What Cutting Sugar from My Diet Really Did

Sugar is a big player in most of our diets, whether we have it in our coffee or as an ingredient in pasta, sugar is almost inevitable to avoid. I am a huge lover of all things sugar. I enjoy iced coffee with sugar almost everyday, and my favorite sweets are ice cream and brownies; so when I made the decision to cut sugar out of my diet for 3 weeks, a challenge for myself, I knew it was going to be rough. I know you are probably wondering why I took such a drastic decision. The truth is I have always had an unhealthy relationship with food, so I thought this would be a good way to discipline myself more and not depend on sweets to make me feel better. Now, I did not cut sugar completely, I still ate natural sugars that are found in fruits and vegetables because our body does need the good kind of sugar. Here’s what I learned about how my body responded to no bad sugars for 21 days.


I Felt Better


(Photo by Alex Holyoake on Unsplash)


Without a doubt one of the best things that came from cutting bad sugars out was that I felt better about myself. Not only was I consistent with this challenge, but I was feeling better physically and therefore mentally. Eating excessive amounts of sugars can cause some weight gain and since I have a complicated relationship with food, I would eat more sweets than recommended, resulting in some weight gain. 


This challenge helped my body feel better because it was only getting healthy amounts of sugar. I learned to find happiness and satisfaction through other means that did not involve sugar. I found the courage to join other clubs, organizations, and activities around campus; these have brought me much more joy - joy that lasts longer than when I eat sugar.


I Had More Energy


(Photo by Court Cook on Unsplash)


Most, if not all of us, like to start our mornings off with good cup of coffee (iced coffee is the superior coffee). I like my coffee a little on the sweeter side so imagine how difficult it was to have bitter coffee. I had to stick it out because I was not making an exception. I found regular unsweetened cold brew to be tolerable; although I later found some friendly sugar-free options like sugar-free vanilla syrup. However, I found that not having sugar with my coffee actually kept me going throughout my days longer than when it has sugar. I did not realize that sugar does give you a high, but then you crash. I technically already knew this but did not grasp that it applied when it was in your coffee as well. Sugar with my coffee would make me crash at around 2pm, but without coffee I was able to be productive until around 6pm and then drink a tea or coffee to keep my going until I finished my tasks.


A Deeper Meaning to the Challenge


(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)


I am on a journey to love myself and part of this involves being physically and mentally healthy. At first, I perceived this challenge to be insignificant. I thought, “ what could cutting sugar really do to my body and mind?” This challenge proved to be extremely beneficial to me as I learned to find joy and satisfaction in things that were not sugar. I learned to discipline myself in the sense that I took control over what and how much I ate of certain things, things that were not good for my well-being and health. 


This challenge has taught me to love myself and be happy with myself, instead of feeling bad about myself and binging on sweets. I was more productive during these 3 weeks because I was not crashing half-way in my day and taking too many naps.


Overall, these sugar-free weeks have taught me more about myself and I am proud of myself for sticking to it - even when all I wanted was a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. If anyone of you is considering this challenge, please consult your doctor before-hand. If you do decide to do it, then I am rooting for you!