It’s a W in the books… I successfully made it through 7 days of NO ADDED SUGAR. That’s right, I tried out my very first 7-day no sugar detox.
Let’s rewind here. Now, as much as I am aware of my consumption of processed foods, the honest truth is a fell off the boat during the holidays and a little thereafter. I swear the sweets & breaded desserts took me by force! Once I accepted my sugar-binge reality, I took the next step: detox from processed sugars, because it’s about that time to see how much of an impact it has on my being.
As daunting as my mind made it out to be, it’s an experience I will proudly do again and again, mainly because of the massive takeaways I received: Sugars is highly addictive, especially during times of stress. Sugar wreaks havoc on the body in many shapes and forms. Oh, and sugar can be found in majority of packaged foods.
Below I’ve included some of the notes I wrote down daily.
No big changes. Very productive work day + got a lot done at the house. Small midday crash, and peed a lot. Had sugar yesterday BEFORE detox… therefore I don’t think I’m sugar detoxing yet? Slept terrible last night from overly consuming carbs and sugar.
Experienced very vivid dreams. Less motivated + focused than yesterday. Sleepy! Felt a little emotional. Perked up later at night. A few face breakouts. A little anxious?
Moody in the morning. Face looks brighter. Skin feels good. Burst of energy at night. A little forgetful? No sugar cravings, but wanted to eat a LOT. Inflamed left molar now back to normal (was having inflammation with pain for days).
High energy levels in the morning after yoga. Feeling off – racing thoughts, forgetful and tense feeling in body. Going to bed early.
Slept funny (had a hard time falling asleep but woke up around 6:15 in the morning), headaches, sleepy, small face breakouts. Motivation at a low.
Slept well. Not as hungry. Headaches. Did a lot around the house, but had to push myself for motivation. Lots of thinking.
*This day was my biggest challenge – I went out socially with a few friends who ate out and drank. I brought a snack with me, and had ZERO desire to consume alcohol or pick off someone’s plate.
Stomach ache in the morning. Had high energy levels all day. Good emotions. Face looks bright. No cravings. Eating normal and no hunger pains. GOOD day!
Overall, this experience opened my eyes on how much added sugar is in our every day foods. I feel better in my skin. I also realized how much sugar plays into my mental health. When I get stressed, I crave bad foods. But, I did it! Woo!
I decided to do some research on added sugar and how it affects our brain, for what bothered me the most was my increased feelings of anxiety and emotional discomfort. Note: I did not have a stressful week from outside factors. What I did find is that added sugars do in fact alter your mood; studies show that consuming high amounts of sugar increases the chance of a mood disorder. Also, sugary foods can weaken the body’s ability to cope with stress. And although we sometimes reach for the comfort foods, sugar can also increase your risk of developing depression.
Withdrawing from sugar can sometimes bring upon side effects such as:
- Stomach cramps
In turn, without added sugars, we can begin to have:
- Increased mental clarity
- Higher energy levels
- Less cravings
- More confidence in our skin
- Heightened wellbeing
After a week of highs and lows, I made the clear cut discovery that my body does not do well with added sugar (who would’ve thought!). What I vividly remember from this detox (aside from the mental) was when I didn’t feel my best, or felt a rise in stress, I began to think about sugary foods, fast food, the processed stuff. I felt uncomfortable, and my thought process was to ease the pain with food. Again, sugar is extremely addictive.
Will I still eat foods with added sugar? Well, in all honesty, yes. It’s bound to happen, and some of my favorite products contains a little added sugar. But my silver lining is this experience, a reminder that my happiness is worth much more than a slice of cake. And sugar should be consumed in moderation.
To anyone who wants to embark on the journey of kicking added sugar for a few days, a week, a month, my tip to you is break it down. Make a grocery list (with meals included), grocery shop before your cleanse, make SURE you have clean snacks on hand (this is quite the necessity if you’re on the go), and write it all out. Be present with the experience so you can really understand what artificial sweeteners do to your body – we’re all different with varying symptoms. And guess what? You can do this. Mentality is everything in this challenge. Bonus: Do this challenge with a friend or family member! Accountability can raise motivation, and you can share your findings with a partner.
Looking to start a 7-day no added sugar detox? Let’s do this together! You can contact me here.