You either read the title of this post thinking “wow, that’s crazy” or “you should have done that a while ago”. I agree with both sentiments. As you can tell by now, I recently went on a 30-day sugar fast. I decided to do this after reading blogger babe, Shloka’s article where she talked about her experience with the sugar-free diet. Afterward, I went into a google dive looking up other people’s experiences, benefits of the fast and more importantly, what exactly are we giving up for the 30-days.
I definitely have a super sweet tooth as I like to have dessert (doesn’t have to be fancy, just anything sweet) after almost every meal. I’d typically have cake, ice cream or chocolate a few times a week which I know is quite unhealthy. Also being the science geek I am, I’ve always worried about diabetes. So in the spirit of developing a healthier eating habit, my friend and I decided to take on this 30-day challenge.
What I couldn’t eat:
There are different variations of the sugar-free diet but for mine, I decided to quit all refined-sugar cold turkey. This meant no white bread, white rice, white pasta, white potatoes (because of its high start content), no candy/sweets, no processed food containing any form of sugar as an ingredient. Therefore things like chips, cookies, mayonnaise, salad dressings, bacon, most kinds of whole wheat bread, juices, most canned foods, etc, were off limits. yikes!
What I ate:
For the month, I lived on sweet potatoes, plantains, beans, veggie pasta, couscous, steamed veggies and protein as usual (meats, chicken, turkey, eggs).
I had to get creative with snacks as that’s where the greatest temptation lies. I discovered rice cakes! (yum). I ate a lot of rice cakes (made out of brown rice with no sugar added), with natural peanut butter (sugar-free- only ingredient is peanuts) and bananas or apples. I also had plain yogurt with frozen mangoes, pineapple or grapes for dessert. Baby carrots and roasted red pepper hummus was another fave.
How did it go?
Week one started with a bang! I was completely focused and greatly motivated to avoid all sugar. It was fairly easy to pass up treats as I had meal prepped for the week and made sure I had lots of snacks to get me through long work days. I didn’t miss sugar very much this week until the weekend when my sister had her birthday dinner at a Thai restaurant and all I could have was steamed veggies and roasted pork tenderloin (yhep, no curry or noodles).
As you may have guessed, week 2 was when the cravings hit, big time. From getting free carrot cake offered to me at work to having chocolate cake at bible study and going to an event with a beautiful dessert spread, the temptation was just on . It was torture but I was still fairly driven to hang in there. I ate a lot more fruits to offset some of the cravings and tried to keep busy.
This was an emotional roller coaster of a week. I went from being motivated to being annoyed at myself for getting into this in the first place lol. I had an intense sushi craving which I gave in to (because I can’t come and kill myself). It didn’t help that the sushi tasted sooo good as it ended up being a permanent craving that lingered ever so persistently. As we are on the topic of cheating, I also gave in to a yummy temptation in the form of carrot cake. Surprisingly, it tasted waaaay too sweet and gave me a headache. I actually couldn’t finish a slice of cake. Considering cake has always been one of my greatest weaknesses, this was quite a milestone.
I was quite happy this week as I looked on to the light at the end of the tunnel. I just could not wait till day 30. Not to be dramatic but at this point, I felt like I was living in bondage and freedom was all I longed for. I ended up eating sushi again on day 26 as the craving had intensified and I just could not take it anymore. I went grocery shopping and got some ice cream as a reward once I got to day 30. Needless to say, I made it to the end and had sushi the next day, and honey garlic wings and onion rings the day after
What I hoped to achieve:
Going into this sugar detox, my primary goal was to develop a healthier relationship with sugar. I also wanted to have a healthier eating habit in general; and as I mentioned earlier, I was feeling unhealthy and quite wary of diabetes. My secondary goals were to get better skin and to lose 5 pounds – because summer body
What I achieved:
After 30 days of sugar deprivation, I can say that my eating habits have been influenced long term. I won’t say that I’m now going to live a sugar-free life because who am I kidding? It did make me very aware of what I put into my body as there’s so much unnecessary sugar we consume that can be avoided. As I write this post, I am back to eating cakes and ice cream but not like before. I actually have more self-control and I’m always focused on having a more balanced diet by indulging in moderation.
I also discovered a lot of delicious new recipes that I would never have. Plus I now meal prep as a habit which saves money and also prevents impulsive and unhealthy eating. Hence, I believe my primary goal was a win!
Now did I lose 5 pounds? The answer is NO (sadly). I went eagerly to weigh myself about three weeks in and to my surprise I weighed exactly the same. However, by the fourth week, my manager at work came to me with a concerned look asking if everything was okay with my health because I was looking thin! To his surprise, I was quite happy the hear this. Now, I haven’t weighed myself since completing the diet but I have noticed less bloating and a slightly slimmer waist. yay!
My skin, on the other hand, seems to be flourishing. I barely have any breakouts and my complexion looks a lot clearer. So another win here!
Would I do it again?
Yes… and No. 30 days seemed too long as I was ready for it to be over by the end of the third week. By week four, I started to obsess over eating sugar again which probably isn’t healthy. I’d love to try a three-week variation (with absolutely no cheating). I would definitely recommend that everyone tries to do this at least once a year as a reset to your eating habits. Most people lose a lot of weight doing this, and if you’re like me and you don’t, you will at least gain better skin and a generally healthier lifestyle.
Would you consider doing a 30-day sugar fast? Have you tried one before? Let me know what you think!
INSPO OF THE DAY: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31NIV)