Think You Can Go 30 Days Without Any Sugar?

Think you can go 30 Days without Sugar?

30 Days Sugar Free

Most people don’t think that they can, but a sugar-free diet is a great way to give your health a boost and extend your life. If you were thinking about joining an expensive weight loss program – where you get stuck buying their food – I have a better (and healthier) option for you.

Sugar is harmful: Despite what the sugar industry and medical associations are saying, sugar is harmful. It is harmful in three ways:

  • Adds Weight: As discussed above, sugar adds pounds to our bodies. This causes harm to our bodies because being obese or overweight increases a number of diseases: diabetes , stroke, heart disease, certain cancers and many more diseases. Obesity cuts life expectancy by as much as five years.
  • Insulin Insensitivity: Consistently high blood sugar lead to the cells throughout the body becoming insensitive to insulin. This insulin insensitivity is at the heart of diseases such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Having diabetes, by the way, can clip as many as 10 years off your life and, maybe as many as 18 quality years off your life.
  • Toxic: Sugar is toxic to our blood vessels, much the same way that cigarette smoke is toxic to our lungs. As sugar flows through our blood stream, it destroys the very blood vessels that carry the sugar throughout our bodies. This destruction is easily seen in people who have poor blood sugar control (like diabetics) who have high rates of eye disease (retinopathy), kidney disease, heart disease, nerve disease (neuropathy), and strokes, all caused by the destruction of blood vessels. The destruction also occurs in people who don’t have diabetes, only at a slower rate.

There are many reasons why you will want to join us on our sugar-free adventure:

  • Sugar is addictive: For many of you who read this blog regularly, you know just how powerful  sugar addiction is. Sugar often feels like it has the power to control us instead of the other way around. Sugar addiction shares common traits with all addictions, including: hoarding, binging, using the addiction to change moods, and many other addictive-like behaviors. Seeing sugar as an addiction explains a lot of how we act around sugar and is likely the reason why so many of us yo-yo diet. If you really don’t think sugar is addictive, try staying away from it for a few days and see; most people become acutely aware of just how addicting sugar is when they remove it from their lives.
  • You Want to Feel Better: Kicking sugar and eating a sugar-free diet will be hard at first. But most people who are on the diet report that they feel better, have more energy, and even sleep better. Many people also report the almost magical disappearance of stomach problems, fatigue, depression, sinus infection, skin problems and more.
  • Weight loss: Sugar has more to do with weight gain than you (and medical/nutritional professionals) might believe. Sugar contains empty calories, but sugar is also special in its ability to add to your waistline. Your body has certain energy needs and once those needs are met by what you are eating, any excess sugar in your blood stream will be stored as fat. Excess sugar is very common when you are eating sugar and foods that act like sugar on a consistent basis. Keeping sugar out of your diet keeps your blood sugar low and, consequently, keeps your body from storing fat.
  • You are curious: The last reason you may want to join us on our 30 Sugar Free Days is that you are curious to find out if sugar is addictive and can change your weight. Believe me when I say that those answers will become very clear for you if you join the 30 Day challenge.

Break the Habit, Break the Cycle

Breaking the sugar habit is hard, but I am here to provide you with the support that you need, including meal plans, recipes, a newsletter and the ability to contact me with your questions; all at no cost.

Taking the 30 Sugar Free Days challenge is a step towards your better health. So many weight loss programs help you shed pounds, but do nothing to address your health. Why not have both good health and weight loss?

If you think you can go 30 days without sugar, please join us. Sign up here: 30 Days Sugar Free.

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Metabolic Syndrome
About the Author

I'm Dr. Scott Olson ND. I'm a Naturopathic doctor who specializes in diet, health, nutrition, and alternative medicine. I've written numerous books and articles on health, medicine, and alternative medicine I want to help you get healthy! Take a look at my blog and make sure you join in the conversation!

92 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. charice December 11, 2015 at 8:03 am - Reply

    Hi Dr. Scott
    What are some examples of sugar foods that act like sugar, and what is your view on having high sugar fruit food items like bananas cherries and mangoes.
    I am three days detoxing from sugar and feel nauseous headaches an extremely exhausted I have been easy on myself I am anemic and have been taking my iron pills. Do you suggest to take B12 as well.
    Charice

    • Dr. Scott December 11, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

      Hi Charice, there is an article on foods that act like sugar here: Foods that Act Like Sugar. I use the glycemic index to determine whether foods with sugar in them are okay (and while it is not perfect, it does help). What you will find is that certain foods that contain sugar, such as bananas (Glycemic index 58), cherries (GI 63) and mangoes (GI 51) all effect our blood sugar differently depending on a number of factors including how much fiber, protein, and fat are in the food.

      The symptoms you are feeling are withdrawal and generally go away after a few days. Yes, take B12 (or a complete B complex) with the iron. Make sure the iron is an easily absorbable form (not iron sulfate).

      Good luck!

      Dr. Scott

  2. Dallydot December 6, 2015 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Dear Dr Scottt, I came off sugar 3 weeks ago, the headaches were awful (still got a dull constant headache now) and I’m seemingly constantly craving carbs (not sweets). I don’t want energy drinks anymore, which is great as I lived off them. I just feel so tired and think I’m trying to get energy from carbs. I’m vegetarian too so have bought liquid iron and vitamins, which I’m hoping will stop the cravings. Will this pass or am I doomed to be tired and craving something ‘substantial’ forever?

    • Dr. Scott December 7, 2015 at 7:06 am - Reply

      Dallydot, it sounds like you are one of the “lucky” ones who has withdrawal symptoms that last more than a few days. I know it makes it tough, but it sounds like you have made great strides towards better health. I think it is a good step getting the iron/vitamins (does it include B12?). As far as cravings go, ask any ex-smoker, alcoholic and they will tell you that the cravings never really go away – they are just able to handle them better. Keep doing what you are doing and you will find it get easier over time. If the fatigue continues, I recommend visiting your doctor and having some blood work done – it may be that the energy drinks you were drinking were hiding a condition (such as anemia… ) that was causing you to feel tired.

      • Nick December 14, 2015 at 4:07 pm - Reply

        Dr. Scott,
        Thank you for the article. I wanted to comment on the addiction aspect and the whether or not cravings go away. I am a recovered alcoholic and I stopped dipping Copenhagen after 20 years. Both by applying the 12 steps of AA. My addictive behavior over the years has been the futile and disillusioned effort to gain spiritual fulfillment through physical means. To the degree that I am spiritually void, will I desire and seek physically pleasurable activities to medicate or mask that void. Sugar has become my latest D.O.C. I no longer think about drinking or not drinking, though I was obsessed by one or the other for 20 years. I cannot feed my spirit with physically harmful or even physically healthy substances or activities. It just doesn’t work. Abstinence has never even been a possibility for me. What has worked for me so far with Alcohol, Diet Coke (don’t laugh), and copenhagen, has been the genuine fulfillment of the actual deficiency, thus eliminating altogether the desire for a synthetic substitute. These substances (like sugar) provide immediate yet temporary and counterfeit feelings of spiritual fulfillment (happiness, joy, peace, comfort, and freedom from fear, boredom, and depression). Unfortunately, the ever waning and elusive effect leaves me more empty than when I started, creating an increased desire for a greater amount taken with more frequency. Spiritual growth and transformation has required some short term sacrifice and discomfort, but has left a lasting and genuine peace that transcends understanding. These substances were the only solution I had, until I had another one. For background I am a devoted (but non religious) Christian and I am very active in the program of AA in which I find no contradiction. Hope this helps someone.

        • Dr. Scott December 15, 2015 at 6:24 am - Reply

          Nick, I really appreciate your comments and it appears that you have had a long journey that has brought you to a wonderful place. I’m sure people reading this will find help in your words.

          Dr. Scott

  3. Kristi October 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    Dr Scott, I really have a promble..I can’t stop with just one cookie, I have to eat 15 or 18 cookie..please help!! I don’t NO how to stop. I have really tried and I have went 8 days and that was it. I can’t help myself. It’s like I have a battle with a little man inside my head, and that little man always wins… Any advice will be great!!
    Thanks, Kristi

    • Dr. Scott October 22, 2010 at 6:36 am - Reply

      Kristi,

      Have you signed up for the 30 Sugar Free Days Program?

      All I can tell you is that you are not alone. What you describe is addictive behavior and we have all been through that at one time or other. The only way to make that little man inside your head go away is to stay away from both sugar and foods that act like sugar; it is just like stopping cigarettes or alcohol. I’d like to say that the cravings go away and they do get easier, but it is a constant battle.

      It also helps to have friends, there is a group on Facebook for the 30 Sugar Free Days Program.

      • kieran November 20, 2013 at 2:13 am - Reply

        hi Dr.Scott was just wondering if i am my symptoms seem normal to you, anyway for the past 4 months all i have eaten is burgers ( literally like 2 a day ) and a lot of energy drinks and i would also have 2/3 sugar in my tea which i would have 2 cups of a day .Plus chocolate and sweets on occasions.However i decided to go cold turkey 6 days a go and i have been feeling awful since. the first 2 days were okay but bad but the last 3 days have been so bad. symptoms include fast heart rate mind dizziness and not been able to concentrate my legs are always moving when sat or lying down ( only the last 2 days though)and it got so bad i have been going to bed at 8 to 10 when i usually go to bed at 11:30.also waking up the last 3 nights with dry mouth . However i still feel all the symptoms today my mind is a little more fresh and they died down a little just wondering if this is normal and my GP said it usually take 2 week to be fully treated.

        • Dr. Scott November 20, 2013 at 9:29 am - Reply

          Kieran,

          Your symptoms sound like “normal” withdrawal symptoms; people go through all sorts of crazy things when they stop sugar and the foods that act like sugar. I’m happy to hear that you are feeling better. You say you are working with a GP and that is good, you should check with them and see if you need a blood sugar test. If you have anyone in your family with diabetes, then it is a good idea to check your blood sugar.

          Most people get through the withdrawals in a week or so and then they start feeling much better.

          I wish you the best of luck,

          Dr. Scott

    • Mae March 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I had a serious addiction to sugary treats as well. However, I managed to not eat anything with added sweeteners (no honey, agave, cereal or bread with sweeteners, ketchup, etc.) for a year because I slowly tapered off of the sweets. It took about six months of gradually cutting back and eliminating all of my most yearned for candies and baked goods. Also, replacing the craving for sweets with fresh or dried fruit helped too. It’s definitely difficult but I know you can do it (it might just take a while to get there). Try to think of every attempt as one step closer to reaching your goal… Good luck!

    • Krystie May 7, 2014 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Drink lots of water beforehand :) that might help.

  4. Megan September 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Is fresh fruit and veg juice ok? If so how much?

    Thanks

    • Dr. Scott September 5, 2010 at 6:57 am - Reply

      Hi Megan,

      No, stay away from fruit and juice for the whole 30 days. Have you downloaded the e-book and signed up for the program? 30 Sugar Free Days Program

  5. Chris August 31, 2010 at 2:54 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reply! That day, I wound up having some green tea (caffeine), a piece of whole grain toast, and small glass of juice. The next day was the first day I woke up without a fever. I’m not sure if it was because of what I ate or not, but I’m just glad to be feeling better.

    Either way, I feel that my physical dependency on refined sugar is gone, as I’m now on Day 9. The first few days, 30 days seemed like a long time, but now it seems easy. I’m also enjoying fruit more than I ever have before, and in general, I find less of a desire to overeat at meals. Those 4 days of being sick were pretty terrible, but I’m happy I stuck with it. I feel much better already.

    People are very intrigued/confused by my decision to cut out sugar, so I point them here when I can. Hopefully more people will open up to the idea.

    Thanks again!

    • Dr. Scott August 31, 2010 at 4:02 am - Reply

      Great to hear that things have turned around for you Chris! Good luck on the rest of your challenge!

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