#11 My Man Quits Sugar: The Post-Program Interview

It doesn’t seem so long ago that I was interviewing my husband before we started the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program. But here we are, two months later, done and dusted! One week on, we are still going strong. We are still eating fructose-free meals, and I’m having lots of fun experimenting with fructose-free treats. The I Quit Sugar Peanut Butter Fudge (pictured below) is a huge success. Make it with crunchy peanut butter!

I have posted each week throughout the program to check in with how he was feeling, and it was clear that we both felt better on the program, which is probably attributed both to the absence of sugar, and also the significant presence of vegetables. Prior to the program, I thought we did well with our veggie intake, but it was bumped up even more during the program. I loved it.

Although he did not want to check his weight before and after, preferring to focus on how he was feeling than the numbers on the scales, I believe he has lost weight over the last two months. He has had some intense times at work, and relentless times at home with children, but has complained less about being tired. He’s got a little spark in his eye and a little more spring in his step. Even though he tries to hide it. Because, you know, then he has to admit I was right! πŸ˜›

The fabulous I Quit Sugar peanut butter fudge. Gimme.

The fabulous I Quit Sugar peanut butter fudge. Gimme.

I asked him some questions to reflect on how he is feeling after the program, his feelings towards sugar, and what will change for him as a result of doing the program. I also want to talk to him about participating in the program as a male – particularly as one who likes his beer and simple carbohydrates – but I will focus on that in the next post, which will look specifically at the strengths and weaknesses of the program.

1. Two months ago, you said you were feeling tired all the time, slobbish, and that your digestive system was run-down. How do you feel now?

I feel better than I did at the start of the program. My digestion seems to work better, which is probably partly due to the increased vegetable intake. I don’t feel as heavy, my clothes are a little looser. I didn’t really notice a change to my energy levels though.

2. What do you attribute those changes to?

Probably all the sneaky sugary snacks I’ve been having… Only joking. I attribute it to having less simple carbohydrates, and less sweet treats.

3. What are your feelings towards sugar, and specifically fructose, after going through the program?

I am now more apprehensive about fructose, and I will try to avoid it, mainly by not eating processed food. I will still have some things with fructose – fruit, or if I go out, a dessert. But I’ll be trying to keep it to a minimum, and have a careful watch over it. I won’t go back to having sugar in my coffee, but I do still like honey on my muesli. Although I don’t mind the rice malt syrup instead… Maybe. I’ll try it. I might have the occasional Coke Zero at work.

4. Was it harder, or easier than you expected?

It was harder. It’s hard to eat fructose-free, because sugar is in everything. Although we had a meal plan, it was still difficult between meals, at work or out. If I was at a BBQ I was always tempted by the BBQ sauce, although I didn’t have any. Same with Coke. There was one particular day I was stuck at an emergency site [for work] for hours, and someone came out with chocolate bars, soft-drinks and coffee. It was the only food we had, but I still only had a coffee. I was miserable, and starving.

5. What will change for you as a result of doing the program?

Simply, I will not eat as much sugar. I’ll still have birthday cake, desserts at restaurants since that’s such a rare occasion anyway, and the odd piece of fruit. I’ll also continue to lay off the simple carbohydrates.

Well, I call that a win.

In terms of my own experience, I have to admit that I thought I was pretty sorted going into the program, having already cut out most refined sugar. I didn’t expect to be feeling even better during and after the program, having cut out all fructose, other than from whole fruit. Having a well-functioning, healthy body has made me realise how sluggish I used to feel. When I now get the occasional headache or weariness, it’s easier to pinpoint the reason for it, and then to fix it, where before I generally just felt ‘a bit shit’ all the time.

On another note, I have been taking anti-depressant medication for a number of years, primarily for anxiety issues. Having cut out fructose and processed foods, no longer being on the contraceptive pill (which with hindsight I realised significantly affected my moods), and feeling better than I have in years; I feel ready to look at trying to come off this medication too. Which is scary. But I figure, worst case scenario is that it doesn’t go well, and I go back on it.

The next post in this series will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the IQS 8 Week Program, including our thoughts on how it could be improved, from both my perspective and my husband’s. Then the final post will be three months after the program finished – so we can report back on our relationship with fructose once we have some distance from the program.

View #12: Our Review of the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program.
View all posts in the My Man Quits Sugar series.

5 Comments

  1. AmandaToombs says:

    Glad I came across this! We’ve just started trying to cut out the fructose (about 2 weeks now) but I have a slightly skeptical man who is suspicious every time I present him with his tea. Good to hear from someone else inthe sameboat – I may need your tips!

    • Erin says:

      Hahahaha I know completely how you feel. I started to win him over by making some of the IQS sweet treats and not telling him they were sugar-free until after he said he loved them πŸ˜‰

  2. AmandaToombs says:

    Hehe that is my method entirely – “I’m allowed bacon and cheese? And full fat milk??!” The years of depriving him of fats has made this transition much easier!

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