Life After 21 Days of No Sugar and Carbs

When I started this journey, I can’t lie I wasn’t sure I was going to make it the whole three weeks. The first week was hard – the sugar withdrawal gave me headaches and I kept wanting to have a piece of bread or rice with my dinner. Trying to figure out new recipes, spending more time planning meals and having to read ingredients all the time felt daunting in the beginning.

Thankfully I wasn’t on my own on this journey. Along with a group of my girlfriends who were also detoxing with me, we shared recipes, healthy snack options and words of encouragement. Honestly, I wouldn’t have made it without them.

By week two I started seeing the benefits of the detox and began to enjoy it.

Here are some of the benefits that I noticed –

More energy in the AM – In the past, I used to hit the snooze button at least three times each morning. However now, I can get up in the morning with ease and I don’t feel groggy. The need for caffeine to wake up is gone. I’m alert and more focused than I’ve ever been in the mornings.

Less dependent on coffee –  I love coffee. I’m genetically entwined to good coffee but whenever I feel lethargic I’ve needed a cup of coffee to keep me going. With this detox, I’ve had to take sugar and milk out of my coffee and drink it black. It was an adjustment so I stuck to one a day. During the first week when the headaches were strong, I thought I’d need another coffee when that 3pm wall hit, but I just snacked properly and drank lemon water. I found that helped and soon I didn’t need coffee as an energy boost at all.

Clearer skin – Following a binge on chocolate, coffee and carbs over the holidays my skin was less than kind to me. Having darker skin, the pimples that do appear love to leave a souvenir of a dark scar. As a reminder to always stay humble. However since cutting out sugar completely, my skin hasn’t had any breakouts and the hyper pigmentation has gone down. My skin is noticeably smoother and glowed up.

Clear thinking – My job is busy and can be stressful at times. I love what I do but I need to be constantly present and ready to put out as many fires as I can in one day. Having too much sugar impacted my performance at work. Too much sugar can cause “free radical damage and inflammation of the brain…making it hard to think clearly.” Having too much sugar such as in fruit juices, low fat snacks and/or carbs can lead to higher blood sugar levels that “trigger the release of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol which can lead to feelings of anxiety and further impair your thought processes.”

Overall this detox has become more than a dietary modification. This is now a permanent lifestyle change. I’m going to keep this up and only allow myself to have sugar and carbs once a week as a treat if I ever need to treat myself. I’ve already done 21 days, so I know I can do it. But without setting myself up for a deadly binge, I want to allow myself one day a week as a ‘get out of jail’ card just in case.

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So this is pretty much how I’m feeling right now, knowing I conquered this detox and can keep going.

If you’re thinking of also cutting sugar and carbs out of your diet, know that it is definitely doable. There are so many tools and resources online to help you find easy recipes, tips to cut sugar cravings and lists of benefits to keep you motivated.

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