Sugar Free February 5 Days In: Questioning, Craving & 3 tips I’ve learnt so far

5 days ago I decided to give up added sweeteners and eat only 2 portions of fruit per day for Sugar Free February. As part of the sugar free challenge I am trying to raise £280 (£10 per day) to spend on meals for homeless people in Sheffield (read more here and donate here). In this blog post I want to share with you my experience of sugar cravings this week and what I’ve learn to reduce them.

QUESTIONING

The main thing going through my head has been ‘WHY DID I DECIDE TO PUT MYSELF THROUGH THIS!!?

To be honest I didn’t really give it enough thought. I’d just finished watching ‘Sugar Free Farm’ (a not very scientific program in which celebrities gave up sugar and worked on a farm for a month) and I decided that maybe I should try and reduce my sugar intake.  Well, I had been thinking about it and reading some articles for a little while before, but the TV program was the final push that made me do it.

After deciding to give up sugar I wrote a blog post proclaiming that I would be taking part in Sugar Free February and raising money for the homeless. This approach was intended to help me not to cheat or give up on the challenge. It has worked, but in hindsight maybe it was a bit drastic. I wanted to make the rules pretty strict to achieve the benefits of reducing my sugar intake, but I’m starting to regret it.

CRAVINGS

I’ve been craving all sorts of sugary foods. On the morning of day 1 I woke up and wanted to devour an entire packet of dates. I think that was only because I told myself I wasn’t allowed them, but in any case I had to make a sugar-free breakfast and rush out the door quickly before I cheated!

After the date craving came the chocolate craving! I’m working on a project for my psychology PhD where the participants will be eating chocolate, so I have to think about it at least some point every day!! I’m pleased to report that the craving has died down a bit, apart from when I see someone post a photo on instagram of chocolate melting on top of oats or something similar (apologies for anyone reading who’s doing Sugar Free February and wants to rip into a chocolate bar right now).

My main cravings on day 3, 4 and 5 were for fruit.  To say that I love fruit would be an understatement; I love it so much that my family always buy me fruit themed gifts (like a watermelon bottle or pineapple tea cosy) and make sure that they have some fruit if I’m sleeping over. It’s been hard to eat only 2 portions of fruit per day.

On the evening of day 3 I seriously wanted to go to the shop and buy loads of watermelon and eat it all. It would have been so yummy and refreshing. But I stayed strong and drank some herbal tea and made an instagram story about it. I got a few lovely comments on the story, which was really nice and motivating.

 

 

sugar free february craving- how to stop them

 

3tips for Sugar Free February I’ve learnt so far

  1. Unsweetened herbal tea is good for reducing cravings. My favourites are berry, mint or liquorish.
  2.  Warm berries make a great substitute for Jam. They’re sweet and satisfying on porridge and also work on toast.
  3. Get support. I find that hearing motivational messages from others is far more powerful than if you told yourself the same thing. Family, friends or even people you know through social media can help to support you and keep you on track if you’re struggling. Just be honest about what you’re experiencing and someone is always willing to help.

Want more tips?

I shared tip number 2 on the Healthy & Psyched facebook page.

I plan to post daily tips throughout February to help everyone trying to reduce their sugar intake.

Make sure to follow Healthy & Psyched on facebook for daily tips –> https://www.facebook.com/healthyandpsyched/

 

This post has mainly been about food and cravings.
What other posts would you like to see in Sugar Free February?

 

 

 

62 Comments

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 5, 2017 / 9:48 pm

      Thanks so much

  1. February 6, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Well done on giving up sugar this month – I can’t imagine how bad the cravings are at times! x

  2. February 6, 2017 / 10:38 am

    I don’t think i could give up sugar. Just thought i’d mention it, but fruit contains sugar x

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 10:42 am

      Hi Hannah 🙂 Thanks for your comment. I mentioned in my first post that I will be cutting down to 2 portions of fruit per day because although it contains sugar I think it has lots of nutrients and fiber. Plus, since I am vegan, if I tried to be super anal about this (for example, cutting out vegetables with a high sugar content as well) then it would be very complicated and I would have nothing to eat!

      • February 6, 2017 / 11:06 am

        Yeah, i guess it would be hard to find something to eat. Good on you for doing it. Not sure i could give up sugar x

  3. February 6, 2017 / 11:20 am

    I don’t think I could give up sugar, and like you love my fruit too much so would find that a struggle, I am reducing my carbs at the moment and really enjoying it x

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Fruit is just so yummy <3 I don’t think I could do low carb – I’ve tried it before but then I always stress when I do want something carby like potatoes! Different things work for different people though – I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

  4. February 6, 2017 / 11:36 am

    Ha – I’ve restarted my healthy eating this week and I’m thinking exactly the same!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:27 pm

      Hahaha. Let’s hope it’s worth it in the end!

  5. danasiafantastic
    February 6, 2017 / 11:40 am

    Congrats on making it 5 days! I’m sure after the first week and a half it’ll get easier. I’m actually trying to decide if I should give this a try too- I need to nix my sugar addiction!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Hi. Thanks – I suppose it depends what type of personality you have. It’s probably good if you’re all-or-nothing, but other people might prefer to reduce their intake over time.

  6. February 6, 2017 / 11:42 am

    Oh amazing, it’s definitely psychological cos your body is use to something and now it’s cut out you’re feeling the cravings for it but it definitely gets easier.

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:25 pm

      Hi 🙂 Good to know it gets easier. I think some of it is about setting up a new routine, but that takes a bit of time.

  7. Lynne Harper
    February 6, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    Well done on giving up sugar it’s not a thing I think I could do, marvelous way to raise money as well 🙂 hope you get through the lack of sugar easily. X

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you so much. I need to spread the word but I just feel a bit bad asking people for money!

  8. February 6, 2017 / 2:33 pm

    Congratulations hun you are doing an amazing job, it can be so tough to give up sugar but you stuck to your guns which I admire!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Aww, thanks so much for your support. I did seriously consider throwing in the towel before I made my donation page! But I would have felt bad doing that so here I am sugar-free!

  9. February 6, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    These are great tips! I’ve been sugar free since January (with exception of last week I had a cupcake at a party and got a horrible stomach ache) – I feel much better sugar free. And your cause is great!!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Hi Sarah, Congratulations on going sugar free for so long. I think it’s so difficult because sugar is EVERYWHERE!! Hopefully I will start to feel better soon. I haven’t noticed anything at the moment.

  10. February 6, 2017 / 4:19 pm

    This sounds tough! But you’re doing really well! x

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thanks for the support Louise

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks for the motivation

  11. February 6, 2017 / 5:53 pm

    I imagine that the cravings you are going through are pretty intense, especially since you are a fruit lover and you have cut down on your fruit intake as well. I admire your tenacity in sticking to this and I hope that it gets easier for you as time goes by. I’m sure that it is very difficult as sugar is really hiding in so many foods!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 6, 2017 / 7:38 pm

      Thanks Sarah! I am trying different timings or eating fruit to see if that makes it better. Like one portion in the morning and saving some for later instead of having it all in one go.

      I spent ages in the supermarket yesterday looking for a soup that didn’t have sugar in (or milk)! Got one in the end, but I should really make my own from now on.

  12. February 6, 2017 / 9:10 pm

    Wow what a good idea and for a good cause too! I may need to try this. Imagine it will stop as many sweet cravings x

  13. February 7, 2017 / 12:47 am

    This is such a great way to challenge yourself and youve shared some great tips for curbing cravings. I find that if I avoid artificial sweeteners, I don’t crave sugar or sweet things as much xxx

  14. February 7, 2017 / 2:32 am

    That is amazing! I’ve never tried to give up sugar, but I can only imagine how hard it is. I’ve heard that it makes you feel sooo good, though!

    Xo,

    Megan at Lush to Blush

  15. February 7, 2017 / 9:27 am

    Good luck with your sugar free February, I don’t think I’d be strong enough to do it. Although my cravings would not be fruit it would be the naughty stuff x

  16. February 7, 2017 / 10:02 am

    What a great cause you are raising money for I’m near Leeds and Wakefield and know how much support is needed for the homeless. I’ve not gone sugar free as I do have a serious sugar addiction but I’ve cut down massively, suffered with headaches, stress and agitation but feel better for it x

  17. February 7, 2017 / 10:24 am

    These are great tips! I am looking forward to do what you are doing now. I need more discipline and courage to do it! Haha

  18. serenityyou
    February 7, 2017 / 10:58 am

    I so need to take this challenge, but doubt I would be able to complete it. I am a sugar addict!

  19. February 7, 2017 / 12:14 pm

    Wow what a challenge! I don’t think I could manage it but good on you! I’d definitely miss chocolate and having lots and lots of fruit.

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 7, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thanks Lottie. I do miss it but I’m trying to find alternatives. At the moment it seems to be excessive amounts of peanut butter!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 7, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  20. February 7, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Hi these are great tips. I also find sugar free squash helps when I’m craving chocolate.

  21. February 7, 2017 / 2:20 pm

    This is so hard for me! I’m so proud of you, I don’t think if I can give up sugar this is one of my hobby.

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 7, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Hahahahaha *crying emoji*. Thanks for your comment and support.

  22. February 7, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    So much respect to you for doing this, I have a big issue with sugar and cannot do what youre doing, well done!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 7, 2017 / 4:09 pm

      Hi Lianne, Thank you so much. Sugar is so tricky because there are biological and psychological reasons why we feel attached to it! I wish it was easier to just cut down!

  23. February 7, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    Best of luck for the rest of the month. My friend didn’t dry January and she is now doing a chocolate free Feb.

  24. February 7, 2017 / 8:50 pm

    I’m not sure I would manage to cut down my sugar to that little for a whole month. Good luck and great to hear you are helping to raise money for a worthy cause.

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 7, 2017 / 10:11 pm

      Thanks Melanie. It’s tough but I think that deciding to do it for a reason has helped.

  25. February 8, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    I want to cut down on sugar so the tips are really helpful! I agree with the fruit tea tip, I always go for them instead of a sugary fruit juice!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 8, 2017 / 8:09 pm

      Great, I’m glad they were helpful. I think once you get used to fruit tea it is just as nice as juice…. well nicer I think, I like how warming it is as well.

  26. February 8, 2017 / 6:02 pm

    Your tips are fantastic 🙂 One of my best friends quit sugar a couple years back and seeing her transformation is awe-inspiring. Thanks for promoting a healthier lifestyle!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 8, 2017 / 8:08 pm

      Hi Katrina. Thank you 🙂

      Wow, your friend must be doing really well. I haven’t noticed too many changes yet but hopefully they will come.

        • Heathy & Psyched
          February 9, 2017 / 10:00 pm

          That’s great. I have lost 0 pounds because I think I’ve just replaced sugar with peanut butter!!

  27. February 8, 2017 / 6:44 pm

    Congrats on your progress. You are doing a great job. I should try this challenge.

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 8, 2017 / 8:03 pm

      Thanks 🙂 It’s a big commitment, to be honest I think small changes that add my is probably a better approach.

  28. February 8, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    I would struggle to cut down on my fruit intake! I find myself reaching for fruit or chocolate whenever I fancy a little snack. Chocolate I can avoid (unless it’s that time of the month – then I’m not quite so good at it) but I would live on fruit if I could.

    it sounds like you’re doing a great job overall, and I’ve bookmarked this page so I can donate to your cause as soon as I get paid for my next job 🙂

    Louise x

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 9, 2017 / 9:34 am

      Hi Louise, That’s so kind of you. Thank you so much. I am struggling for donations because I feel bad asking people to donate!!
      Fruit is a way better choice than chocolate and it’s so full of nutrients. I think when I finish this month I will add it back but still try and avoid chocolate and too many sweeteners.

  29. February 13, 2017 / 3:50 pm

    Yaaaay! Well done and good luck! I always find it so inspiring when people decide to give up sugar, it’s practically become a food group of its own! I have been fructose intolerant since birth (Hereditary Fructose Intolerant) and always get the most incredible looks when I tell people. No I don’t miss Nutella or ice cream or cake or maple syrups on my pancakes, and I am so grateful for it. My body is rejecting a substance which isn’t doing anybody any favours. I’m the queen of savoury, and of bread. Bread is life. 😀

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 13, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Hi Elise, thanks for your comment. I’ve just been on your blog and it’s so interesting, I read a couple of articles but I will be going back later to read more!
      To be honest I just love fruit, so I don’t think I will be doing sugar free/ reduced sugar after this. I probably could if I was really motivated because I don’t mind reading packets and being picky in social situations, but I want to eat fruit and the occasional sweet treats!! Maybe I just need to find some savory stuff to get excited over – but (excuse coming) I think it’s harder when you’re vegan.

      • February 13, 2017 / 5:04 pm

        I don’t think fruit has ever been an unhealthy obsession, but I have heard of people satisfying their sugar cravings by recreating a ‘natural sugar’ version of their favourite treats. I think what is important is to connect with natural cravings and being able to separate a nutritional need from a psychological urge! When I did the whole30 (which I don’t recommend purely for the excessive amount of meat) I learned a surprising amount about my own cravings (cheese! bread!), and I think any ‘reset’ can yield benefits in terms of getting to know yourself and your hunger cues better! 😀 And as you said, veganism for me would be practically impossible, so it’s a valid excsue! But anyways, best of luck – I’m sure you will do great! 🙂

  30. February 13, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    Great post for everyone who wants to have healthy and balanced diet, Rachel. I enjoy reading your tips!

  31. February 15, 2017 / 10:56 pm

    Ahh it must be so hard to give up sugar, I try to cut back and that is hard enough! Well Done!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 16, 2017 / 10:46 am

      Hi. Thankyou so much. It has it’s moments of being really hard but in general it’s not too bad because I know I’m doing it to raise money and it’s only for a month – after that I will add some back in but not go crazy!

    • Heathy & Psyched
      February 20, 2017 / 10:16 am

      Hey Dannii. Thanks for your comment. I didn’t think about facebook groups for this. Usually I just turn to whats apping or calling my friends!

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