Last year, I quit sugar. Sugar has been my soul sister for, like…years. Birthdays and graduations? Sugar. Too much drinking in my twenties and…ahem, thirties? Sugar. Can’t get pregnant? Sugar. Pregnant? Sugar. Nursing? Mama needs some sugar.
This post contains affiliate links*
Sugar has been the constant in my life my whole life and until recently, I had no clue how physically and mentally addicted I was to those sweet little grains of lovin. But, like any good addiction, there’s a wall. And, eventually, you hit it. Mine had a big huge neon sign that flashed “Put down the damn cupcake!”.
And, so I did.
And, then I went through detox.
And, then my life was changed forever.
THE BENEFITS OF NOT EATING SUGAR, OUTWEIGH THE BENEFITS OF EATING SUGAR
When people say there are amazing benefits when you quit sugar they are not making it up. Here’s a bit of what I’ve experienced:
Less Sugar Cravings. After detoxing and training my body to avoid refined sugar (and even the sugars in almost all fruit), the cravings diminished (considerably). They were still there, but that’s where will-power kicks in. Believe me, you have will-power. Lots more then you give yourself credit for!
Healthier Skin. My skin was in ROUGH shape. I do have Rosacea but noticed an almost complete remission once I switched to a keto diet. I don’t know if it’s the combination of the balancing macros, or ditching the sugar and grains, but it’s been a wonderful change.
Weight Loss. Twenty three pounds down. And, not gaining like I used to. My weight used to fluctuate considerably (like 5-10 p0unds a month) before I quit sugar. Mostly bloat and also fat gain. That’s gone. While it’s different for everybody, here’s a week by week overview of how the weight came off for me.
Healthy Energy. Sugar always put a pep in my step, but it never lasted long and there was always a crash. Replacing sugar with healthy fats and moderate protein gave me real energy that lasted, eliminated the crashes and made me feel 5-10 years younger. No. Joke.
Better Sleep. I’ve had sleep issues my whole life. Guess what? I quit sugar and I noticed an (almost) immediate change in my sleep habits. I’m sleeping better than I have in years. I also use a weighted blanket which is a GAME CHANGER!
But, guess what? Even with all these benefits, I still crave “treats”.
SO I EAT DESSERT
Here’s the thing. Some people will argue that eating dessert is a sure-fire way to get back into old habits when eating a sugar-free diet. And, while there is tons of truth to it, I think it depends on the person. In my case, I couldn’t never have dessert. If I was truly going to stay off sugar, I needed to feel like I could still live my life enjoying the things I love – and, I don’t think I need to reiterate here – I love dessert.
What I’ve learned on this journey is that diet is a totally personal choice. What works for one, doesn’t work for another and vice-versa. You just have to find your sweet spot (pun intended), give yourself time to gauge how your body reacts and if its a positive experience, settle into that.
I MAKE MY OWN RECIPES
Since the hubs and I had kicked sugar by eating a keto diet, I started googling “keto recipes”, “keto desserts” and “keto sweet treats”. And, I found lots of them (this Pumpkin Bread saved us at Thanksgiving and this Earthquake Cake let us eat dessert at our friend’s cookout!)! I’d pick one per week that fit within our macros and make sure we had enough for nighttime snacks. The hubs and I love noshing on a treat after dinner while vegging out. So, that’s what we did. Only the recipes were sugar-free!
Once I started getting comfortable in the kitchen, using ingredients that kept my dessert grain-free and sugar-free, I started experimenting. Here are a few of our faves:
Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins (that taste like chocolate cupcakes with frosting)!
Cinnamon Roll Muffins (tastes just like a cinnamon roll, but a lot less messy!)
Cinnamon Sticks & Icing (If you love Dominos Cinnastix, you’ll LOVE these)
I PURCHASE SWEET PRE-PACKAGED SNACKS
Two reasons I purchase pre-packaged snacks that satisfy my sweet tooth. I don’t have an excuse to eat something bad. If I’m at a shindig or out and about (or I just don’t feel like baking), I don’t have an excuse to eat something with sugar and feel bad about it later. It’s easy. While I love making new recipes, I don’t always have the time or feel like baking. If someone else does it for me and its pre-packed to make my life easier? Boom. Done. Here’s a few of my favorite on the go sugar-free treats. I always have 1-2 of these in my pantry and purse?
Quest Cookies I like the chocolate chip!
Lily’s Chocolate Totally satisfies my need to nosh on a little chocolate while Netlix’ing and chilling.
Smart Sweets I can eat the whole entire bag and not feel horrible about it. I usually split them with my daughter because almost 5 year old’s have zero personal boundaries.
Virgil’s Root Bear. This tastes exactly like root beer. They have a Cola version too.
Dang Coconut Chips (they have bars now too and they are SO. GOOD)
Good-Dees Baking Mixes. Great if you need to make a quick batch of cookies for a play date (that way, you can enjoy the sweets too!).
YOU CAN QUIT SUGAR TOO
If you’ve been on the fence, but can’t stop thinking about what your life would be like if you quit sugar, give yourself a small, attainable goal – but one that allows you to truly detox and reep some of the immediate benefits. I personally would recommend thirty days – I feel like it gives you 3-5 days to get the sugar out of your system and another 25 or so to get into the habit. Either way, coming from a girl who never EVER thought she could live without sugar? You can totally do it. And, more importantly, you won’t regret it.
*DISCLAIMER: This post is a combination of my personal insights, opinions and thoughts on various topics and products and may contain affiliate or referral links. I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through my links, which helps me continue on this fabulous journey of blogging! Full disclaimers avail. here.
I am not a medical or nutritional professional. This post is written based upon my personal experiences. I encourage you to do your research and consult with your doctor if you are interested in making changes to your diet.