Why I’ve Gone Sugar-Free — Not for the reasons you think

People ask me why I decided to go sugar-free, and honestly, I don’t know the answer.

One day – 26th February – I just woke up and made that decision. That means I have now been sugar-free for a huge 15 weeks, nearly four months.

I am not one of those people who won’t eat bread or ketchup because they have sugar in. When I say sugar, I mean desserts: chocolate, cakes, biscuits, etc. I think I made the decision partly because I’m getting married in April 2018, and partly to try and be healthier.

I am also not one of those people doing it to try and lose weight when I don’t need to lose anything. I’m a size 8. Yes I have body hang ups – what woman doesn’t – but I’m not trying to lose 10lb before my wedding when I know that I just don’t need to. It would probably be unhealthy to try.

So, if I’m not doing it to lose weight, why am I bothering? I wonder that myself sometimes. I don’t feel too different in myself, and when I’ve had a really bad day, I do want to reach for the vanilla cheesecake. You can, however, find out about the time I nearly passed out when I gave blood due to low blood sugar.

But going sugar-free has helped me in a lot of other ways.

I eat way more fruit. Obviously besides sugar being an additive in food, fruit is my only source of the sweet stuff. But the best part is, it’s all natural sugar. Because I can’t have biscuits in the office, I have turned to apples and bananas instead. I eat one or two apples a day, and a banana.

I’ve never been fruit’s biggest fan. It would be the last food on my list. I love veg, which is lucky otherwise I would never have had my 5-a-day in my life. But suddenly fruit has become my turn-to food after a meal. I can have a fruit bowl as a dessert at a restaurant.

My one (probably really bad) treat is strawberries and cream. I use full fat single cream. The 0%, fat-free stuff is loaded with sugar to counteract the lack of fat. The full fat cream has very little sugar in it. I rarely allow myself this treat though. Unless it’s a Friday.

It’s stopped me saying Yes to every bit of chocolate or cake offered to me at work. I don’t know what it is about office workers loving to snack. Every day it seems food is brought in, but never a pack of nuts (surprisingly). I bring in my own pack of almonds, whilst everyone else enjoys Oreos, carrot cake, chocolate bars, and a whole host of other amazing snacks.

I don’t eat when I’m not hungry. We’ve all experienced that, thinking we’re hungry when actually all we need is a drink of water. I find that now I only eat when I’m hungry. And when I do feel hungry, I eat a banana or an apple with a cup of tea. It does the job until my next meal.

A lot of the time, I don’t actually miss chocolate.

Sometimes, I eat something and think, How did I ever eat this before? Everything tastes so sickly. I had a Special K honey and almond cereal bar a couple of weeks ago, and could barely eat it.

There aren’t too many downsides. I know that some people, who go completely sugar-free, have said that they have an amazing amount of energy compared to before. That hasn’t happened to me. I suppose my blood glucose level will be at a much steadier rate compared to before, but the amount of energy I have hasn’t changed.

Christmas time with no desserts will 100% be the biggest struggle of my life (maybe more so than buying my house). When I first made this decision, I concluded that my first piece of a ‘dessert’ would be my wedding cake. What nicer way to finish off this crazy decision that would last over a year.