Thursday, November 10, 2011

Impossible Things: 31 Days Without Sugar

I've never been big on sweets.

Oh, I've been known to indulge in the occasional peanut butter cup, and my appetite for ice cream is legendary in some circles, but I've always preferred a salty bag of potato chips to a big piece of cake when it comes time to indulge my appetite. And I'll choose fruit over candy pretty much any time.

With that said, I took the month of October as an opportunity to conduct a little experiment on myself- from the first through the thirty first, I stopped eating sugar.

This meant- no sugar in my coffee, no sugary desserts, no syrup on my pancakes, no cookies, no cake, no ice cream, no soda (gasp!) and no candy.

Why did I do this? Because it was a challenge. I wanted to see if I could do it. And what's more it's a good-for-me challenge. Sugar is terrible for you, and we put it in everything.

How did I do? Well, I wasn't 100 percent perfect. I had a few sips of coffee with sugar in it (by accident- I didn't realize Dunkin' Donuts pumpkin flavored coffee is basically pumpkin flavored sugar water), I ate a couple of cookies that Chelsea baked (she looked at me with big doe eyes and said please! And she's my wife. There are rules against not eating things your wife bakes). I had some almond butter that had molasses in it (molasses is made out of sugar FYI) but by and large I had no soda, no cake, no ice cream, and in the month of October (which ends with Hallowe'en), no candy. When I wanted something sweet, I had fruit (which has natural sugars in it, I know. Shush.)

And you know what? It didn't suck. Mostly. For probably the first three days I went through sugar withdrawal. I had headaches and felt kind of ill, but after that it was mostly smooth sailing. I really would've killed a man for a Coca Cola. But after that? Cravings went away. Headaches subsided, and weirdly enough? Other food tasted better. By the end of week two, I was barely thinking about sweet things.

At the end of the month, at a friend's house, I ate a bon-bon thingy and found it tasted pretty bad. I mean, everyone else seemed to enjoy them but after a sugar free month it was just too much. And while I have re-introduced some sugar into my diet since, it hasn't been alot.

So I did it. And like I said, it didn't suck. It didn't suck at all.


  1. Sean, Did you drink beer at all during your sugar month?

    I think this is a great experiment!

  2. There are rules against not eating things your wife bakes! Like cookies. I gave up carbonated beverages back in middle school, and I don't see the appeal in them anymore. But all sugar?! That's hardcore!

  3. I did drink some beer. And Wine. I suppose there are fermented sugars in those things.

  4. That sounds like it was a good experiment. Having grown up in a household that didn't have sugary goodies around the house (not as some sort of weird health-nuttiness, we just didn't), I have noticed that my tolerance for heavily sweetened food is lower than most people. Rich desserts become "too rich" faster for me than for others. I wonder how long you would have to sustain a no-to-low sugar diet to see similar effects?