I’ve done it! I’ve actually got through 28 days of no sugar. It wasn’t easy though. I survived 5 birthday’s that involved saying no to cake, I survived half term outings without sweets, chocolates or biscuits, pancake day and valentine’s day.
The starting was the hardest but it got a little easier as the days went on. Here are 7 things that I discovered along the way:
The national sugar guidelines:
Adults should have no more than 30g of free sugar a day (approx. 7.5 teaspoon)
Children between 7 to 10 should have no more than 24g of free sugar a day (approx. 6 teaspoons)
Children between 4 to 6 should have no more than 19g of free sugar a day (approx.. 4.75 teaspoon)
Free sugar is added sugar found mainly in biscuits, chocolate, flavoured yoghurts, breakfast cereals and fizzy drinks. Free sugar is also sugars found in honey, syrups, nectars, and unsweetened fruit, vegetable juices and smoothies.
Sugar found naturally in milk, fruits and vegetables are not free sugars and can be eaten at will. More details of sugar guidelines can be found here on the NHS website.
I have heard that after 21 days you become used to sugar free coffee and you won’t want to go back to sugared coffee again. I did 28 days. This was the one thing I missed the most. It is the first time I have ever had coffee without sugar. I’ve had coffee without milk in the past and I have cut down a lot on sugar but never cut it out completely. On Thursday morning I had coffee with sugar and it felt like I was drinking warm sugary water. The only thing I can think of was maybe my coffee was not strong enough. I then spent the rest of the day drinking sugarless coffee and it was fine. I haven’t come to a complete verdict on this yet but I know I can drink coffee without sugar.
White toast with butter
This is actually a new thing I started doing during sugarfreefeb. During my gestational diabetes talk, controlling my sugar/insulin level involved eating less (ideally no) white bread, rice and pasta. When I was pregnant, I did eat less of it but I decided that wasn’t part of the sugarfreefeb rules and so almost binged on that. Although I did eat more fruits too.
At the same time as going sugar free, I also gave up alcohol. I didn’t really fancy any alcohol without sweet mixers and the only other thing I like is white wine. I could have convinced myself to have red wine instead but then decided to just give it all up. Therefore, giving up both sugar and alcohol have helped with my clearer complexion. This should be a good enough reason to permanently cut back on sugar and alcohol!
The afternoon slump was a real thing for me. I didn’t really notice much difference at the beginning but towards the end of this month I don’t feel too tired that I want to sleep so much in the afternoon. I still feel tired mainly because I don’t sleep that much but not the struggling type where I can’t keep my eyes open any more.
Missing biscuits, chocolates, cakes and all things sweet
This is one of the biggest break through. I started to realise when and why I would eat at certain times. Most of the day I feel like I’m rushing from one thing to another or doing things that stop me from thinking about food. When I stop, I feel hingry andthen want to snack on things. The main times I stop and feel hungry are inbetween the girls afterschool activities when I’m just sitting in the car waiting. The only other time I would want something sweet to eat was after the evening meal. For some reason it just didn’t feel like I had finished until I had something sweet.
Some of the things that has sugar in was quite shocking. Reggae reggae sauce which implies it is hot and spicy actually has lots of sugar as does ketchup unless you have the 50% less sugar one. I’m really bad at eating fruits but decided I would try some tinned pineapples but it’s in juice and so has a lot of sugar in it.
For drinks, I thought if I wanted something fizzy but not sweet I could drink Fever-tree elderflower tonic water but in the nutritional label, sugar is the only thing listed. I then avoided that. I was happy drinking water most of the time or herbal tea. A couple of times I had pepsi max when I went out and didn’t fancy asking for plain boring water again.
Overall, I think it was a success. You can read my posts about this sugar free month here:
It’s easier to do it when it is on my terms and there is an end point in sight. So far, I’ve not binged back onto sugar and I’m hoping to keep off it as much as I can (apart from my coffee!). There’s still time to sponsor me: