This article Warning – Do the no sugar challenge at your own risk seeks to detail what it is, what precautions to take and how to properly go about finally kicking the sugar habit.
The No Sugar Challenge is basically to totally stop ingesting any form of added sugar, including sugar substitutes like stevia. It is usually for a period ranging from 1 week to 4 weeks. The notion is to kill your craving for sweets after going cold turkey on it. This is primarily working on the same principle of kicking the smoking, drug or even gambling habit. As we know, there are mixed views on how effective this is in kicking off any of the above habits. We also know how bad it can get when the withdrawal symptoms sets in.
Warning – Do the No Sugar Challenge at your own risk 1 – Oversimplifying
Sugar dependence can be or even more addictive than smoking, drug or gambling habits combined. That is, why, kicking off the sugar habit is one that is the most challenging causing many to fail. This leads to a spiral of feelings of hopelessness, despair and eventually caving in and give up. That is why I am issuing this warning to all those who are thinking of taking up this challenge. As it stands, The No Sugar Challenge is in a word simply too simplistic and mechanical. Cut out the sugar for a period of time, the craving stops and everything is happily ever after.
If not done properly, you will end up craving and consuming more sugar than kicking the sugar habit.
My Personal Experience
This is not so. I know, for I have been through it. About 5-6 years ago, I was gorging on 3litres of sodas and 4 cups of coffee a day. You read it right, 2 bottles of 1.5litres of 100plus or sodas a day, potatoe chips every other day. I was stressed and these relieve me of them. I only started to really face up to it and make a determined decision to be free of this addiction when told by my doctor that i am on a borderline to get diabetes and may have to take medication for the rest of my life.
He gave me 3 months to see whether I can bring the sugar levels down before deciding to prescribe medication. That really woke me up. I started on this journey as I don’t want to have to take medication for the rest of my life. I am glad that I did and after struggling for 2 years, I am finally sugar free. Now, I have a flat belly which was unthinkable previously.
Warning – Do the No Sugar Challenge at your own risk 2 – Addictiveness of Sugar
Do you know why sugar is so addictive ? It is because it is an energy booster and it works extremely fast. Taking even a little of it really picks you up and you feel you can tackle everything. It doesn’t help when our brain is bombarded constantly with messages to take them. Think about the advertisements of the soda industry, and even advertisements of the fast food industry invariable has a soft drink featured somewhere.
How this reinforcement works to your detriment is this. You are having your meal and a advertisement pops up. Its is about a meal with a soft drink. Your brain registers this and mentally you want a soft drink to go with your food. You ordered the soft drink and before long, you must have a soft drink at every meal. This cycle goes on until eventually, you want that soft drink even when you are not having a meal. You will have it at anytime the sugar effects wear off and you need the next sugar pick me up.
Don’t misunderstand me. I support going totally sugarless and only caution taking a too simplistic approach because it will be counter-productive and may make your situation worse than before.
Preparation Steps before starting challenge
I would suggest that before you do this challenge, do these first to prepare yourself for the challenge
- Do an audit of all the food that you are taking and marked out all those that contains added sugar. For example, daily morning breakfast coffee with sugar, fruit juice, desserts, sodas etc
- Be prepared that you will experience loss of energy, lethargy, fatique and food cravings, dry mouth when you start to cut down the sugar. Prepare energy boosting food as well as fillers that can assuage the hunger pangs. I would suggest the chia fresca (chia seed in young cocunut water and lemon juice with pineapple chunks). The chia seed provides many nutrients and minerals including omega 3 fatty acids and potassium and is full of fiber that can help to stave off the hunger, the cocunut water being full of electrolytes can help to restore some of the much needed energy. Another good option is the guava, the fruit with one of the highest fiber.
- Take stock of your kitchen and list down all the food with high sugar content and be sure to clear them out before you start the challenge.
- Be sure that when you decide to start the challenge, you set aside a window period where you will be relatively free from stress. Doing this when you are highly stress compounds the challenge as your mind tries to seek relief from it and naturally gravitates towards sugar.
- Be prepared that it may take a long period of time before you can kick the addiction.
On your Mark, Get Set, Go
Now that you are mentally prepared yourself, take the item from the list that contributes the most sugar to cut from your diet, in my case it was the sodas. I would not suggest abstaining totally from all sugar all at once. In this instance, your objective is to first kick the biggest culprit out first, even though you may have to continue with the rest. In my case, when i decided to totally cut the sodas, I ended taking more coffee to offset for the drop of energy, albeit ones with lower sugar.
Once you have successfully kicked the item with the most sugar off your food list, go for the next item, in my case, i cut back my coffee consumption to maximum 2 per day. Now, I only drink coffee black with no added sugar.
Withdrawal symptons will surely hit hard and the chia fresca and guava are good substitutes to restore your energy, keep you hydrated and satiated so that you won’t overeat, especially sugar laden food.
Go slowly down the list until you have kicked every item off your list and you will be finally free from your sugar addiction.
So now that you have the facts, go Do the No Sugar Challenge now.
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