I quit sugar for 30 days
Last year I had developed a bad habit of snacking
I had lost all self-control in the face of a free donut or plate of cookies. And I made justifications for my actions
Excuses like: ‘well, I did go to the gym today.’ ‘Overall I eat pretty healthy’
‘It’s not like I do this every day.’… Until I started to do it every day.
I knew something had to change when even though I exercise often, I noticed I was developing early onset dad-gut.
So I decided to quit sugar for 30 days
Now most of us know that too much sugar is a bad thing
It’s something that we’ve been taught ever since we were kids. And apart from simply putting a little bit of weight on your gut
There’s a lot more serious problems that can come with eating too much sugar. It can damage your metabolism,
cause type 2 diabetes, increase the likelihood that you’ll get liver or kidney damage, causes inflammation of the skin
Joint pain, tooth decay and even problems maintaining an erection
So yeah, there’s there’s even that as well. So that’s probably the main reason- no,
It’s not the main reason, get that out of your head
So on top of all that, on top of all of these bad things that it does to your body
it’s also very
Addictive. So I know the first thing that I want to do right now is go through my entire
apartment, and find all of the things that have added sugar, and get them out of my apartment. So let’s do that now.
I knew it was consuming a decent amount of sugar,
But without reading the labels and digging into weekly snacks and meals, I wouldn’t know for sure
There were of course some no-brainers. Ice cream is loaded,
Chocolate snacks are packed,
My once a month energy drink. But I was also surprised to find a lot of sugar in my protein bars,
My breakfast cereal is basically a dessert. Even the bread I was buying had 5 grams / slice
If you’re like me and you have very little self-control
The only thing you can do to regain control is to completely change your environment
It’s impossible to eat snacks that you refuse to purchase and bring into your home in the first place
So all this stuff needs to go
The cravings were the worst for the first couple days, but even a week in I was struggling late at night
All right, so I’m seven days into this no sugar challenge and this is probably the toughest night so far about 45 minutes ago
I had a bit of a sugar craving and
Instinctively I went to my snack cabinet and I’ll show you guys what I found
Organic rice cake
Nothing, nothing sweet there
Before I started this challenge I did a little bit of research, but I still had a lot of questions about sugar
What kind of sugar should we be avoiding? And how much is too much?
So I asked my friend Becca Shern to help clear some things up for me. She’s a registered dietician and founder of Minimal Wellness
I’m hoping you can help me kind of break down when people decide to get sugar out of the diet,
what does that look usually look like, what kind of sugars are people usually trying to cut out?
– Most people, when they’re trying to cut
out sugar, they’re talking about added sugar. So
sugar that gets added to a processed food.
That’s like table sugar, or honey, or high fructose corn syrup
“My king, this corn syrup was just delivered”
Generally, it’s recommended that you’re somewhere, – but under ideally – 5 % of your calories from added sugar.
So for a 2000 calorie diet, that’s 25 grams of added sugar
And it turns out that added sugar can add up quick
I noticed the high levels in some of my daily snacks and the occasional foods
I might get served on an airplane. While my old instinct was to throw food in my mouth,
my new instinct was to check the back of the package, and then throw my food at Natalie
You’re not aiming for 25 grams of sugar every day it’s like
over the course of a week, over the course of a month. Like some days are really low,
some days are quite high.
So that is where you can get the flexibility to have dessert on a special occasion
And I think that, that’s where, as a culture, we’ve really like got off track, as we no longer have sugar
Desserts or special occasions, right? It’s like in everything, because we eat so much processed food
Yeah, and it was surprising even for me
Like I had watched Fed Up, and these documentaries, and I’ve read a lot of blog posts about how much sugar is in everything
I knew it, but then I was still surprised by certain things
Like my granola bar was like 30 grams of sugar and I’m like, that’s why I taste so good!
And it’s hard
I think it takes a lot, really like looking at everything you you’re purchasing, and really understanding that if it tastes too good to be true,
Yeah. Yeah, I mean there’s a reason why food manufacturers put a lot of added sugar in things. It tastes good,
it makes you want to buy it again. This is really straightforward.
The problem is, it’s
terrible for us.
Becca thought my 30-day
no-sugar challenge was a good step to understanding how my body personally responds to sugar. But also stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy
And balanced diet. If I’m being honest, my diet isn’t always balanced and it can sometimes look a bit primitive
All right, so tonight’s dinner can really only be described as a bowl of food.
Let me show you guys what we’re working with here. We’ve got your rice your chicken and your daily recommended
bacon. I should be eating more veggies. I just realize that right now.
I’m gonna start doing that. Soon
but first, bacon
I must not have had a terrible sugar addiction, because I didn’t experience any headaches, or major
discomfort, outside of nightly cravings. To combat these cravings
I made some tea as a replacement. This really helped to keep my mind
distracted. My biggest fear and motivation to go on this 30-day challenge, is because I know how small changes make a big difference.
Now normally when I talk about small changes, it relates to positive change, but it also works in the opposite direction
Small bad habits, like snacking on junk food can build up and compound to something much worse.
‘What are you looking at?”
You make those early excuses and justifications
But eventually you don’t need to make them anymore, because the bad habit sticks, and you’re running on autopilot.
So I’m thankful that I got out in front of it, before things got any worse.
In the past, I had relied on smoothies to get most of my vitamins, but as a part of this challenge,
I also wanted to cut back on fruit. While they do include vitamins, nutrients and fibers that are good for you,
I wanted to force myself to eat more greens.
After the first 10 days, I started to prepare and eat healthier meals for dinner. I’d have fish with brown rice and sauteed kale
Salads became my go-to meal because they were convenient and easy to prepare
We have curry cod with some brown rice and sauteed
kale. And the kale, I actually sauteed it with some chicken broth with which I’m also gonna be drinking here
This is like a bachelor meal.
Natalie is definitely much better around the kitchen than I am.
I primarily eat for sustenance, while she cooks and eats for the love of the food.
‘That is extremely sweet’
‘Look at it: double the sauce,
no sauce.’ I found workarounds and substitutes for all meals that included sugar. Instead of fig jam sauce
I used mustard, instead of vinegar
I used olive oil and a healthy squeeze of lemon, topped with some salt and pepper.
Three weeks in, and I noticed that my energy levels became more stable.
No longer did I have huge swings of high to low energy throughout the day,
especially as I tried to balance my diet out with protein, carbs, greens,
and a little bit less bacon.
So what you’re experiencing there is, is energy levels, but it’s blood sugar fluctuations
So when you have lots of added sugar in your diet,
you can get really big fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, which make you feel like you’ve got a lot of energy and then
Holy crap, you’re crashing, and you have no energy. And then, what you typically do when you feel like you have no energy
especially if you’re not paying attention, is to gravitate towards something that will give you quick energy, which
So you go back up,
you feel good for a little while, and then you crash again.
In addition to more stable energy levels,
I also noticed a significant reduction of my dad-gut. It didn’t disappear, but the tide had turned.
Alright, so the 30 day challenge is done, and I feel pretty good, I feel pretty good
There were a few things that I changed over the past 30 days.
I did start going to the gym more, and now that I’m not traveling as much,
I also reduced my carbs partly because of the reduction in added sugar and
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact percentage
of benefit that I received from getting rid of sugar. To steal a phrase from Dan Harris, I’d say maybe I was 10%
healthier. It definitely made a huge difference in my energy levels and in how I felt every day, and it was definitely nice to curb
those cravings, because, who knows how bad it could have gotten, if I just kept snacking and kept going.
My dad-gut could have potentially turned into a grandpa-gut, which would have been really scary. But going forward. I love sweets,
I love dessert, big fan, and I don’t want to just get rid of it
completely, because I think in this life we need to actually enjoy things,
but I want to bring it back in moderation. So starting next month.
I’m going to experiment with a once a week
and that starts tomorrow.
If you’d like to get exclusive videos on habit-change, filmmaking, business and lifestyle design go to patreon.com/mattdavella
Get access to all my extended interviews, like my conversation with Becca Shern.
‘Sleep deprivation is epidemic in our society’
Sign up today to immediately get 18 videos and 7 podcast episodes, with new content coming every month
And if you want to take part in these 30-day challenges with me,
I’m doing them all year and announcing them in 3 places: my newsletter, Twitter and Instagram.
You can find those links in the description below. Thanks for watching.
Oh, that was a mistake, I feel sick, my stomach hurts
I ate like a doughnut and a half ,and I still feel horrible. This is terrible. Look at this
This is bad.
I need to give these doughnuts away to somebody
‘Yeah, thanks for taking these Donuts’