Sugar-free Januar-y

World War I Poster

I read so many helpful comments after my last post on sugar binges. You guys are the best – did you know that? I hope so, because these comments helped convert powerlessness into motivation to do something about it. A few blogger friends said they had been thinking about making a change too, so I googled and found a great post on 3 Whole Plates on how to do 30 days Sugar Free. What appealed most was her sensible, common-sense  approach to kicking the sugar habit, so I borrowed heavily and did some minor tweaking to suit my own needs.

Following the same simple 3-rule format, this is what I will shoot for from January 1-31:

1) No refined sugar. No white or brown sugar. This means no desserts or donuts or candy. Because I also hope to recalibrate my taste buds, I’m also going to cut out natural sugar products like honey and blue agave nectar, which I will miss dearly in my morning coffee.

2) No artificial Sweeteners. I’ve heard that artificial sweeteners try to trick the brain into thinking it’s had something sweet, only to find out the brain is smarter than it looks and it looks pretty smart because it’s, uh, a brain. I don’t know if artificial sweeteners satiate my need for something sweet or not, but I do know most are made from hard-to-pronounce chemicals and they don’t taste very good anyway.

3) N0 more than 10g sugar per serving in processed foods. This is any food that comes with one of those little black and white nutritional labels, which is mostly what I’ll be eating unless I get a tiny farm (complete with tiny farmhands) under the tree Christmas morning. I chose 10g because the plain greek yogurt I eat every morning has 9g sugar per serving and I like even numbers.

That’s it. I’ll still have fresh fruit because last spring I tried a low-carb diet with no fruit or grains for 2 weeks and I got a terrible chest cold and a case of the sads, so nuts to that. With processed grains, I’ll stick to the ‘no more than 10g of sugar per serving’ rule.

My main goal here is to reduce cravings and stabilize my mood and energy levels. Sugar used to be a wonderful high, but lately I’ve noticed how run down I feel, especially when I exercise. I believe I can do this for 30 days and hope it will motivate long-term, sustainable changes in what I eat and why. Food is a huge source of pleasure, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I just hope to change the pleasure from cheap thrills to something ultimately more enjoyable.

I don’t plan to change the focus of this blog to nutrition, but I will check in and report how it’s going. If you want to join in the torture FUN by going sugar-free in January or by following your own plan, yes, yes! As someone wisely said, Power in numbers!

15 thoughts on “Sugar-free Januar-y

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  1. Hmmmm…okay…I’m IN!!!! I’ll work on this and come up with a plan (or just steal yours). I like this! I’m feeling better already. (I love having a plan).



    1. Funny, I am doing the same thing on January 1st…. I did 30 days back in September/October. Im following the Whole 30 Plan, based on the book, It Started With Food by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. You can google Whole 30 too. No sugar, no artificial sugar, no breads/pastas, no processed foods, no dairy (except eggs) and NO ALCOHOL! I felt amazing and best part, I was de-toxing from all the wine. Something I am struggling with, wine. Good luck and I will do it w/ you too! B.


      1. This is the second time I’ve heard someone recommend the Whole 30 plan this week! Glad to hear you had such positive results. I wholly recommend the no-alcohol lifestyle…seriously. And I’ve found so much great support on here. Thanks for commenting and good luck to you!


    1. You sound like you have a good handle on things. I like how you cut one thing out at a time…sounds more manageable that way. One article I read suggested cutting back gradually, so that’s another approach.


  2. Hmmm I’m tempted to join in. I’ve been really bad with the sweets myself lately and have been saying I’ll re-start my diet soon enough. I like your rules, even if they do technically cut out diet sodas. What am I supposed to drink then? WATER? Yikes. I think I’d probably add the rule of “weekdays only”/weekends off for myself. Is that horrible cheating?


    1. Not at all! I love the idea of tailoring a plan for the right blend of discipline with reward. And I take for granted the diet soda thing b/c I don’t drink soda, but to me that would be like giving up coffee! Too horrible to think about. I also love the idea of a cheat day where I get to have one thing off limits, and I will be doing that once I come off of January.


      1. Yeah after thinking about it, it goes against the “30 days of something” idea to begin with – so I’m thinking 30 days no sweets, straight-up, but on the weekends I’ll likely be more lax with general food choices — but still no cookies, candy, etc. I don’t think the artificial sweetener thing really applies for me, since I can’t think of anything I consume it with except diet soda. Maybe I’ll cut it out weekdays but again, lax on weekends with that one. I’ll get my wife to do it with me, too.


      2. It sounds much better to keep the diet soda. I need to have treats to look forward to or I feel too deprived. Also great to enlist a spouse. I hope checking in here will help keep me accountable during the rough periods. This will be an interesting experiment at the very least!


  3. Well maybe I should join you but try no sugar in the booze form for 30 days instead. Ugh. I don’t know if I can do it; the longest I’ve ever managed (besides being pregnant) was 8 pathetic days. I want to scratch my eyes out. I have an unreasonable fear in failure. You got this one; I can tell! Good Luck! Can’t wait to see how you feel.


  4. Ok. I’m in. Will be tough but I’m in. Been aware of my sugar binging .. like right now I”ve just had about 10 scorched almonds. Also not happy with my wine substitute mini fizzy bottles of ginger beer etc which are pretty sugar laden I think. So count me in and I’ll come here through Jan to check in. Will have to look and see what the sugar content is on my muesli. You mean 10g per serve eh, not 10g per 100g? I agree with you that I think sugar has more affect than I realise on my mood/energy levels. So count me in – good idea! xxx


  5. I started the Atkins Diet yesterday, after seriously binging on home-made (by me) Christmas candy. I don’t plan on staying on the Atkins, I did it for two years once, and I just can’t tolerate the meat, eggs, and cheese ad nauseum anymore, but I want to go hard core for a couple of weeks to get the sugar out of my system and to fit into a red hot skin tight red dress for New Years Eve, yeah, I know that’s only a few days away, I may have to get some Spanx. After a couple of weeks, I’ll start adding in more fruits and veggies.

    Let’s getter done!


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