Sugar, no thank you: Cutting sugar from my diet for a week

Photo of sugar
Vanessa Lim/Staff

Related Posts

Sugar is now everywhere, from smoothies and drinks to canned fruit and sauces. After reading about the harmful effects of high sugar consumption such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, I was inspired to take on the challenge of cutting down my sugar intake. It definitely wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be — not only did I have to restrict desserts and sugary drinks from my diet, but also items such as sweetbread and ketchup. Despite only testing it out for a week, I could already notice significant changes in my overall health and lifestyle. Here’s how my experience went!

I was more alert during the day

The biggest change I noticed during this challenge was that I wasn’t sluggish during the day and found myself skipping my usual power naps. In addition to focusing better when crossing off tasks from my to-do list, I was also able to free up some time. This is probably the strongest incentive that will encourage me to continue with this in the long term. While sugar can provide a burst of immediate energy, you’re also more prone to crashing and feeling sleepy. Even if you’re unable to cut sugar from your diet completely, I highly recommend moderating your sugar intake during midterms and finals to keep yourself alert and focused.

It was easier to stay fit

One of the more obvious changes, restricting sugar made it much easier to lose weight during this week, especially when paired with exercise. Before I took on this challenge, exercising only succeeded in burning off added sugars. Now that I completely cut off sugar, I was able to directly notice and feel the results of the workouts.

I was encouraged to adopt a healthier lifestyle

This was perhaps a placebo effect, but I felt a lot more healthy this week. Moreover, due to the other positive changes I noticed, I found myself automatically picking up other healthy living and eating habits. They didn’t feel like a chore anymore and I figured that since I was doing this weekly challenge anyway, I might as well try other lifestyle changes that I never got around to implementing before.

My skin texture improved 

Possibly because I substituted my sugary beverages with water instead, my skin textured improved slightly. I experienced less breakouts during the week and my skin felt much smoother, which came as a pleasant surprise. If none of the drugstore products have been working, feel free to try moderating your sugar consumption to see if it makes a difference.

If you’ve been on the fence about reducing your sugar intake, this is your sign! It is incredibly hard in the beginning, but the overall long-term changes are so worth it. To start off, you can try avoiding sugar with your morning tea and coffee and limiting yourself to one dessert per week, before slowly ramping it up.

To notice additional benefits, I will probably need to limit sugar for a longer period of time than just a week. Regardless of whether the results were obvious or not, cutting down on sugar can only help (for most people)!

Contact Erica Jean at [email protected].