Thinking about quitting sugar? Get the low down from someone who has actually done it. I’ve bundled together everything you need to know about quitting sugar using the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program right here.
Why would you want to quit sugar?
The founder of the program Sarah Wilson says that when you quit sugar you can expect to lose weight, improve your health, say goodbye to bad skin, think more clearly, and have more energy. Sounds too good to be true…I thought so too!
You can read more about why I quit sugar here.
Hasn’t the I Quit Sugar Program shut down?
The weekly live, I Quit Sugar 8-Week program has shut it’s doors, but you can still quit sugar with the help of the I Quit Sugar Starter Pack (including the complete 8 Week program), available from the I Quit Sugar Store.
How does it work?
The program is structured to ween you off sugar. Week 1 is all about cutting back on the sweet stuff, so the meal plan still includes small amounts of fruit and natural sweeteners. The sucker punch doesn’t come until week 2 when the meal plan excludes all things sweet including fruit…eek! At this point you also up your intake of fats like coconut oil, avocado, nuts and full fat dairy, to keep you feeling full and curb your sugar cravings…more fat, yep seriously scary! At Week 6 a small amount of fruit, stevia and rice malt syrup (a glucose based sweetener) were reintroduced to see how your body and tastebuds cope with bringing a little sweetness back into your life.
Is it easy to stick to?
Sticking to the plan is pretty simple, but just like a girl scout… you need to be prepared. I found buying all my groceries on the weekend and the Sunday cook up really helped me stick to the plan. The recipes for the most part are quick and easy, and generally have tips for making them gluten free, dairy free, and paleo…yep everyone’s a winner! While Sarah Wilson and the I Quit Sugar team encourage you to try all the meals, they want you to enjoy the experience so substituting or replacing meals with other I Quit Sugar friendly meals is totes fine. This allowed me to work around a very fussy husband…think no soup, curry, seafood, yep he is generally just a pain in the butt when it comes to food, and a very busy work schedule.
Did it work?
If you have read the about me section of the website you would know that I quit sugar using the program about 5 years ago, and it changed my life!
Prior to doing the program I was a certified sugar addict. My standard weekend lunch was a coffee scroll…saving the icing for last because that was the best bit…and there were lollies and chocolates loads and loads of them.
Like many people I couldn’t just stop at a square of chocolate or a jelly snake, once I started I was a women possessed. So many times I would go to bed coming down from my sugar high, my tummy painful and bloated swearing I would never eat another sweet, only to repeat the whole process the next day. I knew something was wrong, but wasn’t sure how to fix it. Enter Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar 8 week program.
So what were my favourite parts of the program?
Holy Cannoli… not that I eat those anymore…I hardly know where to start!
The recipes on this program are the bomb.com! They are fresh, tasty and mostly fool proof, even for a lazy cook like me. Check out my Instagram feed for snaps of some of the meals from the program. I know that it looks like I am some chef extraordinaire, but most of these meals are on the table in half an hour or less. I just don’t have time for anything else, particularly during the week.
I have become so much more creative in the kitchen. Not only can I adapt almost any recipe so that it is sugar free, but I am confident enough to invent my own meals using my freezer stash, pantry staples and leftover veggies. In fact, it worked so well that I started this website to share all my new recipes and tips. And this is coming from a girl who previously relied on Mr Kantong, Mr Dolmio and Mr El Paso to help prepare all her meals.
I didn’t realise this at the time, but I used to think about food…a lot. Where was I going to get my next sugar hit? What was it going to be? Where would I get it from? Now I truly only think about food when I am hungry, I don’t count calories…I just eat!
I just don’t feel like sweets that often anymore. The recalibration part of the program really works. Having nothing sweet… yes including fruit…for five weeks allowed me to break my sugar addiction and shift my palate. Now foods like sweet potato, coconut and coconut oil are all I need when I feel like something sweet…I know you don’t believe me, but true story!
Not only do I feel great, my good cholesterol is through the roof and my skin looks a million bucks!
Clarity of Thinking
I used to have major brain fog, particularly in the afternoons, which is not ideal given my job as a lawyer. Well hallelujah the fog has lifted! I don’t exactly know how or when this happened, but my boss will be eternally grateful.
Becoming an Environmental Warrior
While I’m not quite at Sarah Wilson’s standard…yep she takes leftover food off other peoples plates (not that there is anything wrong with that)…I am now very conscious of food wastage. In my household finding ways to use leftover veggies could be a competitive sport! I am also more conscious of where my food comes from and try and shop local and sustainable whenever I can.
Did I crave sugar?
Honestly not really. The program is designed, especially to help you kick the cravings by increasing your intake of good fats and making sure you feel full all the time. On the odd occasion I felt like something sweet I would have a handful of I Quit Sugars Coco-Nutty Granola. You can get the recipe here…its aaaaaamaaaaazing!
Was my supermarket shop more expensive?
The first shop on the program includes I Quit Sugar staples such as rice malt syrup, coconut oil, raw cacao, chia seeds…in other words you are super food proofing your pantry. This shop was expensive, but rest assured these products are used regularly throughout the program and last for ages. Just think of them as investment pieces. You also don’t have to buy all the stuff at once. Although they appear on the pantry essentials list they are not all needed for the recipes in week 1. You could spread the load a little, by waiting to buy them when you actually need them for a recipe.
Was there anything I didn’t like?
Now let’s talk green smoothies. I actually like a green smoothie, it makes me feel like Miranda Kerr (note I didn’t say look). But no matter how many good fats I load them with…I’m looking at you avocado…they just don’t fill me up. While green smoothies do pop up on the program, they are not compulsory. The 8 week program recognises everyone is unique – with different thresholds and tolerances – everything in the program is an experiment which you can opt in or out of. Therefore, having oats instead of a green smoothie for brekkie is totally okay. This program is not about being a perfectionist ‘all or nothing’ dieter, but just eating real food. Who knew quitting sugar would that easy?
Did I lose weight?
Finally…the dreaded scales! Lots of people lose weight on this program… I didn’t. However, I should qualify this by saying I was in the healthy weight range for my height when I started the program. While I didn’t lose weight, my weight no longer yo yo’s, and I rarely get stomach bloating. When I started the program I was sooooo worried that upping my fat intake would make me… well um… fat. Well I’m here to tell you it doesn’t…18 months down the track I haven’t put on weight, my cholesterol is normal and I get to eat full fat yoghurt…does life get any better?
Being sugar free is a way of life for me now. Sure if I go to a fancy pants restaurant I might have a desert or a piece of pudding on Christmas day, but now it is on my terms. I eat it when I feel like it, which is rarely, and then get on with my sugar free life. The I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program has given me food freedom and I LOVE it!
You can read my top tips for sticking with the program here.
Have you quit sugar? I’d love to hear about how it changed your life! And if you decide to quit sugar, keep me posted so I can follow your journey.
Love this review! Once you quit sugar you can pretty much eat whatever you like… Freedom!
Hello my Dear friend Rani! Do I just had to get in board the Healthtrendstested band wagon. I had to check out your wonderful blog/ site. Your truly inspiring my friend. You work full time, the care of your hubby and doggie and your health plus blog! I found your story incredibly inspiring and share a lot of your health related goals and personal dreams. I think your fabulous and I adore your blog.
Awwwwww Leanne, thank you for checking out my blog and your kind words of support. I am so passionate about the ways we can use food to be happy and healthy, and I certainly think I have found a kindred spirit in you. The blog is my way of sharing what I love with others and gives me something to do at night other than watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians re-runs. Hope you continue to enjoy the blog!
I stumbled across your blog through Bree. (I went to high school with her).
I’ve been thinking of starting this for AGES but your review has given me the kick start I need!
I am so glad I could help. The program has been transformational for me in so many ways. I would love to hear how your going during the program, so keep in touch! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post!
So well written Rani, you explain it perfectly! X
Thank you so much Tracey!