Last Friday I committed that for the next 30 days I would not eat any refined sugar.
I committed that I would give you a follow up each week for the next 4 weeks to share my progress with you, in the hope that I can lend some encouragement and inspiration to you if you also are addicted to sugar.
You can read the full details of my experiment that I outlined a week ago, however a very brief rundown is that besides refined sugar, I also stated that I would eliminate “sugar-free” gum and protein bars, since both contain sugar alcohols. I also stated that I would be using Splenda in moderation.
Listed below are both the positives and the negatives of my past week of living without refined sugar or sugar alcohols.
- Once I got past the first 2 days, I did not have any cravings for sugar at all. As of my writing of this post, I still am not craving sugar (amazing, huh?).
- Declaring my experiment last Friday saved me from a downturn last weekend. I felt that if I did not start my experiment at that time, then I might falter over the weekend. Therefore, it was very positive that I did so.
- My stomach is flatter since it is no longer bloated.
- I have much more energy, which I have needed since I have been extremely busy this past week.
- I have more motivation to exercise, which I attribute to the lack of blood sugar spikes and drops that used to deplete my energy, and sap my motivation.
- I have renewed enthusiasm for my weight loss program and I feel much more confident of reaching my goal. This is because I am not being distracted by thoughts of “just a little bit won’t hurt”. I don’t have the desire to have just a little taste.
- I finally let go of 99% of a cold that I’ve had for over a month. Eating sugar leads to an acid balance in your body that makes you more susceptible to illness (more on that in a future topic). Therefore, by not eating it I allowed my body to heal.
- I have lost a couple pounds and some inches. While that is not a lot, I tend to lose weight at a moderate pace as it is. Personally, I would rather focus on how my clothes fit, anyway. I refuse to be chained to a scale. 😉
Note that I listed this positive last. I feel that losing weight is a side benefit, even though it is one of my goals. I am very happy to move away from being obsessed with food, which I am when I eat foods containing sugar.
- I had an intense amount of anxiety last Friday evening since I had publicly declared my ban on sugar for the next 30 days.
- I initially regretted my decision to begin my experiment since after I did so, I began to think that maybe I would be making the process of kicking sugar harder (by putting added pressure on myself).
- My declaration of my experiment brought up the desire to emotionally eat last Friday night. While I did not give in and stayed true to my commitment, it was a difficult time (I wrote in a journal instead).
As you can see, I gained many more positives than negatives.
If you would like even more details, you are welcome to read the agony and the ecstasy of my first week of banning refined sugar below:
- Friday evening, I could not believe that I had made this public declaration. I had a terrible time because I had no way out. I could not indulge in eating junk to relieve my anxiety over the decision I had made since I committed that I would not. I also no longer had the option of leaning on my sugarless gum or protein bars.
I proceeded to journal my anxious thoughts instead of turning to food. It was not easy, however I kept thinking that if I could be an example for even one person who may also want to get off sugar (and live! 😉 ), then I could contribute positively in some way.
I also needed this extra push for my own personal benefit as I mentioned in my previous post. I could use this as an extreme motivator to get away from the sugar and prove that by eliminating not only the refined sugar, but also the sugar alcohols, that I (hopefully) would not experience cravings for more sugar.
- By Saturday afternoon I was feeling much better and was no longer regretting my decision to publicly declare my ban on refined sugar. I actually saved myself that weekend because I know that if I had not declared my experiment publicly, that Friday evening I may have (likely) given in to cravings. Not necessarily in an overt way, but I had been having problems getting back on track 100% since my return from my trip overseas a month ago (when I did eat sugar).
- The rest of the week was rather uneventful as I didn’t have any sugar cravings. I continued to exercise, and I was very busy this week. Perhaps being busy helped, but either way, I did not go through mood swings or the ups and downs that I do when I’m on sugar. Even when I’ve been off sugar (since I have done this before), as long as I still chewed the sugarless gum and ate protein bars, I experienced cravings for sugar.
I mentioned this in my experiment guidelines that I set for myself, however I’d like to remind you that besides eliminating sugar, I also have not been eating dairy. Wheat has also not been a part of my diet since refined flour is another addictive ingredient. Additionally, I have been doing both my cardio (fast paced walking in my target heart rate zone), and strength training exercises.
Each of these factors combined may greatly influence my experiment, which is why I wish to clarify them again. If you kick sugar but are also addicted to flour (refined flour actually converts to sugar in your body) and continue to eat bread (99% of store bought bread has either sugar or high fructose corn syrup in it anyway, so it couldn’t be included), you will likely still experience food cravings.
Overall, I am highly pleased with my first week of banning refined sugar. My experiment is benefiting me, and I hope to benefit you by sharing my results.
You results may be different than mine, however based on the research I have done, coupled with my own personal experience, I cannot see any negative health risk that you could receive from eliminating sugar from your diet. I am not a doctor though, and it is always recommended that you consult your doctor before changing your diet or exercise plan.
If you would like to know if you are addicted to sugar, you could take this test. For more information on sugar, the #1 book I recommend is Sugar Blues, by William Dufty. It is an excellent read.
Read my experiment guidelines and my updates: