How I Quit Sugar – And How You Can Too
In case you didn’t know, For the month of February I made the conscious choice to quit sugar in my diet for the full 28 days.
A few people have asked me why and the simple reason is that it’s just something I’ve felt like I needed to do for a while now. February seemed like the perfect time.
I do my utmost best to listen to my ‘inner voice’, and something deep down inside was telling me I needed to do this. So I decided to go ahead and take the plunge! It’s been one of the most challenging things I’ve done for a long time.
The idea first popped into my head in the middle of January. I thought about it for a week or so and decided to take the plunge. I have some friends who don’t have sugar as part of their diet and for them this is something easy. However, for someone like me, who has practically lived off sugar for an entire life time, to quit sugar was more than a simple challenge.
Amit, why quit sugar? Just eat what you want and be happy?
One of my colleagues at my radio station asked me this and he is onto a good point. What is the point in doing all this kind of stuff? Why the fasting and why the no sugar challenge? Why not just eat what I want and enjoy life?
Sure, I can take that route and just eat what I like and that is pretty much what I was doing before I began the fasting, but was I really happy? Yes, in the moment, when eating a big chocolate or dipping into a big bag of nacho chips, it felt good. But the truth is I was eating that stuff in the first place to plug a hole. I was reaching for those foods from a place of deep, inner dissatisfaction; to make me happy.
So while I agree it’s good to be happy and live in the moment, how many people are actually in that place when they dig into a big cream cake? Most people aren’t, in fact, we all know too well that people can reach for a treat to cheer themselves up. So the truth is, if you’re content scoffing on junk food, then the underlying truth is that maybe you’re not happy.
I started fasting again back in October 2014 and my starting weight then was around 297lbs, or 21.3st. At the end of January I was down to 283.8lbs, which means I’d lost 14lbs or 1st.
I love the process of intermittent fasting as I was only doing it for 2 days a week, and on the other 5 days I was eating exactly what I would normally eat.
In the beginning it was a struggle but I still found it easier than when I did it back in 2012. I almost rigorously managed to stick to my 600 calories for the two days each week. I missed around 3 days in the 4 months.
The other perk of IF that I was getting without even realising was that my body was starting to become accustomed to going without sugar. I was slowly going from being a sugar burner to a fat burner; something the body needs to do in order to shift the weight.
I really enjoyed going without food and trying to stay disciplined. There were days it was easy and on some other days where it took every ounce of my will power. I had to find creative ways of staying focussed on my goal and using other distractions to keep me from falling off the wagon.
Quit sugar – ditching the white stuff
I had to figure out how far I was going to take this challenge from the beginning. I knew I wouldn’t be able to cut out all kinds of the sugar, just mainly the refined stuff. So I decided to quit all kinds of chocolate, biscuits, crisps, ice cream and sugary coffee. I actually gave a up coffee for the month too just to see what kind of impact it would have.
I decided to continue eating small amounts of fruit, and fresh juices (my daily tipple of choice was freshly juiced, apple, carrot, cucumber with bee pollen and protein power), breads, pasta and potatoes; but all in moderation.
The first week was fairly easy, in fact, I didn’t miss the junk food at all. The only thing I really missed was coffee. I love my coffee and I don’t really drink tea. At the time of year when it’s most cold, I really felt the loss. I drank lukewarm water but stayed away from any other kind of hot beverage because I knew I’d just want to lace it with some kind of sweetener.
Over the course of the month, I had good days, and bad days, but I didn’t give in a once. I stayed true and remained free of the horrible white stuff.
I’m happy to say that after the 28 days I lost another 7lbs on top of what I had already lost. I can feel a huge difference now and people are also starting to notice the clear difference in the way I look.
It was definitely worth the experiment and I’m so glad I took it on.
Now that it’s over – what do I plan to do? Well I’ve tried having a coffee with no sugar. It has been a challenge to adapt but I’m starting to like the taste. Giving up and never having a soya mocha again will be very tough.
I can totally live without chocolates and crisps. That has been the easy part and so I don’t see myself going back to my old ways and snacking on high sugar foods as often as I used to. I can’t say I never will, but I believe it will be much much easier to control myself from now on.
However, I’ve decided that I’m going to try something a little bit different.
I’m going to continue to remain sugar free for the majority of the time. I’m also going to continue fasting at least once, if not twice a week. The addition for me will be that one day a week, I allow myself to eat absolutely anything I like.
If I choose to have a soya mocha, a big chocolate bar, or some nachos with cheese, one day a week I can do that if I want too.
Over to you
So you’d like to quit sugar too and want to know the best way to go about it? My advice would be to go cold turkey! If you really want to eliminate the bad foods from your life, the best way is set yourself a challenge, for a month, just like I did. Tell all your friends on Facebook what you plan to do! Make that public declaration and commit yourself to doing what you’ve known for ages that you’ve, not only wanted to do, but you know is right for you.
It’s been said countless times before, but I’m going to say it anyway, If I can do it, someone who hasn’t gone a day in his life without sugar, then you definitely can too!