I Did It! 7 Days Without Eating Sugar

There was sugar sludge running through my veins.  I exercise and I eat right, so what’s the harm in some sugary snacks when I feel like it? I deserve to eat sweets every day because I’m not overweight, right?

That was my mindset.

But sugar was affecting me in ways I didn’t realized. Here’s the scoop on what happened when I went 7 Days without adding refined sugars to my meals. I also swore off any packaged foods (except for Chobani Greek yogurt) that contained more than 5 grams of sugar. To get an idea of what 5 grams is like, an Arnold whole wheat burger bun has 4 grams (about a teaspoon of sugar) and serving of Jiffy Cornbread has 7 grams.

CRAVINGS

My body has been trained (obviously by me) to beg for sugar every day after lunch. Before this experiment I always gave it what it wanted while sensibly staying within 100 calories of greedy pleasure.  The first two days were really difficult. The internal struggle going on with my temptation was utterly ridiculous.  I felt like a hungry hyena shrieking into the wind for my next sugar fix. I was uncomfortable and on edge to say the least, but I stood my ground. God forbid how a real crack addict feels.

On Day 3 the ugly cravings let up. I used sweet fruits like watermelon, strawberries and pineapple to manage my cravings. After a few days I began craving fruit instead of chocolate and cake. SCORE!

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Ugh. There were headaches, dizziness, bitchiness, whining beginning on Day 2. It felt exactly like coffee withdrawal, but I know it wasn’t about the coffee because I continued to drink that on my regular schedule. With zero sugar in it. Stevia does not work in my coffee – powered or liquid drops. I gave up and drank it black. Withdrawal symptoms were gone by Day 3. KABOOM!

MY PHYSIQUE

By removing sugar from my daily coffee and oats, look at how many calories I saved:

  • Coffee: up to 7 teaspoons @ 15/calories each = 105 per day (735 per week)
  • Oats: 5 teaspoons @ 15/cal. each = 75 calories per day (525 per week)

So far I’ve received 3 unsolicited compliments related to the slimming of my thighs, stomach, and the definition in my muscles. I noticed that my cheek bones are more pronounced like when I was younger, and my face seems brighter (which may be due to increased fruits). Yes, all of this happened in a measly 7 days.

SLEEP, ENERGY and HUNGER

I usually get 5 hours of sleep every night. This is bad. I need to get to bed earlier regardless, but with no sugar I slept sounder and felt more refreshed in the morning. My  energy level has been tremendous. I ran 5-miles for the first time last week. My pace was faster than ever and I wasn’t tired at the end. I should have kept running.

In general, I am less hungry and think about food less often (which may ruin greedy my reputation). This means I’m eating less. I don’t get the 3pm Greedies anymore.  This chick over here mentioned a book by Dr. Oz that made a correlation between excess sugar intake and increased hunger. I’m proof there is some merit to that. Less sugar = less hungry for me.

SELF CONTROL

The practice of resisting sugary crap all week has built me up in the self control department. This in turn has helped to me stay in better control of my eating in general, especially pre-dinner snacking. My mindless snacking before dinner has been excessive at times. It’s enough to ruin all my good fitness efforts for the day. But now, where I once felt I would go out of my mind if I did not snack before dinner, I simply wait.

I can wait now!

I have better self control and discipline, and I’m saving calories because of it.

What’s Next? LIFE AFTER THE EXPERIMENT

As of the writing of this post it’s been two days since the Experiment ended. I still have not had any sugar.

I definitely don’t crave it.

I don’t want it right now.

My eyes have been opened to what sugar does to my body. There’s no way I can go backwards now and sacrifice the increased energy and better sleep, not to mention the calorie savings.

Yes, I’ll still love extra large slices of pie, but I gotta admit it, I am changed forever.

Comments

  1. You go girl! That is fabulous. 5 hours of sleep? I’d maybe die. It sounds like you still ate fruit, right? And it didn’t make you crave any more sugar after?

  2. Miz says:

    I know you joke a bunch here but this has been really powerful…for you and for us playing along or watching at home.
    that you have been forever impacted/changed by these 7 days is big stuff.

    lottsa food for thought for this blogger as well as I KNOW I feel better when Im sugar-free too.

  3. I am so glad you did this Josie and saw such a change within such a relatively short period of time. You know how pissed I am at all the added sugar companies put in food…I swear it’s like the tobacco companies and nicotine! Sugar is as addictive, if not more, and it’s as deadly, if not more!

    Oh, and by the way, Gordy spelled “massive” wrong…figures ;-)

  4. Gayle says:

    Wow Josie! You are my freakin’ hero! Congrats on a week without sugar. Someday I’m going to try and do A DAY without sugar :)

  5. amanda says:

    Wow you are amazing. Are you going to continue or are you going back to sugar at all? I normally try to stick to sugar free stuff and limit my sugar. I feel like utter crap when I indugle into too much sugar.

  6. Sarah says:

    Wow, really great. Congrats!

  7. Erin says:

    So proud of you girl!

  8. I am so impressed with your experiment, Josie! You really make a strong case for ditching sugar. I want to sleep better, have slimmer thighs and no cravings, too!

    What would you say your total grams of sugar intake from foods were a day?

    • Yum Yucky says:

      not really sure on total grams but it had to be really low. I stayed away from packaged as much as possible except for the burger buns which I noticed had the 4 grams, and Lean Cuisines which have around 3 grams.

      The fact that my hunger was low helped me to NOT eat after dinner, so I avoided a lot of calories and potentially some foods with hidden sugars under the 5grams radar. Cereal is big with me, but I haven’t eaten any in over a week now. I noticed Honey Nut Cheerios has 9 grams: )

  9. Shannon says:

    Agree with you completely about eating sugar makes you crave sugar. So weird but very true. You are amazing seriously what you did was not an easy task and look at the results, very cool. Maybe some day I will dare to try your experiment…maybe???

  10. Debra says:

    Those are some amazing results. I wonder, do you think you’ll go back to have massive cravings for the stuff when you do have sugar again? Are you worried that it will be harder to quit after the next yum-yucky taste test? I think I’m really afraid to try it because I’m afraid of falling head first into a tub of jelly beans at the first taste of sweet after getting through the withdrawals.

    • Yum Yucky says:

      I mostly worry that anything I taste sweet at this point will be revolting. We’ll see! But when will I eat sweet again?? I have no plans to right now.

      I can’t imagine that I’ll have massive cravings because I have no intention to feed those cravings and turn it monster again.

      And to think, I’m going to someone’s 75th birthday tomorrow. And there will be cake. Not sure what I’ll do about that! LOL

  11. Very cool Josie!!! & with the sugar gone comes less calories & weight loss if one is looking for that! I am assuming this was just sugar added to stuff.. I don’t recall your first post. Did you still have food with sugar grams as part of the make-up?

    I use only stevia & Splenda to oats, coffee etc. That is why I am curious if you cut out all foods with sugar grams.. I doubt I could do it… meaning I don’t want to! :-)

    GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Meegan says:

    Josie! Congrats on surviving your 7 days and having some seriously kick-ass results to show for it! I’m 100% impressed with your resolve and with the benefits. You have me wondering what my total sugar intake is each day…I’m off to do some calculations. 

  13. Jess says:

    Seven days is huge! I think I did the inverse of what you did. I started off with no added sugars and am just adding some back in, mainly because I love what I am eating when I add it back in, but only in small amounts. Plus, I don’t crave it. It’s one of those, hm, I really love chocolate kind of deals.

    However, I DO get what you are saying about the excess energy. If I want excess energy (especially for my runs), I am not going to eat yogurt covered raisins. They’re delicious, but not going to fuel me for a long run.

    Congrats on the self-discipline :) That’s HUGE. And, keep running! I want to hear about your 15 miler soon.

  14. melissa says:

    I’m so impressed and proud of you!!! I aspire to do this. It’s hard. But reading this is really motivating. Congratulations.

  15. It’s AMAZING how many calories sugar packs and where it comes into your life. Thank you for posting this. I can find myself CRAVING sugar and ‘needing’ sugar. It’s a crutch for me. It does totally reduce your tummy bloat and make you less crazy at the end of the day. I can totally feel when I have too much sugar, it’s like getting a high. It’s weird, but my body totally responds to it.

  16. Tricia says:

    I’m 18 days sugar-free as of today and super amazed with how the cravings have diminished. There were four cakes at work today for various birthdays, and I ate ZERO and was totally fine with it. Yay me! Yay you! We rule!

    • Josie says:

      WOW! that is REALLY impressive. And this gives me hope today since I’m going to party….there will be cake, of course.

  17. Lance says:

    Josie,
    I happen to think that sugar is one of the biggest reasons why we gain extra weight. It is so prevalent! Anyway – very awesome what you accomplished!! You are AWESOME…and Mr. Blankenship has officially recognized that!!

  18. You are awesome! That is all!

  19. I am a sugar junkie. Hard core. Tap a line into my vein, I’m there. Bravo for 7 days! Your experiment has given me much to ponder. I think I may undertake the challenge myself!

    You, again, have proven to me fan-freaking-tastic. :)

  20. Yay! Good for you!!!! I hope it continues….

  21. Tasha @ Slim Pickins says:

    Congratulations on the sugar kick! I have done this myself as well.
    Now I use sweetener when I really need the sweetness, but I try not to use too much of that either. 
    Love your blog btw! Awesome!
    :o)

  22. Carla says:

    This was a super interesting post! I also have noticed so many little (and big!) improvements since giving up sugar. Your experience totally motivates me to keep going with it!

  23. Joe says:

    I’m starting Monday morning. Considering trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon and I will need to drop about 7 pounds. Sugar is the only thing holding me back. I may need to check myself into rehab though.

  24. Yay for you!!! In January, I went 3 weeks without refined sugar. I felt amazing, then promptly triggered a migraine when I added sugar back in. Duh! Now I know that refined sugar is a trigger so I do try to avoid it most of the time.

    So proud of your accomplishment and the revelations that it gave you! Way to go!

  25. lisa says:

    i totally agree witht he less sugar= less hungry.even if i eat something “sugary” with my meal, if i eat it LAST, i’m hungry, but if i eat something else “last”- not hungry! for example, if i had kettle corn popcorna nd peanut butter as a snack (ok, weird combo but work with me). if i finsihed the snack with the kettle corn, i wanted MORE, bc it was sugary. but if i finished the snack with the scoop of pb, i was satisfied. less sugar, + fat/protein for satisfaction!
    Im beginning to hate sugar- its EVIL!!!

  26. 'Drea says:

    Great post and wow. Congratulations on gutting it out. I admit that I was tempted to try my own experiment but I don’t know if I’m ready yet. The kicker is that I know I need to eat cleaner.

  27. I remember when I did that. Tough. Way to go Josie! :)

  28. Pocket says:

    Wow congrats! You did it. Honestly didnt think you would of but you did, you’re much stronger than I am. When I saw the post about no sugar I thought about it and did try but didn’t last a day. There are times I’ve gone without sugar (2 days) and the feeling is great, sleep better, energy, etc.

    Again congrats

  29. Fauxtographer says:

    I know that I probably should try this. I imagine getting the excess sugar out of my diet would reduce my afternoon sleepiness, which in turn would make my after work workouts more productive (and more frequent, hopefully.) But I don’t know if I’d want to cut out sugar completely. There’s a certain joy in savoring a quality dessert every now and then. Sure, it shouldn’t be daily, but the occasional summer-afternoon ice cream cone is divine.

    But maybe I could try my own modified sugar detox. I’ve pretty much given up soda already, but add candy to that (I sometimes fall into the trap of the office vending machine) and maybe stop adding sugar to my morning coffee…I could probably swing that for a week. Maybe indefinitely.

  30. freak4fitness says:

    Bravo. That’s something I can’t imagine attempting at this point in my life. I think in the future when I get my braces off & don’t already have a zillion limitations to what I can eat, I would try it, but I simply already have too many limitations at the moment.
    It’s interesting how your body reacted in such a positive way! Way to stick it out!

  31. Eunice says:

    Congrats, Josie! You have inspired a lot of people, including myself. You’re my fav Skeezah!

  32. paula says:

    Oh, I was sitting on the edge of my seat so excited. I keep saying I’m not going to eat sugar and I fail. I’m such a sugar junkie. Just a few minutes ago I ate the last of a cinnamon roll (which I’ve kept in the freezer and have been eating for the last 3 days). Sick, I know. Anyways, you give me hope. It’s worth the effort if I can feel the way you do. I’m gonna give it a try. Starting now. No more processed sugar. I’ve read other bloggers and they rave about how great they feel after kickin the sugar habit. I hope I can sing the same song in the next three days.

    Thanks for sharing.

  33. gigi says:

    HA! What did I tell you!!!!! And I am writing this message ALL THE WAY FROM TURKEY (the country) to tell you how proud I am of you!!! Your life is forever changed for sure!!!

    • Josie says:

      What can I say!? I am uber honored that you commented all the way from Turkey to give me a pat on the back. You’re my pal. hehe.

  34. hard thing to do for me….hiks…

  35. That’s very impressive! You’re a good one for sticking with your pledge. :)

  36. Being addicted to sugar can be as strong as any drug addiction! I think that a great way to beat the addiction is to substitute the processed sugar with fresh fruit.

    It works for me every time!

  37. I don’t usually eat a lot of sugar but lately have been going a bit overboard… I think it’s time to watch my sugar intake more closely again. Your results after only 7 days are amazing!!! Great experiment! Thanks for sharing!

  38. merri says:

    Wow that was such a quick noticible difference. My friend always says he’s addicted to sugar, I guess he probably really is. Your post made me curious as to how much sugar foods I eat have in them. Since I’m at work I cant check many but my morning cereal has zero although I add cranberries to it, so that adds in sugar, but fruit is natural so it’s probably good for me. Likewise my afternoon snack of dried fruit. And I use splenda in my tea. :) I think my big sugar time is dessert after dinner. Or weekends if I have a sugary breakfast I feel bleh and tired for a while. I can only eat sugar with protein or a mostly full stomach, otherwise I literally pass out, it’s weird.

  39. Natalia says:

    Hey!  I’ve gone off sugar before, but I keep going back!  I noticed the same changes you did as far as the cravings going away.  I also noticed a more stable mood! :)  

    I’m gonna have to do this again!  

    Thanks! 

  40. Rachel says:

    You’re hilarious! Congratulations on keepin sugar in its place.

  41. frenziedeater says:

    So, it’s February of 2011. I’m wondering, how are you doing now? Still on the no sugar plan? I did the no sugar thing for one month last year. I didn’t last, sadly =\ But have you stayed on it? What kind of results did you get? I’m excited to try it again :D

    • Josie says:

      Hey, Frenzy! I am still going strong from last year’s experiment. I never went back to the way I used to eat. I know do zero sweeteners in my coffee (gah! that took awhile get used to) and I typically only indulge in a sweet treat on the weekends. Not during the week. It’s a lifestyle for me now. It’s easy. It’s a habit. The experiment laid that foundation for all of this. I really thought I’d go back to sweets after the 7 days, but after the results I had, no way! The Sugar Beast ebook is being written now. It’s a lot more work than I thought, but it’s almost finished. Thanks for checking in with me! ;)

  42. I have tried this, no its not that easy for me i love kool aid and lemonade.

  43. Billy says:

    Wow that’s super impressive good for you for taking control of your health. If you have enough self control to improve your health. You can do anything you set your mind to.

  44. Ariana says:

    I have also just reached my 7 day goal of being (processed) sugar free. I suffer from digestive issues and that was my motivation. That and the fact that I was buying Smarties and Hershey’s kisses in copious amounts. I was 14 days in on a sugar binge when my stomach pains and foggy episodes got the best of me. I was also having trouble falling asleep before midnight.

    Now, 8 days later, after driving past the grocery store and resisting the chocolates in my mason jar; I am clear headed; falling asleep by 9:30; up by 7 and my stomach pains have all but disappeared! In other words, I feel great. I have also lost a few pounds unintentionally.

    I recommend this to anyone suffering from feelings of fatigue, irritability and/ or frequent digestive upsets.

    I am going to continue this to see how long I can go.

    Thanks for sharing your story! :)

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Disclaimer: Not all exercise programs are suitable for everyone. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Neither Josie, YumYucky.com, nor anyone else associated with this website will be responsible or liable for any injury you sustain while exercising.