In January of 2003 I decided to try living sugar-free. So I started Atkins and once my weeklong withdrawal was finished I realized there was a new calm in my brain, a silence that highlighted the noise that was absent. I describe it like this: I feel like I had a radio in my head for 33 years that was tuned to candy advertisements and when the last of the white carb residue left my body, the radio went silent. It was a revelation. That is when I realized that the only way to quit sugar was to also quit other white carbs (rice, potatoes, wheat, corn) because it turned out they are metabolized in my body like sugar and kept the addiction going.
I get asked how can I resist cheating; candy, cakes, cookies, "treats". Don't I feel sad? Deprived? Well it's easy not to eat those things because I have no cravings! NONE. I never want to turn that radio back on. Staying off sugar is the biggest treat I ever gave myself. I don't feel bereft. And I tell you what, I've had so many slices of cake, cookies, pints of ice cream, candy it would fill two lifetimes! I remember every delicious bite and I savor the memories, but I'm done with that.
After I was off sugar for a while, other things tasted more sweet to me. I still have to be stingy with fruits as they can have similar effect on me as refined sugars. Especially dried fruits, I really can't go there.
Along with it no longer producing toxins in my liver the other benefit to quitting sugar is I finally felt sated. My brain regulated and my body finally had an "enough" setting when it came to food. For the first time ever I knew when I was hungry (it wasn't ALWAYS) and I knew when I was full! Imagine that.
Sure this lifestyle makes eating out more complicated. I'm aware I'm not going to be able to avoid added sugars in meals I didn't make, but I find if I eat enough protein at the meal, a tiny bit of accidental sugar doesn't poison me or start the cycle of craving all over again. Yes, I plan and cook every meal during the week and always have protein snacks on my person. But do I miss eating sugar? I truly don't. I feel like I'm free from a corrosive addiction. I feel more in control of my life, my moods, my health. I have plenty of good things to eat, I don't feel deprived. I feel free! Lately I am looking at Paleo recipes because they seem to contain the ingredients my body can handle. And I'm cooking with nut flours which has opened up some fun possibilities.
I hope if you try living sugar-free that you cut out all grains too because I think that is the easiest way to cut the cord and your best chance of lasting success. You won't need willpower when your cravings stop. If this is the right lifestyle for you you will rejoice in it! I send my best wishes to you.