A Week Without (Much) Sugar: What I Learned From My Sugar Detox

blue frosted sugar cookies

Cookies are fine…except when they lead to the need for a sugar detox! partCredit: D Sharon Pruitt

I’ve always had a pretty solid grip on my sweet tooth. After all, when you don’t deprive yourself of foods you like, it’s easier to splurge here and there and resist overindulging. So I don’t know if it’s the pregnancy hormones that have had me under their power for the last couple of months or the holidays and all of their temptations, but I was becoming so sweet-crazed that I knew I had to do a sugar detox, lest I go on a sugar cookie binge again. (And I just realized with that last link that this isn’t my first time to get hooked on the sug. Oops.)

So when it came to my New Year’s resolutions this year, I vowed to go a week without sugar. I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile, but I’d been putting it off, afraid of what would happen. I guess I thought I’d go totally bonkers? Well, I survived my week. And I’ll be honest: I did go a little bonkers, but only that first day.

Granted, I didn’t go totally sugar-free crazy. Like I didn’t give up the sweetened creamer in my coffee. But I didn’t add sugar to anything else all week. I opted for protein-packed snacks (a scoop of peanut butter? I blame pregnancy.) in place of my sweet Frosted Mini Wheats afternoon fix. And I didn’t have a single dessert all week—no cookie at night, no chocolate, not even an animal cracker. My sweet fixes were the natural kind—real fruit.

So how did I fare? The first day was a detox like no other. I couldn’t stop thinking about sugar, which was a big clue as to how far gone I was, a bona fide sugar addiction. I caught myself regretfully retracting my hand as I reached for candy that we’d received over the holidays. I came across a mom dog and a puppy dog making a cake in a kids book and had to stop myself from turning into Betty Crocker. I knew it was bad when I heard someone on TV say “pie hole,” and it made me want apple pie.

But after that obsessive first day, the experiment got substantially easier. I stopped thinking about it, really. I felt better. I drank more water instead of reaching for sweets. Fruit tasted sweeter, better. I snacked less, feeling more satisfied by my regular meals. And the biggest lesson? I learned that I was the one in control, and that I could survive without a daily sweet treat. That treats really are better in moderation.

Have you ever had to show yourself some tough love? Been hooked on the sug like me? How did you do your sugar detox? —Erin 


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