine….

Heather: You can’t have my wine! I gave it up for that first week of this stupid diet. Isn’t that enough for you?!!

Paul: Well, 1 pm Heather is always gung-ho to dump the wine. But when 8 pm Heather takes over, it’s quite a different story. And I just don’t have the gravitas to fend off 8 pm Heather….ok, nor really the will.  But even there, we’ve cut that down a bunch, even after the first week in the gulag.

Heather: True. Turns out a single glass of wine is sufficient. Who knew?

Of course, the weight loss stopped the second the wine returned to the diet.

Paul: Shhhhhhhhhh! Correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Now pass the carrots and hummus!

Heather: Sure, throw science at me. You know my sugar-deprived mind can’t handle the math.

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