If you are thinking about going sugar-free you might be asking yourself what kind of results will I get? You are not alone! It is the same thing that I wondered before I started my sugar-free diet. In this article I go over all of the benefits that I have personally noticed and a picture of my no sugar diet results before and after.
The answer, which contains many reasons listed below, really comes down to one thing: Health! I enjoy being and feeling healthy!!
My No Sugar Diet Before and After Results
I should preface that when I say “sugar-free”, I mean processed sugar-free. I still enjoy all of the sweetness and wonderful nutrients that fruit offer, as well as a few other natural sweeteners like honey and pure maple syrup occasionally.
Some major benefits I have noticed in going sugar-free:
- Food taste better! Believe it or not, the flavors in food are stronger and more flavorful. I now even enjoy foods that I once hated but now find very good.
- Natural sugar has become sweeter to me. From pineapple and bananas to tomatoes and even coconut tastes sweeter.
- My joints ache less. A few of the joints in my hands used to bother me (this cannont happen…I’m only 38!!). Not anymore, this along with eating less gluten has done wonders for my achy joints.
- I crave less sweets. And when I do crave something sweet, it doesn’t take more than a few pieces of fruit or one of my Date Sweetened Peanut Butter Cookies to satisfy it.
- Sustained energy levels. With eliminating sugar and eating mainly fiber-filled sweets, I have less insulin spikes and therefore less energy crashes (dates are loaded with valuable fiber…check out my article on all things Dates where I go over their many benefits).
- A healthy waist line. It is well known that visceral fat (the fat that resides around your abdominal organs) is the worst kind of fat because it directly influences how hormones function in your body. And let’s be real, I like seeing my abs….I worked hard for those. I may as well be able to see them!
And I’m pretty sure that there is a multitude of positive long-term health benefits that I cannot see right now. Maybe like less wrinkles??…..yes, please!!!!
We all know that diets high in sugar and simple carbohydrates can lead to type II diabetes, and I’m sure many of you have heard of fatty liver disease (which can lead to NASH–an advanced form of fatty liver disease. Which can then lead to cirrhosis—sheesh that is a scary word), but I have also heard that sugar “feeds” cancer (eek…an even scarier word). It’s no coincidence that the increased rate of obesity over the years coincides with the increased rate of cancer over the years.
Beyond the slew of health benefits, I personally do not like feeling like I need something that I know is not good for my overall health. I have had people say to me “Oh, I could never do that!”, or “I just don’t want to deprive myself.” Truth is, I don’t feel deprived at all!! I feel empowered that sugar does not have a hold of me anymore. I can say no to that cake and no to that ice cream and it is easy for me. Now that feels freaking amazing!!
Most importantly, I want my years to feel good, do you know what I mean? I want to wake up energized, I want to wake up feeling like I am not hindered by how my body feels. I want to go hike that mountain, swim in the ocean, run around with my kids. Our bodies age, we all know that, but I want to be able to slow that process as much as I possibly can.
The downside to sugar-free diets.
Here are some of the downsides to going sugar-free that I have experienced:
- It is difficult at first. As I mentioned above, it is challenging in the begining. I would say though, that this phase was short lived. Most experts say that it takes thirty days to overcome a habit. For me personally, it took aproximately 2 weeks to where I didn’t constantly think about sweets.
- People think you are “different” (to put it nicely). The occasional eye roll accompanied with the snarky comments about how I am missing out bothered me at first. Now I know better. Everyone is different, everyone lives their lives differently. If they choose to judge me because I don’t live like they do, then that is their issue. I know that deep down they wish they had the will power to do the same.
- Finding food withought sugar. This, by far, has been the most challenging part of going sugar-free. Everything has sugar in it (ahhhh….me pulling my hair out). My biggest advice: read labels (my husband HATES going to the grocery store with me becuase I read all the labels…sorry love!). Also, know that just because it says ‘0g of added sugar’ does not mean there is no added sugar in it. A lot of times it is still added in, but the amount is so trivial that it doesn’t even register as 1g of sugar, therefore they can say 0g. No worries, I am here to help!! Check back for my sugar-free ingredient list that I will be posting in the next few weeks.
Pros of sugar-free outweigh the cons.
My list of pros far exceeds the list of cons. Even if the list of cons was longer, health would still outweigh all the rest.
Go sugar-free, you can do it! I believe in you! Of course it will be hard in the beginning, but all things are. Trust me, you will thank yourself!