Michaella suffered from chronic pain. She went on a sugar detox by cutting out all refined sugars and going sugar free. Miraculously her pain went away, she got off her painkillers, and lost 50 pounds. Find out how she did it.
I was living with severe chronic pain – in my feet, legs, arms and hands. Normal daily activities like walking, holding a phone, or using a knife and fork were impossible for me to do without extreme pain. I saw countless doctors and had every possible test done-blood tests, MRIs, nerve conduction tests that looked for autoimmune diseases, MS, brain tumors, cysts or vitamin deficiencies. But none of them gave any conclusive reason on where my symptoms were coming from. The doctors were saying I was healthy and send me home with lots of prescriptions for painkillers. I felt stuck with no answers.
One weekend, I went away with my boyfriend, and pigged out! I’m talking takeout pizza, fast food, cookies and candy. My pain was worse than ever. It got me thinking: if all the tests are saying my body is healthy, is it possible that I am putting something into my body that is causing the pain? Can food have that effect?
So I decided to do an experiment. For one week, I completely cut out refined sugar from my diet. The results were astounding! After only a few days, my pain was completely gone, and I had taken myself off my painkiller meds. Plus, to top it all off, I lost 5 pounds!
I knew I was onto something, and I decided to stick with my new eating plain of no refined sugar or processed foods. Now, at the time of writing this article, 5 months down the line – I have dropped 3 dress sizes, 50 pounds, and my pain has never come back! Food really was the answer-to my pain and to my cure! No more sugar equals no more pain for me.
So, now you have read the beginning and the happy ending of my story, let’s get down to nitty gritty of what it was like to cut out refined sugars after a lifetime of eating lots of sugary treats.
When I started my sugar detox, I did a lot of research. I read blogs and articles to learn about what I could expect. When I first read about withdrawal symptoms, I was like ‘yeah right, no sleep-just from quitting refined sugar?! How dramatic!’ But seriously, withdrawal symptoms are real. Some of the withdrawal symptoms I experienced were:
- Headache/brain fog, not too different from feeling jetlagged.
- Disturbed sleep.
- Nausea, this was not all the time (thankfully) I found it to mostly be mid-afternoon when I would normally have a sugary afternoon treat.
- Sugar Cravings – oh the cravings, a particularly weak moment involved me holding a packet of Oreos up to my face and inhaling, deeply.
Now that I have terrified you with the withdrawal symptoms, I can tell you that they passed after only a few days, and that my body felt so much better without the sugary crap. After about 5 days, along with my pain disappearing, I noticed a few immediate positive changes:
- Improved Sleep – I no longer struggled to fall asleep and was sleeping soundly throughout the night.
- Energy – I used to have to drag myself out of bed but even after only 5 days, I found that I could easily get up and go in the mornings.
- Balanced Mood – My mood felt consistent-no midafternoon lull that made me want to grab a sugary treat for a quick high.
- Weight Loss – I lost 5 pounds the first week, and have continued to lose more since then.
- No More Headaches – I used to regularly get headaches throughout the day. Now I don’t get headaches-ever.
Five months later, I have had some more fantastic long term changes which resulted from cutting out refined sugars and processed foods:
- Continued Weight Loss – I have lost a total of 50 pounds and 3 dress sizes. This weight came off easily due to not being able to indulge in my old vices like chocolate bars and takeout.
- Creativity in the Kitchen – When I say chocolate was a vice of mine, I really do mean it. I didn’t want to stop having my favorite treats, so I had to get creative with my recipes. I spent a lot of time playing around and experimenting and now have created tons of refined sugar free delicious muffins and snacks. I even started my own blog where I share my healthy, sugar free recipes.
- Clear Skin – Before, my skin was dull, uneven and prone to breakouts. Your skin is a great indication of how your body is feeling on the inside. Now my skin is totally clear, shiny and has an even, smooth silky tone.
- Shiny Hair – My hair feels much stronger and has a natural shine to it.
So, yes, there are aspects to cutting out refined sugar which are hard and if I’m honest, do totally suck – if only I had known my last donut was truly my last, I would have taken my time with it. But overall, the benefits heavily outweigh the few days of withdrawal symptoms. Hopefully, the short term and long term changes that happened to me when I cut out refined sugar will motivate you. Whether it’s for Further Food’s annual sugar detox challenge or right now, give it a try!
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