If there is one diet that seems near impossible to stick to, it’s the sugar-free diet. Sugar is everywhere. It’s hiding in your breakfast cereal, alcohol, granola bars, and even condiments.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, we’ve become addicted to the substance that gives our food a satisfyingly sweet taste and gives us a quick boost of energy at the risk of our own health.
Sacha, a Dutch YouTuber notorious for pranking videos, decided to take the leap into a diet completely free of sugar and alcohol. Here’s what he learned:
Sugar Withdrawal is a Real Thing
One week into the experiment gave Sacha intense sugar cravings which left him feeling tired and lethargic. This fluctuating energy sensation is a result of insulin spikes in the body which occur when you eat sugar. Glucose in sugar causes insulin level to increase, giving the body a burst of energy that will ultimately result in low blood sugar levels. This decrease in blood sugar can make you feel tired and shaky, forcing your body to crave even more sugar to achieve the same high.
Junk food is literally everywhere you look
Throughout his month living without sugar, Sacha constantly complains that fast-food spots, Coca-Cola ads, and product placements for processed foods are always in his face. In America and across the globe, soda companies use product placement during kids’ favorite TV shows to get them to drink more sugary beverages. What can we do about all the unhealthy food that’s in our face reminding us to eat it? Besides moving to Mars, we’re not sure there’s an answer to that question.
Moderation is Key
With the help of a doctor, Sacha was able to understand that in order to live a healthy lifestyle he did not have to completely cut his favorite foods out of his diet. He learned that after the experiment, he could indulge in the occasional glass of wine or slice of cake and still eat clean.
Don’t Be Afraid to Eat Fatty Foods
To beat hunger cravings throughout the day, Sacha’s doctor recommended he included healthy fats into his diet. While saturated fats like chips and french fries will undoubtedly increase your waistline, healthy fats such as avocado will make you feel more full and satisfied after a meal.
Lowering Your Sugar Intake Can Reduce Your Cholesterol
One of Sacha’s biggest concerns going into the experiment was his high cholesterol. He found that just after one month of a sugar-free diet, he was able to drop eight pounds and reduce his cholesterol by 8%—a pretty sweet trade-off for living without sugar.