Behavior ChangeMindsetNutritionUncategorized

The Sugar Experiment

By January 7, 2011 25 Comments

Blog submitted by Carrie, a contributor to

How did you manage the holiday food and sweet onslaught? Well, I didn’t do great, but then again I’ve done much, MUCH worse. For the most part I’ve got my meal choices back on track, but I’m having trouble with managing the sweet snacking. Since I started allowing myself the sweets again before Christmas, I am again craving them. What is it about sweets that often when I start it feels almost impossible to stop? One answer lies in another contributor’s blog.   Sugar is scarily close in composition to cocaine…makes you think about why sugar seems to be so addictive! Aside from craving sugar when you consume it regularly, it may also cause other affects in your body.

My last semester of college I took a nutrition class in which the professor had us do an interesting experiment relating to sugar in our diets.  We were not to eat any sugar or refined sugar for two weeks. This meant not consuming “sweets” or any foods that had sugar or high fructose corn syrup listed in the first five ingredients (on food labels, the ingredients are listed with the ingredient in the greatest amount first with subsequent ingredients in descending order). In addition, we were to document daily how we felt during this two week period. At the end of the two weeks, we could bring anything we wanted to class to eat, then document how we felt after eating that item.

At that time in my life I knew nothing about high fructose corn syrup, but I was floored when I started to read labels on foods I consumed regularly and found it as an ingredient. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, bread, juice. I was consuming sugar in places I never expected. I remember the first week being very difficult, but then it got easier and I didn’t crave my “old” foods. And, surprisingly, my daily headaches were getting better!! As this was my last semester of college, I was extremely stressed about finding employment after graduation, which I had assumed was the cause of my headaches. As I discovered during that two week experiment, the headaches had more to do with my sugar intake. At the end of the two weeks, I chose to bring candy corn to class to eat. By the end of the hour and a half class I had a blistering headache! Lesson learned!!

Since I’m having trouble with sweets and cravings, I thought this would be a good time to try the “Sugar Experiment” again. I’m hoping this will flush that want for sugar out of my system and get me on track for the start of 2011! Are you struggling since the holidays to stop with the constant sugary snack? Why not take two weeks and try the “Sugar Experiment” with me? You most certainly will get the cravings under control, and you might discover that sugar is the cause of some other ailments.

Did you know there are over 50 names for sugar?  Click hear to check out a post Dustin did about the different names.

I’ll let you know how I did after two weeks. If you decide to try this, I’d love to hear how it went for you, too.