Sugar Free for A Month: My Crazy Experiment

Watching “That Sugar Film” and reading up on the harmful effects of sugar disgusted me enough to try something that may sound crazy:

I decided to quit sugar for one month.

I wanted to see if I could do it and how I would feel. I knew it would be hard—sugar is highly addictive. In fact, it has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine in lab rats. It’s also hidden in pretty much everything, so it is actually quite difficult to avoid.

The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons for females and 9 teaspoons for males of added sugar per day, and the average American consumes 22 teaspoons daily! Even though I try to eat pretty healthy, I realized that I was still consuming more sugar than I thought.

I decided to go cold turkey and to avoid all forms of sugar…including sugar substitutes, “natural” sugars, and even fruits. I wanted to give myself a break from that sweet taste temporarily.

After a month of doing this, here’s what I realized:

  1. Once I got used to not eating sugar, I actually lost the craving for it! And trust me, I have a sweet tooth. Now, when I eat something with sugar in it, I am much more sensitive to it and tolerate a lot less.

  2. Gradually cutting down on sugar over time before going cold turkey helps. If I hadn’t done that, I would have been going through a lot more withdrawal.

  3. It’s crucial to keep lots of healthy snacks handy (my favorite snacks are nuts and avocados). Literally bring it with you wherever you go!

  4. In order to eliminate sugar from your diet, you have to eliminate processed foods.

But my biggest realization is in how I felt: calmer, more energetic, and my mind felt clearer. I also lost weight despite eating lots of good quality fats daily (I actually was trying NOT to lose weight during this trial).

You don’t have to do the crazy, drastic experiment I did, but I definitely think it’s helpful to take a serious look at our daily sugar intake and all of the “hidden” sugars we consume. Cutting down in any capacity will still go a long way towards your overall health.

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