If I had to ascribe an identity to my eating habits, it would go something along the lines of: healthy with a sprinkle of hedonism. For example, I naturally gravitate towards vegetables, for I am a vegetarian. Nuts and fruits are unreservedly my go-to snacks. And without getting too scientific with my explanations here, unprocessed foods make me feel good.
Having said that, I am powerless to cheese of any variety and obviously accompanying lavosh. I’m never one to say no to a glass of wine (or a bottle, for financial savviness) and pizza is obviously a food group in its own right.
I’m a big fan of moderation in this regard, but also open-minded to resets and check-ins and dietary audits to ascertain what makes me feel like I’m functioning at a high-capacity.
So, when I got wind of the evidently successful diet that ageless goddess Jennifer Lopez was touting on social media, I was naturally curious.
Earlier this year, in an abdominally intimidating Instagram post, she challenged her 85 million followers to partake in a no carb, no sugar 10-day extravaganza. Staring at her body shortly after she posted the snap, I thought sure, why not? (I’ll tell you why, because I had a slew of upcoming weddings and know thyself – the likelihood of me turning down passed canapes and champagne was slim).
So, a few weeks later, with a seven-day clearing in my social calendar, I was able to give it a whirl.
Before I began, I thought it necessary to place some pre-diet stipulations on this experiment – because diets can be ambiguous, no? How far does the carbs and sugar embargo extend itself? What constraints am I working with here? Does sugar mean all iterations of sugar, fruit inclusive? Same goes with carbs. Am I allowed quinoa? What about chickpeas? For the sake of accurate results, I decided to do a food group-wide ban. At least start with a food-group wide ban.
And for the most part, I succeeded. If success in this instance can be defined by straddling the delicate balance of maintaining the restrictions of the diet and maintaining my sanity. After seven days, my takeaways were as follows:
I thought about food a lot more than I usually would
What and when to eat occupied far more of my mental capacity than its normal allotted time – both a good and bad thing. I think it’s important to be conscious of what you’re ingesting, and implementing a shake up like this is good for that. I love food a lot, and often catch myself fantasising about my next meal – but the balance between this and borderline-manic mental food preparation is slim.
I felt pretty good
I think that there’s is a fairly strong correlation between sugar and alcohol consumption and general wellbeing, but this is not a groundbreaking revelation. However for the sake of good journalism, I feel obliged to report that having no alcohol and very minimal sugar for seven days straight (a couple of pieces of fruit snuck in, don’t @ me), my sleep was notably better and my energy levels more consistent. Oh delicious vices, you fickle beasts.
I have never been, and never will be, good with constraints
As soon as I perceived there to be an embargo on something – self-imposed or otherwise – the contraband in question becomes more alluring by ten-fold. This seems particularly pertinent to diets, as they don’t have a very good standing reputation in my opinion. It’s 2019! I’m a modern woman! I can do (eat) what I want! Perhaps if it had a different name or underwent a rebrand, I would have been a more willing participant.
No one noticed any difference in my mood and or my appearance
Affirmation on my appearance really isn’t something I generally strive for, although it doesn’t make receiving compliments any less enjoyable to hear. But that is neither here nor there, because no one noticed anything different about me. Feedback went as follows:
“You’ve been on a diet?” – My mother
“Why on earth would you give up carbs?” – My friends
“Oh, well can we reschedule to next week then?” – My Saturday night date
I will never look like JLo
Although this is disappointing, is a truth I have gracefully accepted.
In summary, while this was a good exercise to be conscious of what I was eating and its subsequent impact on my wellbeing, it won’t be something I’ll try again in a hurry. Perhaps ten days isn’t long enough for me to notice measurable results, or perhaps my eating habits weren’t in need enough of an overhaul for me to really commit. At any rate I’ll be back to my regular programming of hedonistically-inspired healthy living soon, because what is life without a brie-adorned lavosh?