Few days ago I finished the #zerosugarchallenge and I wrote this post to tell you more about it and about how I felt during those 10 days.
How did everything begin?
My cousin Alina texted me on a Saturday, saying that she thought about a challenge we could take together. When I asked her what it was about she said “x days without sugar”. Oh, man… at first I laughed, really.
If you know me at least a tiny bit, you shall know I am a huge food lover and the more the calories the better when it comes to a good meal. I am very aware that this is not exactly good for my health and I should be protectig my body against threats like junk food, because they are extremely damaging, but let’s face it, it takes a lot of will and determination to do it and it would take me way too far out of my comfort zone.
I am quite a lazy person, even if I am doing so many things, I was terrified to even give it a try, knowing myself and how passionate I am about food.
Also, the reason why it actually scared me more was the diet I had a few weeks back, measuring all my calories and being extremely careful with what I was eating, due to a bit more kilos than I should’ve had. But even if I was eating less calories, I didn’t let go of anything but meat, which actually allowed me to have quite a big variety of meals and snacks, as long as it was within the target of calories intake.
I held on to it for about 12 days, before Aleks’s parents came over and we started taking them to places. And then I started eating again, anything and everything. It wouldn’t have been such a big issue, however the portions I was eating started to be bigger and bigger, not to bring up the sugar intake which was beyond any decent limits.
So I said Yes to the challenge and this was mainly thanks to Alina’s efforts of convincing me. I said to myself, “Let’s see how it goes!” and here we are, a few days after the challenge ended, extremely excited about taking you through the whole experience.
The day before the challenge
It wasn’t a long challenge, we only decided to take it for 10 days and see how we feel afterwards. But let’s start with the beginning, and by that I don’t mean the first days, but actually the day before the challenge.
We decided to go for it starting from Monday (because you know, everything starts on a Monday 😅), so what I did on Sunday before work was to go straight to McDonald’s and abuse my body with a cheeseburger, a mayo chicken burger and also a medium portion of chips so the burgers don’t feel lonely.
Also, I ate almost 2 packs of chocolate wafer rolls which I absolutely love. Not just because I knew I was going to miss them, but also to make sure I eat enough to feel incredibly guilty and in debt with my own body. After this calorie bomb I was ready to start my 10 painful sugar free days.
How did the 10 days go?
First days were obviously the hardest and not necessarily because I couldn’t eat anymore sugar, but also because I didn’t realize how many products actually do have sugar.
The deal was “no added sugars”, but how did I now that the processed food I was buying was sugar free indeed? Well, I didn’t. On the first day I had some canned sweet corn, but even of there was no sugar listed among the ingredients and I know sweet corn has also its natural sugars, I prefered to remove it from my list of allowed products after seing the sugal level on the label.
I also removed the cream (single, double, soured, whipped) and the milk as well. I found out that lactose is a sugar as well and I just preferred to keep it at minimum for the challenge (the 7g butter on my Nando’s Corn on the Cob, which I had about 4 times during these 10 days🙈).
I also removed the bread and replaced it with oat cakes with no added sugars.
I tried having unprocessed food as much as I could (vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs) and while doing this challenge I found out even more about the chicken we are selling in Nando’s. The only bastes that have sugar are PERi Tamer / Flamer and Mango&Lime. The marinade as well as the other bastes are completely free of sugar, which made me really happy as I could enjoy a good meal at work without compromising the challenge.
How am I feeling after these 10 days?
After a few days I got used to the diet and it kept being easier day by day. Also, this challenge and the diet itself didn’t only help me lose 3kg in 10 days and see 55 on the scale after a good 5 years, but also with the recurrent symptoms of thrush I have been experiencing for more than a year.
Probably most women would find this embarassing and won’t say they have it nor talk about it. Because it is indeed a horrible feeling and it does feel embarassing. It also makes you feel weak and powerless and it might even take control of your emotions at times.
75% of the women have experienced these symptoms at least once in their life, so this article is not only for them but also for men who have friends, girlfriends, sisters, wives or mothers going through this. Yes, medication does help. But it’s not the key and it doesn’t treat this forever. What it does is actually a good eating habbit and enough quality sleep.
I am still having a battle with the sleeping situation, as my job doesn’t allow me having a pattern in my sleeping hours, but the diet helped me big time. And I know it’s due to it that I am feeling much better because it also happened after the previous diet, when I had my sugar and carbs intake much lower than usual.
And now what?
I am the same food lover as I was before the challenge, I am not gonna be a hypocrite saying that I wouldn’t enjoy some junk food right now at 1AM before going to sleep. Pizza sounds perfect, some reach lasagna even better. Not to bring up the chocolate wafer rolls. Yes, I am still going to enjoy these goodies, but not so often and definitely not in the quantities I used to before.
However, what I am also going to do is try to avoid as much as I can having this food from anywhere else but my own kitchen, unless I know exactly how they have been cooked and what ingredients were used.
I am gonna come back with a follow up in exactly 1 month, as I will have more time to experience and try recipes and restaurants, also track what exactly I am eating and see what it works and what doesn’t.
In the meantime, I hope this post gave you at least a bit of courage to take a similar challenge or at least to be more careful with your sugar intake. I promise it will not only make you feel better, but realize how damaging the sugar is to your body.
If you read until here, I hope it was worth the time and you’ll also share it with your friends, especially those ones who don’t have very healthy eating habbits.