I decided to give up sugar for the month of May, and I’m now halfway through the month.
I do a different little goal every month, and I decided that it would be a good idea to try giving up sugar because I might be just a bit too addicted to it.
And just to clarify: I’m not giving up natural sugar. I’m still eating plenty of fruits! I’m also still drinking alcohol (which often has fermented sugar), and I’m still consuming grains/gluten. But I’m not eating sugar/brown rice syrup/artificial sugar/any desserts.
You can read more about why I’m giving up sugar for the month of May here! Here’s my recap of the first 15 days:
Days 1-5: Easy peasy! The first 5 days were really fun! I told a bunch of people I was doing this (my husband, my sister, some friends, and everyone who follows instagram/the blog.)
I felt excited and enjoyed the goal at this point. It was fun to find healthy replacements for sugar. If I was craving a chocolate chip cookie, I’d eat an English muffin with almond butter and cinnamon. If I wanted a cold vanilla ice cream cone, I’d drink a giant glass of iced green tea with lemon.
I also did my 1-day juice cleanse during the first 5 days. It was new challenge for me that made this feel like a fun goal instead of drudgery.
At this point, I definitely craved sugar, but I felt in control of the cravings.
Days 6-8: ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. I was in a terrible mood for 48 hours straight. If I talked to you, texted you, or sent you an email on these days, I’m so, so sorry. Also, my poor husband….
My mood was ridiculously low, and everything that normally works for me to get back in a good mood (workout, take a nap, write in a gratitude journal, watch an episode of Gilmore Girls) didn’t work. I desperately wanted the Super Baked Cookie from Soup Peddler or a scoop of gelato from Dolce Neve. I know this sounds dramatic now, but in the moment I felt like life was kind of meaningless and boring without dessert. I KNOW! It sounds ridiculous now, but I truly felt that way for a couple days!
I sipped on iced green tea pretty much non stop on these three days. And I just felt mad/sad/annoyed all the time. And I try not to look at instagram too often…
Days 9-10: My mood finally lifted and it felt SO good to be happy again! I can’t say what it was other than just waiting it out, but I finally got to the point where I was in a good mood and excited about life again! YAY!
The sugar cravings are still there, but it’s not as intense all the time. In fact, I’ve noticed something pretty important that I’ll share with you in just a moment.
Days 11-15: I’m kind of in the swing of things. I still really want dessert and think about it every day, but I’m not miserable. Have you ever trained for a marathon? There’s that feeling before doing a really long run, like 18 or 20 miles where you think, “ok, I’m just gonna do this and not think about it too much.” That’s what days 11-15 feel like. I want a brownie, but I don’t get to have one. So I just don’t dwell on the thought.
Iced green tea with lemon is seriously my life saver. I don’t think I would have made it this far without it! My caffeine intake is probably way high right now – ha! I’ll just have to deal with that later.
Also, I’m noticing that my tummy is a bit flatter. I don’t have a 6-pack or anything, but just by giving up sugar and making no other changes, I feel a tinier bit leaner. So that’s kinda fun!
Here’s the important thing I noticed:
My intense sugar cravings are actually pretty predictable! It’s around 2 pm and 9 pm, every day. Crazy! I never realized it before, but at those hours, pretty much on a daily basis, I get insane urges to eat dessert (usually Dolce Neve gelato or Super Baked Cookies from Soup Peddler, which are my two favorites in south Austin.) So if I can just make it through the hour, I’ll usually be ok.
And green tea seriously helps. Does anyone know why? I hear there’s some science-y reason why green tea is good to help fight sugar cravings.
Other stuff I’ve noticed:
- It takes larger quantities of food to fill me up this month. I think that just means that a lot of my calories typically come from dessert, so when I take those out, I’m hungry for a lot more. So I’m eating more veggies/proteins, which is probably good…
- It’s soooo much easier on me to do this with my spouse’s support! Nate’s not joining me in this challenge, but he’s completely respecting me by not keeping any ice cream in the freezer this month or brining home any desserts/pastries.
- Running this food blog is a bit harder without eating sugar, but honestly not too much harder… I’ve had about 10 opportunities already this month to eat dessert, and it’s hard to turn it down! But I have a lot of other stuff to eat/photograph/write about, so it’s all good.
I’ll share the final recap in two more weeks. Wish me luck! Thanks for stopping in today to read my ramblings. And if anyone has some super tips to share with me about avoiding sugar cravings, please let me know!