The end is here: A recap of my sugar detox

The secret to my sugar detox success: fruit, like these raisins

The secret to my sugar detox success: fruit, like these raisins

Today marks the final day of my 30-day sugar detox. I detailed my reasons for why I did this in an earlier blog, but simply put, this was more a mental challenge than a physical one.And with the end in sight, let me say this: The last 30 days have been some of the toughest days I've ever experienced mentally.

That might sound ridiculous considering all I had to do was refrain from eating anything with added sugar in it, but I now understand why research has proven sugar detoxification can feel like a drug addict trying to get clean.

Not to mention the fact that sugar is added to so many everyday foods. Ketchup. Salad dressing. Salsa. Bread. Pasta sauce. And sugar takes on many aliases:

  • Cane sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Sucrose
  • And many others

The first few days, as my body was getting used to not consuming sugar, it was the headaches that made me realize how serious my sugar addiction had been. They were intense and long-lasting. I don't normally get headaches, so this was a shock to my body and my psyche.

Once those went away, the cravings kicked in, and they rocked me. We're talking the most powerful, intense, unwavering cravings for something sweet I've ever experienced.

I didn't realize before how sugar had controlled me. The cravings were most intense after lunch. I didn't realize that even my daily trip to the candy jar for a Jolly Rancher after lunch would ultimately consume my every thought once I stopped partaking in this seemingly harmless routine.

Some days, it was all I could do to keep from ripping into a package of gummi bears. I was irritable at times and often struggled to maintain focus.

Thankfully, for those moments where I felt I was on the verge of caving, my relief came in the form of fruit.

I said at the beginning of this journey I only wanted to eat sugars that were bioavailable, and even then, only in moderation. The sweetness of fruits like apples, bananas and raisins were enough to tide me over, and they are ultimately what allowed me to not cheat over the course of these last 30 days.

The cravings lessened with time, and now, I feel I've got this addiction under control. I'm a little nervous to start eating sugar again having witnessed the stranglehold it can have over a person's life. My plan is to ease back into it, and even then, I'm going to pay much more attention to the amount of sugar I consume.

I feel mentally stronger as I come out of this detox, which is what I wanted in the first place. It ultimately was a rewarding experience knowing I could control myself and my cravings, and I'm glad I did it.

Michael AshfordComment