Ever since I heard about 30 day challenges, I have loved the idea. About 6 weeks ago, it was time for a new 30 day challenge: cutting out sugar. I have been a sugar addict for a long time: I can always eat sugary stuff and have a constant craving. I thought that this would be the hardest thing I had ever done (and I’ve done things like running a half marathon). The experiment was more an experiment in self-control than an experiment to stay healthy (I have a pretty good bodyweight because I run a lot).
On my list of things not to eat was candy, crisps, cookies, ice cream, etcetera. I didn’t want to drink normal sodas either (diet sodas, however, were allowed). When heaving breakfast, lunch or dinner the cooks oftentimes put sugar in your meals, I didn’t care about that. As long as I could stick to three regular meals a day, nothing in between and no desserts I would be happy. There was one big exception: after running I allowed myself to drink chocolate milk, which is a really good recovery drink, high on both carbs and proteins. The day before the experiment, I had a lot of sugar: chocolate, ice cream, sodas and more.
When the experiment started, I immediately noticed how it wasn’t as hard as expected. After about a week, it didn’t seem hard at all. I noticed how I had all these habits involving sugar (the candy that comes with the bill, a coke during dinner, bringing a bag of candy on a long train ride, downing a box of orange tic-tacs). Before, I wasn’t aware of all these habits, but the experiment made me notice. I also started noticing how my happiness level during the day was more equal. No more sugar crashes, which made me feel quite stable.
At the end of the experiment, I noticed how I actually liked it. I wasn’t thinking anymore about the next opportunity to get some chocolate, it felt very natural. The first day after the experiment I again bought a big supply of sugary things and ate it all, and to be honest: I didn’t really like it. I can still enjoy a piece of chocolate every now and then, but I don’t like it as much as I used to. At the moment of writing, I’ve decided to repeat the experiment again (but only for two weeks), just because it felt so good. It’s a lot easier not to eat any sugar at all than to eat a little bit.