Diary of a 10 Day Sugar Detox

My name is Victoria and I’m a sugarholic. No joke. I love my sweets, I love bread, I love pastries. I’ve always been an emotional eater, and despite having lost 70lbs, food is still a comfort for me. Enter the idea of a sugar detox.

sugar detox

I had a pretty stressful pregnancy. My parents were getting divorced, there were layoffs at work and we were going to be moving. On a regular day pre-pregnancy, I’d say that I had pretty good control over my eating. I’d maintained my weight loss for years, never gaining back more than 7-8 lbs. With pregnancy I gained 45 extra pounds of love, at least 10 of which I can promise were totally unnecessary. Those 10lbs were made from stress eating cookies, day after day, batch after batch. Enter exhaustion with a new baby, moving house, more family drama and losing a job. I basically decided that food was my friend. I deserved it.

What became scary to me was when by 10 a.m. I’d be craving a sugary snack. I couldn’t make it through an evening without the itch for a dessert that had to be scratched. If David didn’t come home with a treat, I’d be a little upset. Something had to change, and I needed to kickstart the rest of my weight-loss to get back to my pre-baby body.

To be clear, I’m not saying every woman needs to get back to their pre-baby body. This is my journey, it’s what I wanted to do. I knew that sugar had to go, just in the short term, and so I researched how to do a 10-day sugar detox.

Why was a sugar detox right for me?

  • Craving control: I wanted to be in charge of sugar and not have sugar be in charge of me.
  • Palate refresh: I wanted to see if detoxing from sugar was going to refresh my palate and encourage the enjoyment of new foods.
  • Weight loss: ain’t gonna lie, I had a hope that if I gave up sugar, weight would drop off.
  • Energy: Ladies, I have a six month old. I’m tired. I need all the energy I can get, and if cutting out sugar makes me feel more energetic, I’ll take it.

In next week’s post I’ll share meal planning and tips that got me through, but in the meantime, here’s a little snapshot of my experience going sugar free. Oh, and in case you haven’t seen Fed Up, the documentary that got me thinking about a 10 day sugar detox, here’s the trailer.

And while you wait for the meal planning, here’s a hint – it will include recipes from the incredible Angela Liddon of Oh She Glows. I adore her current cookbook, and I have already preordered her second cookbook due to come out in September. I love that she doesn’t include a recipe in her vegan cookbook UNLESS her meat-loving husband would love the dish, too. My meat-eating husband certainly loves these recipes.

Sugar Detox Day One

10 a.m. I kinda want a pastry. Seriously, I want bread, peanut butter, and all things comforting. 2 hours until lunch? Are you kidding me? James Blunt’s “Goodbye My Lover” is playing through my mind while I think of all the sugary goodness I can’t consume this week. Already dreading the evening when I know my sugar craving will hit the roof.

Noon. I have already screwed up. How is that possible??? When I shopped at the grocery store I had an eagle eye for sugar in anything. Here I am making quinoa, roast veggies and pesto… PESTO HAS SUGAR???? So angry, but the meal is made. I’m telling myself it’s only a tiny amount, I hate wasting food, and just move forward. Part of me wants to quit right here, but I’ll keep going.

Sugar Detox Day Two

1:30. Okay, so the key is just to keep busy. See friends, work on blog posts, take care of baby. Occupy the mind and I can’t think of food.

8:35 p.m. I will kill someone for sugar. Here’s the thing… nobody will know if I make myself a mug of peanut butter and icing sugar RIGHT NOW. Nobody! Except me. Damnit.

8:45. Fine. FINE. I won’t consume a mug of delightful peanut butter icing. I will sit here, watch a movie, eat a slice of cheese and consume a giant mug of tea. *expletives*

8:55. It strikes me that there’s a serious problem with me if I get this frustrated over not having peanut butter icing sugar. Jesus.

Sugar Detox Day Three

Okay, so most of the things I’ve read on doing a 10-day sugar detox suggest that for the first three days you shouldn’t have fruit, as the natural sugars can increase cravings. Well… it was either have natural sugars in the form of banana ice cream (frozen banana, tiny bit of milk, blend repeatedly), or crack and make peanut butter icing. I chose the banana ice cream.

Sugar Detox Day Four

The thing that is shocking me today is the price associated with eating healthily. You can buy a candy bar for cents, but to buy a single apple can cost you almost a dollar. I’ve seen challenges online where people manage to eat healthily for $50 per week. Funny thing is, that $50/week is also per person. Family of four? You’re looking at $800/month. Obviously when you cook for more, you experience economies, but it’s interesting. I’m also finding that I need to meal plan and prep. If I’m tired, and remember I’m a new mom so I am always tired, then instinct has me reaching for poor choices. So important to have the healthy options prepped and ready to go.

Sugar Detox Day Five

Went to Heritage Park today. Not gonna lie. Huge pang of sadness that I could neither buy a delightful baked good nor an ice cream cone. Funny how we associate certain activities with food. I also don’t think I could go to a movie without getting food of some sort, it’s that engrained in me. Does anyone else go to the movies and not eat?

Sugar Detox Day Six

Grocery shopped today. It’s true what ‘they’ say about sticking to the edges of the supermarket. I went up and down aisle after aisle realizing that I couldn’t have almost any of what was on the shelves. Instead of seeing a cornucopia of food, I instead saw sugary good after sugary good. And not in an obvious sugar format, either.

Sugar Detox Day Seven

Today involved a trip to the farmers’ market, which was a joy. Once you take the processed foods away, there are so many more options! Rather than me having to avoid 80% of the aisles, I was instead avoiding only a few stalls. Fresh fruit, fresh veggies, meats, eggs, cheeses. I LOVE my local farmers’ market. Highly recommended when you’re on a sugar restriction.

Sugar Detox Day Eight

Today has me thinking that I want to continue this habit far beyond ten days. Not completely sugar free, but where a treat is a treat. Where if I’m going to have sugar, it better be something special. Where I get in the habit of checking labels for sugar content. Where I help develop this habit to the point that when my son actually understands what we eat, that he’s seeing healthy habits as the norm. It’s not going to be easy, but nothing worth fighting for ever is.

Sugar Detox Day Nine

7:30 a.m. Stepped on the scale and was slightly disappointed that I haven’t actually lost much weight throughout this experience. Maybe a pound. Maybe.

7:30 p.m. I have SERIOUS pride right now. We’re watching a movie after dinner, David is munching on Peanut M&Ms and I’m … fine! I don’t feel miffed that I am not eating any. I’m actually ok.

Sugar Detox Day Ten

Here’s the thing… I went into this hoping that I would lose some serious weight, that it would kick start me into the next 10lb segment. While it hasn’t done that, I DO NOT consider this experiment to be a failure. I feel better. The cravings aren’t there the same way they used to be. I order a drink at Starbucks and not lust after the pastry cooler. I’m eating real food. What I want is to be a role model for my kid, to slowly kick the emotional eating habit and to make sure I avoid diabetes. It’s only 10 days, but this is a serious start.

Am I done with sugar forever? Hell no. Everything in moderation, and life isn’t life without a great Nanaimo bar, now is it? But a daily treat isn’t a treat. Eating to cover emotions isn’t healthy, and I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m so proud of what I’ve done in only ten days for my self-esteem

Check back next week for tips for a successful sugar detox and meal planning ideas!

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One Response to Diary of a 10 Day Sugar Detox

  1. Mahrie E Glab July 19, 2016 at 7:35 am #

    Good job – you’ve done well. Giving up the sugar habit is hard. However – keep at it – balanced diet. I went without sugar added things for 3 years. In the first 4 months, I lost 40 pounds. Not in the first 3 weeks, but after that the weight began to fall away. It takes time for your body to adjust..And you are right about more energy and also clearer thinking.

    Here’s to healthy eating!

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