Style & Then Some

Pulling sweet teeth: The week I tried to kick my sugar habit

hot chocolate, sweets, cake, cravings, 2013, diet, food,

Unless you actually are Candice Swanepoel, an evening of back-to-back Victoria’s Secret shows does not make for easy viewing, I can assure you. However, after watching the 6ft angels at work, I decided to kick my bad habits and dare I say it, acquire a ‘bikini bod’ in time for summer. Or at least, try.

I’ve watched the interviews with Miranda Kerr and heard her waxing healthy about the benefits of ruddy quinoa and coconut milk – and as much as it’s lost on me, I can’t deny the woman looks good. I know what my downfall is; sugar. What I have is a genuine, all-consuming craving for sweets. Not just idle ‘I fancy a Percy Pig’ thoughts – I’m talking choking on Haribo because you’ve just poured the whole bag into your mouth. I react like a rabid dog if someone asks for a Minstrel from my ‘Bag to Share!’ 

So I knew what I had to do: cut out sugar.

Bella Blissett in her article ‘Sweet Freedom’ in the May issue of Elle magazine, assures me that within about a week, my cravings will diminish and eventually cease. So it is with this hope that I push my trolley around the supermarket, walking straight past the cherry bakewells, to the fruit and veg. And eight portions of fresh food later, not to mention some oily fish, rice, lemon juice and several other healthy looking foodstuffs, my new life as a lean mean six-pack machine begins.

Day one, and it’s all going swimmingly. Yoga before a breakfast of muesli, lunch of a Waldorf salad, and a dinner of salmon and vegetables. And then I steal one of my housemate’s chocolate digestives because I figure it’s unrealistic to go cold turkey straight away. Jeez, I’m not Gwyneth Paltrow.

Unfortunately by day three, all the digestives have gone and sorry, a carrot doesn’t cut the craving. I just want a Fruit Pastille, for God’s sake. Maybe a Tooty Fruity.

For work on day four, I forgo an inevitably wilted salad and plump for a Mediterranean tuna bagel. But unfortunately I overfill it, and all the tuna comes out. The tomato salsa makes my lunchbox look like a crime scene and it stinks to high heaven so I abandon it and eat some sesame seeds. So very hungry.

By the weekend I’m going to the cinema, and you physically cannot watch a film without pick ‘n’ mix, so I load up on cherry cola bottles – they’re gone before film starts.

Throughout the next few days, I try to be as creative as possible – honey glazes for salmon, banana splits, sweet potato mash, endless endless seeds. But the difficult thing is, I don’t feel any better for it. I’m still tired, and grumpy, except now I don’t have Jelly Babies for company. I know I hit a low point when I shakily text my boyfriend around 11pm, ‘Please. Just get me a f***ing cookie.’

Yesterday, whilst desperately eating teaspoons of dry hot chocolate powder out of the tub, I realise, this is what addiction feels like. Eventually I figure inhaling/eating powder is never a good destination, so I go and I get a Caramac, and feel great.

I’m not knocking the healthy lifestyle – I have a new-found love for salmon salads, and I do really like vegetables. And if other women can survive sugar-free, well done them; they are stronger and inevitably healthier people than me. But as a contract with Victoria’s Secret really isn’t on the cards for me, I can’t justify being miserable for the sake of a few inches of thigh-squidge. I don’t drink, smoke, eat fried food or much dairy. Just for Heaven’s sake – let me eat cake.

Have you ever tried to cut down on sugar? How did it go? Hints and tips gratefully received in the comments section.

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6 comments on “Pulling sweet teeth: The week I tried to kick my sugar habit

  1. Mika
    May 15, 2013

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty much in the same boat. I HAVE to have something sweet/sugary every day or I feel unsatisfied & feel like something is “missing” from my diet, ugh. And no, fruit doesn’t count as something sweet to me- it has to be chocolate, coke, iced tea, chocolate covered raisins etc. If I go a day w/out sweets, I binge like a crackhead on whatever sugar filled junk is lying around the next day. Just before my period the craving is even worse, because I will literally eat bad shit ALL DAY LONG. Once, while PMS-ing I had 8 (all covered in a lot, lot of vanilla icing) cupcakes in one sitting…later that night I woke up in the middle of my sleep shaking and sweating from all the sugar. So, right now I’m trying to really cut down, but it’s extremely hard for me. The only tip I offer is if soda is one of your weaknesses, that you pour half glass with soda and the other half with mineral water- this way you’ll cut down on your sugar intake a bit. It’s still not the same though, but I’m trying!

    • oliviasleet
      May 15, 2013

      I hear ya, well done for trying!

      This was typed whilst eating gummy bears.

      • blondekatie
        May 15, 2013

        In February, I went for a month without carbohydrates, including sugar of course (the reason why is a long story – google Leptin if you want) and oh my god it was tough. But it made me realise that sugar was basically giving me spots and I’ve cut down massively since. It’s still hard though. I’ve found that baking my own bread (so that it’s got no sugar in it, cos you never know with bought) and having honey on toast as dessert is a good compromise, cos it’s naturally occurring so better than refined white sugar but still provides that crunchy, filling, sweet hit I need. I’ve been meaning to experiment with low/no sugar cakes too, I bet there are some good recipes out there.

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2013 by in And Then Some, Food and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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