How I Quit Sugar For A YearFeb 04, 2021
In today's episode, I talked about how I quit sugar for an entire year and survived! I will share my top three tips on how you can quit sugar too.
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Hey mama friend.
[00:00:00] Welcome back to the Fit Moms Squad podcast. It's me, your girl, Lesya. Decided to do a little bit of a different intro today. Hi, guess what? I made it, I went a year without sugar. I can't believe that. Can you believe it? I can't believe it. So I quit sugar for an entire year and I survived and I'm here to tell you how I did it.
[00:00:23] And I'm here to share my top three tips on how you can quit sugar too. All right. So let's get into it, last year I decided, instead of having some cliche goal of losing 10 pounds, getting six-pack abs, that ain't going to happen after two kids and hormone issues and all the other cliche things that everybody talks about in the new years, I decided that I no longer wanted to be a slave to the one thing that was literally trapping me and sucking me in.
[00:00:50] And that was that white devil sugar. I'm being very dramatic today. So. I'm like, you know what I'm done? I'm sick of it. I want to quit sugar for a year. Wow. Yeah, it was well, have a crazy year to decide to quit sugar. Let me tell you because it was 2020, the year that I think probably our country and the world consumed more sugar collectively than we've done in a while, aside from me.
[00:01:17] So you guys had all my sugar. Okay. So I decided I was like, I'm going to quit sugar and I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to do it in Cold Turkey. So I'm here to tell you how that went, how I did it, what exactly that looked like from me, and then share some tips for you. All right. So how did it go? I mean, I survived, it went.
[00:01:37] It wasn't perfect. I'm pretty sure that I digested some sugar every year and they're not purposeful, like accidentally through a recipe or through maybe something that I had that of like, Oh, this tastes too good. And I have sugar, like during the holidays or at someone's house where, you know, I always ask if I'm that person that asks if they have sugar in it.
[00:01:59] And then, you know, people think that sugar is just white stuff. I find this a lot, especially at restaurants or getting coffee or anything. When I asked the barista like, Hey, is there any sugar in here? Like, Oh no, but there's honey or a Gavi and all that. And I'm like, well, that's sugar, but you know, they don't understand that everybody understands nutrition the same way that I do.
[00:02:16] And I have to accept that. So I'm like, okay, is there any type of sweetener? So I use it. That is the key question. Is there any type of sweetener in here and usually they'll say yes or no, but anyway, I'm pretty sure I got sugared? Do you know how people say I've gotten glutened? I think I got sugar last year.
[00:02:33] Pretty sure, but hey, it was an accident overall though. It was good. Right. I gave up sugar. So what did that really look like for me? I decided that I was going to have no added sugar. Now, mind you, you know, the sugar police and the diet police, they're going to come knocking on my door here and saying, but the fruit has sugar, but vegetables have sugar.
[00:02:54] Yeah. Technically everything has sugar. Really? Even some meats have sugar. But what I did was my rules. And again, this is like one of the tips I'm kind of getting ahead of myself here that I'm going to give you is that you make your own rules, right? It's your life, it's your body. It's your health. You make your rules.
[00:03:09] Don't let somebody else tell you what no sugar means to you. All right. So no sugar to me meant. That I was going to avoid any added sugars. That means I allowed myself to have berries. So most of the fruit that I had was berries, which is traditional, like normal. What I would be eating would be following a low carb, keto, keto cycling type diet that I follow right now.
[00:03:30] So that's what I stuck to. And then vegetables, right. I had vegetables and there is sugar in vegetables. So that was kind of what I had. So for me, cutting out sugar meant. No candy, no chocolate. Well, I had Divia chocolate for a little bit, and that's another thing that I'll talk about here in a little bit, but I had no cake, no birthday cake, no celebration, no ice cream, no pies for Thanksgiving.
[00:03:55] None of that. Okay. So that was what it was like for me. How did I do this and how did it go? Okay. I will not lie here. The first month was probably the hardest and I had serious withdrawal symptoms. Like no joke. I legit felt, and this is like, I'm not even lying here. Like I was addicted to cocaine or something.
[00:04:16] And I was like in withdrawal and it might sound dramatic to some of you, but legit, that is how addictive sugar can get. I had the worst headaches. I was very jittery. I was like, literally I had anger. I was angry and I had intense cravings for sugar, but I will say that it made me learn something that I think is a valuable lesson when it comes to giving up sugar or an addictive substance like sugar, the only way to quit sugar is to quit sugar.
[00:04:51] Really? If you are addicted to sugar and it has a hold over your life and you feel like you're a slave to sugar. The only way to get rid of that addiction is just to cut it out for good and never look back. And so for me, the first month was the worst. I had terrible withdrawal symptoms, terrible cravings.
[00:05:10] But after that, once I got through that hump of that month, it became so much easier. And I found this amazing thing that happened. And it was that I no longer crave sugar for the first time in my entire adult life. All right. And that was huge for me. And it just showed me like, wow, this is what it took to just give it up, completely cut it out of my diet.
[00:05:34] Right. And the only caveat I would say is I did make some exceptions of having some sweeteners every here and there, especially during the holidays. Or like on my birthday or something like that, where I would make one of my low carb desserts that I have on my blog, eatbefitexplore.com. If you're looking for, and sugar-free desserts, there's a lot of great ones there.
[00:05:54] And the only thing that I realized is that when I had sweeteners like that, the next day, or that week, my cravings came back. Now, mind you, they weren't as strong as they normally would be. If I was just eating straight sugar, but I did have cravings. And that led me into researching more about sweeteners and discovering some things about sweeteners in the brain, which I'm going to cover in an entirely new episode because it blew my mind.
[00:06:18] I did not know this, and I think everyone needs to know this, but I realized that it brought on cravings for more sugar when I had sweeteners. So after that, I really limited my sweetener intake and I almost cut it out completely as well for many months and only really saved it for exceptions. But besides that guys, I'm telling you if you struggle with sugar cravings and you're addicted to sugar and you can't stop eating it, you have to just quit sugar altogether.
[00:06:50] Okay. So after that few months went by. It was much easier. Right? Much easier than I expected. I already knew what I was eating. And honestly, I will say that COVID was kind of a blessing in disguise for, you know, Hey, don't, don't go crazy. Don't go like sending me hate mail. Cause I know it was a bad year. Okay.
[00:07:09] I'm not underestimating that. What I am saying is the fact that we were in quarantine, the fact that we were home. We weren't doing many, like much traveling or going to events or anything really helps me control my environment. And that is one thing that I'm going to talk about when I'm giving you my tips, what I could control my environment, what I bring into my house, what I consume, what I make, that I don't have food everywhere around me and sugar everywhere around me and made it much easier to stick to a no sugar diet.
[00:07:38] All right. So then it was like, It was already October, August. And then what happens is like, so the first few months are going to be really hard and then you'll get used to it. And you're like, okay, I got this. I don't have cravings and everything. And then what will happen is like, if you set a goal, like I did to do a year or whatever, You'll find that you'll get towards the end of the year and you'll get like desires and you'll be like, Oh, I kind of do miss.
[00:08:03] Or like, there were some weekends where my husband made Ghirardelli brownies and I wanted to stab him because, cause I was like, it's like the last few months of my no sugar detox year and you're making my favorite brownies. Yes. I love box brownies, judge me and it smelled up the house. And of course, he's like, okay, I'm going to go take a shower.
[00:08:26] Can you watch them? I swear I wanted to stab him. So that was a little hard smelling the brownies and it was my favorite, but that is when that whole mindset comes in then. And then it goes, Lesya. Hello? You've made it this long. Are you really going to quit now? Right? Are you really gonna have this for a freaking box brownie?
[00:08:47] It's not like it's like Levine bakery in New York City and it's a chocolate chip cookie, the size of your face. And it's the best one on the planet. No joke. This is a freakin' box brownie c'mon you can do better than this. So that's when I was like having these conversations in my mind like you're almost there. The lights, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
[00:09:09] It's terrible. But that's what I was thinking. And so then it was easy because I was like, okay, I'm not going to quit now. Plus I announced it to everybody, to you guys, to social media. It was my goal for the year, but I am not about to fail at this one. So I did it. I went a year without sugar and then ironically, the new year came and I started my fast right away.
[00:09:32] And I started January 1st with a four-day fast. So my friend has not had my sugar intake. And a part of me is thinking like, I really need to think this through. Do I want to continue this? Do I want to find a way to bring it back into my life? Very strategically and I'll talk about that, which brings me to how you can quit sugar and three easy steps.
[00:09:54] So let me give you some steps. If I was to paint a picture of like, okay, here is a whole process of quitting sugar. And by the way, it's not as easy as these three steps, but to kind of give you just an overview, right. A 30,000-foot view and how it would all work and how those like parts align or the formula, so to speak.
[00:10:17] I will say that there are three things that you should know. Number one, you have to be very strong in your why, of why you want to quit sugar in the first place. Number two is you have to decide what kind of person you are. And how you want to approach quitting sugar. And number three is you have to find ways to eliminate it and replace it in your life.
[00:10:38] Okay. So before I get started here, I want to tell you that we cover sugar. I teach how to quit sugar. This is something that is big inside the BSB tribe. So if you're interested in really quitting sugar for good, I highly recommend that you get on the waitlist. We'll be opening here very shortly so that you can go through and reach your goal of finally quitting sugar for good.
[00:11:02] So go to BSBtribe.com. You can join the waitlist there. If you're really serious about quitting sugar. Now let's talk about the three steps to quitting sugar. So number one is your why. Okay. If you are not strong in your why, it doesn't matter. I talk about this all the time and you're going to hear me talking about it all the time because it is the main thing that helps anybody reach their goals. When it comes to weight, loss, business, finances, relationships, I don't care what it is. This is it. If you don't know your why, if you don't know what the reason is you're doing it. And if it's not compelling enough, you're not going to stick to it.
[00:11:38] All right. So why do you want to quit sugar? And if your reason is to lose weight, mama, that ain't going to last long I promise you. Because your brain is going to start telling you. Girl, you can still lose weight while eating sugar. Could you see over there, Nancy, she's lost 50 pounds and she had sugar all the time and you'll get all these things and all these signs and all these people being, Oh my God, I eat sugar and I lost weight.
[00:12:03] So that's not a good enough reason. All right. Just because I don't want to eat that much sugar is really not a great reason either. It has to be so strong and so compelling. And so what is something that is strong and compelling that can help you put sugar for good. Okay, your health, right?
[00:12:25] If you have certain health issues that eating sugar makes it worse. And I'll talk about those in a little bit, that is a strong enough reason for you to quit. Being a slave to sugar. Being addicted. Knowing that something had a hold on me that strongest sugar was scary AF. Knowing that I was a slave to a substance was scary and I no longer wanted to live my life like that.
[00:12:51] I no longer wanted to be a slave to a substance. I don't want to be a slave to anything. Right. So my why was I no longer wanted to be a slave to sugar and I wanted to help my body heal. Right. So what might that look like for you? Let's talk about the gut, right? Good Bacteria, yeast, candida, overgrowth, all that stuff.
[00:13:11] Leaky gut, indigestion, IBS. Sugar feeds bad bacteria in your gut mama. If you have any gut issues, you have bloating, indigestion, diarrhea, IBS, you name it, leaky gut, candida, eczema. Any of that that I need, and you're eating sugar, honey, mama, stop. You're making it worse on yourself. Don't do that to yourself, right?
[00:13:34] You have to eliminate that. So those buds can step eating that sugar and growing and growing and growing. Okay. So that's the first thing. Your gut then there's hormones, right? Sugar is like the devil when it comes to your hormones, right? Makes it completely worth it. It makes your cortisol worse, more damage on your thyroid, estrogen, insulin dub, right?
[00:13:58] Blood sugar, sugar spikes, your blood sugar raises your insulin. You become insulin resistant. Then you get pre-diabetes and you get diabetes, then there are all those issues. And then you have all those health problems and then you get your leg amputated. And then, Oh my God, rollercoaster. Right? What is that for you?
[00:14:15] Hashimoto's, other auto-immune diseases? All of them, those sugar feeds on them. They need sugar to survive. So you want to cut that out, right? That is a compelling why. Now you have a real reason, right? Or your energy, right? If you are exhausted all the time and you literally can not figure out why the heck you're so tired, mama girl, quit that sugar, give it a chance.
[00:14:44] Right? It's funny because we think that sugar gives us energy and yeah, it does. Like the first 15 minutes, but then it does the opposite and it sucks and zaps our energy. So that is the number one thing. Know your why, have a really strong reason to want to quit sugar in the first place? Number two is to decide what kind of person you are.
[00:15:02] What do I mean by that? Are you a moderator or are you an abstainer? Okay, so there are two types of people in this world. There are people that can completely abstain from something and be completely fine. They have the mindset, they have the goal. They're like, I don't care, right? Tunnel vision. I'm going to do this.
[00:15:21] Doesn't matter what anybody says or thinks I'm just going to cut it out. Right. And they do it. And then there are people that are like, well, I don't know if I'm ready completely to stop doing this, but I can control myself and I can have a little bit and not go overboard. So you have to figure that out and some ways.
[00:15:41] So let me give you some examples of some questions that you can ask yourself to figure this out. Okay. So just on the top of my head here, I'm just thinking of something. So if you have a birthday cake, right. You had a birthday and there was cake and you had a piece or two, are you more likely to always be thinking about that cake during the week until it's gone and you're always thinking about it and you always feel like you have to eat it because it's there or are you like, you know what? I had my piece and it was good. I don't care if I have more or not. I can give it away. It's not a big deal. Right. So answer that question. And then another question that I would ask you is like if you go out to eat and you order dessert, but you're full. Okay. But you order dessert or you're with someone and they want to order dessert and you're full or whatever, but you still order it.
[00:16:31] Are you okay with just having a couple of slices or bites, whatever, or do you feel like you have to finish the whole thing? So if you feel like you have to eat the whole cake until it's gone and you feel like you have to eat the whole dessert until they finish the whole thing, even though you're full. You're an abstainer, meaning that it is best for you to abstain from that substance.
[00:16:54] If you feel like you can have one slice and it can sit there and it's not a problem for you. Or you can have a couple of bites of desserts and be fine and be satisfied. Then you are a moderator, you know how to moderate. Now you might be thinking at this point. Well, Lesya, if I was a moderator, I probably wouldn't have a problem with sugar.
[00:17:12] Well, not necessarily. Right. You can still have a problem with sugar. You might not be addicted to sugar. You might not be obsessed with it and be bingeing on it all the time like I used to. But it might still affect your health, your mood, your energy, and other things in your life. Okay. So once you determine whether you're a moderator or you're an abstainer, then you're going to know whether you should:
[00:17:37] A. Weed off sugar or B. Go cold Turkey. I decided to go to cold Turkey because I am an abstainer. I have to completely abstain. I cannot moderate. I don't know what the heck, what is moderation? Everything in moderation, even moderation. Right? Those are the words I live by here. I don't know how to moderate and yeah, maybe that's a mindset thing.
[00:18:02] Maybe that's eliminating belief, probably yes, right. But I know myself. So why would I make it harder for myself? So for me, I first needed to learn how to break that addiction. And the only way to do that was to go cold Turkey. And from there, now where I'm at, where I'm at, I can make a decision. Am I going to continue to go to cold Turkey?
[00:18:25] Or am I going to bring it back strategically? Very sparingly. I'm not moderating because monitoring would be like me having it like normal. And then just having small amounts. No, I'm technically still quitting, but I'm not like waiting where I'm having absolutely zero, but I haven't made that decision yet or weaning off.
[00:18:45] Right. And so when people talk about quitting sugar and sugar addiction and how to quit, I feel like there are two different arguments. There are some people that say the only way to quit sugar is to go cold Turkey, no questions asked, no turning around, just cut it all off. Right? And then there's a group of people that say, no, you have to wean off.
[00:19:05] It's an addiction. You have to wean off. It is, you know, it's going to be hard to quit cold Turkey. And I don't think it's one or the other. I always say, just like everything else in nutrition, everything else that I say in health, I tell my members all the time. It depends. What is your life like? What are you like?
[00:19:22] What is your mindset? Like? What are your habits? How is your personality? It depends, is my answer. So you first have to answer what is your personality? And then from there, you can decide whether you are able to wean off or if you should just cut the cord and completely go cold Turkey. All right. And then the third thing to quit sugar is you have to find, make a plan for yourself of how you're going to eliminate it and replace it.
[00:19:52] So this is where you would make your own rules. What does no sugar look like for you? Is it absolutely zero sugar, zero fruit, zero vegetables, because technically some vegetables have sugar, right? Zero sweeteners or is it just the processed stuff? Is it just white sugar? What is it for you?
[00:20:12] So what are you going to eliminate from your diet? What does that look like from you? And then also that depends on the question we just answered. If you're weaning, okay, well, what do I start eliminating first? So again, talk about this in the program, BSB tribe, low-hanging fruit. Where is the low hanging fruit here?
[00:20:32] If I'm trying to quit sugar and I am a moderator, so I'm going to wean off, right? Okay. What can I do first? Well, let's see, I eat about five Twinkies a week, so maybe I can take it down to three, and then maybe I can eliminate them altogether. Then let's see, I drink 10 sodas a week. Maybe I can take it down to five and then I can take it down to three.
[00:20:55] Right? So this is what you do. You wean off, you kind of slowly wean yourself off of it. So your brain doesn't get that crazy. Like, Oh my God, where is our sugar high? Right. So there are pros and cons to this. Weaning off is going to take much longer for you and your cravings. You're going to have them and experience them for a long amount of time, much longer than if you go cold Turkey.
[00:21:21] But on the other hand, going cold Turkey is really difficult. Especially if you are really addicted to sugar. And if you're an abstainer. Like me, where I can't have it around or I'll say I want to eat at all. So going cold Turkey is much difficult for abstainers, but once they get through that initial hump of that month, which was really for me that month, it becomes much easier.
[00:21:46] And then what are you going to replace with sugar? Because if you're going to cut out all of those foods that you've been eating now, what is going to fill that void? Right. So if you have to think about that, Like, if you're going to cut out all that dessert for the holidays, are you not going to have any dessert for the holidays?
[00:22:02] Are you okay with that? There's nothing wrong with not having dessert for the holidays' guys or for birthdays or celebrations. But you have to be okay with that. If you're not okay with that, what are you going to do to replace that? That's where things like sweeteners might be your saving grace, right. It's better.
[00:22:17] It's better than nothing. Like, yeah, sweeteners have their side effects and their negative stuff. But at the end of the day, I still think it is better than white sugar. So for you, that might be like, okay, well, I'm going to eliminate white sugar, any types of sugar, honey, maple syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, any type of syrup, you know, all the 50 names or 60, or probably hundreds of more now that are developed for sugar.
[00:22:42] I'm going to eliminate all of that. However, I am going to replace those things occasionally on special occasions with Stevia or monk fruit. Right. So then now, you know, okay. If I am going to have something that is dessert, I'm going to use those to replace, but I'm going to use them sparingly. Because again, you don't want to trap your brain into that addictive cycle of still getting something sweet, which I'll talk about in the sweeteners episode.
[00:23:09] So then that's where you would replace. And now you have a strategic plan of replacing things like, okay, if it's your birthday, you want to have some type of dessert. You can definitely make yourself a cake or a dessert that uses Stevia or, you know, holidays, Christmas, new years, all that Thanksgiving. Right.
[00:23:25] And then it makes it easier to do, because I mean, yeah, if you think about life without dessert kind of does seem sad, not going to lie, but you can still have dessert, right. It just doesn't have to be made from toxic sugar. So let's wrap up how to quit sugar in three steps. All right. Number one, you have to know your why, and it has to be deep and it has to be solid. And it has to be serious girl, if it's not serious, if it's not something that's compelling and really like, wow, this is a big deal in my health. If it's just something like, I just want to lose some weight or I just ate too much sugar, it's just not going to work.
[00:24:02] Number two, find out who you are. Are you gonna wean off? Are you cold Turkey? So are you a moderator? Are you an abstainer? And you can start paying attention to that even now and start looking for examples of your everyday life or how you act around food, especially sugar. Do you feel like when something's in the house you have to eat at all, or do you have a dessert sitting there that grows mold because everybody gets over it and forgets about it and doesn't care about it.
[00:24:29] Number three, eliminate and replace. So make your own rules. This is your journey. Yours, not mine, not your neighbor's, not your husband's, not your kid's, your journey. What did you want that to look like for you? What do you want quitting sugar to look like for you? Don't let anybody tell you on the internet, how you should be quitting sugar.
[00:24:50] Even me, don't let, no mama. You do you, okay. So you figure out what it is that you wanna eliminate. What does that look like for you and replace? What are you going to be replacing with? What are you going to replace sugar with? Okay. So try it. Go slow, go cold Turkey. I hope this episode inspired you to maybe even consider quitting sugar.
[00:25:10] I'm going to be talking a lot more about sugar this year and how toxic it is, but let me know if you learned anything from this episode, please screenshot it and let me know, tag me on. Instagram @BSBtribe. If you enjoy this podcast, please leave a review on iTunes. I can reach more women and I'll see you next time.
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