I’ve been sugar free for 100 days, ok, 105 days to be precise, since January 1st this year. I cut out all refined sugar, so no biscuits, no chocolate, no cakes, no desserts/sweets in general, no soft drinks, no fruit juices, no yogurt drinks, yep, they’re all full of sugar. I did have red wine, dried fruit and raw honey in moderation, as there are no added sweeteners, just fructose it contains naturally.
Here is what I’ve learned:
1. You can do this. If I can do this you can do this. I bloody love chocolate, I can eat 200g in one go easily. And I love cheese cake, ough.
2. Minimum impact on health. May be it’s because I did not binge on sweets before, but to be honest I have noticed zero change in weight or other visible health implications on my body or mind. My energy levels are bit more stable, but to be honest that can be easily achieved by balancing your general food intake throughout the day. We get highs from that chocolate bar not because it’s evil, but because we have not eaten for 5-6 hours before that, so almost anything will give you a high.
3. Great exercise in willpower. As they say, it’s all in the head. The voices that tell you to do shit, you listen to them and then politely decline. Day in and day out, for 100 days straight, that’s willpower. Try it.
4. Conversation starter (or ender). It normally goes one of two ways. One, you decline a piece of cake and person asks you, what’s wrong. You explain, and it starts a great 30min chat about training willpower, saying “no” etc. The other way, you decline a piece of cake and person asks you what’s wrong. You explain, they look at you with disgusted face and there is no follow up.
Things I missed:
1. A good cocktail. A good whiskey sour or G&T, they all have bloody soft drinks or other artificial sweeteners and without them it just does not work. I tried drinking vodka, lemon soda for a while, it’s just vile.
2. Cheese cake. New York style, baked. I had dreams about it, kind of food porn, where there is only one actress and a cheese cake.
3. Milk chocolate with nuts. Yep, with coffee, hard to beat this little indulgence.
Would I recommend it:
Yes, definitely. I’ve done sugar free months before, but 3+ months is a whole different beast, it really challenges you. Makes you question your choices in life.
I’ve started gradually eating some sweets, in last 5 days since I’m back to “normal”, I’ve had chocolate bar, couple of cookies, chocolate croissant and rum & coke (ok, two). It is surprisingly anticlimactic, there was no foodgasm from the first bit of sugary substance like I expected. It was more like, yeah, this is nice, but nothing more. I’m now going back to eating everything (in moderation).
Although at the beginning I set out to go sugar free for the whole 12 months, after 3+ months, I realized that I’ve learned everything I could from this experiment and the rest will be doing it just for the sake of it, with no significant added value. Know when to stop, for me it is now.