Saturday Insight: I quit sugar for 3 months – here’s what happened

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Way back in the fall of 2018, before Christmas and before Thanksgiving – I suddenly woke up one day with a revelation: My sweet tooth was gone. How did this happen? Had I been eating so much sugar in my life that my body suddenly had decided to shut down on it completely? 

I used to be the kind of girl who was known for my sweet tooth. I loved having pastries for breakfast, ice cream in the summer, and after dinner, I always felt a deep craving for dessert. In my High School years, I would eat at least one sugary thing every day. Yeah, I’m not kidding. It was either a snicker-bar (I was obsessed!) a cinnamon-bun, a soda (which was mostly Redbull) or a brownie. I used this habit as a tool to stay up later and study for my exams. If it was an important one, I would sit by my desk with a bunch of chocolate bars, an energy drink and a huge mug of black coffee.

I was, in other words, a textbook example for someone struggling with an addiction.

However – after I woke up that morning in fall 2018, not only did I not want sugar anymore – my gut and my teeth felt physically disgusted by it.

I tried eating a piece of chocolate, but instead of enjoying the flavors, my mind was entirely focused on all the synthetic sugar I had deliberately put in between my white, shiny teeth.

I felt that evil crystalline substance grinding on my internal organs as if that one chocolate bar was now the most self-destructive thing I had ever done towards my own body. I wasn’t wrong. It is crazy how we actually allow ourselves to do this, but, more on that later… 

So, what had happened? What led me to wake up one morning with a sudden revulsion towards sugar? 

 Well, the answer was simple; Without really knowing it, I had, slowly but surely, been cutting out sugar from my diet in the duration of six months.

I had been living alone for a while and didn’t want to act all careless with my expenses – so I didn’t allow myself to buy anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary for my body’s well being.

This conscious choice had resulted in a diet, only containing protein and vegetables, or more precisely: Eggs, chicken, red meat, carrots, onions, and broccoli. 

Yup. Believe it or not, but that’s all I ever ate for a couple of months. It worked. It was cheap, I felt healthy and I was able to exercise and do my job.

Then, suddenly, when being introduced to pastries again (which happened the day I woke up without a sweet tooth) I almost gagged. 

Later, I came across this video on YouTube and it all made a ton of sense .. 

 

The more sugar you eat, the more you crave! 

So if you slowly cut out sugar from your diet, bit by bit, you’ll come to realize that your body doesn’t actually want it anymore. Why? Because it realizes what a poison this substance really is!

It was because of my prior addiction to sugar that my body had adapted to the hostile era of my gut – making me less able to actually react to sweet things.

Now, however, after all those months of a sole protein-vegetable-diet, I am finally able to detect things containing too much artificial sugar. If it’s too sweet for me, I won’t eat it. That’s my body reacting in the right way. 

 

So what happened when I decided to actually cut out all sugar from my diet? 

 

  1. Tiredness and exhaustion disappeared 

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It sounds like a contradiction, I know. But sugar is supposed to make your more awake, right?

Nah … it’s not. That’s the image society projects to you. But it is, in fact, the complete opposite.

Yes, you do get a sudden zest of vigours energy after eating a snicker-bar, but that energy goes away as quickly as its arrival. And when it does go away, not only does it put you back into your normal anti-hyper state – it makes you even more tired than you were before eating the snicker-bar. What?! 

If your brain tells you: Sugar makes you more energized, then you should change that mindset to protein makes you more energized.

In fact, in an article on wellandgood.com, Ilana Muhlstein doesn’t deny that a fresh supply of glucose from carbs gives you a little shot of energy. However, she explains that if you want long-lasting stamina, reaching for those eggs and veggies instead is key. 

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It’s not unheard of that those who exercise vigorously have to keep a strict diet that’s high in protein.

They do this to stay awake and to not trick their body into thinking it’s full of energy when it’s not. When I quit sugar that fall, afternoon naps were no longer a necessity. Instead, it was an option. 

 

2. I felt less anxious and stressed 

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The realization came quickly: The sugar I had – in prior days – injected into my body, did something really bad to my mental state. 

According to Sara Lindberg from healthline.com, sugar releases insulin to help absorb the excess glucose in the bloodstream and stabilize blood sugar levels. This is a good thing. However – too much of this process can create a sugar rush, which makes your body work hard to get back to normal levels.

This roller coaster of ups and downs leaves you feeling nervous, foggy, irritable, jittery and drained. You don’t want this to become normal, do you? 

Well, I can say with my hand on my heart that my mental state never felt better than during the time I cut sugar out of my diet. 

 

3. My cravings were gone 

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Suddenly, the things I used to crave before became superfluous, uninteresting. They were just too sweet for me! And that will happen to you too if you decide to go on the same journey.

That Nutella Jar will be left unopened, because now, every time you take a spoonful of it, you’ll feel an explosive sugar-bomb in your mouth. Not pleasant.  

In fact, a plate of fries or a good stake become the things you crave more. Because they are filled with protein.

Your body wants that now because it got rid of the addiction and it can finally work in a proper, more sensible way.

Congratulations. You are not tricking your body anymore.

 

Ready to hop on the same train after the Easter holidays? 

 


 

Love, 

Aftur S. Nerdrum 

 

 

 

 

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