A good way to start a sugar free diet, experience the health benefits of cutting sugar out of your diet and lose some weight in the process is to challenge yourself to one week without sugar.
One week that can change your life forever
Switching to a permanent sugar free diet is not easy. It would require a lot of discipline and motivation to go from a diet that is high in sugars to no sugar at all. That is why starting with one day, one weekend or one week without sugar can be a great idea.
In fact, eating no sugar for one week can positively alter your lifestyle forever. It will allow you to experience the first health benefits of a sugar free lifestyle. I am positive that after one sugar free week you will lose some weight and start to get your energy levels under control. These effects can be so mind-blowing and life-changing that they will give you the motivation to permanently leave the sugar out of your diet.
How to quit sugar for one week
Pick a week that works for you
If you want to take part in the one week no sugar challenge, it’s good to pick a week that works for you. Don’t pick a week in which you are travelling, are supposed to attend a wedding or several birthday parties, or expect a lot of stress at work. You are more likely to make exceptions or fall back in stressful periods, under social pressure or in situations where the temptation is bigger.
If no single week seems to work well for you because you always have a lot of stress or travel a lot, pick the week that works best for you. Also consider that continuing to eat sugar free in difficult circumstances such as at parties is part of the challenge. Besides, people will usually have a lot of respect for you if you tell them about your no sugar challenge and you might even inspire your friends to join and improve their health as well.
Don’t start on a Monday
It’s a bad idea to start your one week sugar free challenge on a Monday. Why? Because for most people Monday is the start of the working week. This usually brings more stress into your life. And stress is one factor that stimulates sugar consumption, because eating something sweet might give you a reward and calm you down.
Start your one week sugar free challenge on a day that you are at home. This ensures that you have the time and opportunities to fully control what you eat. If you start on a Monday, you would have to make sure you have the time to prepare your sugar free lunch and some healthy snacks in advance. However, if you start on a Saturday or Sunday, you can ease into your challenge without any stress and also dedicate some time to preparing the rest of the week when you might have less time to spend on your diet.
Prepare your kitchen – get rid of temptations
In order to succeed in your challenge, you need to prepare your kitchen. Stop buying foods that contain sugar in the weeks and days leading up to your challenge. Once your challenge starts, make sure you get rid of any remaining temptations from your kitchen. Don’t feel guilty and just bin all candy and sugar containing products in your fridge and cupboards. Normally I would not advocate throwing away food, but there is really no one that benefits from foods that contain sugar. There is no need to feel guilty about binning candy as long as you make sure it’s the last candy you’ve ever binned!
At the same time, make sure your kitchen is stocked with healthy sugar free ingredients and products that you like and will make your challenge into a success. For inspiration, check out our sugar free shopping list. If you have a favourite snack or candy that you eat daily, make sure you substitute it with a healthy alternative to make it easier for yourself.
Tell everybody you are doing a no sugar challenge
Make sure to tell all your friends and family that you are going to quit sugar for a week starting a certain day. This does not only make it easier to avoid sugar at parties or other gatherings, it will also put pressure on yourself to keep up the challenge in order to avoid losing face towards your friends.
Furthermore, it might stimulate your friends to join you for the challenge. This will create an extra motivation to quit sugar for one week. If you send your friends a link to my website, you might even get them to prepare a sugar free cake for you.
It is important that your family knows about your challenge and that you have their support. Ask before starting the challenge if they are willing to support you by joining you for a week without sugar, not buying any candy or sweets for a week and helping you to prepare healthy sugar free snacks and desserts.
Do your homework
It is important to do your homework before starting your no sugar challenge. If you have a clear strategy and plan, you prevent having to ask yourself a lot of questions during your challenge. This makes it easier to keep up with your sugar free diet.
Be sure that you know what it means exactly to be sugar free. I recommend quitting all added sugars, refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, pasta and rice, potatoes and corn, and high GI fruits for the first week. If you are very sensitive to sugars and carbohydrates, you might choose to leave out all grains and replace them with beans and vegetables, although this could be a good option for a second sugar free week.
Also make sure you read our list of the 50 different names for sugar so that you don’t miss any sugars hidden on food labels. Manufacturers tend to hide sugar on packaging under a lot of different names.
Have a list of sugar free recipes ready or make a diet plan
Try to keep a list of recipes without sugar at hand that will get you through the week. Check out this breakfast recipe for oats with yogurt that you can make with different fruits and nuts every day of the week for variety. This will make sure you start your day with an energizing breakfast that will give you power until lunch time. A recipe that allows you to vary will also make sure that you will not get bored.
If you normally eat bread for lunch, considering switching to a warm lunch which will make it easier to ditch refined grains. If you still prefer bread, make sure you buy 100% whole grain bread without added sugars or you bake bread yourself before the start of the week. Buying a bread maker can in this case be a great investment!
Check out some of our delicious sugar free mains which you can eat either for lunch or for dinner. Eating a warm lunch also allows you to eat the same thing for both lunch and dinner. In this way, you can easily prepare large quantities of food which will suffice for two or three days.
Have a snack plan ready
Make sure you know what you will eat once you get hungry. And trust me: you will get hungry. When you quit sugar for the first time, your body will need to get used to the lack of immediately available quickly absorbing carbs. Hunger is not always a bad thing, even though of course you shouldn’t starve yourself. However, it can make you weak if you don’t know what you will do once you get hungry. Make sure you have a sugar free snack plan! Raw vegetables like broccoli or bell pepper with hummus make an excellent snack. You can also prepare some sugar free cakes that you can eat when you get hungry.
Please leave your comments down below. If you have tried the challenge or have questions or concerns, we would love to hear from you.