40 Days Unsweetened

For the 40 days from Feb. 22 until April 1, I won’t eat or drink sugar.

What the food am I doing?

To be more specific, I’m not going to consume any sweetened or naturally sweet foods for the next 40 days. I’ve arbitrarily set this limit at 5% sugar by mass, to eliminate things that seem okay. I set that limit when I realized that raw almonds have a few grams of sugar per 100g. Anything that I was already seriously doubting is probably out anyway. Fruit is out. Anything with “sugar” (or “glucose”, or “high-fructose corn syrup”, or even “stevia”) listed as an ingredient is out. “Diet” foods are out, because I already don’t consume artificial sweeteners.

An open mouth with a sugar cube between bared teeth.

Not until April.

The reason this is a 40 day challenge versus the typical 30 is that I was inspired to cut out sugar just before lent was due to start, and it seemed to go well with the theme of fasting. Also, while I started 30-day challenges last summer, I haven’t done one in awhile, so I thought I’d come back in strong. Then on April 1st I’ll also start a 30-day one (or will I?).

Why on eats would I do this?

  • Purely as a challenge. I successfully gave up chocolate last lent, and I’m quite a chocoholic normally. This is the next logical step up.
  • My health. Sugar is, well, not exactly the best food for one’s general health.
  • I tend to eat sugar compulsively, and I like proving to myself that I can break from my compulsions with enough conscious effort
  • It’s listed as the first step to adopting the Bulletproof Diet. I’m not a huge fan of diets, but what I like about the Bulletproof diet is that it’s a guideline rather than a rigid set of rules. All of us are following it, just some of us more than others. It also doesn’t involve calorie-counting or anything complicated. It’s essentially just “these foods are better for you than those foods. Eat more of these and less of those.”

Then what?

When I’m done, sugar will no longer be blacklisted, but I hope to avoid a sudden resurgence into stuffing my face full of sugar. I figure if I allow myself to eat lots of extra-dark chocolate, that will help with my desire to gorge on sweets.

For those of you who see me in real life, hold me to this!

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