That Time I Quit Sugar

I love sugar. I am not exaggerating when I say I have dessert after every meal (yes, even breakfast). I don’t always eat a giant cupcake. Sometimes it’s half a donut, a small cookie, a couple of Peeps, or a piece of Dove chocolate, but it adds up throughout the day to a lot of crap. Of course, when I eat a lot of desserts, I “make up for it” by eating the lowest calorie, lowest carb, highest protein meal I can find. So the “real” food I eat can be minimal. (It can also be a lot, let’s get real. I’m no skinny minnie.)

I’ve been hearing a lot of stories lately of people quitting sugar and losing weight. Quitting sugar sounds terrible, but sheer morbid curiosity made me look up how much sugar I eat on a daily basis.

Im-Shocked-gif

It was 400-500 calories a day. For those not counting, that is 1/3 of my daily food. I can’t decide if that’s sad or impressive.

I don’t talk about my weight a lot on the blog but I’ve been trying to lose 10 lbs…for three years. I’ve only gained weight so obviously I’ve been pretty committed to reaching that goal.

psych

So I decided to quit sugar because what the hell.

sugar

I love that that gif exists.

Besides being curious to see if I could last more than two days, I wanted to see what would happen other than my likelihood of committing murder increasing. The plan: cut all desserts (not all sugar) except for one a week. I still eat fruit, peanut butter, and sauces with sugar, like ketchup. Cutting 500 calories of sugar a day means I need to eat more regular food to make up for it, so I’m also eating bigger meals.

It’s been 18 days, so here’s how it’s going so far:

Day 1:
I didn’t want sugar all day until after dinner and then I wanted it like whoah. I ate half an apple. It was meh. Apples are not ice cream sandwiches, which is what I would have had.

Day 2:
I wanted something sweet all. damn. day. I went to the grocery store during my lunch break at work to buy some blueberries for something sweet. I ate them and pretended they were blueberry donuts. It didn’t work and the whole day sucked.

Day 3:
I didn’t crave anything all day at work. After dinner, I wanted something sweet. Hubs ate ice cream and I asked for a bite and then caught myself. He laughed because I couldn’t eat all his ice cream. (Psh, like I would do that.) After Crossfit, I made a chocolate protein smoothie with half a banana and that helped my sweet tooth.

Day 4:
Again, no cravings in the morning. Although, I have taken a liking to Diet Snapple and all its aspartamey goodness. It was Michelle‘s birthday, so we stopped for 4 Rivers gourmet cupcakes after her birthday lunch. I shared one. It was delicious, but I didn’t feel like I needed it and kinda wish I had waited till later in the week when I really wanted something. Later that night, I wanted something sweet again but watched hubs eat ice cream instead which was just as good. (No it wasn’t.)

Day 5:
Today I’m down 1.5 lbs. I’m not sure I attribute that to no sugar. Usually I gain weight on the weekend and lose it during the week, however I usually work out more so it was surprising. I skipped both my weekly runs and both of my Crossfit workouts were really easy in comparison to usual. Still craving sweets in the evening.

Day 6:
There are times throughout the day when I want sweets, but I usually ask myself if I’m hungry or if I just think it will taste good. Usually it’s the later which made me realize how much I eat when I’m not hungry. Went out for drinks which took my mind off sweets. Ahh booze. You do amazing things.

Day 7 – 10:
Again, I always want sweets in the evening. I tell myself that after my workout, I can have a chocolate/banana protein shake. When it comes time to actually have the shake, I usually don’t want it anymore or am too lazy to make it. Lazy finally pays off.

Day 11:
The first day I didn’t want dessert. All hail day 11!

Day 12:
That didn’t last long. I wanted dessert all day. Instead I had a sandwich.

Sp

Day 13 – 18: Ok, I got a little tired of writing down how I was feeling each day but during these days, I was finally noticing I wanted sweets less. I didn’t have my one dessert during week two because I didn’t feel like anything was worth it. I did have three sips of hub’s vanilla shake if you want to count that.

A few changes I’ve noticed:

  • I eat what I want now. I order the cheeseburger or rice bowl on the menu (instead of the salad) and I’ve had pizza at midnight on both weekends.
  • I don’t feel guilty about anything I eat.
  • I stopped watching carbs but most days they are around the same grams per day as when I was watching them.
  • I’m down about 5 lbs and I notice a few of my skirts fit more loosely.
  • I’m in a better mood. It’s weird. I pride myself on being bitchy. ;-)
  • I feel really good. I don’t want to kill kittens in the morning when I wake up and I don’t have those dips of being really tired at work.

My goal is to make it 30 days and see how I feel after that. I don’t plan to cut all sugar from my diet so maybe next I’ll work on that Diet Coke habit that just got worse when I quit sugar. Can’t win ‘em all.

Have you ever quit sugar? How long do you think I can last? (Don’t answer that.)

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Comments

  1. Heather F says

    I’ve never been more than a couple weeks without an actual dessert. I’m impressed with your self control (I need to get me some of that). You can do it!!!!

  2. Nicole says

    Sounds like you’ve got this in the bag — you’re almost to that “21 days makes a habit” thing, and by 2 weeks you’re (probably?) over the detox hump?

    Personally, this sounds like a form of torture akin to waterboarding. I’ve also been trying to lose the “last 10 lbs” for about 3 years now, and I think I just need to realize that I’ve come to accept myself where I am (also no skinny minnie) because it means I can do all the physical things I want to do while enjoying basically everything on the dessert table from time to time.

    Good luck! 5lbs is sweet!

    • Paula says

      Oh I forgot about the 21 days makes a habit thing! It is getting easier to say no, I have to say. Which is a big change from my never saying no previously. :)

  3. Stefanie says

    Internet high five. You are a strong woman! I don’t have too much of a problem with sweets, unless it’s ‘that time’ of the month. Blech. I am all about the salty snacks. I live for Cheezits and chips. All chips.

  4. Lindsey @ Happy or Hungry says

    Damn, that’s awesome. I wish I could just cut out all the sugar and have all those benefits, but reading about the amount of sugar you were eating (prior to quitting sugar) makes me feel like I don’t really eat much sugar at all (except fruit and when it’s in things like sauces…sneaky). You can do it Paula! You can definitely go 30 days at least!

    I ate deep fried pop tarts, deep fried Oreos, poutine, Taco in a Doritos bag, etc. etc. at the Calgary Stampede though. I was not feeling great upon my return and so for what might actually be the first time in my life I have cut down on carbs. No white carbs at all. Well, not yesterday ’cause it was my Nana’s birthday. And not today because I have leftover perogies from that. And probably not Saturday because I’m going camping. So I guess just no white carbs for 3 days… Possibly next week too but let’s not get too excited.

    • Paula says

      Deep – fried pop tarts sound amazing.

      Do you eat a lot of bread? I feel like my bread consumption has tripled since no sugar but I like rye and pumpernickle. I don’t want to know if those are bad for you.

  5. Sarah says

    I eat sugar with every meal too. I can’t imagine giving it up…what would i eat to replace all those calories?! Good luck!

  6. Zenaida Arroyo says

    That is great Paula! You are strong and determined and will see this to the end.

    I don’t usually crave sweets (except chocolate) but I am more of a salty snacker. Potato chips, popcorn, etc, please come my way.

  7. Terri says

    Yay!!! I’m so proud of you! You know my story and I swear to God the first 2 weeks were the hardest! I was dreaming about eating sugary/carb things but then they stopped. I powered it through to 33 days and then had my cheat day and I didn’t even really eat that much sugar because it was all just too much! I’m on Day 7 of no sweets again — going to Aug 6th until another cheat day and I feel fantastic! It get’s easier you just have to keep being committed. If I can freaking do it so can you! Also, I’ve noticed that things taste SO MUCH sweeter if you limit how often you eat them which can be nice.

    Give up that soda!! Do what I did and go read all the horror stories of what it does inside your body and maybe that will hep you quit. I’m almost to my no soda YEAR mark! I’ll take a swig of my husbands every now and then but now it just tastes terrible to me! I’m all about the water and unsweetened tea. I’m currently obsessed with Pineapple water right now too – a few chunks of pineapple in my cup of water and I get a yummy summer flavor boost and a sweet treat at the end when I eat the pineapple. I also do believe it’s harder to give up sugar when you drink/eat the fake stuff like they say because it really did keep me craving sugar. I don’t crave it anymore…like seriously. It’s the weirdest thing I have ever experienced in my life because lord knows my favorite past time was eating raw cookie dough and ice cream. (I do still realllllly like ice cream — Cold Stone is happening Aug 6th.)

    • Paula says

      Horror stories do not deter me for some reason. I watched Super Size Me and got nuggets afterwards. But I swear I’ll cut down! Soon…ish. :)

  8. Colorado Gal says

    I can sympathize! I actually just started something similar only I’m on nothing processed which basically eliminates lots of grain, dairy and sugars. Checking it out for a variety of reasons, but sugar is always my beast….and it’s not easy. But you’re right– once you decide you can’t have it, it’s amazing how much the craving just goes away.

    • Paula says

      I’d love to go non-processed but it’s hard unless you cook, which I don’t. You’ll have to let me know how that goes!

  9. Laura says

    I recently did a 10 day sugar ‘fast’. I don’t know why they call it a fast, cause the days creeeeped by! I am also a sugar-holic. Your eating habits sound just like mine. I don’t like diet soda, so I had to give it up my cherry-lemon Sundrops totally, which was hard for the first few days. I made it the whole ten days and lost 6 pounds.
    Unfortunately, I started right back with my rotten eating habits. I’ve gained 3 pounds back. I’m trying to cut the sugar again, but it seems harder this time. I practically wept tears of joy this afternoon when I found a candy cane left over from this past Christmas. It was gooood.
    Good luck!

  10. Ali says

    I’m so impressed with you! I have never cut out sugar but I think about doing it all the time bc I eat so much! Except I am pregnant right now so there is NO way I could cut out dessert. That would be torture. Could be a “fun” post pregnancy experiment though. Good for you!

  11. Amy says

    I get what you mean about being more selective of the desserts that you do allow yourself to eat now. I’ve cut down on eating out, and when I finally decide I do want someone else to cook for me, I skip the junky stuff I used to go for on a regular basis. That stuff isn’t even that good to begin with – I’m just lazy!

  12. kathleen says

    I am impressed you’ve lasted this long!

    After Christmas this past year, I was feeling fat and sluggish and yuck (standard post holiday feeling), plus my insides were bothering me (again), so I decided I was going to cut some love out of my life to figure out the problem.

    I started eating the Paleo way… which basically means you can eat veggies (no beans), eggs, meat , nuts (no peanuts) and a limited spattering of fruit and dark chocolate and wine thank God. The first week I wanted to cut out my stomach. I was hungry allllllll the time…. plus I wanted candy, cookies, cereal…basically anything with sugar. After the first week it got a lot a lot a lot easier. I would eat frozen bananas with a little almond butter as dessert (doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it’s fantastic), and I was finally getting used to not running to the pantry for snacks. Plus, that glass of wine you can have becomes a real treat at the end of the day. I actually kept it up for about 2 months, and although I didn’t lose weight (wasn’t trying to), i felt lighter in my boots so to speak. I also found out I should never eat beans again— helloooooooo trigger food. Then I got knocked up and all hell broke loose, but for the time I was Paleo-ing, I felt great.

    Oh, disclaimer– I gave myself a cheat day once a week so I could eat my beloved pizza and pound beers. And eat Greek yogurt with milk chocolate chips.

  13. Alyssa says

    Yeah this is late but I am super impressed! If I were you I would have to leave the room while my husband ate ice cream. The longest I’ve gone is like 5 or 6 weeks without desserts and 32 days without any sugar period on Whole30. I found I couldn’t substitute fruit for sugar until well into, otherwise I remembered all too well what real desserts tasted like and it was just pathetic. Great job, you’re almost there!
    Alyssa recently posted..A new #fitfetus workoutMy Profile

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