The No Dessert Challenge

April 22, 2015 Leave your thoughts

Nicole & Tim’s April Eating Experimentation2

I completely forgot to update you on my eating plans for April. Don’t worry about trying to join me because this month sucks and you would probably hate it too! I suggest you save yourself the torture, but I’ll leave that in your court. There’s still over a week left.

Based on feedback from some of you, Tim and I briefly considered cutting out sugar in April. While we will consider a sugar-free month later in the year (I am thinking of the ultimate challenge – Halloween month!), we decided we weren’t ready, especially since we had one trip on the docket that we wanted to fully enjoy – Tim’s induction into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in Boston. We knew they’d be serving dessert and it gave us an excuse to put off the impending no-sugar torture for a while longer.

So we decided to modify the No-Sugar approach and change it to No-Dessert. Here are the rules: We have to eat dinner a minimum of three hours before bedtime and we can’t eat anything afterward.

It has been the most torturous month I can remember. I think the problem is that we’re actually breaking a lifelong habit. I can’t remember a period of more than a few days (other than when I’ve been extremely sick – minor illnesses don’t count) when I haven’t nibbled after dinner. Many days we actually gorge on dessert. Ice cream, chocolate, cookies, pie, cake, you name it. Whatever sweet-somethings we had in the house, we would break out and eat.

The first night was a shock. We made it even harder by doing a lighter dinner. After the last bite, we realized we were in trouble. No more food for hours? How would we survive?

So like most industrious food-lovers, I learned to cheat within my rules. I bought chocolate and stashed it in my office. I started eating my dessert during the day. As the month dragged on, I also increased the size of my dinners, knowing I would be miserable an hour later. I also spent about $50 on decaf tea and coffee. A little extra milk in my tea at 9pm isn’t a rule-breaker.

Finally, about halfway through the month, Tim said, “I think this eating philosophy could work if you get a cheat day once a week.” To that I said, “Hell yes!” So after two weeks we added a cheat night. The sad part is that it was sort of a letdown, didn’t taste as good as we hoped, and we went to bed annoyed.

So in other words, this month sucks, but it’s also helped us see how ingrained our dessert-eating had become. In May, I may consider an amended approach, to include “healthy dessert” like fruit and yogurt. I’ll keep you posted and in the meantime, I would love some healthy dessert suggestions so I can transition off the pain-train into something more manageable and enjoyable. Let me know what works for you!

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