Sugar sugar? Nuh uh honey. I participated in a seven day sugar free diet for research purposes, this includes no natural occurring sugars or sweeteners – fruit is OUT.
Why you ask? I wanted to see if I could do it, plus it’s excellent blog material.
Pre sugar free diet
I am terror struck at thought of no sugar and panic buy lactose free milk, two Kinder Buenos and a Twix. I take 30 minutes to eat the Bueno and wonder why on earth I have decided to do this?!
Take lactose milk to work and porridge oats, realise I’m having salty porridge for breakfast and die a little inside.
Tell everyone in sight that I’m doing a seven day sugar free diet, many give me sympathy but talk about cakes anyway. One colleague tells me “you’re going to withdraw like a heroin addict” – I imagine myself like an extra from Trainspotting sat in a dirty flat, groaning in agony.
Can’t bother to Google ‘sugar in pasta’ so I panic eat another bowl of salty porridge for lunch and my hope slides further away.
Have tea but go to bed absolutely starving.
Wake up absolutely starving, make scrambled egg for breakfast and realise I have nothing to put it with. Burn eggs to bottom of pan and leave it ‘soaking’ so boyfriend will clean it up.
Go to gym and do really hard class, cycle home and feel like I’ve been dragged through a field by a tractor.
Meet friend in town for a drink, the cafe doesn’t stock unsweetened milk and goes to check on loose leaf tea situation. Massive queue forms behind me because I’m clearly ‘that knobhead’. Spend £3.50 on green tea which is vile.
Buy unsweetened peanut butter for £3.60 and feel deeply ashamed and annoyed at Tesco.
On walk home see a little girl with a choc dip and really want to steal it from her – realise this is bad, plus I don’t have energy to run away. Lethargy sets in and I’m almost asleep by 4.30pm, go to bed ravenous.
Add unsweetened peanut butter to porridge and conclude it’s worth its weight in gold and could cry at how happy it makes my mouth.
Lethargy is quite bad today and spend a lot of time in bed.
Boyfriend makes me a steak dinner and it is fantastic; the peas are super sweet and are like little balls of joy, is there a vegetable of the year award? He also buys me carnations and I wonder what on earth I have done to deserve him.
Go to a gig in the evening and feel very sad that my only drink choice is water, although being hydrated is excellent, as is not spending ANYTHING. Downside is my tiny bladder which means I have to go to the toilet all the time.
Wake up cranky and irritable and go in to a teenage mood mode.
Decide I hate everyone and everything even after delicious avocado and eggs.
Am meant to be doing multiple things today but can’t face people or people drinking beer in front of me so decide not to go out and watch rugby after all and hide in bed. The second half of the rugby is shockingly bad and adds an extra layer of sour to my mood.
Meet a friend in the evening and very sad not to have a cocktail but the cappuccino is oddly delightful, as is her company – decide I like people again and shouldn’t hide away from them.
Go to bed feeling kinder towards the human race and not like I could eat a mound of marzipan.
Don’t feel as fatigued which is great and eat my porridge joyfully.
Go to spin class and it’s very hard but enjoyable, feel accomplished, not too tired. Enjoying porridge so much I have a second bowl for lunch and realise that if peanut butter was a person I would marry it.
Day develops and the headache starts, not too bad at first but after watching Thor: Ragnarok not even Chris Hemsworth’s beefy arms can distract me from the thumping pain in my head. Go to bed with huge headache.
The huge headache is still there and feel like drilling in to my own head. Force feed porridge to myself but this time I can barely stomach it and would kill for jam on toast.
Tell more colleagues about sugar free diet and they are sympathetic. I am asked if I want a piece of lemon curd Victoria sponge and doughnuts and to overcome this I eat two packets of ready salted crisps, I am health personified – take that Joe Wicks.
My mother made flapjacks and they smell like heaven and I can almost taste them. She gives me a boiled egg and I could kiss her, getting energy from protein is so much more gratifying somehow.
Look in mirror and realise my skin is looking pretty good, clear and less dull. My bloaty ridge below my stomach is flatter and I no longer have that Sideshow Bob paunch.
Last day of sugar free life and I feel weirdly sad. Realise I am terrified of eating sugar and not being a slave to it has been liberating.
My mind feels clearer and I feel more alert, able to process things quicker which is refreshing after feeling like I was in a fog. Work is so full on that I barely remember that I can’t have sugar and take solace in another boiled egg and chicken.
End my evening by watching my boyfriend eat the cupcake I brought home from work and realise this is my porn.
Life after sugar
I tentatively eat some flapjack and it’s like an explosion in my mouth – the sugar is overwhelming and delicious. I could cartwheel but would end up in A&E.
I have decided to try and stick with this but introduce fruit back in as life is too short to not eat a pomegranate. I will do my best to keep sugar free as much as possible because even with the initial headaches, mood swings and fatigue I feel better in myself, less bloated and healthier.
Sugar is ridiculously addictive and I hadn’t comprehended how impactful it is, I would seriously recommend trying this but be planned, get in food to give you energy – nuts and seeds are your friend.