If you think you're addicted to sugar, it's time you think again, because I may just have the biggest sweet tooth out there. In the past, I have tried different things like a 30-day sugar detox, and you can guess that failed miserably after 16 days going strong. I then tried completely eliminating all refined sugars and only eating fruits, dates, and natural sugars like honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. After a while, that didn't work either. My body just wanted more of what I was telling it it couldn't have. Eventually, I slowly began to notice more skin breakouts, weight gain, and dips in my energy as I kept cycling between no sugar and lots of sugar.
This time around, I took a different approach. Higher-fat diets have gotten such a bad rap in the past for causing weight gain, elevated cholesterol, and heart problems, but the good news is we've been wrong all along. I spoke to Nia Rennix, a dietitian and clinical nutritionist, who stressed that healthy fats are essential to the body's heart, digestive, and immune health as well as to having glowing skin and hair. Especially for women, consuming healthy fats daily is so important for hormone production.
So I decided to up my fat intake and challenge myself to eat avocados with every meal for seven days and see what happened. OK, maybe it's not a challenge because I love avocados so much, but it was still going to be a lot more avocado than I'm used to.
What Did My Meals Look Like?
Typically, I eat two large meals in my day and aim for 20-30 grams of protein and 10-15 grams of fat in each meal. Breakfast/lunch was always a form of avocado and eggs on toast or a breakfast bowl with eggs, turkey, and avocado.
For dinner, I switched off between having dense salads, stir-fries, and cauliflower rice bowls. Each meal included two to three ounces of avocado and loads of different veg from the rainbow. I also always made sure to include a source of complex carbohydrates such as quinoa or sweet potatoes if it was a post-workout meal.
On the weekend, I also wanted to get creative and came up with some unconventional avocado recipes. Move along, acai bowls; avo bowls are making their way. They were loaded with frozen banana, frozen avocado, vanilla lean protein, raw cacao powder, chia seeds, almond milk, nut butter, and lots of toppings. As a sweet, healthier alternative, I also made hazelnut truffles using avocado, and no one could tell, trust me.
The first three days breezed by. I never felt unsatisfied or had the need to return to the kitchen for something else after my meal. I also noticed that as the week went along, I had more and more energy to smash out intense workout sessions. I was still craving something sweet in the morning of the first few days, but as soon as I filled up on healthy fats and protein, I forgot I even had the craving in the first place.
After the fourth day, I noticed that I wasn't waking up feeling really hungry like I had before. I also saw that my skin had stopped breaking out and was slowly repairing itself. I really began to feel like my inside and outside were getting that avocado glow.
At the end of the seventh day, my skin was feeling a lot softer despite the cold, dry weather outside. I noticed my weight had dropped by three pounds and my body fat percentage by 0.8, just to prove that fats don't necessarily make you fat. Also, a side effect of increasing my fat intake was that I was subconsciously reducing my carbohydrate intake. As a result, I was holding onto less water and my physique changed drastically when it no longer looked bloated after a full day of eating.
The best part of this avocado experiment was that by the end, I did not crave sweets before or after my meals. If you're trying to consume less sugar, maybe try to add more fats into your diet and see what happens. Just make sure not to overdo it, as Rennix recommends not to exceed one whole avocado a day. If it's 2018 and you're still afraid of fats, I don't know what to tell you, but Rennix reminds us, "Not all fat is created equally."
Will I Continue?
I probably won't have avocados with every meal, but it will still be a huge staple in my diet. If I'm not eating avocados, I'll make sure to incorporate other sources of healthy fats like nuts, seeds, or salmon to replace the avocado. Rennix also recommends that if you want to eat more avocados or fat in general, "It's important to pay attention to serving size," as they are calorically dense. Too much of anything is not good, so if you can't finish that other half of the avocado, refrigerate it with the pit and a sprinkle of lemon juice to enjoy the next day without browning!