Well, I am still alive after living an entire 4 weeks without refined sugar, sugar alcohols, any corn sugars, or foods that are high in natural sugar. I did not lose my grip on reality, or succumb to madness. 🙂
I know, this might sound funny, but giving up sugar can bring up fear in the hearts of the strong. I used to think that I could not possibly live without it, and that life would just be too boring.
Instead, I have been experiencing the amazing absence of sugar cravings and food obsessions, and life in general is much more peaceful.
I have found that food shopping isn’t as bad now, where before when I had not cut out all processed sugars, I would want to buy every sweet in the store that I saw. I wouldn’t buy them, but it was a real struggle. I always felt like I was missing out.
I will still have to take this day by day, and I know that if I eat sugar again that I will be right back where I started. In my opinion, it just isn’t worth it to do that. While I am concerned about the major holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, the problem is that if I eat sugar then, once those holidays are long past I will likely still be stuck in sugar land!
I had this experience a couple of years ago: I had been sugar free for months, and then on the day after Christmas, I gave in and ate some desserts. It took me an entire year to regain “control” over my eating after that, and I ended up gaining approximately 30 pounds (a lot for my frame).
You see, I just don’t have the control to moderate what I eat when I am eating sugar. When I eat food that contains it, I end up overeating on it and always want more sugar and processed food later. I gain weight, I get irritable, my body swells up and actually hurts, and I become obsessed with food. I used to have dreams about food when I was still eating even small amounts of sugar!
Over the past week, I have not had any sugar cravings. I notice that the times that I am out for social occasions are the times that I have thoughts come up of wanting something “different”. For instance, I wanted some popcorn when I was out on Sunday (I didn’t have any, I’m not eating corn or salt right now). When I go shopping, I also do have some thoughts of this or that (food that I don’t eat now), however like I mentioned above, I’m not craving it and I bypass it easily.
I still have to watch myself and ensure that I do not get overly hungry, because if I do, I want to eat anything that is within reach. This is a good reason to not keep junk food in the house! 😉 Even then though, I cannot say that I am craving sugar; I just want to eat anything that looks good, and sometimes those foods do contain sugar. What I do though, is eat a whole, healthy meal, and then the feeling passes.
I hope that my experiment has helped you see that if you also want to get off sugar, the whole world doesn’t end. 🙂 You will need to push through the first 2 or 3 days, but if you remain steadfast, then you will come out on the other side.
Please remember though, if you haven’t read my “experiment rules” yet, that I not only cut out all sugar, sugar alcohols, and foods high in natural sugar (i.e.: raisins, oranges, Larabars), but also dairy, wheat, and unhealthy fats. Additionally, I have been exercising regularly and drinking between 100 and 120 oz. of water each day.
All of these factors could have a bearing on my results and it is important that I point them out like I have. I do think though, that if you give up just sugar, that you will see miraculous changes in both your physical and your mental health.
I will continue on sugar free. I had thought about continuing my updates for another 4 weeks just to make sure that I would stick to my sugar free lifestyle, but I believe that I have experienced the major physical, emotional, and psychological changes already in the past 4 weeks, and my further weekly updates would not be very different. As it is, the first 2 weeks I included day-by-day details, and weeks 3 and 4 I have not because I didn’t experience many variations each day like I did in the beginning.
I am very happy that I conducted this experiment, even though I immediately regretted it once I published my commitment to it 30 days ago. That was my sugar addiction talking, and now I have another weekend to look forward to that does not include eating everything sugary or processed in site. Thank you for following along with me. 😀
Update, 6/03/07 – when I wrote this update on Friday, 6/01, I forgot to mention that I have continued to experience all of the positive side effects of staying off sugar that I have reported in my previous updates, along with the fact that I dropped another 3 pounds since last Friday’s (week three) update.
The fact that I forgot to mention the weight loss is interesting because I truly have been focused on health and getting off of the sugar, more than on weight loss itself. At the same time, a main component of this blog is my writing about weight loss, and clearly by eliminating sugar, which in turn eliminates sugar cravings and binging (at least for me it did), I lost weight because I haven’t been overeating.
Read my experiment guidelines and my updates: