Powell Performance - Ben Romann; No Sugar/No Dairy Diet

No Sugar/No Dairy Diet: Ben Romann LMT

There are a lot of different schools of thought regarding diet.  There is research being done as we write this, and as you read it. There are scholarly articles being published about the effects of different diets on your health all the time.  Everyone’s body works differently, and while there are commonalities with a new diet, each person will have different experiences with each operating optimally with different macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates, fat) ratios.  

We recommend experimental with foods, diets and intake. Introducing or removing different foods to see how they affect our athletic performance, mood, body composition and GI health is extremely important.  One of our clients, Ben Romann did just that with our expertise and guidance and saw some amazing results. He decided he was going to remove foods from his diet, for him sugar and dairy specifically, using what we call an elimination diet. Ben was pleasantly surprised with his results and contacted us saying; “I lost seven pounds... and felt so good that I decided to continue the no sugar no dairy and I see no reason to go back” While everyone might not have the exact experience that Ben had, or be as successful as he has been with sticking to his diet, we should all strive for the relationship with food that makes us feel satisfied; like we are making positive choices to improve our health. Constantly feeling restricted never works long term. It can often feel like we have to lock our cabinets and refuse every piece of food that offered us for fear of sending us into a binging episode.  The goal is to find a happy balance of foods that provide our body with the nutrients necessary to operate optimally, while satisfying our senses with sights, sounds, tastes and smells.

Read Ben’s responses to our PP interview below, regarding his diet, and notice how happy he is with his decisions and changes.  From the outside, this diet would seem impossible to maintain, but despite a busy schedule and family responsibility, including two children, Ben makes it work;

  •  What was the inspiration for trying out this diet specifically?

  • Firstly, I have a severe sugar problem, so much so that I contemplated going to overeaters anonymous meetings to help with some inspiration. I had/have a true addiction. 

    Secondly, I went to a wellness retreat in CA where there was no sugar or dairy eaten at the event. The crazy thing was that I didn’t crave sugar while I was there. I think there were a couple of reasons for that, the most important was the food we ate at the retreat. The food was so diverse in flavors and colors and textures that I think my body was so satiated that I didn’t have sugar cravings. Another reason was that they did have some organic liquid stevia that we put in our coffee which gave a good little sweet bump. Each day was very busy and filled with different events such as meditation, workouts and group interaction. 

    I lost seven pounds at this retreat and felt so good that I decided to continue the no sugar no dairy and I see no reason to go back. 

  • What was the most difficult item to give up at first, and did you do anything specific to combat cravings for that food

  • I went cold turkey and previously I had eaten everything and anything sweet so I did have twinges of cravings for a couple weeks. We had learned a coconut granola bar recipe that was no sugar and no dairy but had a small amount of honey in it. A small portion of this bar was so decadent after giving up sugar I would have a little a couple times a week. 

    I also changed my cooking after the retreat to be more diverse within each meal and found that I was more satisfied and not craving sugar. 

  • How much of a difference in your food prep habits has this caused?
  • This hasn’t caused much impact to my food prep because I didn’t prep food with sugar in it. I don’t eat cheese anymore so I did have to omit that from food prep. But I found adding an avocado mayonnaise to sandwiches and other herbs and seasonings to things more than adequately made up for the lack of cheese. 

  • Do you feel like its affected your mood/energy levels/overall body image?
  • I have lost 31 lbs to date in four months. I have more energy because I don’t crash in the afternoons and all my old clothes fit again. I was 206lbs when I went to the retreat. 

    I am more confident because I feel better about my body image. My relationship with my wife is always better when I am in shape because I’m more confident and she can feel it. 

  • How different are your trips to the grocery store and where do you shop?

  • I shop at Costco, stop and shop and Amazon mostly. Shopping trips have become much more vegetable heavy. We stock up on meat to freeze but don’t eat very much meat. I eat only small meat portions and my wife only eats meat with one meal a day. 

    I always bought and cooked healthy food but we used cheese a lot and I would ruin my meals with sweets afterwards. 

    Cheese and desserts for my family last way longer in our house now. 

  • Have your kids tried a lot of the foods that you’ve started making?

  • My wife eats like me when I cook but she has not given up on sugar and dairy as she does not have a problem with sugar. Other than cheese we don’t use a lot of dairy in our house and even that is being consumed less. 

    My kids are making their way. The baby eats pretty healthy and my 11 year old is actually trying new things and finding that he likes them. I don’t force my family to eat as I do. 

    A side note that bears including. I lost at least 20 pounds in the first two months just changing the diet and exercising for health and not fitness. My wife has always weighed about 106-116 give or take and after the baby she still did although different body composition. I did not try to change anything about her because I love her, however, my weight loss inspired her to want to also improve, so she started working out five days a week using an 11 minute workout I gave her; and she changed her body composition within two months with some small diet tweaks and those workouts. The point here is to work on yourself and the people in your life will change if they see you leading by example but if you try to force them to change they usually won’t. 

    That is all, I have spoken. Haha.

    With all of the different routes that we can take toward achieving our weight loss goals, there are some that promote short term weight loss via ineffective strategies.  To create a long-term change in your life, you need to implement lifestyle changes to promote your continued success in healthy eating.

    Huge Shoutout to Ben Romann LMT for providing some awesome insight into his health journey.  If you're from the central CT area, schedule a massage with Ben using his email address; Benjamin_romann@yahoo.com, and/or follow him on Instagram @benromann!

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