My no sugar challenge actually started out after I’ve watched a great Podcast on Joe Rogan. Wasn’t even about sugar. He was interviewing Dr. Rhonda Patrick. She has a Ph.D. in biomedical science and is therefore constantly researching nutrition, longevity, and how to live healthier.
You can find the podcast on Joe Rogan here:
Now, I was already aware that sugar is bad. Obviously. We all know how it makes people fat. But there’s way more to this, it also makes you lazy/low energy, drops your testosterone levels, clogs your brain, and increases the risk for Alzheimer’s diseases, as well as a boatload of other illnesses.
Now, this is mostly down to refined sugar. There is a very small amount of sweeteners which are actually fine to eat. Nope, not the diet coke. That’s actually worse than regular coke.
Why did I bother with the no sugar challenge?
I was already eating low-carb and was occasionally intermittent fasting. So, I was already on a good track with a free mind and an energetic body. I hate sodas, so I never consumed sugary drinks either. I would sometimes eat sweets in the evenings on the couch, or have a cake with the family.
Gotta say, sometimes, the sweets-eating got truly out of hand on the couch. I would eat stupids amounts of them. Wouldn’t stop until the package was empty. You may be familiar with this.
Either way, I didn’t really need to drop sugar completely. Hence why this was more of a mind-training-exercise.
Note: Refined sugar is in any fucking food these days. So completely cutting it out is virtually impossible. Therefore, my challenge was simply, no cakes, no sweets, no desserts of any kind, no sodas or sweet beverages, etc. I didn’t even eat fruits, but midway through thought that this was silly and introduced a bunch of them back into the diet.
Healthy body, healthy mind
I wanted to test my willpower. Could I truly resist all the urges? Everywhere you go, you see sweetened food and drinks. Every second commercial has it. Every billboard has something from McDonald’s or Burger King on it.
And every petrol station displays a wide variety of sweets.
So I approached this as a test of my mind. Could I resist all of these temptations?
Spoiler alert: I could. But what I learned along the way was way more valuable and changed my life forever.
My experience without sugar
The first five days
Those were the hardest. Definitely.
We know that sugar can be addictive. I noticed that. The first days you truly notice the withdrawal. Even if you usually don’t eat sugar every day, you notice something is missing.
You are craving sugar. Wrong! What you’re actually craving is the small dopamine-kick eating that Snickers would produce. Key thing to learn here: Noticing how the brain is trying to trick you.
I did overcome the cravings by pure mental willpower and diverting attention. Just like you would do with porn. Whenever I felt like having a Snickers, I would eat nuts instead. Walnut cores, almonds, hazelnuts. Unsalted, unsweetened. Obviously, this doesn’t taste the same. But it helps you to overcome the urge of stuffing something into your mouth.
Headache city, 5-9 days
We now know due to research (as Rhonda Patrick points out in the podcast) that constant sugar consumption physically alters your body, especially your brain. And I truly noticed that.
I had mad headaches on days 3-4. There was definitely a shift happening in my brain. Weirdly, the cravings got less, while the headaches got worse. So, for some reason, that made it easier to not fail the challenge.
The headaches weren’t lasting all day. Sometimes it was just a short spike. Sometimes it really lasted for hours.
But just think about how bad sugar truly must be, if it alters the state of your brain to such an extent, that the withdrawal actually produces headaches. Refined sugar is truly, very unhealthy!
Get the body of a god! Without sugar, and a program.
10-20 days. The glory!
After the headaches turned down, the glorious lifestyle of the no sugar challenge life began.
I’ve noticed a surge in energy. In the mornings, as well as throughout the whole day. Again, I wasn’t eating too bad before that. So I can only imagine what kind of energy someone could release, who was eating high-carb, highly processed food before.
You feel clearer. Cognitive ability is definitely up. I wrote whole chapters for my novel in one go. I was fired up to hit the gym.
It was insane!
Know what’s even better? Ordinary food now tastes fucking amazing! We know that sugar ruins your taste glands in your mouth. That is well documented. But they recover after a bunch of days. I started to like the food I always hated. I never liked raw tomatoes. Now I eat them always! I didn’t really like broccoli, now I put them in any food.
This might sound like propaganda. But I am not trying to sell you something. I truly noticed insane benefits. This is not a joke. I never felt so good before! And I can eat way more stuff now.
21-30 days. Getting back.
The last days are weird. You don’t notice much of a difference to the already energetic lifestyle. But you get kinda used to it.
The interesting part was nearing the end. Since I set myself that 30-day challenge, I knew that I could eat sweets “in two days, buddy!”
So I was literally looking forward to it. It’s truly weird how the mind works. And I now understand way better, why people fall back after every cosmopolitan diet. You struggle through the 30 days, and then you enjoy the old lifestyle afterward. This was a big teacher for me, why you constantly need struggle!
Thank god, I’ve noticed this myself. Because this way I could mitigate it. While I did eat something sweet the day after, I did and still do heavily reduce it whenever possible. I rarely eat something sweet. And I truly learned to enjoy walnuts.
Although the cravings are gone most of the time now. I am still cautious of my own mind when it comes to sugar.
The no sugar challenge forever changed my relationship with sweets in a supremely positive way.
What I learned
- Your mind can be trained like a muscle. Exercise it whenever possible!
- Our lifestyle is fucked up. Excessive sugar makes us weak, slow, and useless.
- You don’t know half of the food you would actually like the taste of.
- The cognitive abilities to gain from withdrawing that poison is truly noticeable.
- That flesh vehicle we ride each day needs proper fuel to run right. More than you think.
- You might think that you don’t eat much sugar, but you’re wrong. You notice that once you withdraw it.
There is way more stuff that happened which I didn’t even mention, like losing weight easily, being more confident through raised Testosterone levels and knowing that I have willpower.
Truly, if you want to achieve anything in life. Anything worthwhile. Cut out cakes and coke.
I can not recommend the no sugar challenge enough. If you don’t give a damn about anything on this blog, at least take that info with you! Sugar is poison! Reduce it as much as possible.
— Alexander Graves
Ever had any challenges done yourself? How did it make you feel? Let me know in the comments.