My sugar-free experiment

Low Fodmap for LifeLast week I completed my 8 week experiment of quitting sugar (read about why I decided to take this on here) and my conclusion is that it was definitely worthwhile! I have mentioned in a previous post, here,  about some of the benefits that I saw, and these continued to build. Towards the end it started to become second nature. Even my husband who was a real fruit bat and chocolate lover found that it was so beneficial that he is going to keep going. However, in the past week I have learnt something very important…

Sugar is incredibly seductive and even after 8 weeks of the sweet stuff it can slip back into daily habits without much notice. When researchers say it is as addictive as cocaine I really believe them. This week I experimented by having a small mini chocolate lindt bunny (about 10g), a macaroon (I am quite partial to a salted caramel macaroon) and a blueberry friand. I didn’t eat these all at once but over 3 consecutive days.  I’ve also noticed my fruit intake creeping up (I avoided fruit for the first 5 weeks) and that has impacted my IBS with another flare up this week as I ate two figs (momentarily forgetting they are high fodmap). I am a bit shocked to be honest at how easy it is to slip into old habits once my attention is diverted. I am going to have to be extra vigilant and mindful over the next few weeks as I don’t want to start down the slippery slope back into sugar cravings.

It was actually quite refreshing to have little challenges for myself over the last few months: I quit sugar for 8 weeks, alcohol for 3 weeks and I ran my first 10km fun run in 18 months this past Sunday (and I loved it!). My sister and I have struck a deal with each other to quit alcohol for the next month to keep the momentum going – if we break our deal we have to give the other $50 on each occasion (with the exception of special birthday celebrations). Being on the frugal side myself I don’t want to part with my cash, so I think I’ll stick to it. In terms of alleviating my IBS I find that abstaining from alcohol does make a big difference which is even more incentive to keep going.

More significant than the physical effect that cutting out sugar and alcohol has, is the positive impact on my mood. I have mentioned before, here and here, that I have experienced depression (did you know 1 in 5 people experience depression in their lifetime?), and sugar and alcohol certainly have their part to play in influencing moods. When it comes to sugar, I see it in my kids when they come off a sugar high after a birthday party – tears and tantrums…

As always, I try to approach these experiments with curiosity and a gentle awareness. A sugar free Easter? Maybe. Rice Malt Syrup is low fodmap and in small amounts doesn’t spark the sweet cravings or blood sugar spikes as much as sugar (read about it here), so I’m planning a few low fructose chocolatey treats 🙂

Are there any personal challenges that you are thinking about taking on for April?




2 thoughts on “My sugar-free experiment

  1. Hi and wow. I have IBS, and am returning to the low FODMAP diet as I’m over these symptoms. It makes me not want to go to work some days. I also have Bipolar, and I truly believe that my ups and downs are definitely related to the sugar highs and lows, hence the reason for just starting to eliminate sugar from my diet. Thank you for your inspiring post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maz, thanks so much for your uplifting comment, it made my day! I know that for me, my moods are very much linked with IBS symptoms and sugar/gluten issues and I do feel so much better in myself when I stick with the low fodmap diet, limit sugar, avoid gluten and exercise – although it’s not always easy and I stumble sometimes! Good luck getting back to the low fodmap diet, it really made such a difference for me, I hope you find the same. All the best, Sacha

      Liked by 1 person

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