Is Life Worth Living Without Sugar?
This is the question I’ve been asking myself this past month since going sugar-free. I know this question may seem silly to many of you but I seriously felt like a lot of joy has been sucked out of my life. It’s a totally unexpected observation. I was prepared for physical withdrawal symptoms like low energy and headaches which never turned up. What did show up were emotional symptoms like moodiness, frustration, sadness and feelings of emptiness. I had no idea that I relied on sugar to reward myself for the daily grind and when that was taken away, I felt deprived. The days seemed to grow longer and duller.
Okay, it wasn’t all bleak. It felt good to take control of my sugar craving and realize that they were all in my head. My body doesn’t need sugar to function optimally, it just wants it. I also discovered that I was eating more sugar than I thought I was, mostly in the form of dark chocolate and “healthy” baked goods. I had to come up with different ways to reward myself after a tough day instead of reaching for something sweet. Tea, specifically spicy flavours like chai was my go to evening treat. Diving into a good novel also did wonders. Often the best treat was going to bed early and giving my body the rest it needed to cope with a new sugar-free routine.
If you decide you want to take on a sugar-free challenge, I have two final tips for you. Always keep a water bottle and a sugar-free snack like a bag of nuts in your bag/purse at all times. This will stop you from panicking and reaching for a sugary treat when you are hungry or bored. Finally, have an accountability partner or publicly declare you are going sugar-free for 21 days. You are going to appreciate the support from people who want to see you succeed. Asking for help is a sign of strength not weakness.
Okay, here’s a recap of my best tips for going sugar-free.
- Drink herbal or rooibos tea when you are craving something sweet.
- Read a novel or another fun activity to reward yourself daily.
- Always carry a water bottle and a sugar-free snack when you go out.
- Find an accountability partner or publicly declare you are sugar-free
- When in doubt, ask for help.
With some careful planning, anyone can take a break from sugar and live to tell about it!
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