It is common knowledge that I am a raging sweet tooth (thanks for that Dad)… just give me any type of chocolate or a Vanilla Coke and I am a very happy camper. Jake and I had realised more and more that we needed to change some habits as the kilos piled on after getting married last year. You know, the ‘I’m feeling settled’, ‘he will love me exactly the way I am’, happy weight. We tried to eat healthier, avoid take-out where we could and intermittently dragged ourselves out for a run.
That was all good for a while until I got a smack in the face one day when I put aside denial and weighed myself to see I was clocking in at the heaviest I have ever been. That was the wake up call I needed! Now 80kg to some people isn’t anything to be ashamed of but it was a good 15kg over the happy weight range for my body. So we decided to try kicking sugar to the curb…
The ‘I Quit Sugar’ detox
We decided to follow Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar‘ 8 week detox program because not only does she have an awesome selection of recipes but her book actually walks you through week by week what to expect. She taught us how to actually detox yourself off sugar and its cravings forever. And guys, the cravings are SO REAL!!!!
Here is a simple weekly recap of the program:
- Start to cut back on sugar
- Start to add healthy fats to your diet
- Quit completely (this includes all fruit! that was hard, guys!)
- Address doubt and sabotage (from yourself and others)
- Experiment and detox out all those cravings
- Add some natural sweetness back in (hello FRUIT!!!!)
- Learn how to recover from a relapse
- Moving forward!
In the past I have tried sugar free diets but this book had all the information, education and tips that we needed and more to stay motivated to stick to it. So I would definitely recommend!
Fun fact…. sugar actually turns off your bodies ability to be able to recognise when you’ve had enough to eat. Makes sense back in the hunting and gathering days that if you came across a rare bush of berries you can finish off the entire bush with no issues. But because it was a rare thing to find… it was completely fine for our bodies to gorge. Nowadays not so much because we find sugar everywhere!
Lets start with the obvious one… weight. By the end of the program I had lost around 8kg and Jake had lost over 9kg!!! In just 8 weeks! We were definitely feeling slimmer and more comfortable in our clothes. The bonus was, we didn’t feel like we were depriving ourselves at all. No counting calories or avoiding meals. We were eating full cream milk, stacks of cheese and still losing weight… BECAUSE we weren’t eating excess food because we felt full.
Next is snacking. Jake noticed this one a lot. He was a perpetual snack-king and even though the snacks were heathy-ish, they were simply too many calories in total and far too much sugar. By eliminating the sugar intake, our bodies actually started to tell us when we were full and when we needed snacks. And my goodness, it’s a lot less often that sugar would have us think!
That satisfaction of actually feeling full, satisfied but not stuffed or bloated is heaven. I got to the point I couldn’t even finish some meals. That lead to then serving smaller portions and amazingly still not feeling deprived or hungry ??. Side note – we also did cut back a lot on meat, breads and carbs because they do tend to have some added sugar. But in turn, we then didn’t feel like we needed them as much either! We do to love a good sourdough though… HELLO sourdough cheese toasties! Hehe I’m actually eating one while writing this ?.
In all honesty starting out, committing to a sugar free diet for 2 months I was concerned I would slip up if I had a super stressful day at work orrrr if that dreaded monthly visitor came along. But with a lot of determination and support (thanks babe), I think I’ve actually broken the cycle of needing food to comfort me. I mean, how MASSIVE is that!! Like I still will crave certain foods, but no longer the sugar loaded ones. If you were to ask if I miss it, the answer is no. I actually don’t!
What we’ve learnt
- We found that slowly easing off sugar, rather than going cold turkey, gave us time to adjust our mindset and start to say no more easily to those big no-no sources of sugar… bye bye chocolate and Vanilla Coke. The biggest challenge was from week 3 to week 6 when we were 100% off all sources of sugar except for lactose in milk and natural yoghurt. But you adjust. You really do!
- Having the two of us doing it together means we could support each other in our weak moments!! I can’t imagine trying to go sugar free with everyone else still eating it in the house.
- It is almost impossible to find a breakfast cereal without added sugar. That was a Saturday morning that we will never forget, it was truly eye opening walking up and down the breakfast food aisle trying to find one without added sugar. No luck!
- We weren’t perfect… sure thing we slipped up. We had pizza with friends with sugar loaded sauces, we had the occasional fish and chips from across the road (it was the most sugar free take-out we could get haha). Buuuuut we jumped back on the wagon and kept at it!
- Beyond popular belief, you can indeed survive easter without a single Easter egg…
Guess what, we’ve kept going with it all. We are now over 12 weeks into being sugar free!!! And we love it. I personally love the challenge of cooking ‘normal’ foods while avoiding sugar. Yep even stuff like ice cream, custard, pancakes, jams etc etc all that ‘sweet’ stuff. We actually watched ‘That Sugar Film’ in the last week of our detox and it inspired and motivated us to keep going. So if you are on the fence, it is worth checking out and learning what the ‘I Quit Sugar’ movement is all about.