When a friend recommended Eric Edmeades’ 7-day no sugar challenge that promised to “end sugar dependency and forever change my food relationship.” I was intrigued.
Sugar’s a treat. It’s comforting and makes you feel good.
It’s there when you’re feeling down, bored, happy, you name it, sugar goes with it. But sugar isn’t always sweet.
If sugar is keeping you from your health goals, it’s time to break up.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge to End Sugar Cravings
Come along on this 7-day sugar detox diet to see what it’s like to detox from sugar and start feeling amazing this week.
Why is Sugar So Bad?
Did you know, 74% of packaged food has some sort of sugar in it?
Eric Edmeades diet plan teaches how the food industry is sneaky:
It employs clever marketing to associate celebrations with sweets. Most holidays or special occasions wouldn’t be the same without a good dose of sugar. Watch any food commercial – sugary food makes everything better and more fun!
Even when you’re full, sugar stimulates you to eat more.
Food manufacturers are in business to generate profit for themselves, not nutrition for consumers. Buyer beware.
Not only will you remove sugar from your diet during this challenge, but you’ll discovered valuable truths and some surprising thought patterns around eating.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Day 1: The sugar-free cleanse starts with… sugar?
Yep! Give up nothing and notice the emotions you have before you eat. What else could you use to generate those emotions?
No Sugar Diet Meal Plan Day 1:
- Eat whatever you want and especially things you’ve been trying to avoid. Be aware of how they make you feel.
- Watch your food timeline from the first bite, to the last. Then see how you feel over the next couple of hours.
There weren’t any forbidden foods in my house, including sugar; I had been trying to be “good”.
Do you ever beat yourself up like that? As if what we eat makes us good or bad?
Although I love cake, I avoid it. Once I introduce the possibility of chocolate cake, it plays on my mind throughout the day. I feel guilty about buying it.
In the car, the first bite of cake isn’t as good as I’d imagined. It is artificial tasting – maybe marshmallowy? Pretty soon I don’t notice the funny taste.
Even though this is a piece of cake, the serving size is… half a cake?!? Oh my, 78g of sugar.
Interesting Fact: 4g of sugar = 1 tsp. of sugar.
That one piece of chocolate cake has 6 ½ Tbl of sugar in it.
I’m feeling overly energized by all the chocolate and sugar. Now to destroy the evidence before I pick the kids up from practice.
30 min. in and I feel light-headed. I pass a McDonald’s. I bet a Big Mac has sugar in it and those caramel sundaes certainly do...
The chocolate cake hasn’t satisfied my sugar cravings but stimulated them.
40 min: I feel jittery.
2 hrs: My stomach hurts and my head aches.
Dinner time: I have a bunless barbecue bacon burger, but the barbecue sauce alone has 5 types of sugar and the 2 Tbsp serving size contains 15 g sugar.
Although the turkey bacon label claims to contain 0 grams of sugar, sugar is the 4th ingredient. The food manufacturers are allowed to claim 0 for all values less than 1 gram. Tricky!
- Even informed consumers might be surprised by the amount of sugar in most processed foods. Reading ingredient labels is a must.
- Giving in to sugar cravings, don’t make them go away.
- Anticipating sugar is fun, but overeating it is sickening.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Day 2: More sugar?
Inside of us, we all have two opposing forces. Eric Edmeades calls them your ‘food Angel’ and a ‘Food Devil’. Your Food Devil has strategies for manipulating your food choices. Giving in to her is your opportunity to understand her tactics.
No Sugar Diet Meal Plan Day 2:
- Eat fruit first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. And then continue to eat whatever you want.
- Monitor your food dialog. How does your Food Devil sell you sugar?
I’m skeptical about this ‘No sugar challenge’ with as-much-sugar-as-I-want in it. My friend is a big fan of Eric Edmeades’ Wildfit diet plan and assures me the sugar detox will make a difference.
I give my Food Angel and Devil new names – Health Nut (HN) and Junk Food Junkie (JJ).
Yesterday, I bought chocolate chips and brown sugar to make cookies for a grieving neighbor. I was going to make them last night but ended up feeling too ill and tired from the chocolate cake, I waited.
So today, I won’t have to fight the urge to eat chocolate chip cookie dough.
As I head into the kitchen, I’m feeling exhausted.
JJ: ” Mmm, chocolate chips would ‘pick-you-up’.”
I watch my dialog. ’Just do it’, seems to be our motto. I give in immediately.
My insides melt along with the chips in my mouth. My small handful disappears after 3 pinches. I savor the flavor, but right before the last pinch, disappointment sets in again.
My disappointment turns to devilish thoughts of…
“Just one more handful. There will be plenty left for the cookies.”
Later that day, I eat cookie dough while making the cookies, until I feel ill.
Junkfood Junkie comes up with endless reasons to keep eating sweets.
By the end of the evening, I’m not hungry for dinner. My husband suggests fruit and the thought turns my stomach. Avoiding sugar has to be easier than this!
- When sugar is eaten in excess, nutritious meals are skipped.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Day 3: Removing Sugar
“If you binged a little the last two days, that’s okay, it’s part of the plan, says Eric Edmeades. Day 3, you’ll eliminate sugar. Pay attention to your dialog. When you say, “No,” JJ may whine and complain. Be diligent.
No Sugar Diet Meal Plan Day 3:
- Eat raw fruits on an empty stomach only in the morning.
- Eliminate all refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
I start the day with grapefruit. Then enjoy my usual eggs and veggies with cheese. Sometimes after a healthy breakfast, I crave something sweet, but not today. Perfectly satisfied. JJ is unusually quiet.
- Sometimes, it is easier to just say, “No.” When sugary treats are subject to debate, JJ knows what to say to get you to cave.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Day 4: No More Excuses
Have you ever noticed yourself making multiple exceptions to your rules around healthy eating? – Vacation, special dinners, holidays. Instead of exceptions once in a great while, they become once a week and then every day. Giving in gives it strength.
No Sugar Diet Meal Plan Day 4:
- Fruit only in the morning.
- No sugar or sugar substitutes.
- Watch for JJ’s ‘exceptions’.
Half-way through the day while running errands with my son, I start to have a happy feeling knowing I could pick up a ‘treat’ for us.
JJ: “It will be fun. You can start over tomorrow.”
HN: “But you wanted to see this through.”
I equate any kind of travel as opportunities to have ‘fun food’. Eating sugar away from the house is one of my rule exceptions. What are yours?
- Indulging your sweet tooth isn’t always fun.
- JJ is quick to remind, you can always be healthy at the next meal, tomorrow, on Monday, next month, etc., etc., etc.
- Always going off plan a little bit, keeps you a little bit overweight.
7-day No Sugar Challenge Day 5: Sugar withdrawal and addiction
Sugar is addictive. Your body wasn’t made to ignore sugar. See food? Eat food…to survive. Unfortunately, calories are easily available these days. Time to be that annoying person who says no to sugar and treats.
No Sugar Diet Meal Plan Day 5:
- No fruit or sugar.
- Be diligent and don’t argue with the JJ. Decide and follow through.
By midday, I keep coming up with sugar-free dessert ideas but was determined to go substitute sugar-free for at least this day. My sugar withdrawals are real. I have a headache and my mind searches for some sort of treat all day. I am desperate for a sweet fix.
My biggest temptation of the day is a family dinner: roast chicken with potato salad and brownies. I decide to bring a vegetable salad to be on the safe side.
I knew the brownies were out, but the potato salad had sugar in it too.
After dinner, I am offered brownies. A “No, thank you,” gets a funny look, but no questions.
- You’re often on autopilot with food intake. Most choices are made by habit and ‘that sounds good.’ Take the time to read labels and understand exactly what you’re eating.
- Saying, “No, thank you,” isn’t so terrible.
- Mottos can help keep you on track. For example, “Start the day determined and go to bed satisfied.”
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Day 6: Temptations
This is your chance to catch every sales technique JJ has, ‘Just one bite. Well, done! Let’s celebrate!’. A strategy known is a strategy blown.
No Sugar Diet Meal Plan Day 6:
- No fruit or sugar
- Pay attention to emotional feelings and dialog.
Grocery shopping is a huge temptation because I know my special treat in every store. Plus, I’ve had a challenging day and desire some stress relief.
JJ: “Look! The chocolate bars that you love. You’ve been good for the last few days and deserve a reward.”
I do a tiny happy dance inside.
HN: ”Full of sugar.”
At the last store, I want strawberries for dessert.
HN: “But you’re not eating fruit today.”
JJ: ”That’s a healthy treat. Which box has the freshest ones?”
I start looking.
What am I, an easily distracted toddler? Who makes the decisions around here, me or JJ? I head toward the checkout line without the strawberries.
- The best reward is to be healthy and feel good.
- The JJ may tempt you, but ultimately, you decide what you’ll do.
- Desserts don’t decrease stress, you do.
Sugar-Free Diet Day 7: Standing firm while playing weak
Last day! Pretend you might give in when tempted by sugar. JJ will amplify your emotions to tempt you.
Today, I am in the store again (I have teenage boys!). I pretend I might buy a sugar-free chocolate bar and feel a wall of determination.
HN: “Not interested.”
Nice. I continue to imagine the deliciousness.
JJ: “If you are hungry, go for it. That’s a healthy treat. Just this one time, no big deal.”
- JJ tempts with, “This one time won’t be that bad,” multiple times a day, turning, “Just this once,” into, “All. The. Time.”
While I didn’t cover every aspect of Eric Edmeades’ 7-day sugar detox diet plan, I hope what I shared of the journey will give you plenty of tips to have your own breakthroughs with sugar. After all, your Junkfood Junkie knows what best triggers you.
Stay tuned so you don’t miss the breaking up with sugar 3-month update.
Weight loss is a side effect of healthy living which makes healthy ways – shapely ways.
Thank you for being here and chatting with me about all things health. Health journeys are made more fun when shared, so be sure to leave a comment below. ❤️