This is my second time cutting sugar out of my diet (I did it back in March/April and then went to Mexico and whoops), so I practically have a PhD in nutrition and psychology. Because learning. But I find myself Googling things like “normal side effects of no sugar” FREQUENTLY so in case you’re thinking about decreasing the sugar in your diet, I thought I’d write this really scientific and thorough post.
my tru luv
First, it’s gonna be hard, but not as hard as you think it is. The tiredness (we’ll get to that) is, for me, eleventy million times harder than the cravings. And I think the first day of cravings is the hardest – after a few days, you don’t want to “ruin” your progress, but in the first 24 hours it’s like.. if I eat sugar, so what, I’ll just start over tomorrow. DON’T DO IT. The cravings never really go away, in my experience, they just get easier. After about 3 weeks of being sugar-free in April, I had to attend a birthday party with the most amazing looking carrot cake and everyone KEPT OFFERING IT TO ME. I felt guilty more than anything – like who am I to say no to this luscious carrot cake – but honestly I didn’t really want it. If I’m really craving sugar, I’ll sometimes let myself have some fruit, but not every day and not more than 1 piece/serving.
Now let’s talk about how exhausted you’re going to be. Seriously. You might be able to get like, an hour of normal productivity if you drink a ton of coffee, but don’t expect that to last. I’m currently on day 7 and I am pretty much sleep typing. You’re going to feel like a cranky half-asleep zombie for probably at least a week, maybe two. Did you catch the part where I said cranky? Yeah, you’re gonna be pretty grumpy too. You have to remember that sugar acts like a drug to your crazy brain. It makes you HAPPY. It REWARDS you. And now you don’t have it. Your brain is MAD about it. It’s gonna take a little while for your brain to accept this and move on.
Headaches. You might get them. You might not. The first time I gave up sugar, I cut out coffee as well to reduce the chances of me f-ing up at Starbucks. I drank cup after cup after cup of green tea and ended up with awful headaches. This time around, I’ve kept the coffee and had no headaches. So.. keep consuming caffeine if you need it.
The most important thing is for you to eat enough food. I’ve had several days where I’m like ARGH THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE FOOD FOR ME TO EAT and then I end up scary dizzy and really crabby and on the verge of throwing up. Your body needs food. If all you have is a banana, EAT IT and fu¢k the sugar. Last week I ate a bunch of applesauce for dinner because I managed to back myself into that corner. I had other options, but I’d made myself so sick to my stomach by not eating that I would’ve rather puked than eat hard boiled eggs. Just don’t do what I do.
That’s pretty much it. Some of my co-workers are like “omg you’re so brave and strong” when I don’t eat sugar but it really isn’t that hard. Just plan ahead and be prepared to be really tired for awhile. Next food related topic: going low-carb. There will be tears.
Have you ever given up sugar? What was your experience like?
In case you’re sitting here going, “WHYYYYYY would anyone want to give up sugar!?” First, start reading labels – sugar is in A LOT of things it has no business being in. Then go read some of these articles about what sugar does to your body.