A Week Without Sugar – No Problems! Or So I Thought

With talk of a sugar tax gaining momentum, our sweet-toothed author tests the sugar-free waters

kicking sugar changed my life

So, Australia is thinking of bringing in a sugar tax, in case you hadn’t heard.

The numbers don’t lie – sugar is slowly killing us and if something isn’t done soon to curb our addiction things are only going to get worse.

One of the biggest offenders are those in the 51-70 age group too – 41% of whom consume more than the recommended allowance by the World Health Organisation, according to a recent Sydney University study.

I am not one to shy away from a challenge, so when one of my colleagues suggested we (and he meant me!) try one week without sugar to see what life would be like with less sweetness in it, I cockily replied ‘no problem’.

I promptly told the husband to clear all the cupboards. Fearing some kind of cold turkey fallout, staff, friends and family immediately went on high alert, but I really didn’t know what the fuss was about.

Yes, I am known to have a family-sized block of chocolate all to myself, and I often send the long-suffering hubby up to the shops at all hours of the night for a bag of lollies, but come on. One week.  No problems.

What have I done?

What on earth was I thinking?  It’s day two and not only have I turned into Godzilla, I have a migraine, feel weak, am going all hot and cold, moody and generally feel unwell.

This no sugar gig is playing mind-games with me.  It’s a battle of wills and I am slightly concerned it’s going to win out.

I foolishly go to the supermarket for the weekly shop, and I can literally hear the confectionary aisle call out, it’s beckoning me, it really is.  I’m giving myself a pep talk, ‘come on Jo, you can do it’. I realise I’ve said this out loud, fellow shoppers are looking on concerned.

Yes, Yes, be very afraid people, it’s a walking nutcase on sugar withdrawals – fear for your safety and of those around you.

I don’t know if I can get through this.  I decide the best solution is to head to the fresh fruit section and pinch a few grapes, that will keep me going.  I end up getting a bunch, munching as I go around – desperate times, desperate measures.

This feeling of being ill and grumpy lasts for about five days.  By the fifth night I am fed up.

However, I am pleasantly surprised to wake up on day six with more energy, and the feeling of wellness.

After five days of pure hell, I am starting to feel clean – it’s a strange feeling, I feel light, less foggy throughout the day, and I actually start to crave healthier foods.

It’s all very odd, but a good odd.  I feel better than what I did before.

I do need to have a little disclaimer here, by no sugar, it’s really no junk food with high a sugar content, so no sweets, chocolate, fizzy drinks etc.

I haven’t gone all Akins on everyone.  I have kept my hot chocolate each day, but taken out all the nasty stuff.

Breaking the cycle 

Since I am feeling, and I have to say, looking better, I decide to keep at it.  My skin has improved; my energy levels are up and all in all I feel good.  I’m eating more nuts, having smoothies if I feel I need something sweet, and I even made my own ice blocks (banana, mango and coconut water).  Not only that I’ve decided to keep at it.

What I’ve learnt is that putting crap into your body, made me feel like crap and made me crave the bad stuff even more.

I didn’t go into this because it was cool, or some Instagram lovely, or blogger says it’s the new thing, but because it was a dare – and I’m bloody glad I took on that challenge, because it has changed my life and there is no way I want to go back to being depended on sugar to make me feel better, or give me that sugar high.  I just don’t need it

I’m not a sugar Nazi, I mean who on earth wants to be one of those, I’m now just an advocate for a healthier way of live.  The benefits have been significant;

Improved skin, moods, energy, weight loss, less colds, and a general feeling of wellbeing.

Try it, or try cutting out just a little of those processed, sugar-laden treats.  It might just make a difference – in fact I know it will.

Disclaimer – I did pay for the grapes

The co-founder of 50SoWhat has been in publishing for most of her working life. She was general manager of successful boutique media publishing house in New Zealand for several years and boasts an impeccable sales, marketing and management background. When she’s not road-testing the latest cosmetic procedures, or investigating the hottest lifestyle, travel, fashion and beauty trends for over 45’s, Jo is often back home catching up with family and friends, or working on her golf swing!


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