Personal Growth

Why I Gave Up Sugar

I tossed out sugar from my diet over the past two years because it made me fat, rotted my teeth, gave me acne, and frankly, it doesn’t taste as sweet as fruit.

When I refer to sugar, I mean any sugar that’s not naturally found in a fruit, say, bananas. So, white table sugar, agave, or “artificial sweeteners,” are included.

I occasionally eat cake and ice cream for birthdays, or grab a small amount of chocolate. I by no means consume as much sugar as I did up until my mid twenties, and it’s been a very long time since I held a big gulp in my hands.

Sugar Made Me Feel Fat

I don’t like feeling fat, and I’m sure you don’t either. I don’t like to feel that I’m bloated, full of unnecessary weight, and have my stomach protruding further than my upper chest.

Consuming foods high in sugar have made me feel not only fat, but tired. When I feel tired, I usually want to move less, when I give into the psychology and emotion of feeling tired. The best way to counteract that is to tell yourself to just get up and move, damn you!

Sugar Gave Me Bad Teeth

I stopped drinking soda at 24. Two amalgam fillings from my back molars fell out, and that was it for me. Furthermore, a dentist quoted me $30,000 to fix all my dental problems.

That was enough shock, not just from the high dental work quote (which I later received for roughly $6,500), but I thought, “If sugar could do that much damage to my teeth, where it was easy to clean my teeth – what is it doing to the rest of my body where I can’t so easily clean?”

I didn’t want to know. I had bad teeth as a kid, and more cavities than I can remember (literally, I don’t know the count). At one point I had 10 amalgam fillings, before the age of 20. I have none now, all replaced with porcelain fillings – or, unfortunately, extractions.

Sugar Irritated My Acne

I thought my acne was just normal, or from me smashing my face against my pillow all night as I slept. Nope. Turns out, I have rosacea, which isn’t something disgusting or bad, it’s just a thing that is.

I found that once I began reducing sugar from my diet, the number of pimples/zits that would show up were virtually zero. If I knowingly consume sugar now, I’m certain to get one on or around my nose.

The worst case of acne I had was around the time I turned 13. I think it’s typical of teenagers to get it then. It was just a bunch of redness and bumps on my upper back and neck that lasted a few days, and then was gone.

Fruit Tastes Sweeter than Sugar

As I sometimes go back to eat something with sugar (chocolate, like most people), I find that it’s not as sweet as a piece of fruit. I eat plenty of bananas, and they taste sweeter – even sweeter than hard candy, which is virtually 100% sugar.

I make a smoothie usually every day, comprised of chopped up fruits, and 100% orange juice. Usually bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, or apples. I’ll toss in cocoa powder, or unsweetened coconut, but never sugar. The smoothie still tastes sweeter than sugar.

The Benefits of Giving Up Sugar

I am by no means a dietitian or doctor, so always consult yours. I don’t have a doctor, so I took the risks myself (though, really, I didn’t see much risk in giving up sugar), and have experienced these benefits:

#1: I am Less Tired

While sugar may give a slight energy boost, that only lasts so long. I actually find myself able to stay awake longer (even when I do want to sleep), and hardly at all getting tired like most people around mid afternoon. I also don’t drink coffee; so there’s that.

#2: Virtually no stomach aches.

I have not felt so much as one stomach ache since giving up sugar from my diet, unless I knew for certain where it came from. That source would be eating foods I normally don’t, or haven’t, consumed. I ate a sandwich with jalapenos on it, and had a stomach ache for two days. This lack of stomach aches was especially apparent after giving up soda.

#3: Virtually no headaches.

I used to think headaches just happened. I’m now convinced they don’t just happen. I think they occur because of diet, or biology. Clearly, after giving up sugar, and having no headaches, my biology doesn’t just create them out of thin air. Furthermore, I’ve had no headaches related to tooth problems since I had those taken care of, too.

#4: Less acne.

Occasionally I’ll get white heads / zits on the crevices of my nose or around my cheeks, just below the eye to the left/right of my nose. This is common with people who have rosacea, but also when I find myself sleeping with my face against my pillow – thereby reducing the amount of oxygen my skin has to breathe. Other than that, acne doesn’t just show up due to stress, but only if I knowingly cause it.