Here’s What Happened When I Gave Up Sugar For a Month

By Bridgette Macilwaine 

Here's What Happened When I Gave Up Sugar For a Month

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates

Here’s What Happened When I Gave Up Sugar For a Month

It has been 4 weeks since I decided to give up sugar 100%! And so I went on a complete detox of anything containing refined / added sugars. I’ve also decided to make anything I need or want to eat from scratch as much as possible. The benefits are amazing!

I will keep avoiding sugary and processed foods because they make me feel sleepy. When I feel lethargic, to me, it is the worst feeling in the world! Why? Because I enjoy exercising, cooking, walking, travelling, reading: so I need proper sources of energy to do all that!

I eat quite healthy. And yet I was shocked once I’ve realised how many foods and sauces in our home contained added sugar. I also underestimated the role of those “hidden sugars”. It dictated whether I was feeling tired or grumpy or happy… And so I decided cutting out sugar would be the best option.

Many people ask “but why would you do that”? The one thing that most people don’t understand is how incredible you feel when you stop eating rubbish, high sugary foods!

What Contains Added Sugar?

I am writing from my own experience, so remember that everyone’s body might react in a different way.

I have done a thorough research into different foods. And it’s unbelievable how many simple items we buy have added sugars! Next time you shop, have a look at the ingredients and see if it contains sugar. Some of those might be hidden as other names such as dextroseglucose, and fructose.

Most people don’t realize that they are consuming so much until it is pointed out to them. It’s fair to note that the only sugars I consume now are natural. Those sugars come from fruits and vegetables and a little honey with certain recipes. Most of what I make aims to be gluten and sugar-free.

Below is a list of foods with added sugars which I avoid. So instead I prepare my own at home. Have a peek at the recipes here: :

What Contains Added Sugar

  • Ketchup – easy and quick to blend all your own ingredients.
  • Salad dressings – very easy to blend your own in 5 minutes.
  • Some chips – find ones without sugar or bake your own in an oven
  • Cereal – healthy homemade cereal has much more flavour and variety.
  • Chocolate – simple to make and you can add nuts and fruits too.
  • Peanut butter – can buy 100% peanut butter (eg. Meridian)
  • Ready meals – many easy and quick recipes to make at home.
  • Flavoured coffees – add a dash of honey or cinnamon for flavour instead
  • Sausages and hamburgers – aim to eat pure meat (eg. pork chops, chicken, and steaks)
  • Ice cream – a variety of options and tastes much better homemade.
  • Bread – healthy, warm, fresh homemade bread is much more satisfying.
  • Cakes and cookie – endless options to try to suit your preferences.

4 Weeks Without Sugar … The Magic Happens!

1. I Have More Energy

I am more productive throughout the day as my body isn’t using all my energy to break down the wrong foods! And I have constant energy levels rather than the ups and downs of energy highs and slumps.

2. Easier to Wake Up in The Morning

As am not eating sugar-containing foods, and instead sticking to protein, vegetables and fruit, when I wake up I am awake and not sleepy and tired.

morning motivation

3. Happier and Less Irritated

To much sugar causes your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, as well your mood swings. So along with having cravings and getting tired you also get irritable and the result is that no sugar = happier me!

4. Better Looking Skin

better skin tips

Better skin? Yes, Please! My face is not as red, I don’t get as many larger spots and it’s clearer and smoother with a more even skin tone.

5. I Lost Weight

I was not planning on this, but it happened as I was eating healthier and I look much leaner and fitter now.

body quote

6. Appreciate the Taste of Real Food!

Appreciate the taste of real food!

Without fake sweetness in many foods, I am able to appreciate the flavours of fruits and vegetables much more.

7. No ZigZagging

I noticed that when I want to taste a friend’s dessert or have a sugary drink, I get a massive headache! And then within 15 minutes I feel sleepy and tired. It proves the negative impact of all the added sugars, sweeteners, and preservatives.

My Advice is Simple… 

Cutting sugars down / out – is something worth trying. It’s a step forward to better health, improved mental focus and enhanced energy levels. It is tough to begin and if you consume large amounts of sugary foods, start by cutting back rather than completely stopping. Why? Because that might be too hard to jump into and then end up having a few large binge days… Start with small steps.

Decide to try out a week, or two or a month sugar-free, then you have to completely commit mentally beforehand. The hardest thing is craving those bad foods because it has become a habit. Once you stop having sugar in your tea or high sugar cereal and sauces, then you begin to taste the delicious flavours of other things you are eating. The longer I avoid sugar the more delicious simple things become, such as carrots and grapes and even beans!

Obviously, it’s a bit more challenging when you go out for a meal or are away on holiday. Just choose sensibly, and if you really want to try the special for dessert, try splitting it between 4 of you, that way you can get a taste without overdoing the intake of sugar (your head and stomach will thank you for the next day).

Remember, even though you aim to stay healthy, don’t punish yourself if you want to cheat during celebrations of Christmas, birthdays, weddings and holidays.

There will be tempting sweet treats and sugary drinks. Just stop and think beforehand, is the pain and suffering of getting headaches, tired and moody the next day worth the flavour?!

Give a go to making your own foods such as baked goods. Start by using the ingredients you know and like such as nuts, fruits, coconut, lemon, carrots, honey and other healthy added bits. For more inspiration and ideas:

photo source