How is it like to spend 5 complete days with no carbs?

Firstly, it all started with a challenge I read in a fitness magazine in which the writer of the article decided to spend 5 full days without eating any food that contained sugar or any other type of simple carbs. This means that she could only eat food with natural sugars like fruits, she could eat vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, beans, grain, nuts, dairy products and she could only drink water, milk (this includes soy and other vegetable milks)  and fruit juices without  added sugar, or also diet sodas (with sweetener instead of sugar).

I also decided to embrace this adventure, together with my brother and his girlfriend. We were forbidden to eat, for 5 days, any pasta, bread, rice, cereals or any sugar (and girls there was no space for a little dessert or cookie in the middle of the day!) . My yogurts had to be all natural or without any fat or sugar added, so I had to be careful with the food I was buying. As you can imagine, eating outside was a pain in the neck, since most meals contain carbs I was left with the salads. However, there was one time when I ordered the grilled chicken breast with (just) salad, and the waiter stared at me for a while, trying to figure out what I was asking for.

Actually, theoretically this seems quite easy, because we were just cutting out the sugar and pasta, rice, cereals and bread. But it is much harder than that. Our body is used to ingest lots of sugar even when we think that we are eating healthy food, such as breakfast cereals which contain an absurd and unnecessary quantity of sugar. For example, if you eat for breakfast a toast of bread with jelly, a yogurt and drink a cup of coffee with 2 spoons of sugar, you are putting in your body almost the enough sugar you need for the day. And when, at lunch, we eat that extra sweet chocolate mousse, we are eating already the sugar for the next day. This mostly happens because our society is used to high levels of sweetness.

In the first day, I was feeling very good, of course I had to eat a bigger quantity of vegetables, meat, nuts and yogurt that I wished for. Otherwise I would have starved, my hunger would appear faster during the day and, because of that, I had to eat more frequently. Yet, on the second day I was craving for pasta, oh and bread! And it went on and on, until the last day, I was thinking about foods I couldn’t eat, but my apetite for sweet was very low.

After this experiment, if I can call it that, I realised lots of pros and cons of it. In first place, it was very good to reduce my hunger for sweets, since I am a dessert lover, and also I now can appreciate more the value of a balanced diet. Also, I really understood that we sometimes fall into eating routines that are vicious, such as breakfast and some snacks we are used to eat. With this, I discovered lots of different variants of a healthy breakfast, for example scrambled eggs with fruits and a yogurt, or yogurt mixed with nuts and fruits, and adding the carbs, we have the cereals, oatmeal, etc.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of this experience reside in the fact that we certainly need carbs to survive and to be prompt to respond to daily challenges. Unsurprisingly, I lost 2 kg although I was eating more than usual. Adding to this, I can also see that a varied diet gives us more energy and happiness, since when we eat something that we like we release endorphins and stay happier. But we can’t let us be self-indulgent, as it will lead us to an unbalanced diet.

Finally, on the first day after this five hard days I didn’t feel like eating bread for breakfast, curiously the opposite occurred and I felt disgusted by the idea. I had completed a total detoxification of carbs. I am now proud of my accomplishment, even if I had to face some though moments.

 Life is not easy so we have to be strong, and these kind of things will teach us to be more brave. Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed as much as did writing it!

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