A goal, a vision, a change. It sucks, it is terrible and then, then it’s great.
You probably recognize it, you have just planned that you are going to eat less sweet, for the time being, then that new colleague suddenly comes in with a delicious cake because she has passed her drivers license ..
Addicted to sugar, aren’t we all?
I am a sweet tooth, seriously, almost everything with sugar in it I love it. I can enjoy tasty, sweet, food a lot. But I too often use it as a treat, if I reached my goal, if I am sad and need to cheer up or if I am really busy with a deadline to make myself ‘happy’ while running to the end.
For this reason, and that I believe that (too much) sugar is not healthy for us, I quit eating sugar al the way sometimes.
The first time I quit eating sugar and started reading ingredients lists I was shocked. Sugar is everywhere!
I have eaten sugar-free a few times. The longest period I have done it so far is a year completely without added sugar.
I can tell you as soon as you pay attention to it, you see it is everywhere. A few months ago it was too much for me. The ‘sometimes something sweet’ changed in a lot of sweet things. I travel a lot so everywhere they have different sweet things that I wanted to try. Until I figured out it was not trying out new things anymore; looked more like an addiction. That’s why I decided to start eating sugar-free again.
So I quit the sugar. What they tell you or not it looked really like rehab. The first day is the hardest for me, then that colleague with a cake can better not be there. The second day feels kind of easier because in my head I hear this voice that says; ‘you got through the hardest day, the first day, so now you need to keep going! Don’t throw that good first day away’. But it seriously is accompanied by real withdrawal symptoms.
The whole first week I was tired, had a big headache every day and felt cranky. So it was bad, felt bad but knew it was for something good. This happens every time when I stop eating sugar. The second week I felt better, the third week I had my energy back but this time it was really mine, not some fake energy out of sugar. No, real energy that can last!
If you are too far in eating sugar than you need good motivation, perseverance and knowing wherefore you do this! Because there is that little nice voice inside that keeps telling that this one little cookie, treat isn’t a problem and the second one is also fine tomorrow we will eat good again…
Is sugar unhealthy?
Depends on who you ask, there are different opinions about this. For sure too much is bad for your teeth and you gain weight.
But if you ask me it is not healthy at all. Our body needs all kind of nutrients and also sugar to get energy, but that sugar should be out of natural forms. Like starch that your body turns into sugar or like natural fruit sugars. But all the sugars that are processed and made in a factory are not so useful for your body.
Our system is used to process the sugars before it can use the energy, with added sugar your body doesn’t have to process it and it goes directly in the energy circuit, you peak a high level of blood sugars and you will get a lot of energy. Often that feels nice. Then your body tries to bring it down again by the hormone insulin.
But then this will be followed by a low, which feels heavy and tiresome. You need more sugar to feel like you have energy again. Here is where it can become an addiction.
Of course, if you can handle it well a little bit of sugar is fine. Everyone loves a piece of cake sometimes. But just don’t eat too much.
Lately I see myself eating more and more sugar again. What I said I travel and like to try the local treats. Trying to local treats is fine but I have to be aware of how much I eat, at this moment I easily eat way to much sugar and I don’t want that. So momentarily another sugar-free period for me to kick off and get my own energy back.
Why should I eat sugar-free?
If you eat sugar-free your body learns to live with its own energy again, no fake energy from added sugars. Real energy that lasts for a while.
In my opinion, we are way more healthy and can prevent a lot of diseases if we eat less sugar. Sugar also kills a lot of vitamins in our body and it only gives us bad energy. So keep the sugar-treats for special occasions and treat your body the other days with some healthy whole food with nice nutrients.
You can call it a diet or just healthy eating. Or maybe more normal eating because so much sugar we’re consuming these days is not healthy at all.
This world sadly is built on sugar. I think almost all processed food in the supermarket has sugar in it. Even most ‘healthy’ juices have added sugar.
When you stop eating sugar after a while you will notice the differences. If you want to eat sugar-free you have to be committed and really read the labels on the products in the supermarket. So you get aware of what you can eat and what not.
Is sugar addicted?
This also depends on who you ask. I heard there are studies that say sugar is even more addicted than cocaine. If you ask me, I think that is true.
If I look to my own experience I can say for sure it is. First of all, I want more and if I don’t pay attention I start eating more and more. Second, when I quit eating sugar for a while it definitely feels like rehab. Maybe the shacking of my body is not there but the headaches, crankiness and tiredness are definitely there!
Our brain is a big part of this ‘sugar addiction’. Sugar causes your brain to release dopamine. This is a substance that gives you a feeling of pleasure/happiness. Eating or drinking a sugar-rich product gives you a good feeling. Because of this, it makes you addicted, you want that feeling back!
So the energy the sugar gives you, the good feeling you get, it makes you feel you are dependent on the sugar. You have to break this thought, this feeling.
Make a life with real energy and real happiness!
Advice for eating sugar-free
In the rehab fase it is better (for me at least) to eat completely sugar-free.
So my advice would be; turn the switch completely to no sugar at all. Hold on to this for like a month, so your body can ‘clean’ itself and get the addiction out of there. After that, if you feel that you are strong enough you can allow yourself some sweet stuff occasionally. But only one thing, don’t lose yourself directly.
If you want you can skip the sometimes sugar and stay completely sugar-free, as I did for a year. And I can tell you I didn’t miss it, felt better than ever and even lost some weight by doing nothing else than eating sugar-free.
You are maybe wondering if you were so happy why did you start again? Well, I was around my 20 and I wanted to party and drink some alcohol again. Yeah alcohol is pretty much only sugar so also that is a no if you are eating sugar-free.
Another small advice the first day of eating sugar-free I always eat a lot of fruit or drink an extra smoothie (make sure it has no added sugar) to make the change easier for my body because now it gets a lot of fruit sugars. Still sugars but better sugars.
Don’t go and eat every day a lot of fruit or drink every day a smoothie because too much fruit sugar is also not good. And smoothies are a really easy way to get too much fruit-sugar in your body. One smoothie can contain four till eight pieces of fruit and that’s not what you need.
By the way, all the artificial sweeteners are not much better. So don’t replace the sugar with this!
If you really crave something sweet eat some dried fruit or something with honey.
Last advice; don’t let the world fool you; they hide sugar under a hundred different names these days in the ingredients list. For example; glucose, fructose or sucrose. These are different types of sugar and your body will handle them slightly different. Still, you don’t need added sugars, you get enough by eating real food, like fruit and vegetables.
These types go in different names on the labels; syrup, molasses, nectar, caramel, malt, dextrin, dextrose, maltose, alcohol, and much much more! Pay attention so you will recognize it!
Normal meals can also contain a lot of sugar, especially pre-packed food, so here some easy breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas with no sugar.