Not permanently and forever for the rest of my life, but for now. Yes. I’m doing a 21 Day Sugar Detox.
Here’s how it all started:
Last November I discovered that my blood sugar got way out of control. I packed on all of the weight I lost the previous year and then some (about 30lbs, eek!). I was feeling sluggish and out of control with my (non-existent) diet. My blood sugar being too high all of the time was just the icing on the cake (ohhh cake). It was time to make changes. With my doctor’s suggestions, I changed the drugs I was taking. I also starting recording all of my food again with my Fitbit app. I started eating less and watching what I ate. I walked more steps. I managed to lose weight before the holidays! Hooray! But what I was finding was that I still really craved sweet things. I always wanted a sweet snack after dinner. Just another piece of chocolate. Just another slice of the cheesecake I made for Christmas. I was still eating less thanks to the new drug I was on, but I gained one pound over the holidays due to sweet snacking. While it wasn’t much, it still felt like backtracking.
I decided to quit eating out as much and make my own work lunches after the holidays. I started posting those desk lunches on Instagram to keep myself on track. Then I got the idea to do a sugar detox. I read that it can help you curb sugar cravings by cutting out sugar in your food and I really wanted that for myself. Luckily Jake agreed to doing the diet with me, because I’m pretty sure if I saw him eating bread while I couldn’t that I’d want to punch him. Ha.
Here’s what Jake and I did:
The first three days was no sugar. At all. Zip, zero, zilch.
No added sugar, no sugar substitutes. No white flour products or by products (this includes breads, pretzels, cakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, etc). No fruits, no dairy, no potatoes/sweet potatoes. There is a LOT of sneaky sugar in processed foods like crackers, chips, breads, etc. There was a lot of label reading going on and surprise at sneaky sugar in savory things.
After the initial three days, fruit, dairy, and potatoes are back in.
What I hope to get out of the Sugar Detox:
- less sugar cravings
- save money by cooking more meals at home
- lose weight
- feel more energized from non-sugary foods
- be able to enjoy the flavor of natural sweetness in foods
SUGAR DETOX DAY ONE
Here’s a journal entry from my first day on the sugar detox:
“As soon as I got up today I was mentally aware of what day it was.
Sugar Detox Day One.
We’re doing this for three weeks. I CAN DO IT!
[DAMN YOU SWEET SNACKY GOODNESS]
I get down to the kitchen this morning before work and immediately I see sweets: Reese’s bars, Cadbury cookies, candy, chocolates that I was given for Christmas but never ate. I don’t live alone so I can’t throw these things out. All I can do is ignore them. I feel like if I wasn’t starting the Sugar Detox that these wouldn’t bother me, but today it feels like a “neener neener” kind of moment. I sigh and check the cabinets for something I intend to make for dinner today and am met with the sight of MORE candy that I didn’t know about (ugghhhh Caramel Cremes). Double sigh.
I get to work and one of the first emails I see in my inbox is an invite to a restaurant. I’ve decided to limit my intake of restaurants for the next three weeks simply because I can’t control what someone else is cooking. Sigh number three for the day.
I packed and prepared breakfast and lunch for today already so I’m hoping I can keep my mind busy and off of things that I can’t have. I think it’s the “can’t can’t can’t” that is lingering in the back of mind that’s already put a wall up. But I’m here because I want to break that craving. I want to not feel that pressure and desire for something sweet after a savory meal. It’s going to take some time and some strong willpower to get through this.
My protein packed breakfast. Eating avocado without bread seems really weird to me. Also I feel like everyone on Instagram is eating bread except me right now.
I was not efficient in making my shrimp salad lunch today. I left the tails on the shrimp, the strings on the sugar peas, made a not as good as I hoped salad dressing, and everything is making me gag a little. I’m hungry and I feel grumpy and I want to do is roll around in a pile of Little Debbie Zebra Cakes instead and forget this whole thing ever happened.
Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts.”
Later in the day, Jake and I had to run to the store to get a few things so I could make dinner. I felt famished and cranky and somehow didn’t faint while walking around the grocery store nor did I succumb to a package of Zingers that I think were following me around (probably just my imagination. I think.)
For dinner I made some weird rice. Also known as “Skinny Pasta” in Rice Shape form. This “Skinny Pasta” is made from Konjac Rice in Japan. There are apparently all of these different shapes – noodles, rice, lasagna – and you use them in place of regular pasta.
It comes in a bag. You rinse the rice before you use it.
I made a little “risotto” with it with onion, garlic, chicken stock, basil, and pine nuts.
Along with the risotto, I made Coconut Oil Chicken Thighs and some roasted asparagus. I wanted a piece of cake after dinner so damn bad. Instead we binge watched season three of Game of Thrones and then went to bed.
SUGAR DETOX DAY TWO
“The first day was hard. Very hard. I think I put some kind of mental block up yesterday that made me crave everything in sight. My failure of a lunch made me very hungry for the remainder of the day and I stood strong and waited for dinner. Even though we still had to go shopping for food. Even though Jake stood and talked to someone for what seemed like forever and I had to stand and be patient and not scream “OMG I AM HUNGRY LET’S GO” I did not do this and instead went off and picked up all of the fresh vegetables I planned on using for the weekend.
I tried the Skinny Pasta stuff that’s made out of a crazy plant from Japan and it was pretty good, actually. As long as you add flavor to it. I suspect it has zero flavor on it’s own.
I have no craving or hunger this morning which is good. I wished for a candy bar or something last night and today I feel okay. Hopefully whatever I make today tastes good and there’s no gag reflex engaged.”
Breakfast was baked egg cups with basil, spinach, asparagus, and zucchini plus turkey sausage that I made myself with ground turkey and a variety of spices. No sugar in sight!
For lunch, we had spinach salads with leftover chicken from the night before + almonds. I made a little basil lemon vinaigrette to go on top of our salad.
Dinner was a chicken curry which was quite tasty!
Again, we binged on Game of Thrones and I made popcorn as a treat. It was easier to resist things today since we didn’t really go out and just stayed home and ran a few errands.
“It’s almost 11am on a Sunday morning and I only feel a little hungry. I decided to try making a keto bread made with almond flour and eggs. Mostly it’s so I have something for later in the week but I also want to try it with breakfast this morning.
I find myself craving things a bit less, but it’s hard when I see a photo of some cookies or chocolate cake or something. But actually, if I think about eating a lot of chocolate cake, it’s almost like I can feel the sugar rush starting to happen in my mind and I shiver and go, “Um, maybe not.”
We had a good three square meals yesterday plus had a bowl of homemade popcorn while watching multiple episodes of Game of Thrones. Actually I think having a long show to watch is also helping me keep my mind off of sweets and desserts at night after dinner. Thanks, Games of Thrones, for being so engaging! What will I watch during the week though when I’m at home? Guess I’ll have to find another “only me” show to binge on. Or start a new book! I have lots of those to read.”
Yeah, I was really really missing bread. So I made my own bread from a recipe I found online called The Best Keto Bread Recipe on the Internet.
It looked like bread.
It sliced like really deflated bread. And it tasted fine to me at first.
But then there’s an aftertaste.
A really eggy aftertaste.
They suggest adding sweetener to get rid of the aftertaste but that’s not an option for me right now. I liked it better after it was toasted though. But the aftertaste still lingers. And I’m not crazy about egg taste in the first place. Jake liked this one better than I did. But hey, at least I tried it!
Brunch was skirt steak, eggs, and keto bread.
For dinner I made Italian Chicken Meatballs. These had a great amount of seasoning in them! Sugar free can be flavorful and not boring, you guys!
Dinner: brown rice (white rice is not on the list but brown rice is okay), steamed veggies, and chicken meatballs.
2 lbs ground chicken
1/2 cup almond flour
Splash of chicken stock
Bunch of fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together in a bowl. Form into meatballs. Place into a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Nom nom away and enjoy!
FIRST THREE DAYS RECAP
The first three days were hard, but the first day was really the hardest. I wanted to punch someone for some bread or chocolate, man.
I’m currently on day seven and I’ve already noticed changes. I had some blueberries on day four and I thought they were really sweet. Half an apple was more than enough for me because the sweetness almost seemed like too much. Last night I made Shepherd’s Pie with ground turkey and lots of onion and carrots and it seemed insanely sweet to me. I can’t imagine with soda or chocolate or cake would taste like to me at this point and I still have two weeks to go! Mostly I still want to eat a baguette or have some sourdough toast. The little “sweetness bug” pokes me a tiny bit after dinner but then if I really think about, I cringe a tiny bit.
Later I’ll post about what I eat if I have to go to a restaurant (which I’ve had to do this week) and share other thoughts.
Have you been on a sugar detox? What were your experiences like?
6 thoughts on “I’m Quitting Sugar with a Sugar Detox”
Hi Mary! Change is good but it isn’t easy! It is also nice to have a support group with others in the same boat! I recently finished my 3 week clean eating diet (post coming this week). You might like some of the recipes I share. Anyway, I’ll be cheering you on here, Facebook, Fitbit, etc! You got this girl! =D
Thanks, Lynn! I’m glad I have Jake doing the diet with me otherwise it would be so much harder to do! I never thought about a support group or anything so in retrospect that’s an awesome idea! Home stretch for me this week!
You certainly have more will power than I do. Kudos to you Mary. That’s awesome…I’m sure you will see results! You can do this!
Hi CC – I had to work up to it but in the end I think it was the right decision. Thanks!!
Love reading your honesty. Sugar is so hard to quit. I literally have to throw it away or else I’ll eat the whole bag of whatever (cereal, cookies, chocolate covered almonds….) until I feel sick and miserable. You’ve inspired me to minimize my snacking and stop binge eating sugar…. 🙂
Thank you! I’ve been there – I know what that’s like to have it be so hard to resist sugar (and other cravings). It’s still hard, actually! It’s something I have to work at every day and hopefully I’ll be revealing more tips on how I got through this very soon!