Going sugar free, sort of.
I loved sugar. Every kid does, but I ate so much sugar. I ate candy everyday plus one or two sodas, some sugary cereal, and usually ice-cream. I used to wake up and eat Lucky Charms, which might as well have been a bowl of sugar. But one day, I decided to try going sugar free (added sugar) for one month. 4 days in, I was sold on the idea.
In high school, my diet was atrocious. I’m honestly not sure how I didn’t develop diabetes. I’m down right lucky to have a high metabolism. For two years, I ate the same thing for lunch everyday: two packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (so 4 cups total) and two small chocolate milks. I didn’t ever wonder why I felt so tired in class. I thought I was just bored, but really, it was a sugar crash.
In college, this wasn’t as bad, but my diet in general was not balanced. I still ate cereal for breakfast, and I still had a bowl of ice cream everyday at night. My favorite was mixing mint chocolate chip and cookies and cream. I was still having energy issues, but I thought it was allergies.
I had a lot of allergy issues and breathing issues, and the pollution in Texas didn’t help the situation. However, there was only Benadryl at the time, so if I’m feeling shitty, what’s the difference if I eat a bunch of sweets? I also recovered better when I was younger.
I got married, and my wife some times found my sweet tooth particularly annoying. We would put peanut butter cups in the freezer (the only proper way to store them), and I got two sets at Christmas: one big bag from her mother and one nice box from her.
I was working from home that week, and I ate them all in two days. She came home from work, and she went saw my pile of wrappers. She told me I ate too much. She went in the freezer, and didn’t find the bag her mom gave me. She asked if I ate the whole bag. I admitted my gluttony, and she laughed, but she was still confident there were other sweets. She pulled the nice box out. She just wanted one. She was quite disappointed I didn’t even leave one.
Just try it, you’ll like it.
My usual plan was to keep candy out of my house otherwise I would eat it. By this time, my energy dips were too much. Between my wife saying I should cut back and an article about a family that cut back greatly, I decided to try 30 days. I would have one hold back, and that would be espresso. I needed sugar in my espresso.
After four days, I felt so fantastic, I decided this was my plan of record for life. It took some getting used to and feeling okay throwing things away. Then whenever I did have a sweet, it was too much. My tastes changed, and I no longer like sweet things like I once did. I still don’t keep them in the house if it can be avoided.
One month later, I finally gave up sugar in my espresso too. I was on my way to an interview, and I tried an espresso at a fancy place in the airport. It blew me away. I decided I just needed to get used to it and find better espresso beans. This drove me down a whole new path with espresso quality, and now, I won’t even consider putting sugar into an espresso drink.
I do have sugar some times especially around the holidays. However, one thing I noticed in these years of mostly not eating sugar, I get an emotional hangover the day after. Because this consequence isn’t immediate, it was hard to correlate to sugar. The only way I have lessened this hangover is to drink lots of water after eating sugar. That isn’t so comfortable either, but it beats a bad hangover where I’m grumpy and irritable for seemingly no reason.
All in all, I didn’t quit sugar because it was not healthy for me physically. I quit sugar for the energy level and emotional hangovers. My diet has greatly improved over the years too, so I don’t yearn for the quick fix of sugar as much.