From mid-October through January I went without eating any added sugars. That includes cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, splenda, aspartame, and any kind of added sweetener except for fruit or pure fruit juice. I was fairly strict but I also ate at restaurants so there is no way I can be sure that I ate absolutely no added sugar throughout the 100 days. Regardless, I did my best, and I thought it was worth blogging about.
My sugar-free health kick started with the Whole30. A big part of why I wanted to do the Whole30 was to try to kick my sweet tooth. I have an out of control sweet tooth. It’s bad. And it also feels even worse in comparison to Lars. I live with someone who eats two bites of a candy bar and can save the rest for a month. My self control is not quite so strong.
I know I am addicted to sugar. The kind of sugar cravings I get are intense. I used sugar for energy. You know how people drink a ton of caffeine during finals so they can concentrate? I would eat more candy. It is such an unhealthy habit and addiction.
When we finished the 30 days of the Whole30, I felt like my sugar addiction hadn’t decreased. I continued the Whole30 for another 15 days. Still didn’t feel like I kicked it. Inspired by my future mother-in-law, I decided I could go a full 100 days without sugar.
I know how bad sugar is for you. All the latest nutritional research is finding that fats (saturated fats included) are not the culprit contributing to rising obesity rates and heart disease. Ever since the low-fat craze our health has been getting worse. And you know what is increasing in our diets? Sugars. Sugars have replaced fats in all the low-fat foods that we are told are healthy. The chance of dying from heart disease increases with proportion of added sugars in your diet, regardless of whether the rest of your diet is healthy.
I don’t know if that scares you, but it scares me. It scared me enough to try 100 days without sugar. And it was so worth it.
So here are my thoughts on going 100 days without sugar:
- I picked the worst time ever. My 100 days included Thanksgiving, Hannukkah, Christmas, and my birthday/ New Years Eve. But the fact that I made it through all those days makes me super proud.
- My days felt a lot more even. I was taking less naps.
- I have more self control than I realize. My sugar cravings got smaller and less intense but didn’t go away.
- Do you know how hard it is to bake and not lick food off your hands? I do!
- Do you know how hard it is to carry leftover wedding cake and then not lick frosting off your hands? I do!
- I think my migraines decreased, but it’s really hard to say. I should keep better track of them.
- Eliminating sugar effectively limits processed foods. Can you find any processed foods without sugar in them? It’s next to impossible.
- My skin got way better. Who knew that sugar affected my skin so much? Or maybe it is something like preservatives in processed foods. Who knows.
- Man I am glad to not be eating processed foods. But I do miss the convenience of the occasional frozen meal.
- Do you know how sugary most breakfast foods are???
- I lost about 15 pounds in the 100 days (and I’ve since gained back 4)
- Thank goodness I gave up sugar during honeycrisp season. They’re seriously the best tasting thing ever.
- I’ve read that people who go for a long time without sugar think that sugary desserts taste too sweet later. This was not the case for me. I don’t know that my body has a “too sweet” setting. Something I’m missing, I guess.
- 100 days did not kill my sweet tooth or addiction. The second I had one bite of sugar when I was allowing it back in my diet I needed more.
- I did have a small binge after allowing sugar back into my diet. Now my sugar intake is lower than before I started, but still higher than I want it to be.
What was so crazy to me was that 100 days did not kick my sweet tooth. As soon as I had a bite of a chocolate on day 101, I had to have 3 more. Then ice cream that night. It was bad. So unfortunately, I didn’t meet my goal, but I feel like I learned a lot.
So now that I’m thinking back, I feel like it might be time to do another 100 days without sugar. It was so good for me. I still get pretty bad sugar cravings, usually right about mid-day. I want to have a healthy heart and live a long life, so it would be worth the sacrifice.
What do you think? Should I do another 100?