Yesterday I had a dinner out with friends, and one of my friends, Helen, asked me “What was the best hack you discovered for a healthier life in the last year?”
Wow, what a great question! The answer quickly popped into my head: quitting my sugar addiction.
When I arrived home, I decided to write about this topic and share it with you.
Maybe you’re in the middle of your 20 No-Sugar Days Challenge, or maybe you haven’t yet found the trigger to start this challenge.
Why and How quitting my sugar addiction was one of the best things that have happened in my life.
Before that, I felt constantly hungry during the day, and I found myself snacking all the time. I never felt full, and could always eat more. I tried really hard not to, but I always ended up eating more and more, and it was never enough.
When I ate, I got this intense ten seconds of pleasure, but then, right after, I felt bloated, tired and sleepy, with my energy levels going down fast, accompanied by headaches in the evening. I felt chubby and jaded.
I tried several times to lose weight, but reducing my calorie intake was like Mission Impossible IV the movie! I was constantly craving food and, especially, sugar.
This couldn’t be normal; something was very wrong.
One day, I came across an article about sugar. It explained that a high sugar diet is the number one cause of obesity and type 2 diabetes, that sugar is converted into fat in our bodies, and that it is highly addictive, making you constantly crave more. This was all backed by lots of different studies.
I had to ask myself, why are there so many studies about sugar, but nobody talks about this? I decided to put what I had learned into practice and challenged myself to cut added sugar from my diet for 20 days.
I set myself two simple rules:
1- No added or refined sugars, and no artificial sweeteners allowed.
2- Fruit is allowed as it contains naturally occurring sugars, fiber, and vitamins.
So, no more high sugar foods like soda, chips, chocolate, candy, breakfast cereals, granola, or almost any other kind of processed food.
20 No-Sugar days? It couldn’t be that hard!
That first week, I found myself going crazy in the kitchen, looking for some sweet chocolate to eat after lunch. My anxiety levels were high, and I was really irritable. My cravings were making me go nuts!
At this moment, I realized how strong my addiction was. I knew wasn’t hungry; it was just my body craving sugar,
These cravings weren’t easy to control, until the moment I had a profound thought: If I eat chocolate right now, I will feel pleasure for a moment, but then I will feel bloated, fuzzy-headed, and tired, and then I will want more.
I choose not to go that way. I could do it, but I choose not to feel bloated and sleepy. Instead, I choose to make a change in my life and to finish my 20 no sugar days challenge.
Every time I thought about eating something sugary, I just remembered how it would make me feel – sleepy, unfocused and jaded. That made it much easier.
Every time I said “no” to sugar was a small victory for me, as it gave me more energy, more focus, and no evening headaches.
The constant hungry feeling was still there, but now I knew that it wasn’t real hunger and that it was only sugar my craving. How could I tell? Use this trick.
When you feel hungry, ask yourself “Do you feel like eating some carrots?”
If your answer is no, you are probably not hungry at all but, in fact, are just craving sugar. If you say yes, you probably are hungry, so go and eat something healthy.
Challenged finished, I have to admit that I cheated but it was only one time.
After eating no sugar for a few weeks, food flavors intensified and improved, and almost everything I ate tasted naturally sweet and good. I had much more energy, was way less anxious, lost weight, and I could focus for longer at work.
Now that I’ve beaten my sugar addiction, I can now enjoy some chocolate or ice cream once in a while, but I can’t overeat it as my body naturally says when enough is enough.
I can now feel my body naturally making healthier food choices, or telling me when I’ve eaten enough.
This simple hack can change your life, making it a better and more enjoyable experience. It certainly worked for me.
A scientific study says sugar is more addictive than cocaine.
The average American consumes 3.5 times the recommended sugar intake per day.
You can find my 20 No-Sugar Days Challenge here. I have shared tips, sugar-free recipes, and articles and recent studies regarding sugar. It’s all 100% Free.