Going Sugar Free – What Does This Mean?

October 29, 2015 , In: Health, Lifestyle , With: No Comments

About 4 or 5 years ago I was told by my doctor that I have to give up sugar for good. And let me tell you, it was quite the shock! How can you give up all kinds of sugar? Not just the refined white stuff, but all natural sugars including fruit, honey and carbohydrates. But, having been dared by my doctor who said “you won’t stick to a sugar free diet anyway” (he knows how to push my buttons into the right direction), I can proudly say that I’ve stuck to it for the last 4 or 5 years! I’m not going to lie, it was really tough to start with, but I persisted through all of the cravings, overcame them, and now I feel a million times better.

How did I feel before quitting sugar?

I’ve had various symptoms of my sugar intolerance since I was little. First I had exzema, followed by acne from the age of 12. Once I started working I had stomach cramps every time I ate pasta, and bloating every time I ate carbohydrates and sugar. And as if that wasn’t enough, I was constantly tired.
To this day my stomach bloats up as soon as I eat something that I’m intolerant to.

What happened when I quit sugar

Sugar is a highly addictive substance, so of course giving up came with withdrawal symptoms. There were the cravings, the mood swings, and the anger at other people eating a chocolate bar. It’s totally irrational, I know. My mum then decided to quit sugar with me for moral support, and it made giving up so much easier! It’s great to do it with someone so that you can keep each other going.
On the upside however, I suddenly had lots of energy throughout the day – the ups and downs of energy that come with a carby diet were gone. I lost a lot of weight, the bloating stopped, and best of all my skin cleared up*!
Another side effect of living sugar free is that your senses become heightened. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I have supersonic hearing and a fantastic sense of smell! At times I also feel more emotional, as I no longer have sugar acting as an emotional buffer to dampen the stress or upset I’m feeling – no more comfort ice cream or chocolate bars to cheer me up! But that’s OK.
I just feel amazing and healthy without sugar in my life!

How to quit the white stuff

First of all, you need to be clear on exactly what sugar is, and how much of it you want to cut out. You may not want to go to the extreme as I have, but only cut out refined sugars or added sugars to start with. I’ve made a list of all sugars here.

  • Decide which sugars you want to cut out.
  • Ask your best friend, partner or parent to quit sugar with you. They’ll thank you later!
  • Make a list of reasons why you want to quit sugar. Refer back to it if you’re ever in doubt.
  • Plan your meals for the week ahead.
  • Do a big shop for the following week so that you have the right non-sugary foods in the house when you get hungry. This will stop you reaching for a quick slice of bread or chocolate bar when hunger strikes.
  • If you are going to be out all day, prepare your meals the night before and take them with you. That way you don’t need to figure out where you can get the right food whilst you’re out and about. It’s stressful and makes you more likely to fall off the bandwagon. Preparation is key.
  • If you feel like giving up, call your partner in crime – the lucky one who’s decided to quit sugar with you. They will talk you out of the sandwich shop and back to your healthy lunch box.
  • Do the same for your friend when they call you from the cake shop!
  • Don’t have cheat days. I found that for me, it’s all or nothing. I’ve tried having a cheat day, or a cheat meal, resulting in a 3 week binge of everything I can’t eat. It’s not pretty, and you’ll feel awful! It’s just not worth it.
  • Don’t let your friends convince you to share a bowl of fries or a pizza on a night out. Be strong and say no!
  • When the cravings, anger and emotions get too much and all you want is a piece of cake, remember that pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever. The cravings will pass, and soon you won’t want that cake.
  • Figure out what you can do to distract yourself when you have a craving. Personally, I drink a cup of coffee 🙂
  • There are lots of tasty recipes on Sarah’s Wilson’s I Quit Sugar website, check them out.
  • Keep track of when you started and how long you’ve already been sugar free. It’ll give you a great sense of achievement looking back.
  • Instead of ‘I can’t have that‘, adapt the mindset of ‘I can have that, but I choose not to‘.
  • Think of this as a lifestyle, not a diet. Diets don’t work, but healthy lifestyle choices do.
  • Have fun with it! You’re doing this for yourself, for a healthy body and mind, and I promise you’ll feel amazing!


Good luck!
Judith xoxo


* Please note that if you have acne rather than just a few spots, changing your diet alone may not cure you completely. I am also having DMK skin treatments which I will write about in another blog post. BUT, cutting sugar out of your diet will most definitely improve your skin!

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Judith Gericke

Passionate about all things health and fitness, I decided to embark on a career change from working in film production to becoming a personal trainer in 2017. I love helping people on their journey to better health and fitness, be it through fun yet challenging workouts or lifestyle changes. It’s what we do every day that matters most, so let’s make every day count. I also LOVE CrossFit, so when I’m not working in the gym you’ll find me in my local CrossFit box.

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