My Experience of the No Sugar Challenge
Blog by Cerys Boulger
I signed up to the No Sugar Challenge mainly because it looked like a good opportunity to not only do good for others by fundraising, but to try and do some good for myself too. I know I have a really bad sweet-tooth, and the health (and dental!) benefits of quitting sugar are innumerable. Already in my one week of doing the challenge, I feel a lot healthier and my skin looks much better. I chose to do two weeks as supposedly this is how long your body needs to change your tastes and stop you craving sugar after the challenge is over, and I can say that even only one week in, I find myself craving sugar far less.
Before I signed up, I was bracing myself for this challenge to be incredibly difficult. Elements of the challenge are very hard – sugar is hidden in absolutely everything! Obvious things such as cereal, fizzy drinks and chocolate are easy to avoid, but hidden sugars in wraps, burger buns and salad dressings can be very difficult to spot. This makes eating out borderline impossible (unless you’re willing to order plain salads!) Moreover, some lifestyle changes are hard to get into. I found that there was barely anything I could drink aside from plain water, and remembering to leave the sugar out your tea can be quite hard when it is part of your morning routine.
However, in hindsight, the challenge is not as difficult as you might expect. Not being able to drink many things other than water and unsweetened tea has provided me with a chance to try a variety of new and different flavours, and has completely diminished my cravings for Coke or fruit squash. Also, if you make most of your meals at home, using no sugar is actually very easy as you have control over what ingredients you use and can ensure that you’re not using sugary dressings or sauces. By replacing sugary snacks for dried fruits and nuts, I don’t just feel healthier but I also have a lot more energy and feel less tired during the day.
Living at home with my Mum and brother can have its challenges when you see them eating all the food that you can’t have, but actually they’ve found it easy to eat sugar-free dinners with me and add their own dressings and sauces at their own discretion. Friends have also been surprisingly more than willing to go to salad bars with me rather than the usual Nandos!
Overall, I would completely recommend taking part in the No Sugar Challenge. It has definitely been challenging, but I think that the benefits of taking part greatly outweigh any difficulties I have faced so far. Not only is this a great opportunity to fundraise and help The Hunger Project’s vital work empowering over 18,000 communities across the globe, but it’s a great chance to try and make a good change in your own life too.
To join Cerys and others on the No Sugar Challenge in support of The Hunger Project CLICK HERE