We are done with our no-sugar month, and I am off to go eat a pint of ice cream... just kidding! I am trying to change my sugar-loving ways. I wanted to let you know how it went, in case you are considering doing a similar sort of challenge.
First, health-wise it felt great. Clearer mind, somewhat better sleeping, and overall energy, with less slumps during the day and headaches. I was pretty sleepy a lot of days, but that may be from not going to bed as early as I should rather than result of less sugar.
I was just really pleased that I made it so many days without sugar. What we did was actually not a true no-sugar month, but I made conscious decisions when I did eat it (only a handful of times).
Second, I was able to find healthier snacks to replace the sugary snacks, and found that I had been eating almost exclusively sweet snacks, and often I would forgo the snack when I no longer had the option of eating something sweet.
Third, I ate a lot of other fatty foods to compensate. Not like chips and crackers (although I ate some of those, too), but mostly a lot of plain whole milk yogurt, peanut butter in everything, and cream sauces. Really satiating foods, I guess. I don't think I put on any weight but I didn't lose any weight either. I felt like I could only give up on thing, and it was sugar, not fat. I did try to restrict it to homemade, healthy fats, though.
Fourth, I love the idea of keeping my sugar intake to a minimum, but I am still struggling with what to do for this. We have tried 1 or 2 treats a week, or whatever, but I end up being terrible and breaking down and eating whatever all the time, and throwing in the towel, so if you have suggestions of how to be better at this, let me know.
One idea that I have had, is cutting out 90% of the refined sugar out of my diet. After this month of no-sugar, I want to cut back, and because natural sugars (maple syrup, honey, etc) are much more expensive than refined sugar, I am hopeful that I would be much better about not making desserts all that time. Maybe that is the route I will go, rather than limiting myself to sugar a certain number of times per week or month. I will let you know if I give that a go.
At any rate, I feel like this was a great experiment, and has really been a good thing for me (particularly for my self control, which I often struggle with)! I would certainly recommend it, and think it would be good for anyone, especially for those who are experiencing health problems. My brother-in-law is a doctor, and keeps sending us articles about how sugar is really incredibly bad for our health (this is the latest article that he sent), and how cutting it out will do wonders for your health.