My name is Meghan, and I am addicted to sugar.
I’ve given up junk food for weeks at a time, and every time it gets a little bit easier. I’m never going to be sugar free for life (mostly because of black forest cake and KitKat bars), but every time that I go for long period without sugar I see great improvements in my appearance and athletic performance.
The first three days are the hardest. If you’re going to give up sugar, make your goal one week or longer. I think that humans naturally tend to give up at the halfway point of anything difficult, so even if you do, you’ll still make it past the worst of it. Really, though, you can manage one week. I believe in you, so you should really just aim for three or four.
Here are some tips for making it through. Enjoy!
Step 1: Get Rid of It
Whatever junk food you have in your house, give it away. Share it with coworkers, leave in on the free table in your apartment building, do whatever you have to do get it out of your house.
Step 2: Stock Up on Good Food
I don’t mean just healthy food, but healthy food that you honestly want to eat. Splurge a little on fresh berries or fancy olive oil. Buy a mountain of fresh veg. Buy two whole chickens and roast them both at once. Don’t give yourself the excuse of “there’s nothing to eat.”
Step 3: Eat. Lots.
Are you cutting out junk food and trying to create a calorie deficit? STOP IT. In my experience, it’s hard to overeat if you’re eating clean and exercising regularly. If you are counting calories, do it to make sure that you’re eating enough, and don’t get obsessive about it. If you’re trying to lose weight you can always try that later on, but for now focus on getting through your first week of no sugar.
You’ll also want to eat as much variety as possible. Your body will be more satisfied and you’ll have fewer cravings.
Step 4: Find a Buddy
You are probably going to falter. Have a buddy whom you can call or text when you are feeling tempted. Pick a friend who you want to make proud and who knows when you’re lying.
Step 5: Get Busy.
Idle hands are the devil’s playthings. ‘Nuff said.
Step 6: Be Aware
Are you now binge-eating something else? That’s probably not healthy, either. I once over-did-it on the dairy and ended up needing peptic ulcer meds (oops!). Do you find that you get bad cravings at certain times of the day? After a poor night’s sleep? Whenever you have a stressful workday? Interesting. Maybe you should do something about it.
The Whole Life Challenge is an online game that is designed to build healthy habits around eating and exercising. It’s a great way to keep yourself on track and it has a strong community aspect. Each challenge is 8 weeks and they start every couple of months. Oh look! A new challenge starts on Sept 19. Join team CircoFit, the WLC team for badass circus folk and friends.
It Starts with Food is a great book written by the creators of The Whole 30, Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. Not only does it say which foods often have negative effects, it also explains why. Often these reasons are psychological! I found this book to be fascinating and I’d recommend reading it even if you don’t want to jump into the complete Whole 30 program.