Me

Why I’m Giving Up Sugar

I wrote a post last week about how I intend to take part in Sugar Free September.
I’ll be honest; after years of sugar highs (and lows, fixed by eating more sugar), I am a bit nervous as to how I will cope with the withdrawal. I have already begun cutting back my sugar intake and filling my freezer with goodies, so I’m hopeful it won’t be too much of a shock to the system.
Here are some things you might not know about sugar:
  • In countries where people have free access to sugar, there is a much higher incidence of diabetes. One worrying statistic is that a can of soft drink per day increases your risk of diabetes by 22%.
  • Sugar reacts with the proteins in our bodies and changes their structure, forming toxic substances known as advanced glycation end-products. It’s no coincidence that those words form the acronym, AGE.
  • Back in ye olden days when we all lived in caves, we lived off meat and fats. Our bodies are designed to eat as much of those foods as we need, and then we stop. From time to time we would stumble across sugar – perhaps some berries or suchlike. Since we didn’t know when we would come across such a thing again, we would eat and eat and eat, as much as we could. Our bodies don’t have that “wait, stop, you’re full” signal for sugar because we didn’t know when we’d come across some again. This is how come you can easily drink a litre of fruit juice in one go, but you probably couldn’t drink a litre of full fat yoghurt in twice the time.
  • Sugar is addictive. When you say this, people mostly think you’re bonkers – but recent studies have found that not only is it addictive, it interferes with our appetites and confuses our bodies.
  • I know the “low fat” diet idea from the 80s is still very popular with a lot of people, who believe if you eat low fat products you’ll lose weight.  There’s a massive industry built around the idea, and it rakes in millions each year. The problem is that fat doesn’t make you fat; sugar makes you fat. And what do manufacturers put into their foods once they’ve removed the fat, to make them taste reasonable? Sugar. By the bucket load.
  • The sugar in fruit is still sugar. So is the sugar in honey, and so is the sugar in agave nectar, maple syrup and coconut sugar. It’s all fructose, which is what causes the problems.
  • Our bodies use glucose to perform certain functions – but that glucose is easily found when breaking down proteins and fats in the body. We have no need to put extra glucose into our bodies for general survival and wellbeing.
A lot of people are doing Sugar Free September; it was even on BBC’s Inside Out last night.
Since I started telling people I was doing this, I’ve had lots of people tell me they would love to do the same, but don’t think they could. I’m not going to lie; it is a bit scary. Sugar is everywhere, in everything these days. It’s added to everything, even savoury foods, under lots of different names. Our packaged savoury foods are so processed that they are broken down to sugar in our bodies very quickly and can be just as bad as eating sugary foods. I’m finding out very quickly that it’s hard to do this if you’re going out for lunch or even for a drink. But I’m hoping the results will be worth it!
Throughout September I will be posting  a weekly selfie on my Instagram profile, in the hope that there will be some change in my appearance. I will also update periodically, if I think of anything pertinent to add to this post. If anyone has questions about Sugar Free September, do please feel free to get in touch either here, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

10 Comments
  • Tara D

      REPLY

    This is really hard but really beneficial. Good luck x

  • Julie Cornewell

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    Ooh I am so happy to have found out about this challenge. I've been wanting to do something like this. I did the Fed Up Challenge awhile back and have wanted do it again but it's so hard on your own. It'll be much easier knowing there's a whole group of us to support each other!

  • Erica Brooks

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    Awesome that you are taking on this challenge. I have been wanting to for a while now but I looooove coffee and have not found any natural substitute that makes it tastes just as good without sugar. I do believe sugar is addicting and have gotten myself down to one cup a day and only eating natural sugars the rest of the time. I've followed you on Instagram to follow your journey.

  • we3threeblog

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    wow what a brilliant idea, good luck with it. i'd love to try this at some point. look forward to reading about your journey #MMWBH

  • Lisa1970

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    Good luck and good for you :)

  • blogmumjd

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    I hadn't heard of this. Do you also have to give up fruit or only processed sugar?

    1. Vicky Charles

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      The idea is that even as recently as 100 years ago, human beings didn&#39;t eat this much fruit. I heard a talk the other day about how an orange was a common Christmas present for people in New York because they just didn&#39;t have oranges there until relatively recently.<br />As far as &quot;I Quit Sugar&quot; is concerned, fructose is the problem. Not so much giving up fruit but cutting back

  • Tricia The Good Mama

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    I will be following this September! I have been trying to cut back on sugar, but I really think I&#39;m addicted to it! I HAVE to have it after dinner everyday.

  • Steph @MisplacedBrit

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    Good luck with your challenge!<br /><br />I&#39;m very familiar with the path your going down this month, and have read quite a lot about it. Your bullet points were brief, informative and poignant. And I&#39;d agree with quite a lot of it...<br /><br />Maybe one tiny little thing - if you&#39;re interested to look into it further...<br />You wrote that fat doesn&#39;t make you fat, sugar makes

  • MummyWhiskers Kat

      REPLY

    Brave lady, I wish you well with your challenge. I&#39;m not sure I could give up sugar! #MMWBH

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