10 Day No-Sugar Challenge

Try giving up sugar for 10 days and see how much difference it makes…you may be surprised by the results!

Quit sugar for 10 days for the perfect kickstart this year! Join the 10 day challenge to give up the sweet stuff. In just 10 days you can enjoy more energy, kick-start weight loss, have better sleep, glowing skin, no cravings, a clearer head and better moods.

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+ Why can't I eat fruit?

You can, if you want too and don't feel you can manage 10 days without it. Raw, fresh fruit contains the best form of sugar. However, it is still high in sugar and therefore we should not each too much of it. I always consider fruit to be the 'lazy' healthy option and your focus should be on vegetables. The ratio of vegetables to fruit in your 'five a day' should always be in favour of vegetables.

The idea of the challenge is to teach you how sugar effects your body so go easy on fruit and you will be amazed by the difference it makes to your waistline, your energy levels and the amount you bloat. If you decide you do need fruit during the challenge, stick to the following rules:-

  1. Eat in season as much as possible
  2. Avoid very ripe fruit as this has the highest sugar content
  3. Stick to two portions per day
  4. Eat fruit with protein and/or fat (nuts, yoghurt, nut butter) to slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream
  5. Berries are the best fruit to eat

If you decide to follow the 'no sugar' rules strictly then stick to sweeter vegetables to replace fruit snacks such as carrots, cherry tomatoes and red pepper.

+ Can I eat bread?

Processed bread (i.e. packaged supermarket bread) nearly always contains added sugar so you need to check your labels (the pictures below show a white loaf and a wholemeal loaf). The 'healthier' wholemeal loaf actually contains more sugar! These type of bread products should be avoided completely.

The other consideration when having bread is the wheat content. Wheat and wheat products turn to sugar faster than any other grain. Sugar turns into fat all over your body. If you want to see the best results then it is better to avoid bread and wheat all together.

Try replacing your usual bread with rye bread, sourdough bread, corn or rice bread. Or try other processed carbs which are ok such as; oatcakes and rice cakes.

+ What about pasta?

Just like bread, pasta is incredibly high in wheat. Wheat and wheat products turn to sugar faster than any other grain. Sugar turns into fat all over your body. If you want to see the best results then it is better to avoid bread and wheat all together. Wholemeal pasta, although better for you, it is still high in wheat.

If you really love pasta then you can look for the following pasta alternatives in the healthful aisle or store; vegetable pasta, rice pasta, corn pasta, millet pasta or buckwheat noodles. Otherwise simply swap your pasta with brown rice or quinoa.

+ How am I going to survive the sugar comedown?

  1. Make sure that all of your meals and snacks contain lean, good quality protein, including meat, fish, nuts and dairy products. Your body takes longer to digest protein and therefore feels fuller for longer.
  2. Just because you are cutting out sugar this doesn't mean you have to cut out snacks. You just need to make healthier choices. Regular snacking will help prevent an energy slump where you are likely to want something sugary. Try rice cakes, oat cakes, plain popcorn, crudités, hummus, guacamole, tzatziki, nuts, seeds, boiled eggs, cheese, peanut butter.
  3. Sugar cravings will last anywhere between 10-20 minutes so make sure you have an action plan to distract yourself, preferably something that involves moving.
  4. Drink plenty of water. This will help you stay hydrated and curb the sugar cravings quicker.

+ Does Prosecco have sugar in it?

Ok so this question was asked in jest but it's an interesting point. As far as I understand, although pure alcohol is not a sugar, once in the body it has the effect of a very simple sugar and hits the bloodstream very fast, making it the most fattening sugar of all.

Your liver is a fat-burning organ so when you have that large glass of Prosecco your liver is busy trying to process it and in the meantime forgetting to metabolise all those other calories you have consumed! For every drink you have, you're slowing down your metabolism and therefore your ability to burn fat.

That aside, most alcoholic beverages have added sugar as well. Beer, cider, white wine, alcopops, cocktails, milky liqueurs are all very high in sugar.

So for the duration of the challenge I'm sticking my neck out and saying absolutely no alcohol, without exception. If you are unable to go 10 days without alcohol then perhaps this challenge is not for you...

+ What do I drink?

Whatever you like as long as it hasn't got sugar (or sweetener) in it!

So hot chocolate, fruit squash, fruit juice and fizzy drinks are out. Most of your fluid intake during a day should be at least 2 litres of plain water, preferably bottled or filtered. If you are not drinking this already then why not? Being well-hydrated will help immensely with the inevitable headache as your body learns to live without the sugar.

And, if it helps, I will allow you to add a slice of lemon or lime to your water if it makes it easier to drink.

Other alternatives are green tea, fruit tea (yes this is ok) and coconut water. Of course this challenge is not about caffeine so you can have your normal tea and coffee...providing you do not add sugar to them. Cinnamon is a good substitute to add to hot drinks if you need to sweeten them up.