It's been almost 1 year since I made the decision to be sugar free. I never imagined I would stay sugar free for so long, I thought it would last a couple of months at most! But now as I near the end of my 12th month I can't imagine going back.
This year has definitely been a learning curve for me. Finding sugar free snacks that aren't loaded with carbs is a lot harder than it sounds. I try to keep my diet as diverse as possible and try not to overeat one snack because otherwise I would get sick of everything really quickly!
It didn't take me long to find sugar free snacks in summer. I was eating a lot of fruit and veges, as well as chia seed puddings and smoothies, and all those things taste so good I didn't really want anything else.
I'm finding winter a little bit harder as I am craving comfort food. I would love to stuff myself with pies, sausage rolls, and spiced wedges, but it's not doing anything for me. I generally take leftovers from dinner to school for lunch which is nice and easy, but it's when I get home that I struggle. It's 4pm, I'm tired, and all I want is to eat some cracker and cheese, or even just plain bread. It takes a lot of willpower and self-control to not have an afternoon binge. Scrambled eggs have been my best friend this past month.
One of the most interesting things about this whole sugar free experience is my body's reaction to sugar now when I do have it. I feel incredibly tired when I eat sugar. If I have a proper cheat day (i.e. eating dessert and snacking on sweets throughout the day) the next 2-3 days are always low for me. I generally end up conking out and having a nana-nap in the afternoon, and feel very unmotivated. I also get bloating and ulcers after a cheat day.
When I first started, I knew that my body wouldn't be able to handle sugar like it did when I was eating sugar, that's a given. I just wasn't expecting to have such an intense reaction.
It has made me very conscious of when I have a cheat day, and as a general rule, I will not have a cheat day anytime that something is important or stressful is happening. I guess it's just more motivation to not cheat.
Although it is nice to have a cheat day every now and again, I am slowly feeling less of a need to do so. I don't really want chocolate or lollies, and if I am in the mood for something like that there are sugar free options like healtheries chocolate and Tom and Luke's salted caramel snackballs. My 13 year old self would be so disappointed in me, I used to HATE healthy food that 'tastes just as good as normal food' because it never did. But when you're not eating normal food regularly, you can't tell the difference. It honestly tastes delicious to me, and I don't need anything else.
I love how I feel now that I'm sugar free, and love the fact that I don't crave sugar anymore. I have a couple of good friends who have recently become sugar free too which makes it so much easier as I'm not alone! I'd love to hear how others have found their transition, and I'm always open to food suggestions!