This summer I decided to give up my favorite thing on earth: sugar.
Why? Because the stuff kills you. And I, dear friend, am a full blown addict.
Honest to god, for the past couple years this has been my pre-afternoon daily food intake:
- One Butterfinger
- A Sprite
- One large fancy (and sugary) Starbucks drink
- And a shortbread cookie
How I don’t have diabetes, well, I have no idea.
So, last June, I noticed that after years of eating like a degenerate my mind, and body, were slowing down. Because of that, I went cold turkey and gave up sugar.
It’s been 60 days since my last sugary treat.
Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
Sugar gave me anxiety
I used to take a whipped cream can to the dome and fisted peanut cups when I needed a jolt of energy. Anything for a little rush. And it’s true – a small burst of adrenaline has been proven to happen after eating sugar.
But, since giving up the sauce I’ve noticed giving up that little energy burst not only sustained my energy levels, but made me less anxious. I’m already high strung enough. I do yoga, meditation, and workout. But it took stopping sugar to realize the link between sugar and my anxiety. And I’m not the only one. After noticing this change, I did some research and read hundreds of studies of patients claiming the same thing.
Wish I knew about this earlier.
There are other alternatives that give me my sugar fix
“Americans love sweets.” I went to a talk where the founder of Hint, a naturally sweetened water drink, told the audience story behind the founding of the company. “I was drinking 6 Diet Cokes a day and eating sweets constantly,” she said. And so, when she told a friend who worked at Coke about her idea to start a company around a drink without added sugar, she was immediately shut down.
“Honey, Americans love sweet,” her friend said.
When I started my sugar-free diet, I decided to turn to Hint as my Coke Zero supplement. It took a few days to feel normal, but it worked. Hint, unlike the sugar stuff, tastes sweet but doesn’t actually have any chemicals, additives or anything not natural. And, although the chemical sweeteners in diet soda may not actually be sugar, they can still have the same impact (as well as be highly addicting).
So, Hint has worked for me.
The 7 day hump was horrible
During the first 7 days of going cold turkey on sugar l had withdrawls similar to how I felt giving up alcohol. Granted, it was way more tolerable. During the first week going sugar free, I was incredibly irritable, had hangover-like headaches, and took tons of naps because I had little energy. It was a horrible week. But, by around day 10, I felt much, much better.
Not eating sugar is a keystone habit
In the book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg explains that there are habits, such as quitting smoking or not eating sugar, that spark reaction for other habits.
For me, after going two weeks without sugar, I found myself waking up earlier and working out 5 times a week.
My lack of sugar also meant a lack of grogginess. I felt cleaner and lighter. This in turn made me respect my body and workout more. I know, I know – that sounds like some hippy stuff. And believe me, I’m the last one to get all sentimental like this, but it’s true.
After not eating it for a while, sugar tastes gross
Ok, I lied. I haven’t been entirely sugar free. On the 60th day, while vacationing in Mexico, I celebrated with an ice cream covered churro. And guess what? I couldn’t stand the taste. It was simply too sweet. I couldn’t handle it.
Plus, after eating the small amount that I could stand, I felt horrible. My stomach hurt and I felt sick for a day. Looks like I’ll be going sugar free for a while longer.
Want help quitting sugar?
Welp, you now know my experience. Thanks for reading. Also, the folks at Hint read this article and decided to hook you all up with a discount. So get started with The Hustle’s secret hookup and get 50% off your first case by clicking here…and use code ‘VARIETY15’ at checkout!