We’re big believers in cutting out the sugar here at KOJA Health. We believe you’re sweet enough! It can be a tough thing to do if you’ve got a serious TimTam addiction. Luckily there’s programs like the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program designed to help you kick the habit, retrain your taste buds and make sugar free living a breeze. One of our lovely KOJA Team members recently took on the IQS challenge and has kindly shared her experiences on what it’s really like to quit sugar…
I’ve always had a sweet tooth and used to rely on sugar to keep me going. I was definitely addicted to the stuff. Over the last few years I’ve cut out refined sugars but I was still addicted to the sweet stuff. I decided to do a little experiment and sign up for the I Quit Sugar (IQS) 8 Week Program to see if I could break the habit and if It would make a difference to my health. Here’s my experience with the program and how it impacted my health…
What I loved about the IQS 8 week program:
It was such a relief to not have to stress over what I’m making myself or the family for dinner. It was all outlined in the weekly meal plans with recipes and you even get a shopping list. There are also vegetarian, paleo, dairy-free and gluten-free options making it easy to cater to everyone.
All the meals are designed to be simple and easy to put together, but you get the chance to do a big Sunday cook up so you can save even more time during the week. You get to prepare things like a big batch of chia pudding or a loaf of veggie bread for the week’s breakfasts.
You learn how to make use of leftovers so nothing goes to waste. So last night’s leftover roasted vegetables become a delicious salad for lunch.
Easy does it
You don’t have to go cold turkey straight away. The first week gives you the chance to cut down so quitting isn’t as much of a shock. There are also short video summaries at the start of each week so you know what to expect.
I’m not hangry!
I’ve always been a snack fiend so I was worried when I saw that snacks weren’t included in every week’s meal plan. To my surprise, I was never really hungry between meals! They’re full of good fats and protein so they’re actually really satisfying.
What I found challenging about quitting sugar:
Put down that banana!
When I told my friends and family that I wasn’t eating any sugar (even fruit) they thought I was crazy. From weeks 2-6 you don’t eat any fruit. At first I was unsure because fruit is healthy. But it really helps to cut it out when you’re breaking the sweet addiction and readjusting your tastebuds.
The IQS team provided tips on what to order and what to avoid when eating out but it was still tough. I used to hate to bother the waiter with requests but this experience helped me build up the confidence to ask about ingredients or for sauces to be left off. I even had to send my meal back once when it came out dripping in sugary sweet chilli sauce.
Unsupportive friends or family
Unfortunately, not everyone was supportive. I got a few rude comments like “Just eat it! It won’t kill you”. I explained why I was doing the program which helped a bit. In the end, my health is more important than opinions of a couple of people.
The detox process
Sorry to anyone that had to deal with me during the detox period of the program. I was irritable, irrational and emotional during weeks 2-4. I was craving chocolate, berries, dates or anything sweet. Having a teaspoon of nut butter or coconut oil helped with the cravings.
When I first re-introduced fruit I had a handful of fresh berries with yoghurt and KOJA Chia Seed & Coconut Breakfast Topper. The natural sweetness of the coconut and raspberries was unbelievable! I’m now able to appreciate food more without sugar dulling my tastebuds. I can even taste sweetness in nuts and vegetables!
How it impacted my health
My skin is clearer and less dry. I used to get eczema but I haven’t had a flare up since quitting sugar. My mood and energy levels are also much more stable and I’ve even lost a bit of weight!
Will I stay off the sweet stuff?
I still love making healthier treats on special occasions with dates or maple syrup, but I’m not addicted anymore so I can treat myself without overindulging.
Want to know more about sugar? Check out our Cheat Sheet: Sugar #101
Image credit: welladelle.com.au