The Sugar Free Diaries

The Rules are pretty simple

  • No added sugar
  • No added Fructose or Glucose
  • Natural sugars are okay

I’ve got to be honest when I signed up to go without sugar for 2 weeks I was dubious that I would actually be able to do it, I thought I know myself too well there will come a moment when I buckle and have a piece of bread or a wee cheeky biscuit. Turns out maybe I didn’t know myself that well after all – but here I am on the evening of day 14 and no added sugar has crossed my lips. I am actually genuinely really chuffed with myself tonight.

Although it didn’t start out well with searing headaches and lots of nausea it came right pretty quickly and I started to feel great when the benefits started to show through. As soon as the benefits started to appear the reasons not to be tempted back to the sweet side started stacking up….I am less lethargic, I have more energy, I feel more focused, I’ve lost 7.5lbs and my skin is definitely softer. I find it all so shocking because I ate pretty healthy before going sugar-free the only different is I have cut out processed food.

Lots of people have commented that they could never do this and that they need a sugar hit too much and the truth is you do, but if you can just fight through the cravings and crap for a few days you will find that don’t need it and you’ll feel so much better for it. I now don’t crave sugar at all….do I still want a cake/biscuit/dessert? Of course I do, I am a food blogger it is in my blood to seek out delicious food but I don’t need it anymore. I have discovered that I am absolutely capable of saying ‘can I just have a latte please’ when a waitress asks if I would like a dessert and I am able to walk out of a supermarket with nothing sugary in my trolley.

Believe me if I can do this so can you…fight the first few days and you’ll not regret it.

Top Benefits That I have found

  1. Lost half a stone
  2. More energy
  3. Less lethargic
  4. Reduced appetite
  5. Softer skin
  6. Feel more focused
  7. Brighter eyes
  8. Lost inches off my measurements
  9. Food is tasting better….fresher
  10. Best of all…..I’m Proud of Myself.

Here are my top 10 tips to trying sugar-free

  1. preparation is key – make sure your fridge and cupboard are stacked with SF goodies
  2. Avoid everything processed – don’t even bother looking it all has lots of added sugar
  3. Plan your meals for the day – don’t get caught hungry cause that’s when you’ll want to cave the most
  4. Drink water – Lots of water! I am drinking about 2 liters a day now
  5. Visit your local butcher/cheesemonger/fishmonger these people are well-educated in their fields and can help
  6. Make soup – it’s a great filling lunch
  7. Find a bite size snack that works for you – for me it was oatcake, Ryvita and breadsticks
  8. Don’t sit and think about it for those first few days stay active
  9. Tell your friends and family believe me it will only help to have people support and keep an eye on you
  10. Keep a food diary – it helps to find the meals that work best for you

 

I can’t believe it’s day 13 already, the 14 days have passed really without major incident or issues. In the passed few days I have discovered a few things that are happily sugar-free – basically anything made in a butchers…. including square sausage which was a most exciting discovery. I also discovered that Waitrose sausages don’t have added sugar (surprisingly!) so for dinner tonight I had sausage and mash with gravy which was insanely good.

Today I had an order for 50 cupcakes which was surprisingly easy and untempting. The hardest thing is I normally taste everything to make sure it is up to my standard, I got round this by smelling every thing – now I know this may sound weird but it actually worked.

So tomorrow is my last official day on the Sugar Fast and I would say I am looking forward to the end of my sugar-free diet and am planning a huge blow out on Wednesday but the truth is that Wednesday will very much be like tomorrow….Sugar Free!

Days Positives

  • Sausages – say no more!
  • Butchers are a great source of sugar-free goodies
  • Baked without wanting to eat any of it

Days Negatives

  • I’m a bit worried about not being about to stay strict after the 2 week period.

I am pretty much just going to post every other day now because I am getting boring – everything is fine and I am still easily coping with the sugar-free diet. I  still feeling great and less lethargic which is perhaps the biggest benefit to myself. Well, other that the 6.6lbs I have lost since starting the fast, that is definitely the best benefit..still shocks when I think nearly half a stone in 11 days.

I ate out last night again at The Richmond and yet again the staff looked after me checking packets themselves to ensure I am able to stay on my diet…all the restaurant staff I have encountered have been really fantastic.

I am slightly surprised by how many people are impressed by this because after those first 3 days I have found the whole thing surprisingly easy….although I have impressed myself a bit with my will power. Just shows if I set my mind to it I am capable of doing it – it’s always nice to realise something new about myself.

Happy days – I don’t want to tempt fate and I really hope I don’t plateau but I am still coasting. Boring I know 🙂

Days Positives

  • I am coasting
  • Not lethargic
  • It really is pretty easy once you get started

Days Negatives

  • Posts are getting super boring now!


Sorry I didn’t manage to post a day 8! Last night I was at my first ever Yelp Elite Event, it’s fair to say I was bouncing of the walls on delicious caffeine by the time I got home and couldn’t face writing a blog.

So, here we are on day 9 – Already, I can’t believe it!!!

Everything over the last few days has been absolutely fine, no issues or problems. I am pretty much churning through the days without any cravings. Don’t get me wrong if I see something that looks delicious I still want to eat it, but isn’t that always the way when you are on any kind of diet.

In my first 7 days on the sugar-free diet I lost a whopping 5.5 lbs in total….this figure to me is utterly gob-smacking. I am sure this will even out a little in the next few week cause that is a seriously unhealthy amount of weight to lost in 7 days…..oh! who am I kidding? I would be over the moon to lose about again 5lbs this week. 🙂

My neighbour who knew I was doing the sugar fast commented today that she thought my skin looked really fresh and my eyes look much brighter….now I amn’t sure if that is true but I had read that it’s not uncommon on a sugar-free diet for the whites of your eyes to become whiter.

A good few days & I loved my first Elite Yelp event they are a lovely bunch!

Days Positives

  • Another Restaurant where you can eat sugar-free – Ketchup
  • Skin & Eyes looking fresher
  • 5.5lbs lost in 7 days

Days Negatives

  • So much tempting food at the Yelp Event
  • Missed Day 8 – bad blogger!

 

Well week 1 is officially done! I feel like I’m coasting a little bit now and keep waiting for something to go horribly wrong. Again today I have had no real withdrawal symptoms – I was constantly hungry today and wanted eat the whole day but I wasn’t really looking for a sweet hit just food in general…I’m putting this down to a hungry horse day and hoping for better tomorrow 🙂

I will be doing a weigh in tomorrow morning to I can get a total of how much weight I have lost in my first sugar-free week, and will let you guys know tomorrow night on here. Remember tho it is also part of a calorie controlled diet – I’m not going crazy on nuts, cheese and fried foods. I’m still monitoring my fat intake and hoping to gradually up the protein and reduce the fat….but this can be done over time.

So end of week 1 and I am feeling fine and so far would encourage everyone to give it a try….after watching the Dispatches program last night about sugar and reading various articles it is SO dangerous to our general health. We all need to get a grip of our sugar addiction fast.

Days Positives

  • I’m Feeling Good, with no symptoms
  • Excited to see how much I have lost tomorrow and to retake my measurements.

Days Negatives

  • Couldn’t stop eating today
  • Still watching fat intake

Well I’m nearly at the half way point and I have to be honest it is getting pretty easy to make good choices. The only thing I craved today was some mashed potato and gravy – which I was able to have at dinner time cause there is no added sugar.

I’m feeling more energized and not nearly are lethargic as I normally do by early evening. I have also started to notice a difference in the texture and feel of the skin on my face – this many sound daft but it is definitely feeling softer.

Also today I’m absolutely loving that a few people have told me they have been inspired and are now trying out a Sugar Free diet. I think it’s great that something that started as a small project for a journalist and to help kick-start my weight loss has resulted in a few people looking at their own diets.

Shocker of the day was discovering that my favourite pre-packed sliced beef had added sugar due to the mustard crust – it was half way to my mouth when I thought ‘hmmmm, I never checked this – I better’ and I am so glad I did.

Days Positives

  • Feeling Energised
  • Skin feels softer
  • Inspiring people to try this diet out themselves is making me super happy.

Days negatives

  • Sugar in Cold Meat?? Genuinely nothing is safe
  • I’m getting boring now cause I am quite happy on this new diet 🙂

I’m hating to sound like a bit of a bore but it’s day 5 and I’m feeling good. I’ve had absolutely no cravings at all today – in fact I had some homemade Bolognese at lunch time which  had no added sugar but because it was tomato based  tasted so sweet. It was actually quite sickening towards the end of my portion. This is a recipe I eat regularly and it has never tasted even slightly sweet before.

After visiting the Hydro tonight to watch Top Gear Live (which was awesome) I popped into Panevino for a bite and they managed to sort me out with a sugar-free menu. There was a bit of a disaster with the started, I asked for their delicious Carpaccio – I asked for it to be only  dressed in olive oil but there was a drizzle of Balsamic glaze over the beef which is loaded with sugar. Fortunately my husband ordered the sugar-free soup and he was happy to do a quick swap.  For my main I had a crazy good fillet with an undressed Rocket and Parmesan side salad. I do feel like a really awkward customer because I basically redesign my meal when I order but they were really good about it….plus I tip well 🙂

Big shocker of today was Oxo cubes, in fact all beef & chicken stock which has added sugar….really is nothing safe from an infusion of the dreaded white power?

Days Positives

  • No cravings at all
  • Ate out sugar-free again
  • I discovered I can drink lattes with no sugar

Days negatives

  • No mince & tatties cause all beef stock had added sugar
  • Had to swap my delicious starter because it was covered in Balsamic Glaze…grrrr!

Glasgow Food Geek

Well I have to say that day 4 has been pretty successful!

Today I only had a very small slight craving in the afternoon and that is it! No Headache, No Sickness and No Tiredness. I would say I actually do feel a little healthier and energised today…thanks goodness.

There were a couple of highlights today – I decided to treat myself with a lovely smoked cheese from George Mews on Byres Road which is absolutely delicious, I do love a smoked cheese. Also tonight I was brave enough to try eating out, I decided that The Richmond was my safest bet. I know they do a very nice Caesar Salad which I could have chosen (minus the dressing obviously). In the end I went for the Red Lentil & Chickpea soup, which was lovely and curry like. Then I ordered the ribeye steak and some sweet potato chips which were gorgeous. It proves that it is becoming easier to make healthy choices in restaurants and still have amazing meals. The only difficult part was refusing the Peanut Butter and Chocolate cheesecake because I REALLY love that combo, but I did manage and opted for my first ever sugar-free latte and it was perfectly drinkable.

Today was the first time I have seriously thought I could definitely continue with this diet change and be okay about it, which was quite a nice thought.

My first big shocker of the day was discovering that Turkey Rashers have added sugar – Really, is there no processed food that doesn’t have added sugar? I am yet to find one. Second big shocker of the day – since Wednesday morning I have lost a whopping 4.5 pounds. I haven’t cut my calorie intake in any way only what I am eating….amazing right?

Days Positives

  • Losing 4.5lbs in 3 days – AMAZING!!!!
  • Ate out sugar-free
  • No symptoms

Days negatives

  • Turkey Rashers are off my diet
  • Having to refuse Peanut Butter & Chocolate dessert

Day 3 completed with success – Yay! Today hasn’t been anywhere near as bad as yesterday. My only slight problem today was I felt sick every time I finished eating, but it passed fairly quickly.

I made some split pea soup because it is really difficult to find a canned soup that’s not loaded with sugar….yet another shocker to me. I think there are a few brands which are sugar-free but I couldn’t find them. Plus it is much nicer and healthier to make my own. The recipe was one of my Mother in Laws favourites so it is always nice to make a batch.


I had a moment today where I had to internally bitch slap myself. I was having another little treat of poor mans Banoffee Pie and I thought to myself – ‘Wow! oatcake really do taste just like digestive biscuits’ What?? No! they don’t in any way they are a tofu version of a sausage at best. Still it’s nice to get a little bit of something which reminds me of a treat.

Speaking of treats this weekend I would imagine will be quite difficult because Saturday is traditional ‘Treat Day’. There will definitely be no cake or Chinese take away tomorrow night but I am thinking about taking a wander to the local Cheesemonger (I’m a west end girl – I have not 1 but 2 local cheese shops!) To maybe get a tiny piece of smoked cheese to have a little something nice tomorrow evening.

So far I am not really feeling any different or more energised – but I am hopeful it will happen soon!

Days Positives

  • Not as Tired Today
  • Headache is lessened a little
  • Made a delicious batch of home-made soup

Days negatives

  • Still aware of Increased Fat intake
  • Still have a feeling of wanting something sweet after dinner
  • Bouts of Nausea

Sugar Free Diary
Well day 2 did not get off to a flyer when I woke up with a bumping headache, this was joined at about 11am by a serious case of nausea. I am putting this down as the first day of serious withdrawal and man it seriously sucks. This should be a warning to all young people, if you are thinking about taking drugs don’t – the withdrawal is so not worth it!

I can’t quite make up my mind if I am missing sweet or the thought of a treat, I have these really intense cravings for sugar and can literally imagine biting into a Cottonrake White Chocolate & Raspberry Tart. I’ve thought about them so much today that I could talk you through every vivid stage of how if would taste. I am learning thought that I actually do have some serious will power when I set my mind to it.

My biggest concern today is I am eating a LOT of fat – I use the My Fitness Pal app to keep a food diary and I am eating lots of – cheese, eggs & olive oil which is not going to do my diet any favours at all. I am still coming in below 1700 cals a day but my fat intake is going to be something I keep an eye on in the next few days.

All in all it’s not been a great day for me – my nausea has subsided but I am feeling seriously tired and hoping that this phases passes quickly and my renewed sense of well-being kicks in soon…..very soon!

Days Positives

  • I managed to get soup from my fav soup spot cause they don’t add sugar
  • Banana & Oatcakes take like poor mans Bannoffe Pie
  • I’m not missing bread

Days negatives

  • Increased Fat intake
  • Nausea & Headache all day
  • Really Tired


Well it’s officially started! Today is my first sugar-free day I think probably since I started on solids when I was a baby.

The rules are simple I can have sugar as long as it is naturally in the food and not an added extra – this included avoiding glucose & fructose. I am sure the trick to completing the 14 days is going to be lots of home cooking because I can’t find 1 processed meal with no added sugar. Even low-calorie meal include as much as 11g of sugar per 100g – that means 11% of the meal is sugar. ELEVEN! in a low cal meal – WHAT??

This evening has been mentally quite tough not to reach for something sweet,because I am a firm believer than sweet follows savoury – trying to break that instinct I think will one of the hardest challenges to over come.  Other than that I’ve not had any major effects, I’m just a little more tired than normal and have a bit of a headache (which isn’t something I suffer from often)

Days Positives

  • Day 1 done
  • Oatcakes may be my saviour
  • turns out I quite like fruit tea

Days negatives

  • Bad cravings
  • shocked by the foods with added sugar – even smoked salmon
  • headache

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(6) Comments

  • janine
    January 15, 2014 at 9:22 pm

    Go Pammi! Show us it can be done xxxxx

  • Shaz
    January 16, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    I’d love to do this but I’d die without my cuppa tea! I’m shocked at smoked salmon!

    • Glasgow Food Geek
      January 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      I must admit I’m struggling without my caramel latte too. I thought I’d be quids in with smoked salmon but there is brown sugar in the cure mix so it’s a no go 😢

  • Fraser Boag
    January 20, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    Definitely agree with doing this! I used to be totally addicted to Coke (and various other sweet treats), then completely cut sugar out of my diet about 4 months ago and really haven’t looked back. I’m sleeping better and getting less tired throughout the day since doing it, I guess because your body has a lot less ups and downs.

    The good thing is that, once you get it out of your system, it gets to the stage where you can trust yourself a bit better not to binge on the stuff, so you don’t have to be completely cold turkey and can have the occasional treat. It’s a much easier way to live life than trying to cut it out altogether because, as you say, sugar is almost unavoidable! 🙂

    • Glasgow Food Geek
      January 20, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Its been an amazing few day Fraser, I’m discovering some seriously disturbing things about the foods that sugar is hidden in – it’s literally everything that a company had had a hand in producing. I’m feeling good now tho and still really surprised how quickly I have gotten passed the craving (I just hope it continues)

      I think in the future I will absolutely try to continue the diet when I am at home but if I go out to eat and I want a burger I’ll have a burger – I’m shocked tho by how easy it could be to maintain a pretty similar diet and it not effect my life too much.

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