Saturday, 17 November 2012

Quitting sugar - two weeks down

It's now two weeks since I had my last serve of sugar.  At the recommendation of my doctor I am following the eight week program devised by Sarah Wilson.  I'm also reading David Gillespie's book, The Sweet Poison Quit Plan, which has lots of useful information about how to interpret food labels and understand what's what.

I have a sweet tooth and some bad habits have crept in - like the standard piece of white chocolate with my evening cup of tea.  I also am often fed by the clients I work with.  Generally the lunches include a selection of salads and sandwiches, so that's easy enough.  It's the morning and afternoon tea plates that are challenging - plates of fruit and plates of cakes and biscuits.  Fruit juice is standard and soft drinks are sometimes offered.  (During the detox phase, there's no fruit allowed and fruit juice is off the menu completely.)

During the week after a long day, I walked towards the train station.  It was after 6pm and I was feeling tired, hungry and generally strange.  I knew that I was feeling the symptoms of withdrawal.  My path home was flanked by all kinds of temptations and perhaps I would have stopped to have a smoothie from a juice bar.  I now shudder to think what I was actually ingesting.

I made it home without succumbing and made dinner as soon as I arrived.  It was healthy and satisfying.

Yesterday was another day of feeling flat with a dull headache and a sense of cotton wool wrapped around my head.  My skin is breaking out at the moment too - this could be down to the liquorice, fennel and spearmint tea I now have after meals to satisfy my craving to finish my meal with something sweet on my palate.

Trips to the supermarket take a lot longer now.  I've always spent most of my time in the fruit and vegetable section, but there's always the need to visit other aisles.  I'm now aware of the danger lurking in the breakfast cereal section.  Sauces are another danger zone.  I now no longer visit the confectionery aisle or the biscuit section.  The health food section was fascinating.  Even amongst the packages proclaiming "gluten free", "low fat", "suitable for people intolerant to lactose" sugar lurks.

I'm one quarter of my way through withdrawal.  Six weeks to go and so far, so good.  I'm very pleased that I've never taken sugar in my tea or coffee.  I'm also pleased at my decision to go cold turkey.  If I was to wean myself off sugar, I don't think I'd ever make it.  Rather than thinking of it as deprivation, I'm gathering knowledge and embracing the idea that sugar is poison in the quantities found in the modern diet - I'm not depriving myself, I'm boosting my health.

I've found some great organic sesame crackers which are sugar free and can be kept easily in my handbag for afternoon and morning tea.  And the avocados are sensational at the moment!  Great time of year to be doing this.

Have you quit sugar?  I'd love to hear your stories.


  1. I Quit sugar last Nov (2011). Loved the way I felt. I used the 30 days sugar free plan. In July we went to Vegas and I thought I was strong enough to handle some "sugar free" frozen yogurt. Just a tiny cup. I was wrong. The next night, I needed more. On the plane ride home I was buying candy bars (and crying as I at them). It started all over in the blink of an eye! Sugar has had me again for the last 4 months. I have all the nose issues again (which is why I stopped in the first place), 15 pounds are back, and I just feel like crap.
    I've been sugar free for 4 days now. I also have to go cold turkey. It's been hard. But, I did it once and I'll do it again. I'm not working out again yet. I want to put all my efforts in just the first few weeks of being sugar free. I feel like the weight came back on differently. I feel like it's the really "bad for you fat" now. It feel more dense.
    I'm 41, I'm trying to just accept that this is the way I need to eat for the rest of my life. I know what sugar, gluten and dairy do to me. I know how they make me feel. They are toxic to my body and mind.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story. All the best with staying sugar free! I think the mindset that sugar is addictive and that we need to think about the substance of our addiction the same way we would if it was alcohol we are addicted to - there is no such thing as "just a little bit".
    Well done on the first four days. Keep going!

  3. Congratulations! It take AMAZING willpower - that of which I do not possess. I'm cutting back as you know and limit my sugar to natural fruits (can't give up my apples) and 1 teaspoon in my coffee (can't give up the coffee either as it seems I'm addicted to caffeine). Giving up breads and other forms of sugar has been awesome though and I do feel so much better! Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Corenne! If you're interested in learning more and having the information to change your whole mindset when it comes to sugar I really recommend Sarah Wilson's ebook. The link to her site is in the post above. The other thing that I've learned is the difference between all the sugars. Fructose is the one to be aware of. Modern food is such a dilemma - it shouldn't be so hard to eat well!

  4. I would be amazed if I ever got to be sugar free, and I'm not really trying but I have had my eyes opened to the evils of frustose! I spend so much longer in the supermarket coz I need to read every label. It is insane that you have to become a super sleuth to avoid ingesting 'bad' ingredients. You'd think the govt. or health dept. would be on our side!
    I'm also trying to avoid coconut palm oil (in response to the horrors being perpetrated against wildlife and the environment in general)and it goes by about 40 different names on labels, ultimately in the hope of fooling people. People who care and wish to make thoughtful choices in the supermarkert, and elsewhere, certainly have a job on their (our) hands!