I Quit Sugar for a Month Update – Unexpected Results

Categories Featured, Food, Health

Hi guys, it’s the end of August. Which means it’s almost time for me to stuff my face with sugar. And it’s time for my I quit sugar for a month update. So, what’s it been like living without it for a month? I’m going to be completely honest and say I was concerned this post was going to be really boring. It was easier than I thought. But I noticed some really interesting stuff in the last week or so.  

Before I get fully into my update, if you’d like to know more about how I was planning on doing this and what I was cutting out of my diet, read this post first.  

Firstly, did I cheat? 

No. I’ve been making notes for this post all month, but I’m actually putting it together the day this post is going up. 30th August and I’m yet to cheat other than my initial terms. In my intro post i said I couldn’t handle a month of unsweetened almond milk, so I’ve been having regular almond milk for the month. And I said I had a wedding this month and I was going to take that day off and enjoy all that was offered.  

I’m really glad I decided to take the wedding as a day off, because that’s where I noticed the most interesting changes.  

Did I slip up? 

I didn’t cheat, but I accidentally ate something twice. I haven’t had any sweets or sugary drinks, but I forgot to check my labels twice. I made my chickpea nuggets one night and forgot to check my hot sauce label. Turns out that had some sugar in. And I was at my grandparents’ house one afternoon (which is not a vegan friendly environment) and ate some ready salted crisps. Plain ready salted crisps. I read the label half way through and they had sugar in them. Plain. Ready. Salted. Crisps. Contain. Sugar. WHAT?! 

Observations 

The main thing I’ve noticed, there’s sugar in almost everything. As someone on a vegan and mostly gluten free diet, the limitations on cutting out sugar have been huge. And the number of labels I’ve had to read has been ridiculous. If something contains milk, eggs or gluten, it’s highlighted or in bold on the packet. You don’t really have to read the label. For sugar, you do.  

I popped to the local Co-op one Sunday afternoon for some snacks. It took me 10 minutes on the aisle with the crisps and nuts to find something other than plain tortilla chips that fit my dietary requirements. Chilli heatwave Doritos? Vegan, contains sugar. Most Pringles? Contain sugar. I ended up with a bag of vegetable tortilla chips. They were good, but they weren’t exactly what I wanted.  

I quit sugar for a month update

As you know, I make most of my meals from fresh. They’re predominantly vegetable and grain based, so meal times weren’t that difficult to make something without sugar.  

So, what did I eat? 

Snacks were where I got most of my sugar intake. Thankfully, I found some sweet tasting but not sugary snacks to trick my brain. I’ve mentioned Nakd bars a million times here, but they came in really useful this month. I usually like the cocoa orange flavour, but this month the ‘sweeter’ flavours like blueberry muffin and bakewell tart have been my snack of choice. I’ve really noticed that when you’re not eating sugar, the healthy sweet snacks taste a lot sweeter, so they have tasted like eating a slice of cake. Considering they’re made from fruit and nuts, I’ll take it.  

My other sweet treat of choice has been the Urban Fruit Strawberry snacks. They’re strawberries baked in apple juice. No added sugars, but taste really sweet from the juice and fruit sugars. They’re chewy and taste like a healthy fruit gum, so they’ve been my replacement if I’ve wanted sweets.  

I mentioned in my initial post that I thought I’d end up craving more salt and that was certainly the case. Trying to stay as healthy as possible, I didn’t start eating every salty snack in sight to compensate, but I do think I ate more than I would in an average month.

How do I feel? 

This section is why I thought this post was going to be boring. For weeks, I felt nothing. The first 4 or 5 days, thought about sugar a lot. Like when people go on diets then suddenly start craving stuff they wouldn’t usually eat anyway? It was on my mind all the time. Between watching other people eat sugary things and constantly checking labels, I was a woman obsessed with it.  

Then, after day 7 or 8, something shifted. I didn’t think about it at all. Not once. I got used to reading labels. It was tedious, but fine. I wasn’t craving anything. Watching people eat dessert or sugary snacks no longer bothered me. I was almost wishing for withdrawal symptoms to make this post more interesting.  

Sugar time 

My cheat day, the wedding, was August 25th. And I consumed a lot of sugar. More than I was used to. Before the ceremony, there was a room with a sweet table. There were some vegan options. One fun-sized packet of sweets hit me hard. I was on a massive sugar high so much that I felt drunk (I’d had one drink). One flute of prosecco and a mini packet of sweets and I was giddy, had a slight headache and suddenly felt quite sickly.  

 

I consumed a lot more sugar throughout the day, from sweet table to the huge dessert portions and the initial ‘hit’ wore off, but it was crazy how it made me feel to begin with.  As I hadn’t felt any different throughout the month, I wasn’t expecting any impact when I ate it again. Clearly, I was wrong.  

After the wedding, I started craving sugar massively. The last few days have been so much harder than the first days were. I’ve been through about as many packets of Urban Fruit in the last three days as I’d had in the previous three weeks. I started drinking a lot of fruit juice, which isn’t something I usually drink at all. Desperately trying to eat as much fruit sugar as possible so I didn’t cheat.  

Physical changes? 

To briefly mention the physical side of things, nothing happened. My skin is no better or worse, my weight hasn’t changed. Nothing at all to note here. See, I told you it was looking boring… 

What now? 

So, this whole post wedding sugar thing got me thinking about exploring this further. That day, I consumed more sugar than I normally would, and it hit me hard. As a result, I’ve decided to do another month. I’m going to have a day off at the end of August to eat what I want and hopefully get my cravings out of my system, then I’m going to stay sugar free for September.  

My thought process here is that I don’t have any major occasions coming up, so when that period of time ends, I won’t be consuming my own body weight in sugar in the space of a few hours. I’m really interested to see how my body handles it if I go a full month with no sugar then end it with a small amount rather than vast consumption.  

It might end up being the same, or I could just slide back into my normal routine like nothing has happened. Who knows? Stay tuned for another update at the end of September… 

Are you surprised by any of this? Have you experienced similar results if you’ve ever quit sugar? I’d love to know your thoughts on this. 

Obviously, this is my experience. Yours could be totally different. 

Until next time,  

Sophie  

To see my What I Eat in a Day – Sugar Free post, click here.



27 thoughts on “I Quit Sugar for a Month Update – Unexpected Results

  1. Why do plain ready salted crisps contain sugar?! That’s so weird… Also, I admire how you only slipped up twice, I feel like I would suffer with this so much! I’m surprised that it didn’t physically make much of a difference, but I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next month!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

    1. Literally though. It’ not at all necessary! I was expecting way more to happen. The process turned out a little bit underwhelming. I hope next month is slightly more interesting. Thanks for your lovely comment x

  2. read this earlier and then got busy at work and forgot to comment but this was a great post, it’s very interesting to see how people react to having no sugar. I think i would have massive withdrawals, which probably means this is something i need to try out but i’m still too scared! can’t wait to see how september goes for you! xx

    mich // simplymich.com

  3. I’m surprised that crisps have sugar in! I thought they would be a safe snack. Why do plain ready salted crisps need sugar anyway?! You have done so well this month and well done for carrying on into September. It will be interesting to know if you notice any changes. Great post Sophie, really enjoyed reading your update <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. I didn’t even think to check!! I was so shocked at how many unnecessary ingredients were in there. Thank you so much! I’m hoping something happens…I don’t want to have given it up for no reason :’). Thanks for the lovely comment x

  4. I’ve been wondering how you were going to get on! Honestly, I don’t think I could give up sugar for a week never mind 2 months!! Good luck for September

  5. Well it sounds like everything pretty much worked out for you in the long-run. I can’t wait to learn about your September journey!

    When I quit sugar for one month and then returned to it, it made me crave less sweets because I didn’t any sugary treats for so long. The firs week and a half was rough for me because I thought about sugar all the time but after a while my body became used to the sugar-free snacks. I’m inspired to do this again.

    Natonya | http://www.justnatonya.wordpress.com

    1. I was so surprised at how quickly I stopped craving!! I’m really interested to see how my body reacts when I cut it out for a longer period of time. It’s great it made you want it less x

  6. I’ve given up sugar many times because of health reasons. I’ve even gone so far as to cut out ALL sugar including fruit! That definitely made me feel like I was in withdrawal and I saw more noticeable weight changes. But when you keep natural sugar in, there are so many great options. Those strawberries sound like delish nature’s candy!

  7. It’s amazing how many things have sugar in, even things you least expect. Makes it very hard to give up completely. I’m not sure I’d be able to do it. Well done! Will pop back next month to see how you got on.

  8. I have never had much of a craving for sweets but in the last two years since staying at home I have eaten more sweets than in my entire 50 years, prior. I love your post and did not find it boring in any way. in fact, you have inspired me to take September off, too! #quitsugarformonthwithsophie I’m in!

  9. I’ve been looking at doing a sugar detox too so I’m really glad I came across this post. I’m not veggie or vegan though so I feel like it’s going to hit me hard!

    Naomi xo
    tralisty.com

  10. It’s quite shocking how much sugar is in things we eat when you really start looking into it isn’t it?! Well done for completing the month, and good luck for September.
    I think I would crack and not be able to complete it, but I might give it a try on a ‘quieter’ month where there is less temptation!

    Aimsy xoxo

  11. It’s so surprising what kind of foods contain sugar! Congrats on being so strict. I have an incredibly sweet tooth so I’m not sure if I could do this.

    Roxie | thebeautifulbluebird.com

  12. I like sugar too much to try this xD. Jk, jk, I do reduce my sugar intake a lot. I drink unsweetened almond milk regularly and sweeten most things with Stevia. So I might be able to try this. I don’t know if I could live without Sweet Chili Doritos for a month, though…

  13. Interesting post and well done for sticking it out, not sure I’d have the same willpower!
    A smiliar thing happened to me once. I didn’t go completely sugar free but I followed a fairly strict diet for almost 3 months. Then I had an occasion which was purely just tea and cakes – I couldn’t wait for it as I’d missed treats! But then I actually had to go home as I ended up feeling SO ill and I think it was from the sugar. Good luck for September!

  14. Time flew by, didn’t it?! It’s awesome that you didn’t even cheat on your terms. Even though there were accidents, you didn’t know. If you did, things would’ve been different. Oh man, I know about relatives’ homes that are not ___-friendly! It’s good that you noticed some good changes. Your body adapted and you did a great job – MAJOR kudos for trying to do another month! Sending you lots of positive vibes.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  15. So many things contain sugar that you would never have thought did! Never ever would I think Plain Crisps would! Maybe if I cut down on eating sugar like sweets and biscuits, healthier foods like Naked Bars would appeal to me more. Strawberries in Apple Juice sound lovelyyyy. I’m not surprised you craved sugar after the wedding but you have done so well! Amazing that you want to do it in September too, can’t wait to hear how that goes! x

  16. This is really interesting to read, I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for the first few days! Thanks for the handy tips about sweet tasting snacks, definitely going to give Urban Fruits a try 🙂 xxx

  17. I really enjoyed reading about your sugar free experiment. I find it surprising that it wouldn’t change anything regarding your skin, as I was always told to eat less sweets to clear it up – even though, I already eat very little. Looking forward to your report next month 🙂

  18. Such a great post! I gave up sugar last summer and felt dizzy for the first few days and craved nothing but cake and brownies. I didn’t notice much difference apart from that though either! It’s actually crazy how much sugar some food contains and we don’t even realise. Like is sugar in crisps really necessary? I LOVE nakd bars, honestly, ever since I’ve cut down on my refined sugar intake these have been life savers. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for your update this month ✨

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

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