The Unexpected Side Effects of Going Sugar Free

Well, kids and campers—we’re two months in to my glorious experiment of avoiding sugar at all costs. And by glorious, I really mean: a hellscape from which I cannot escape unless I succumb and wolf down an entire box of PopTarts—packaging and all.

Going without sugar/sweeteners/starches for the past 60 days has caused me to bitch and complain a lot. Far more than usual. I never really realized what a mental crutch my sugar addiction was. I could deal with any major problem in my life by swinging by the cupcake place near Casa Mackie on my way home. Now I’m learning to process things and deal with them accordingly—sans frosting. (True story—there’s a liquor store right next to the stupid cupcake shop. I now drive the long way around to get to my house.)

Despite all my incessant irritability, I have been experiencing a lot of unexpected side effects once sugar stopped coursing through my system. Most of them I didn’t sign up for—they just happened. And it’s a quirky lot. 92.5% are beneficial to my overall health. I like to think of them as unforeseen bonuses. (Or “added value” if you’re in the advertising industry.)

For one, my hair has started growing like a weed. I would faithfully see my stylist around the three week mark. Now it’s every 10-12 days or I start looking scruffy and unkempt. “What is with your hair?” asked my stylist. “It’s actually getting thicker. Same goes for your beard.” Oh, and it’s not just the hair on my head, mind you. I’ve had to ratchet up my manscaping and overall grooming a couple notches. Who knew I even had that much nose hair? Clearly, eating clean means I’m getting more vitamins and minerals which is helping my non-luxurious locks appear luxurious.

Not to brag or anything, but I haven’t had a zit, blemish or breakout for the last month or so. No patches of itchy, uneven skin or pesky jock itch either. (TMI, I know.) Whatever the case, my skin seems to be the biggest winner in this experiment.

Zzzzzzzzzz. My sleep has been jaw-droppingly productive. Or unproductive, if you were. Instead of the dreaded 3pm slump, I now go to bed at a reasonable hour and fall asleep easily. In the morning, I pop out of bed with vim and vigor and—per the norm—an overwhelming urge to pee. I’ve always been a morning person, but now I’m like an overambitious meerkat ready to seize my day.

I. Am. Always. Hungry. There’s never a point in my day when I’m not completely ravenous. It’s disconcerting how much I obsess over food now that I can’t eat a majority of it. Sure, I can snack—but almonds and celery only go so far. Giving up carbs meant giving up that overall contended feeling of being full. Honestly, I still miss the “food coma” sensation. Old habits die hard.

My libido is slowly but surely making a resurgence. The old me would always choose a cookie over nookie. Now that sweets are off the table, it’s been interesting to watch what it’s doing to my sex drive. I’m not 18 years old again or anything, but it’s definitely put a bit more pep in my step.

And finally, because you are all dying to know—yes, the weight loss continues. I’m down 22lbs with regular exercise. But, again—that was never the goal in all this. The goal was to see if I could successfully maintain a sugar-free lifestyle throughout 2019. Well, so far, so good. Lord knows I’ve been inclined to cheat, but, to date, I haven’t slipped. My biggest temptation? It remains any sort of sugary, foo-foo coffee drink. Forget bakeries—coffeeshops will someday be my downfall.

7 thoughts on “The Unexpected Side Effects of Going Sugar Free

  1. I am so proud of you. I think I need to try this. As I sat down my sugar-free hazelnut coffee creamer coffee. With Stevia, mind you.

  2. Congrats on two months. I went 5 months last year, lost 32 lbs. What are your thoughts about your mental clarity. For me, when I give up sugar, all of the other side effects are great, but what impresses me most is my sudden ability to really concentrate on things. Without noticing anything shiny! I become much more productive!

    I am stealing your meme about sugar being poison.

    Thanks!

  3. You are one brave (even if a self-described irritated and constantly ravenous ) man! Kudos oh thou sweets warrior!! And s for your continued fight against the frosting and the frou-frou!

  4. You really should not be hungry! Eat more – but overload your body with amazingly good, healthy food like huge leafy salads, greens, spinach, kale, tomatoes, carrot, eggs. Make sure you get lots of healthy fats like avocado, butter, fish, olive oil, cheese.. Eat a huge salad of this stuff everyday and you won’t be so hungry 🙂

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