Hey my names Alan Young and here’s my account of what happened when I quit sugar for just 28 days.
So how did this whole journey come about? Well it all started with a Toblerone! That’s right a massive giant sized Toblerone I had bought to give to someone as a christmas present, you know those SUPER sized chocolate bars only available around the festive period.
So what happened was somehow one night shortly after buying it to put away as a gift for someone at christmas I decided it was best off in my belly and I ended up eating the WHOLE bar in one sitting. Believe me it was a lot of chocolate!
It was enough to make me feel totally sick and pretty darn disgusted with myself as I knew it was pure gluttonous to eat so much especially as I had wanted to stop after about the first 4 pieces, but for some reason something inside wouldn’t let me stop till the whole lot was gone. In that moment I vowed to give up sugar for one year! I knew right there and then that was it!
So what happened?
The very NEXT day about 6pm I got the wonderful idea of getting something sweet from the shop and about an hour
later I had gone through 2 share sized bags of chocolates (one wispa bag and one bite sized twirl bag) plus a pack of fizzy laces to the point I felt sick again and only then remembering about the solemn vow I made the night before to never eat sugar again for one year. So much for that idea!
I couldn’t understand how it had happened again, and ONLY 24 hours later. After that I knew something was up and I HAD to do something about it as this was a pretty common occurrence for me and I knew it would keep happening if I didn’t do something now.
Sugar was really starting to effect my health
I was always tired, my eczema was always flaring up and I felt bloated and irritable most of the time.
I knew if I quit sugar I would probably become happier and healthier and I might even lose some weight as well. So with that thought in mind I got mentally prepared and quit sugar again a few days later.
It was time to start smashing the gym (not literally smashing the gym up!) but started training super hard 6 days a week. I cut out all processed sugars but somehow I wasn’t feeling that much better and I wasn’t losing any weight. Sure I was a little fitter but overall I still felt lethargic, bloated, irritable and my skin was still bad.
What was was going on? Why didn’t I feel great? Well after my initial confusion I started doing some digging around and I actually started to realise that maybe I hadn’t been cutting all the sugar out of my diet after all.
I was shocked to find out I was still eating a ton of sugar in so called “healthy” foods.
This got me on sugar seeking overdrive and it wasn’t long till I learned that about 80% of food in supermarkets have added sugar in. It’s absolutely crazy!
It would to be fair to say I was pretty pissed off!
I felt like I had be duped, I had be trying to improve my health by exercising and eating these “healthy” foods and all along I was still eating just as much sugar but in a different disguise.
It wasn’t long after really doing some deep research that I actually became aware to what I like to think of as the “sugar trap”. I started to realise it was everywhere.
How did I not realise? It was probably down to the fact there’s some really clever labelling and savvy marketing going on.
After initially being proper pissed off, I started to see it in a different light, I actually felt pretty excited as I knew my chances of quitting sugar this time around would be a lot higher as I knew where to look.
So what happened when I quit sugar this time?
Let me tell you,
Below is my account of what happened in a 4 week period, I’ve now quit sugar for a lot longer but it’s amazing what happened after just the first 28 days.
So here we go!
Week 1 of quitting sugar.
I started this week just like my last attempt by cutting out all the obvious sugars in the first few days. The fizzy drinks, sweets, chocolates, ice creams, deserts etc.
The next thing I did was cut out the rest of the hidden sugars which I had missed last time.
The amount of sugar in my cupboards was alarming, but it all had to go. For the first few days after the clear out I struggled to know what to eat but I learned as I went, if I’m honest it was really hard as I didn’t have any support or anyone to guide me.
With all this sugar out of my diet, and out of my body, I didn’t feel that great. My body was going through a sugar withdrawal. You see my body was used to having a constant supply of sugar coming in then all of a sudden that supply had been cut off. It must of sent my hormones into a frenzy!
I’ll be honest I felt quite irritable and even a little depressed. I was craving sugar big time! Sounds great huh!?
Just thinking back I remember I also had this strange urge to always chew on the inside of my cheeks. Where that came from I don’t know!
I really was starting to doubt whether quitting sugar was worth it, I mean was it really that bad before? I knew it must of been otherwise I wouldn’t have wanted to quit in the first place.
It’s crazy how my mind played tricks on me when I went through that initial detox period. I really fantasied about the sweet stuff but some how I managed to keep going.
Week 2 of quitting sugar.
I started to feel a little better by the second half of the week, I think my bodies homeostasis was starting to return back to normal. My mood lifted and my mind started to feel a little clearer by the end of the second week.
In that second week I had been doing a lot of internet surfing finding nice things to eat that obviously didn’t contain sugar and was healthy for me, so as the week progressed I started to feel a bit more happier about the foods I was eating and a bit more optimistic about the future.
I did always seem to have a niggly hunger pang that NEVER seemed to completely go though, I decided I would just snack on nuts which was an idea I got from reading a book about someone else who had quit sugar and nuts helped them in the first few weeks. I thought it’s got to better than eating sugar anyway so I was happy to try.
Intuitively I knew it was probably just because I was detoxing off sugar that had that constant hunger pang which I thought would only be a temporary side effect.
Turned out it was a good idea to snack on those nuts, and it was also something I didn’t end up needing to do for that long anyway. Once my hunger signals started working again I lost that continuous hunger pang and the amount of food I ate was much much less than before quitting sugar.
Week 3 of quitting sugar.
Things started to get noticeably easier and my cravings for sugar were much more bearable, I would get the odd thought but overall it passed pretty quickly and I was really starting to notice the positive effects on my body.
My brain fog had disappeared, I felt I had much more energy. I was also waking earlier without feeling groggy which I think was because I was now sleeping like a log. I found it quite easy getting up and throughout the day I didn’t have those usual energy slumps where I’d want to take a nap (or eat something sugary to pick me up).
I also noticed something which was quite unexpected, I was hardly using my blue inhaler. I’ve had asthma all my life
and I’d usually use 1 blue inhaler every 2 weeks which is a hell of a lot. Over the last couple of weeks I realised I’d used it much less which got me really excited and motivated to keep going as I was really starting to experience the benefits of quitting sugar.
(Quick note: as it turns out, since giving up sugar my asthma is nearly non existent, I have a stack of unused blue inhalers in my bathroom which has NEVER happened in my whole life. I know this is down to me quitting sugar because it’s never been so good before I quit.)
Week 4 of quitting sugar.
In the 4th week things were a hell of a lot easier. I had really started to settle into the sugar free life. I had stopped craving chocolate bars every night which was a miracle. In fact I was pretty happy about the thought of living sugar free. It was far from the feeling of deprivation I felt at the thought of living sugar free when I started 4 weeks ago.
I had gone through a rollercoaster of highs and lows and now things had finally started to stabilise and I felt good. My eating habits had changed a bit as well. By the end of the 4 weeks I lost that urge to eat all the time. It’s probably because my hunger hormone signals were starting to work again. I only eat now when I’m hungry and I feel full a lot quicker than before.
Before I would always go waayyyy past that full point to the point I felt nauseous. That’s probably down to the fact my hunger signals were way out of whack because of all the sugar I was eating.
Something I was expecting to happen also happened which was I lost some weight. About 7 pounds in the first 4 weeks which has gone on to be a hell of a lot more in the following months.
I’m really happy about this as it wasn’t too hard either. Yeah I did exercise a bit, but I didn’t follow some strict diet. I just cut out sugar and tried to eat real foods. I’ll be honest with you and say my diet wasn’t perfect, I did eat the odd junk like KFC, Fish & Chips and Chinese but one things for sure, I wasn’t eating the quantities of sugar I was eating before, I just choose the options without added sugar.
That was the key to all of the benefits I’m experiencing now, just eat NO SUGAR.
Once those 4 weeks had passed I was like a new person. I had went through a lot but after I felt like I’d come through the other side feeling much better for doing it.
If I had to do it all again I would have done a few things different as it would have saved me a lot time on failed attempts but hey ho it was all a part of the learning process.
If you’re thinking about giving the sugar free life a go then I highly recommend it, you’ll never look at sugar the same way again.
I’ve now continued to live sugar free and I know I could never go back. Look I’m not perfect, I’ve had the odd pice of chocolate once in a while but I can honestly say I eat 95% less sugar than I did before and I feel great for it.
Anyway I’m going to leave you with a summary of what happen in the 4 weeks detoxing of sugar.
Summery of my 4 week detox
- My body went through a detox period
- I gained more energy
- My mood improved
- My brain fog disappeared
- I was generally happier
- I slept like a log and woke up feeling fresh
- My skin cleared up
- My asthma virtually disappeared
- My urge to eat all the time disappeared as my hunger signals started to work again,
- I lost 7 pound
- I had stopped craving sweet stuff after 4 weeks