This month, the Canadian Cancer Society launched its "Sugar-Free September" campaign. I had a quick read about the campaign, and decided to sign up. Now, let me begin by saying, I am a true sugar addict. I would eat and drink copious amounts of sugar every day. It was even bad enough that I would hide some of my sugary treats from my family. I knew this wasn't good for me, but I did it anyway.
Sugar-Free September has some basic rules - no items with added sugar, fruits and veggies are permitted.
Me and my favourite sugar-free smoothie!
Now, don't get me wrong, I won't say I'm "completely" sugar free. I'm still eating pasta and bread, but in reduced amounts.
The first week of any change in your habits is typically the hardest, or at least it is in my experience, and this challenge was no exception. In the first week, not only did I give up sugar, but, without intending to, I gave up coffee. Why? I am a "sugar in my coffee" kind of girl. I've never been keen on sweeteners (I just don't like the taste), and I was never able to drink black. So, 3 days in to the challenge, I started having headaches. My head and body were sore for the entire first weekend of the challenge. I felt tired as well. It was like having a bad cold.
Once I made it through the first weekend, I started to notice several changes in how I felt. I'm someone who always had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, and I sleep much better now. As someone who relied on caffeine to get me through the day, energy wise, I was surprised at how much more energy I felt throughout the day. And I've also experienced some weight loss.
This is not about total deprivation. There are plenty of yummy things to eat without sugar (or at least reduced sugar), so I have found this totally doable! My breakfast smoothies are my favourite part of the day! And so much better than having no breakfast.
I now have very few cravings, and hope to continue beyond September.
Have you ever gone sugar-free? Would you consider it? Feel free to share in the comments!