Day three of my sugar fast. Already, I'm sleeping through the night. (Hooray!) And I've lost a pound. I have friends that have been wildly successful with their sugar fasts.
Nancy: age 53. Lost 15 pounds
Claudia: age 75. Lost 20 pounds
Janet: age 52. Lost 50 pounds
Skeet: age 57. Lost 120 pounds
But weight loss shouldn't be the motivating factor. Each of my friends gave up sugar as a way to combat different health issues. I think it's interesting that three different health concerns were all addressed by this one (simple/ not so simple) remedy.
Last year I went without sugar from my birthday in January until Valentine's Day, and I learned some things.
1. Going without sugar is actually easy if you can survive the first horrendous, no-good week. Why is the first week so hard? By about day three I went through withdrawal and had a massive headache, but if you can power through until about the fifth or fourth day, you should lose your craving for sugar.
Counter Attack: Plan a reward. On day 5 I'm going to buy a gizmo that will count how many calories I burn when I walk/run.
2. When I don't eat sugar, I sleep through the night. I can't tell you why I sleep better without sugar in my diet, all I know is that I do. It might be because I don't have that afternoon sugar crash around 2 or 3 p.m. where all I want to do is nap. Maybe because I don't need to nap, I sleep better at night. And I can't even begin to tell you how much better I feel after a good nights sleep.
Action Plan: Keep a journal of your sleep patterns and see if it works for you.
3. Without sugar, fruits and vegetables taste better and sweeter, and refined sweets lose their draw.
So, why did I quit my sugar fast last February? Because it was hard. Everyday something delicious comes my way. I'm confronted with birthday cakes, morning donuts, and treats at every writers' group meeting, every church social, and every get-together.
Counter Attack: I'm going to take a picture of the treat with my phone and use it as a symbol of the temptation I was able overcome--a trophy, if you will.
Is it reasonable to give up all treats, always? Probably not. But a warm peach sprinkled with cinnamon can satisfy even a raging sweet tooth.