Falling Off The Wagon

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14 Responses

  1. Kelly S says:

    No fructose? Or no non-natural fructose?
    Basically I’m asking are you giving up fruit?

    • Diana says:

      No fructose….with a but! I am still eating fresh fruit, but not more than two pieces a day. No dried fruit, honey, fruit juice, etc

  2. Pete Clinch says:

    I was wondering about the fructose too. Why particularly fructose? On a bike run where you need some energy what would really be wrong with the standard DIY energy drink of 50/50 fruit juice and water with some added salt? Or some raisins?

    That aside, and digging out goal-achieving techniques with my Scottish Cycling L2 Coach hat on, it’s often the case that people tend to do better if they use SMART goals, which is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely. You’ve got Specific, saying what you want, and Measurable (none, or 2 pieces of fresh fruit), but the other ones might possibly use some work? As suggested in the first paragraph, without knowing you or how fructose affects you I’d want to at least look further in to why are you particularly singling out fructose as particularly bad and worthy of elimination for Relevance. My go-to cycling snack on a long ride is a flapjack recipe suggested by Emma Pooley (who knows a thing or two about baking and a thing or a two hundred about cycling and athletic performance) with condensed milk and shredded apple in place of the syrup and butter, and I add a handful of raisins or sultanas, and you wouldn’t be allowed it and I wonder as to how helpful that is? With Timely, “in 2018” is pretty vague, so perhaps work things in smaller more defined steps, so say “by the end of each month I’ll have cut alcohol consumption by 10%” (I’ve no idea if that would work, it’s just a top-of-head example that gets you to zero by the end of the year and doesn’t require a sudden big change).

    • Diana says:

      Hi, thanks very much for the advice on goal setting, that’s really helpful.

      The answer to ‘why fructose’ is one which probably warrants a blog post in itself! It basically comes from reading a few books about sugar.

      According to the research quoted in these, fructose is the part of sugar which is actually damaging. This damage can be mitigated by eating fructose with a large dose of fibre, hence why fresh fruit is still ok in moderation.

      I did have a bit of a panic about what to take on a long bike ride at first, then realised that nuts are a brilliant energy snack and totally fructose free.

      I will post more about why fructose soon!

  3. Pete Clinch says:

    While not wanting to say or even suggest “Rubbish” (on the grounds I really don’t know), I note that with some well presented evidence backing it up it’s easy to get carried away beyond the generally very useful maxim of “everything in moderation”*.
    https://theskepticalcardiologist.com/2015/03/21/fructose-and-the-ubiquity-of-added-sugar/ suggests that rather than eliminating fructose you might look to eliminate unnecessarily added fructose, which sounds a lot more realistic and achievable and rather less cramping of style, especially on a big ride where you need energy (and the author of that blog piece has clearly come across Lustig’s work).

    For a general wariness of nutrition advice that hasn’t come from your doctor I’d suggest Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science”. That’s not meant to suggest you’ve been reading bad science, but the amount of not entirely justified advice out there is worryingly high (my day-job is an NHS Clinical Scientist, though I’m mainly concerned with IT and not nutrition at all so don’t pretend to have any great insights in to it) and that book gives you a good set of tools for deciding how far you can trust what you’re reading. Plus it’s a great book!

    * the full version is “everything in moderation, including moderation”. The typical modern diet includes vast amounts of added sugar, so if you eat “normally”, especially in Scotland, that’s arguably not moderation. A packet of raisins or a swig of juice on a long ride arguably is.

  4. Melanie Aird says:

    I think we cope better when we admit that we will crash and burn all healthy eating ideas during the holiday. (I did all alright, but that was largely down to spending 4 days with the in-laws who are militant about calorie/sugar control because one of them has T2 diabetes.)

    Friends brought us a gorgeous big box of chocolates which we ended up not eating while they were here. Being clever, I hid it so we wouldn’t be tempted, reasoning we could bring it out when we have visitors.
    I can’t remember where I hid it.

  5. Chris M says:

    It’s not what you eat between Christmas & New Year, but what you eat between New Year & Christmas that counts!
    I have a much simpler food philosophy: If my stomach isn’t starting to rumble come mealtimes then I ate too much at the last meal (or snack!). If it is then I lose weight (or become the right weight). I don’t ban anything – why make yourself suffer? Everything in moderation.

    • Diana says:

      I take your point but I am not very good at moderation, I’m more of an all or nothing kind of person!

      • Peter Clinch says:

        I can empathise with the all-or-nothing issue. I’m quite different from my wife in this respect, so if there’s a bar of chocolate I can leave it for ages, but once the seal is broken it’s GONE, where she can’t ignore it, but will happily eat a chunk or two and then put it back for another day.

        Our respective weight balancing systems reflect this, so she’ll cut back, while I will banish snacks utterly (while keeping my main meals as normal) until I’m back at my target weight. By keeping an eye on the scales I don’t have to do this for long in most cases, though with a rather stressful end of year on all sorts of fronts I’ve got about a month to go 🙁 By keeping my main meals as usual I can easily differentiate between stuff I should eat and shouldn’t while in trimming mode (main meals fine, anything else, don’t). As long as I’m getting my usual levels of exercise and am not going for excessive comfort eating my normal snacks+meals keeps me at a reasonably steady weight.

        But of course it’s not just about weight. Caffeine doesn’t seem to do anything much to me (I can drink espresso by the mug and easily go without it too with no obvious changes) but I know it affects others quite a bit and I can see why it’s potentially beneficial for some people to cut it out or down, and that’s nothing to do with the scales.

        • Diana says:

          Your wife sounds like my husband! He can have just one biscuit or piece of chocolate and put the rest away. He tends to hide treats on high shelves where I can’t reach.

          As for caffeine, I didn’t think it affected me that much until giving myself a bit of a stomach ache led me to decide to give it up


          The awful headaches I had withdrawing from caffeine convinced me to stay off it.

      • Chris M says:

        All or nothing doesn’t really work with food though does it? 🙂 Hopefully there is a happy medium somewhere between Anorexia and Obesity.

        A few people have a medical need to cut things out from their diet, for the rest of us there is the latest fad or devil food; first it was fat, then it was fat & carbs at the same time (Atkins), then it was gluten, now it’s sugar or fructose. Cut that one thing out and all your problems will be solved we are told.
        Except that it doesn’t stack up.
        I know people who eat very healthily indeed, but they are still obese because they just eat too damn much of that healthy stuff and don’t exercise much. I know others that live on pizza and chips and are skinny because they don’t eat much else and exercise regularly. I’m not saying that is healthy but I think people should consider how much they eat (compared with their exercise) before they worry too much about the next devil food.

        Anyway I’m off to the spin class to try to burn off that Christmas cake!

        • Diana says:

          I’m not usually one for fad diets to be honest, but the sugar thing has convinced me to give it a go. That said, I am taking my reading as inspiration and then seeing how my own body feels before I decide what is right or wrong for me. Having given up sugar for 6 weeks before, the fact that I struggled with it is enough to convince me to try it again – I really don’t like to feel dependent on anything.


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