Gearing Up for No Sugar {ish} Month

014-001We announced on Monday that we’re doing a No Sugar Month for March, if you are up for the challenge. Tomorrow is the big day — are you ready? If not, here are some tips to help you prepare for the month.

Notice I put an {ish} in the title of this post. As I said on Monday, I don’t completely remove sugar from my diet when I do a no sugar month. You are welcome to become a sugar zealot and remove every ounce of sweetness from your life. I will not be doing that. Many sugar detox plans remove all forms of sugar, including various grains and fruits. If you’re up for that kind of challenge, I say go for it. If you are more like me, you aren’t up for that extreme, especially if this is your first attempt at eliminating something from your diet. We don’t want to get overwhelmed and make this task impossible. I’m not making any rules you must follow. You make your own and make them realistic. (My {ish} rules are listed in this post here.)

That being said, don’t make it too easy, either. Giving up sugar is hard. It’s supposed to be. If I say, “I’m going to avoid ice cream for March,” when I probably won’t consume any ice cream in the month of March anyway, then I’m not pushing myself at all. It’s fine to take small, gradual steps — we’ve kind of been preaching that here — but there comes a time when you have to challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself.

The first few days of avoiding sugar could bring some unwelcome physical symptoms, depending on how much sugar you normally consume. Your cravings might get worse. You could suffer from headaches, tiredness and/or grouchiness. You might want to warn your family members. 😉

It’s best if you can remove all the sugary junk from your house before you start. If you’re like me, though, you have a family that’s not joining you on this adventure. So, I can’t just throw out all the bad stuff. I’ve put some Girl Scout cookies in the freezer. But, darn those Thin Mints! They taste great frozen. 😉 If you can’t remove sugar from your house, you’ll just have to work harder at the willpower. You can do it!

It’s essential to have a replacement for your normal sugary stuff. Stock up on fruits and veggies, nuts, gum, non-sugary drinks … whatever YOU enjoy that you can eat when you feel a craving come on. There are also lots of recipes for sweet things that don’t have refined sugar in them. I started a Pinterest board called Surviving No Sugar Month. I plan to add to it as I find recipes that sound good. Honestly, during no sugar months I try to drink water or eat fruits, veggies or nuts when I’m hungry, but having a few no sugar sweet treats around is nice, too.

Surviving No Sugar Month

It’s OK to have a cheat day, but I recommend deciding when that day is in advance. For instance, you have a birthday party or special work event or an Easter celebration on your calendar, and it’s taunting you, because you know it will be a hard day to say no to sugar. Go ahead and allow yourself to cheat on that day, if it will help you be more successful for the rest of the month. Or, if you don’t have an event like that, you could pick a random day — before the month starts — to be a cheat day. What you shouldn’t do is have a day where you cave in to your cravings, dig the Girl Scout cookies out of the freezer, eat the whole box, and then call that your cheat day. I mean, you’re welcome to do that — it’s your life — but choosing it in advance helps you work on self-control and willpower.

You are bound to run into a few non-supportive people this month. They might be insulted you won’t eat the dessert they made. They might make some sort of sarcastic statement about what you are doing. They might even try to taunt you with a sugary treat. I hope you don’t have people like that in your life, but odds are there is someone who will make a comment that is hurtful (maybe even unintentionally). There are books written about dealing with hard people, and I only have a few lines in a blog post. Just know that it might happen and try to have a gracious response.

How about you? Do you have tips for having a successful no sugar month? Please share them in the comments and help me out! I’ve done it before, but I know it will still be a challenge.

And here’s a post I came across recently that might be helpful:

Sugar Cravings: 22 Sure-Fire Tips to Beat Sugar Cravings to a Pulp by Alison Golden at Paleo/Non-Paleo

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5 thoughts on “Gearing Up for No Sugar {ish} Month

  1. lisa

    when I’ve done this in the past, it’s been easier when I focus on lots of protein and veggies. I also have a few go-to key snacks for cravings…almond butter is my favorite one!

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  2. mominminnesota

    “It’s fine to take small, gradual steps — we’ve kind of been preaching that here — but there comes a time when you have to challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone and stretch yourself.” You could say this for exercising too! You won’t see the results that you want usually if you stay in that comfy spot. Once you get a bit uncomfortable you will notice changes.
    LOVE the comment about running into people that may give you some unsupportive comments. So true…so true! Gotta remember who you are doing this challenge for though…them…or you. They might just be jealous that you have the willpower and desire to make some changes and they don’t. 😉

    Good luck, everyone! (nice article, Cori!)
    -Jessica

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  3. Tracie

    I haven’t given up anything for lent in years, and this year decided to give up sugary treats. Coincidence? I guess I’m “in” too! 🙂

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  4. Pingback: No Sugar {ish} Re-Cap (And a recipe!) | The Journey

  5. Pingback: For When You Fall Off the Wagon | The Journey

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