Results of the Sugar Free Challenge

sugar-free-challenge

A week without sugar and white flour. For some of us, it was a week without natural sweeteners, and  even fruit and starches.  Today, let’s share about our experience!

But before I do, I just wanted to encourage you all to not allow this week to pass and jump straight back into your normal eating habits.  If this week has resulted in good results, keep it up! If this week has shown a definite sugar addiction, consider conquering it. Let this week be a stepping stone to a more nourishing lifestyle!

Our Results:

We haven’t used white sugar or white flour in my family (except rare occassions), so that wasn’t anything new for us. We did cut out all natural sweeteners as well as most fruits. We concentrated on lots of veggies and other good food. At the end of it, Elena visited the Naturopath and it looks like her yeast flare up is in check now. Yeah!  I don’t handle a lot of fruit well anyways, so we will still continue to limit them and natural sweeteners, but feel a little more relaxed about grains now.   We did a strict anti-yeast diet for about two weeks and that’s been our result.

Stephanie shared this earlier

“I have a 17-year-old treasure of a daughter who has autoimmune disease and thyroid and asthma issues. This challenge has helped us to see clearly just how important it is for her not to have any processed sweeteners and to even carefully limit raw honey. We have also seen that it pays to be very careful with grains and it would be worth another ‘challenge’ on our own to see what removing grains will do for her.

I have undiagnosed arthritis in my hands and, as the week of the challenge has progressed, my pain has lessened each day until this morning when I woke up and had absolutely NO pain or stiffness (PTL! :*)) I have also lost some weight, but I’m not sure how much (4-5 pounds, which is about 10% of what I need to lose). I finally have some hope that I’ll be able to lose the rest of the weight I would so much like to lose. Sometimes it is hard because my husband likes to share food with me… and he is a big fan of white flour and white sugar! Sometimes, I think his love language is food.

In addition to health benefits and hope for further improvement in that department, I have really enjoyed finding new things to eat, especially for breakfast: sauteed veggies and homemade/no sugar sausage or fried fresh ham and pancakes with applesauce or your soaked biscuits; dry popped amarynth with fresh fruit salad and coconut milk.”

Stephanie, I just wished that we all had such immediate results! That’s great!

Lisa noticed this earlier in the challenge.

“The thing I noticed by yesterday afternoon already, that is totally amazing me, is that my constant headache/stiff neck/stiff jaw/shoulder pain/fibromyalgia-like symptoms and fatigue are almost gone, very close to completely gone, in fact! Can taking out sugar and white flour really do that so quickly?! I did stop drinking wine last week, and I’ve limited my computer time lately to try to decrease the constant pain I’m in, but the sugar/flour elimination has made more difference, more quickly, than anything. I’m shocked! Is it that the sugar and white flour are so toxic a poison to my body that they’re causing that much pain? Well, I’m going to keep trying to find out. I’m not even at the higher levels of this challenge and I’ve had amazing results! It’s so worth it.”

Lisa, I hope you are still having good results!

For some of us the difference has been more subtle. How about you?  Were you able to complete the challenge? Did you notice any difference in how you felt? Please share!

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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Comments

  1. Jessie says

    Thanks for this challenge & the encouragement!

    I saw the candy dish today – full of little Dove candies. So good! But you know what? I wasn’t very interested & it wasn’t hard at all to say no. I’m motivated to keep going without visits to my co-workers candy dishes (which was my primary source of refined sugars). I had let some white flour products creep in a bit – especially this wonderful sourdough bread from a local bakery, but I’m willing to let that go too. (It helps I found a totally amazing spelt sourdough – but I really don’t want to have too many grains.)

    I also ate more fermented things last week & hope to keep it up.

    I feel more energetic. I think that’s the big difference. I look forward to hearing others results!

  2. Rayelle says

    I can’t believe how quickly the week flew by. Last night I was watching DH eat some ice cream and suddenly thought ‘whoa my sugar free week is over, I COULD have some of that!’. Know what? I didn’t really want it that bad!

    I was only at beginner level but had a couple of slipups. Once when I put that splash of mocha in my coffee without thinking, once when I had a pb&j sandwich, then realized that homemade plum jam from Grandma had to be chock full of sugar. Then a couple of nights ago DH was finally feeling ok enough after his wisdom tooth extraction to eat chocolate ice cream, and proceeded to sit and eat it right out of the carton. Well I was sitting next to him knitting, and was alright for a while, until I realized the sides of that carton had to be warming up and getting all soft and melty…my favorite. I couldn’t help taking the spoon and scooping some of that goodness out. At least we only buy Breyer’s, so there’s nothing but milk, cream, sugar, eggs, cocoa powder. No corn syrup or other freakies. However I have informed him that he now needs to be scooping what he wants into a bowl so I’m not tempted, and that’s worked well.

    I thought white flour was going to be a hard one for me but it wasn’t. Didn’t touch it all week. I made sure to have something filling like beans with our meals (generally stews) and I’ve felt great.

    I was hoping to see some weight loss, just a pound or so, but not a thing. I can’t believe how hard it is to get this weight off while I’m nursing. I’ve decided to keep to the challenge for a couple more weeks at least, and see if I get some results in that area.

    • says

      Rayelle, of course I don’t know how old your baby is, but don’t expect weight loss from nursing during the first 4 months. I have read that only after that period, your body will put some extra fat in the milk if you have some to spare. I never had big weight issues, but I definitely weighed about 4 kilo’s less after one and a half year of nursing with each of my two kids. These kilo’s returned afterwards, but I lost them again, and keep that weight since 2 years, when I changed our family diet due to dermatitis problems of my youngest daughter. I use spelt flour in place of all wheat, and use very little milk products and pork. For the rest we were already eating reasonable healthy beforehand, so I think these changes made the difference for me.

  3. says

    I’m glad you shared my comment! I did have an amazing week on the sugar-free, white flour-free challenge and I’m going to continue it as much as possible (100% at home, it’s going out that’s hard).

    I have what I consider undiagnosed fibromyalgia (nerve and muscle pain head to toe, almost constantly.) As of today and starting about 12 hours into this challenge, I am still pain-free, and I can only attribute it to taking the sugar and refined flour out of my diet. I had a glass of wine on Saturday night, and while that didn’t feel great after over a week of no alcohol (I’m a lightweight), it didn’t cause any headache or pain. Taking out refined white foods has been the key, I guess, and I’m totally surprised. I’ve never, never given up sugar completely before. I have gone gluten-free for weeks at a time, and had some success with that, but it seems the sugar is the main culprit in my pain, and I have noticed even before this that white flour gives me digestive distress (bloating, mainly).

    Thank you for doing this challenge. It has changed my life! I now find myself not even wanting sugar-y foods. I do like sweet tastes, though, so this past week I had plenty of honey in my tea and even made a zucchini cake and cream cheese frosting with just a little honey for Sunday dessert. It was great!

    I’m wondering how much the genetic modification of sugar and wheat has been causing my problems, but I’m going to cut out all sugar and white flour for now, organic or not.

    • Heather B. says

      I just wanted to make a comment about the “undiagnosed fibromyalgia”. I thought I had that too! For years…..until I got my calcium levels checked. Turns out I had a parathyroid tumor, which was causing my calcium to be off and ruining my muscles, nerves and bones. It’s hard to diagnose because most doctors don’t know enough about them, but it causes full body chronic pain and is horrible to suffer with. I’d had is since high school and had been told I was everything from depressed to having carpel tunnel to needing a chiropractor to needing physical therapy….no it was just a little tiny parathyroid tumor. Get checked for it, if you’ve exhausted all the other tests. If you have one, your calcium levels with be slightly high……good luck!

      • says

        Heather, this is too much of a coincidence! I just had a parathyroid gland removed in July at the Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota. So yes, I also had that problem! But the surgery didn’t completely take away my pain and fatigue, at least not until this past week when I went sugar-free. I don’t think it could be a coincidence that all that went away the very same week of this challenge, do you? I don’t honestly know, though. I do know I’m sticking with sugar- and white flour-free for a while though because I feel so much better! If you’d like, email me about your experience b/c I’d love to know more about how your surgery and things went for you.

        Lisa–zahn8 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  4. says

    I did it! I sweetened everything I ate with honey only and really barely used any of that either. I am definitely going to keep this up after the challenge is over. White sugar be gone!

  5. Kylie Thomas says

    My aim for the challenge was to have no fruit, no natural sweetners, and no starchy grains. However on the challenge I did indulge in one banana, and a tiny, tiny bit of maple syrup on my coconut flour pancakes. There is also something else I ate, which I NEVER ever ever eat, but late night munchies in town without dinner resulted in something terrible.. I had some Mcd’s fries, with ketchup. Sinful! It’s quite funny (though not really!) because I ended up having my entire bag stolen while there, so it was like the whole world was telling me how wrong this was! I’ll never be going to Mc Donalds again 🙂 The last time I was there was about 9-12 months ago, and I caved and bought a cheeseburger. The funny thing was after I had one bite, I hated the taste! I couldn’t eat it, and had to give the rest to my partner. Something I used to love so much was now disgusting to me. Once you start eating real food, the other stuff tastes like cardboard 🙂
    Other than that, the results from the challenge have been a greater appreciation for natural sweetners and fruit, I’m finding a little goes a long way. And I’m also including a greater range of grains in my diet. Last night I had kasha with crumbled homemade raw feta on top- yum!
    Thanks for the challenge Kimi 🙂 Challenges are quite fun, I thought a few other fun challenges would be a no grains challenge, and also a ‘Only Local Foods’ Challenge, might give those a go sometime in the future 🙂

  6. says

    Wonderful challenge. Although I did not participate last week, I adopted this diet in the past and it made me feel peppy and energized. As a result of what I’ve learned through others comments, I will no longer be using agave nectar in my cooking, but will focus on raw honey and dried fruits instead.

  7. Arlene says

    I have been without sugar or white flour for 6 weeks now – with only the following exceptions. One t. of homemade ice cream and 1 bite of pecan roll, and one serving of spaghetti. I wouldn’t have had that had I been home but was gone for 6 days so thought I did good. My candida seems to be gone except I still have some itching. A new rash showed up and not sure what that is but since getting home last eve. I have been drinking lots of water and hope that will wash out any toxins. I want to add a little fruit to get my potassium but plan to go slow with that also. I seem to have good energy level so think it has helped that.

  8. says

    I made it the week without sugar but did have a couple of glasses of orange juice and an apple last night. Not bad but could have been better. Today I haven’t even wanted sugar even going down the candy isle at the grocery store!
    Regina

  9. says

    I made it and didn’t have too many cravings. Although I have to be honest…I did go right out and get a coffee drink I had been wanting all week. But you know what? I wasn’t as good as I remembered, so maybe I have lost my desire for them…which would be awesome!

  10. karen c. says

    I did it. The only sugar I had was limited raw honey. I coincidentally am doing the introductory phase of the SCD diet. So no grains either. I feel better overall and have lost 2 lbs.

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing my other comments, Kimi.

    I would just add that menu planning and making appropriate special foods and treats ahead was a HUGE help for us. My big girls (16 and 17) and I sat down and figured out what meals we could and couldn’t make… then filled in the meals. Now we need to do it again for this week, or I’m afraid we will fall apart! Before this week, I would usually have a hand full of dark chocolate chips in the afternoon. I don’t remember which day (Thursday or Friday?) I realized at bed time that I hadn’t even missed them that day!

  12. Cindi says

    This was a great challenge! My two teenage daughters remained steadfast even though there were many temptations (our chiropractor was even serving up organic naturally sweetened desserts that they turned down)! I think being committed to this “official” challenge made it easier for them to be strong. We’ve had so many great discussions about sugar this week, and I am grateful for what they are learning. We read together all your posts Kimi, and appreciated them very much. My girls definitley seem more willing and self-motivated to adopt some of these new habits, which makes me very happy!!

  13. says

    I did pretty well except for some pie served at my brother’s house yesterday. I was visiting his family over the weekend and really missed my WAP-style food. My sister in law is a terrific cook but knows nothing about WAPF (and I’m afraid I’ll say something wrong and spoil it for her) and I could really feel the difference in my stomach, with pain and gassiness all weekend. I ate a bit of white flour in a wrap sandwich (I tore off a lot of excess wrap) and whole wheat couscous with dried fruit soaked in some kind of tea (I think sugar was involved, or at least the reconstituted dried fruit was way too sweet for me and I only ate a couple of bites), but by the time pie was served last night I just gobbled up a piece without even thinking about the challenge. Huh?! But I’m back to my normal no-sugar. It is getting a bit easier, I think.

  14. Megan says

    Thanks for doing this Kimi, the challenge went great! I have been dealing with a low grade bladder infection and nothing seemed to be giving it the boot for good. This helped so much, and I definitely want to keep it up (I was doing the moderate level)

  15. says

    Well I have decided to continue at least at the moderate level after this week.

    Monday to friday afternoon I did the advanced level
    – but in the weekend I decided to loosen up a bit and made an almost grain and sugarfree cake and had some wine.
    Appart from the horrible headache I had on day 2, I felt so fantastic-better that for a loooong while
    I stopped feeling hunger- had to remind myself that I needed to eat and I didn´t crave anything. Rather amazing.

    I didn´t mind restricting the fruit either- I really don´t think it is natural to eat a lot of fruit in a cold climate – except during summer/ early fall.

  16. says

    Dang! I wish I had known about this challenge earlier! I would have posted about it and passed it along to others. As it were, my computer has been sick with a virus and there was very minimal internet in my life for the past few weeks.

    Anyway, congratulations to everyone who participated in this incredibly difficult challenge! Having gone without sugar for over a year and a half, now, I can say that it does get easier!! The hardest part is to make the decision to do it.

  17. Erica says

    Hi, I wasn’t apart of this challenge either but I did have our family give up white sugar and white flour at the beginning of this year, more for the arthritis I have been suffering. I’m still having pain and working on that but I do have to say that after I cut that out and started making everything from scratch from healthy whole foods and even stopped buying the boxed snacks and cereals for my kids the weight just started to fall off. I have lost 45 pounds and my husband has lost 25. My 10 year old daughter had always been a bigger girl and I saw all that extra weight just dissapear on her. It made me feel so good at the end of our school year in June when her class ran the mile run they had been working on and she came in 2nd. SHE was so proud of herself and told me that she could have kept going. I know that this is due to changing our diets and feeding her and her sisters the foods that their body’s need. Also they love everything that they eat now and don’t really ever miss the stuff I used to buy before. It’s so worth it! Erica

  18. says

    I did 5 days of no sugar/white flour. It was good for me to see the intensity of the cravings on day 2 & how they lessoned as the days went by. I love not feeling the need to find something/anything sugary in the kitchen at night. Hot tea or water with lemon/lime & ACV was enough.

  19. Stephanie says

    I actually came upon this challenge today… but I found it ironic since this whole past week I’ve been working on my own personal challenge to stay away from sugar and white bread. A couple weeks ago, I noticed myself starting to feel sick, uneasy, and lightheaded, especially whenever I ate processed, sugary foods or white breads. I had eaten a little more of it those couple weeks ago because we were visiting relatives and I didn’t want to turn down the food they provided. But I found that when I promptly ate something fresh like a fresh fruit or vegetable after eating something sugary/processed, I felt a whole lot better. So I decided to avoid the sugar as much as I could for the next while and see what it did. I can’t tell you how much of a difference it has made! I feel so much more full & refreshed after I eat and I don’t “crave” more and more. It was kind of hard at first, but I found over time, the resistance got easier and I felt so much more at ease, less anxious, happy and healthy! It is such a better way to go!
    I did have some sugars here and there like in breads and fruits, but just from limiting my sugar intake way down, I felt so much better!

  20. Carole says

    How funny and ironic it was to see an ad promoting the use and safety of high fructose corn syrup right under the lead to your post today!

  21. says

    Ours went very well. My goal was to reduce sugar cravings by eliminating sugar, mostly in the form of baked goods and ice cream. I succeeded and have likely saved about $40 this week in treats for myself and my girls. Their behaviours this week have been amazing too. I expected little terrorists but instead they were very agreeable to the challenge, followed the rules and the screaming and arguing was much less this week than usual. We all had a pice of blackberry pie and ice cream as a treat to celebrate the end of the week (and Thanksgiving) but we all had much smaller slices and scoops than usual. Cravings have virtually disappeared.

  22. says

    Hello Stephanie,

    I have wanted to post about my sugar free challenge experience and I finally have! I thought that I would send my link http://himintheeveryday.blogspot.com/2009/10/sugar-free-challenge-what-it-meant-to.html
    because I really, really experienced a lot as a result of participating and I want to thank you for hosting …. very much!
    I have also had an opportunity to find some of the natural sweeteners you mentioned, here in Australia and I linked to those too “O)

    Thanks again! I think your site is a wonderful wealth of healthful information!!!

    Kind regards
    Pauline

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