My love story with sugar began a long time ago. I have always had a sweet tooth. And I probably never would have given life without sugar a try if it wasn’t for my health. 6 years ago, for the first time, a doctor told me that SUGAR was literally destroying my IMMUNE SYSTEM. That is when I started paying attention. Since then, I have QUIT SUGAR for different phases, from a couple of days to up to ONE WHOLE YEAR. On the way, I found more and more reasons to stay away from sugar in the long run.
1. Sugar Makes Me Sick (literally)
For the past 6 years, since the doctor had brought my attention to sugar’s bad effects on my health, I have been paying close attention to what food triggers what good or bad consequence for my body. I have since then discovered that SUGAR is my NUMBER ONE problem when it comes to sickness.
When I start eating sugar regularly, it feels like my body suffers from inflammation. My stomach feels acidic, my throat gets inflammated and starts hurting a little. And if I do not stop myself early enough, I GET REALLY SICK. I have since then labelled this cycle – which I can now perfectly identify – the “BAD SUGAR CYCLE” for me.
It is impressive to be able to observe it now. It happened again and again over the past 6 years. Until I finally cracked the code and found out WHEN and HOW to STOP the cycle in order NOT TO FALL SICK. I am more prone to suffer from the BAD SUGAR CYCLE on vacation or when spending much time with family and friends.
Because I feel some kind of social eagerness from my side. I want to be part of the group, hence to eat like the group and drink like the group. But if I overdo it, I always END UP SICK AGAIN. That, in turn, ROBS MY TIME AWAY FROM THE GROUP. What an irony! This is motivation enough for me to try to stay off sugar completely in the long run. And I am getting there, progressively… You can find out about what I call my “Bad Sugar Cycle” reading my other blog article here.
2. Sugar Makes Me Tired
Once I had tried life without sugar, and now that I have been ON and OFF for years, I have observed many other side-effects to overconsuming sugar. One of them it that SUGAR REALLY MAKES ME TIRED. I am over 30 now. When I was consistently feeling very, very tired in the afternoon, I remember thinking “Well, this is what it’s like to get older”.
When I say tired, I mean literally smashed out for 3 or 4 hours, with eyes closing etc. Even sitting on the chair felt like an effort. All of this despite a good night’s sleep. But over time, I noticed how this completely disappeared when I was STAYING AWAY FROM SUGAR (including white flour products).
Of course, I still get tired, but only if I do not get my sleep. This newly found LEVEL OF ENERGY was the second best reason for me to limit my sugar intake in the long run. It’s life-changing. You can DO SO MUCH MORE WITH YOUR TIME than just trying to stay awake!
3. Sugar Causes Me To Put On Weight
Of course, I have always known that eating sugar would not be the best if I wanted to lose weight. But only since I have down the WILDFIT 90-DAY CHALLENGE have I realised to what extent this is true. In this challenge, I had to stay away from ALL TYPES OF SUGAR for about 4 weeks.
Refined sugar, sweeteners, fruits of any type, grains, beans and even sweeter types of vegetables (such as carrots) were OFF THE MENU. Instead, many green and bitter vegetables, healthy animal protein, some nuts… The results were AMAZING. And that is also when I noticed that my weight was going down easily.
In my life, even with TONS OF SPORT, I was never able to lose weight if I did not also reduce sugar, including white carbohydrates… But this experience really confirmed it to me. If you want to know more about the WILDFIT 90-DAY CHALLENGE, feel free to read my honest review of the programme here.
4. Sugar Gives Me Acne
If you haven’t noticed yet, pay close attention when you quit sugar (including alcohol). It is very likely that you will have fewer skin problems. For me, it is very clear, shortly after I increase my sugar and/or alcohol intake, I start having a bit of acne. A not-so-nice side-effect of giving in to your sugar devil…
5. Sugar Makes My Skin Look Grey And Older
Now that I have made this journey on and off sugar, I truly feel like SUGAR is accelerating my AGEING process. Last winter, when I was eating not so healthy over a couple of months, I noticed how my skin was losing its colour. It started looking really GREY and I looked tired all the time. WRINKLES became clearer.
“That’s normal”, I thought. “I am simply getting OLDER!” But what I did not know back then is that my getting OLDER WAS NOT RELATED SO MUCH TO MY AGE, but rather to my OVERCONSUMING SUGAR. During the Wildfit 90-Day Challenge mentioned above, my skin became radiant again, and everyone around me noticed. Some of my very good friends told me that I was truly looking much younger, and it is how it felt to me!
6. Sugar Increases My Fears, Stress And Mood Swings
I first realised that SUGAR could influence my moods, emotions, and even my sense of self when reading Giulia Enders’ book Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ (Revised Edition)*. With time, I have experienced how sugar makes me moodier. If I have a lot of sugar for a few days and then quit it all at once, I will feel slightly depressed, have a headache and be somewhat upset for about two days. When I am stressed, although sugar gives me a quick “rush of relief”, it will actually increase my general stress level over the course of the day.
I have found myself much better able to cope with stress if I did not give in to sugar and stayed on a healthy diet instead. Generally, I have also felt that I get more lost into obsessive thoughts and fears when I eat a lot of sugar. It is as if I were wearing grey glasses. I become more negative and pessimistic, hence I fear that something bad could happen. Of course, I can also happen to have negative thoughts without eating sugar – it just feels like it happens much less often and I can come out of it much easier if I am not turning to sugar…
7. Sugar Is Just A Habit, Nothing More, Nothing Less
My last reason for quitting sugar is that it is NOT AS DIFFICULT AS I THOUGHT. For me, it required a gradual and progressive approach. But via an iterative process, I was able to QUIT SUGAR completely for up to a whole year. Without missing it at all! Now, this is coming from a true SUGAR ADDICT.
I could NEVER HAVE IMAGINED LIFE WITHOUT SWEETS before! If I start eating sweets, it possibly can go well for a couple of days. But THEN… I become so addicted, I cannot stop eating them. ALL I WILL THINK ABOUT IS WHEN I CAN GET THE NEXT SUGAR RUSH.
It’s Your Choice
But what I have learned with time is that this is just a matter of HABIT and of MAKING A CHOICE.
If I manage to RULE OUT sweets and desserts for myself, I can go for ONE WHOLE YEAR without even missing sugar!! Then, even sitting in a group of people eating my favourite dessert will not disturb me! It is all about the STORY you tell yourself and others ABOUT WHO YOU ARE.
If someone asks you whether you will have dessert, what do you say? Do you say “No, I DO NOT EAT sweets or desserts”? Because this would be the BEST answer if you want to QUIT SUGAR! By speaking this sentence out loud, you let everyone know – including yourself – that NOT EATING SUGAR is part of your characteristics.
The more you repeat this sentence, the more your brain and the people around you will expect from you that you do NOT EAT SUGAR. BUT if you say “Well, normally I would not, but…” or “Well, I am trying to stay off sugar…”, YOU HAVE LOST THE GAME. You turn into someone that would like to maybe one day reduce his sugar intake but will likely not make it. Those were my 7 reasons for quitting sugar, and I very much hope this article motivated you to at least give it a try! It has been life-changing for me. I would be very happy to hear about your personal story with sugar. Let me know how it goes in the comments below 🙂
Books That I Love… To Help You Out: