quitting sugar aaargh

Last week I was feeling pretty good about cutting out sugary treats. I’d had a few headaches, but these were minor and didn’t last long. I didn’t find it too difficult to refuse sweet things and I didn’t really want them anyway.

This week is a whole other story. And we’re only two days into this week, so I’m a little scared as to how bad this is going to get.

Last night I felt like I was getting a cold. I had a sore throat and felt a bit congested. I wondered on Twitter whether this might be a sugar withdrawal symptom. Sarah Wilson (who wrote the 8 week I Quit Sugar Program that I’m largely following) suggested that yes, this could be part of the detox and suggested drinking more water and eating more veggies.

This morning, I felt lethargic, irritable, cranky (oh wait, that’s just my normal state) and headachy. I knew that if this had been a normal work at home day, I’d be having several of the shortbread biscuits (that Juniordwarf and I would have made on the weekend) throughout the day.

Not today though.

I did, however, just want to eat and eat. And eat. And eat. David Gillespie (author of Sweet Poison) replied to my tweet that this could be the stage where things start to turn ugly and recommended non-sweet food treats to get me through it.

Vintage cheese and coffee.

Not together, obviously and, sadly, not with my favourite crackers. It turns out that for all the ‘bad’ stuff they don’t have, they do have sugar, so for now they’re off limits.

Cue home-made water cracker recipe (do you feel a recipe blog post coming on?).

So I went through the day feeling hungry not that long after I’d eaten, headachy and with a horribly dry mouth and metallic taste. According to Sarah Wilson, it’s all part of the detox.

Along with the physical symptoms, I’ve found that if I’m not actively concentrating on something, I’ve started to obsess about sweet food, and I think about cakes and lollies and biscuits constantly. I even hallucinated that the eggshells I could see through the plastic compost container were mini-muffins waiting to be eaten.

I’m not really sure if I actually want cakes or lollies or biscuits. I don’t think I do. If someone put a peppermint slice in front of me, I don’t think I’d eat it. But I just can’t stop thinking about them.

All of this is happening while I’m still eating berries in my morning smoothie. There will be a point where I cut them out too (at least for the detox period) and, based on the last two days, I’m a wee bit terrified of how complete withdrawal is going to make me feel.

I honestly didn’t think I was *that* addicted to sugar. But what’s happening now suggests otherwise.

I just have to keep telling myself that every minute I get through this is a minute closer to when it will stop. I have to believe that there will be a point where I won’t want sugar and I’ll feel great. There are a lot of people who have done this and said it’s worth it, so I’m hanging in there.

* I did. I didn’t think that the occasional more often than not cake/bag of lollies/chocolate bar some most afternoons was something I would have to withdraw from.

6 thoughts on “quitting sugar aaargh

  1. Pingback: more coffee, please – stepping on the cracks

  2. Pingback: Week in review – 5-11 January | pastpresentfuture

  3. Alexander Roan

    Really glad to have helped.I don't think everyone gets 'die off' (herxheimer response). I think it depends on how much yeast / bacteria / fungus you have in your system and also how much you come of sugar. For example if you have white rice or bread or fruit or anything which contains sugar or is converted to glucose quickly in the blood stream I think you then have excess glucose in the system which means no die off.If you do suspect die off then have a think on whether you've had any persistent illness previously like fatigue, athletes foot, bad breath etc. through to more serious conditions, then it could be further evidence you had bad bacteria / yeast / fungus.If your having die off then I recommend to take a probiotic (because you need to replenish the good bacteria), ideally make your own Kefir, or otherwise get a commercial product with tens of billions of multiple strains. Secondly get some milk thistle and other liver supports as your liver may be working hard from toxin release.I had quite strong 'die off' because I also took antifungals and anti-bacterials as I suspect I had fatigue from a build up of yeast / bacteria.Hope your journeys go well 🙂

  4. sleepydwarf

    Hi Alexander, thanks for stopping by 🙂 That's interesting to know. I'm hoping those symptoms won't last too long … it's very much a one day at a time thing, but it's reassuring to know people get to 4 weeks and 8 weeks and survive through it! Thanks for the suggestions, will definitely check them out.SD.

  5. Alexander Roan

    Hello… I'm 4 weeks into a no sugar diet and what you are facing now is I think the herxheimer response or 'die off' this is when a lot of bacteria / yeast / fungus in your system that lives of sugar dies off.. When it dies, it breaks up into toxins and those run through your system, hence the flu like symptoms.. The worst was about 4 days for me…. but depending how many bad things have built up in your system over the years you can have detox symptoms on / off for over a month…Last night I made coconut flour and oat bran bread, check those out, both are low carbs and excellent nutrition sources.. You can also make crackers out of them..You can buy buckwheat crackers w/out processing / additives online.. note buckwheat isn't actually wheat, it's a seed 🙂


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