tim hortons

Holy cats! I think I’ve kicked the sugar habit!

If you live in Canada, you will no doubt recognize the evil temptress in the above photo as a box of Timbits from junk food chain Tim Hortons. I am both happy and surprised to say that I’ve actually resisted not one but TWO boxes of these on two consecutive days.

I also resisted not one but two cravings for hot chocolate on not one but TWO consecutive days.

How did I do it?

I simply kept in mind what my gym goals are. In other words, I manned up and did the proper grown up thing and took the responsibility that I knew I had set myself to take. After, what, 15 blog posts of me saying how I caved in to short term body destructive pleasures, the last thing I wanted to do was write a 16th repost.

See the vending machine below?

I had change in my pocket for a snack before my night school course and I had my eye on a certain spicy plantain bag but that eye lingered over to the beautiful Coffee Crisp. Temptation was seductive.

“No. The coffee will keep me awake. And not to mention the nasty stuff the rest of the bar will do to me”. So I ordered the spicy plantain bag.


No added sugar. No gluten. Bla bla bla. I wish I remembered the name (note to the branding department) but hey, I can always dip into the school for a fix.

So I think I’ve finally reached my goal of going back to where I was dietary temptation-wise. Snubbing sugar and enjoying the sense of personal accomplishment of defeating the temptress.

Have you recently reached a tough goal? Even if it has nothing to do with sugar or nutrition, I’d love to hear about it!


Recommended daily limit of sugar is…


Photo credit: avlxyz

According to this infographic listing a number of sources that I have never heard of (but seeing “Harvard” mentioned seems to give it some street cred), the recommended (US) daily limit of sugar is 6 teaspoons. That’s roughly 24 grams. The 6 teaspoons is also mentioned in this infographic by the Cleveland Clinic with an additional 3 teaspoons (36 grams) for men (the 24 is recommended for women). This infographic says 12 grams for children. For simplicity sake, let’s stick with the 24 grams.

It’s a good idea to read the labels

Like paying by debit or credit, it can be quite easy to lose track of how much sugar we eat throughout the day. If we set our daily limit to 24 grams per day, then one small carton of chocolate milk is all it takes to throw us off. One of those delicious babies contains 30g of sugar. Not bad. It does have vitamins that could benefit us but my point is the rest of your daily intake have been maxed out. If you’re serious about reducing sugar, then don’t go for a latte in the afternoon. Taking a look at the Starbucks Canada nutritional menu… hm, it seems most of their lattes, grande and up, are double the daily limit. Even the tall and shorts are in the teens and 20+s depending on the fanciness of your drink. So if you have a morning chocolate milk then a latte later on, you’ve already exceeded the 24 grams.

Fortunately, we can ask the barista to use half sugar or a lower amount.

Office meeting? If someone brought timbits, you’re looking at an additional 1 gram for each plain one and up to 7 grams the fancier they go. If they brought actual donuts, they are in the double digits and well into the 20s depending on how fancy the donuts are. Low fat muffins contain 24 to 30 grams. Did someone bring chocolates into the cubicle farm? Uh oh…

Can you carry over to the next day if you binge?

Um, no. If we could, then we’d cave in and go back to where we started.

I’m not trying to spoil your fun. Just helping you stay focused on your goal. Check the labels and set a daily limit of how much sugar to ingest. At the vey least you can prevent yourself from binging and feel good about staying on track.

So is sugar good for you then? I mean, if there’s a recommended daily intake…

There’s a limit to how much your liver can handle. Go over that limit and you start getting the unhealthy side effects. According to a few research studies mentioned in the random infographics above (I mean, I didn’t actually conduct an exhaustive background check), 24 grams if you’re a woman, 36 if you’re a man, and 12 if you’re a kid.

Sugar contains two molecules. Glucose and fructose. Glucose is good. Fructose is bad. Glucose is good because every cell in our body uses it for energy. But we don’t need boat loads of it. Fructose is the bad one that, long story short, turns into fat. So the whole 12-36 numbers above, I safely assume, refer to the limits our liver can handle.

When you read the list of ingredients on food labels, look for fructose (or corn syrup). This stuff is in everything. Peanut butter, yogurts, fruit drinks, low fat this, fat free that, you name it. See why I said earlier to avoid processed food as much as possible?

Wait, there’s a recommended daily intake of sugar?

Yeah, I’m surprised as well. But this is the reason why I started this blog. To learn about sugar and it’s affects. Could there be a good side to sugar? Is there a consequence to not ingesting sugar? Looks like I’ll be learning some new things with this blog!

Chime in with your learnings and help me, um, learn something new.