What Happened When I Gave Up Sugar For A Week


photo:Louise Roe


I am a sugar addict, so if you would’ve told me I’d be surviving a week without sugar, I would have laughed really hard.

But I also like a challenge. So when the girls asked me to take on this ”no sugar for a week” challenge, I was up for it.

My friends were convinced I could not do it. And with 1 event, a dinner party and a birthday last week, it became extra challenging. I became that girl that brought in her own sugar-free ketchup, ate sushi without soy sauce and drank vodka on the rocks instead of a delicious cocktail. I don’t cook, so I already could feel that it was going to be a really basic week in terms of food (and that is exactly what happened).

Curious how my week went? Read on!


I’m ready for this challenge. So I’ve planned exactly how I was going to survive the first day without refined sugar. I didn’t plan for a hot day in London, though. So I started my day with some mango pieces, a sugar free yogurt and a big glass of water. The girls brought ice cream to the CGD HQ, which I obviously couldn’t have. For lunch, I had a simple salad with parmasan cheese, tomatoes and lettuce (yes, without sauce!) and for dinner a vegan quiche (thanks to the best flatmate ever). So far, so good, this was easy!


OK! Not as easy as I thought. It is another hot day in London with no ice cream for me. I started the day with some fruit in yogurt and since I forgot my wallet and had no lunch with me, so the only thing I could do is order the most basic sushi from my favorite sushi restaurant (without soy sauce, since that contains lots of sugar).

Celina and I went to the ASOS HQ later that day and in their showroom is a snack corner (#OfficeGoals), but once again, I could not take any of that.

I had an energy crash. So I was really tired in the afternoon, which was a result of the heat and me not feeding my sugar addiction.

In the evening I went out for dinner with friends, where I had a salad with Salmon and a lot of veggies.


The day I realized that sugar is a real addiction and literally everything I eat contains non-natural sugars. From pasta and bread to salad dressings and ketchup. I know that this week is going to be a bit harder than I thought. I think I’m struggling today.

I got extremely tired in the afternoon again and was tempted to buy some chocolate to feed my sugar ”addiction”. But my friend stopped me from buying it (thanks, Ems!) and I had a big fruit salad for my late lunch instead. In the morning I ate flatbread with homemade hummus and Salmon (best ever!) which was quite filling.

For breakfast, I had a sugar free yogurt with 1/4 a pineapple and for dinner, I had boiled eggs with a caesar salad. It sounds simple and I know there are some delicious sugar-free meals I can cook. But because I am at work almost the whole day, I barely have time to cook and to be honest, never really feel like cooking when I finally get home.


On Thursday we do breakfast in the office, which means I had a whole avocado and a sugar-free yogurt as a first meal. I wasn’t hungry for the rest of the day, but had a vegan wrap from a food market for lunch and was so thirsty all the time so drank lots of water (another hot Summer day in London). In the evening we attended a Masquerade Ball from Revlon, where delicious cocktails and canapes were served and before I knew it, I had my hands on one of them. So far, I had been so good all week and could not resist those colorful drinks. And 1 cheat drink won’t hurt, right?


It is Cake Day in the office (Yes, I am crying inside) and all I can do is stare at them. I had my pineapples for breakfast and in the evening I was going to Vapiano for my favorite salad of all time (Grande Mista). For lunch, I had a delicious Persian box with eggplant and tomatoes.

I actually feel great today and although I felt a bit tired in the afternoon again, I do feel healthy and hope I can keep this up over the weekend.


A working from home day, which is always easier, because I am often too lazy to get up and make myself food. I made myself some flatbread with salmon and hummus again and had a big fruit salad for lunch. My friend came over early in the evening with a Summer vegetable bowl (and dessert, which I can’t have!). I got extremely tired in the afternoon, which I think, is my craving for sugar acting up.

Later that evening, I had a birthday party where I discovered my new fave drink:  (Yes, I am late to the party) Vodka Soda! Which is probably the healthiest cocktail ever.

I skip the traditional ”late night McDonalds” and give myself an earlyish night instead.


Another working day, which makes it easier for me to keep this up. I love drinking water most of the time and definitely don’t crave juices. It is more the regular foods like pasta, salad dressings and cheese that I miss.

I looked into the healthy, sugar-free alternatives today, because for some reason, I do feel more energetic and really want to keep this up.

Although, the challenge is over, I am still on the ”water only during the day” – habit. I have a healthier appetite and I don’t binge eat much (believe me, I used to have them a lot). Sticking to at least 3 meals per day is very important. You do get tired moments from time to time, because sugar gives you energy. But I do feel healthier and definitely, will try to eat less processed sugar than I used to do.

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  • dreamofadventures

    Good job! I am thinking about trying to give up carbs for a week and see how I feel. It does take a lot of pre planning especially since I cook at home but I’m up for the challenge after reading about your week =o)


    • Lois

      Pre-planning is definitely key and cooking at home probably can make it a lot less hassle as well.
      Good luck with your challenge, you can do it! x

  • Camille Beygui

    AWesome post

  • Yvonne Ashon

    Good for you.

  • Pia

    No offense, but to me it is not surprising that your energy levels keep dropping and that you are continuously craving sugary foods. Why? Because what you have been eating is not only far too little in terms of calories, but you’re also forgetting that carbs do NOT equal refined sugar. And when people are told to reduce their sugar intake it is refined sugar they mean, because restricting carbohydrates from whole foods (yes, I am talking whole grain rice, pasta, bread, fruit, and the like, all of which you are eating hardly any of) is about the worst thing you could do , seeing as carbohydrates are our bodies’ primary source of energy.
    In other words, while it is great that you want to eat more healthily, I do hope you start eating (a lot) more and focus more on eating plant based whole foods, as opposed to restricting and depriving yourself -for that definitely is neither healthy, nor sustainable :(

    • Lois

      Hi Pia,
      Many thanks for your comment and tips.
      Although I do agree with what you are saying, I do eat quite big portions when I eat (which I probably should have mentioned in the article) and in combination with it being 28 degrees, it was one of these Summer weeks where you just want to eat fruit, ice cream and salads.

      I normally eat lots of bread, pasta etc. and, actually, I stuck up on wholegrain pasta and made Zucchetti (best ever haha) over the past week. So going back to my ”normal” eating habits, just in a healthier way. xx

  • Monika Monika

    You ate almost nothing. Like surviving a day with breakfast of avocado and joghurt. This is not healthy. Your calory intake was like 700 pro day on some days. This was very unhealthy experiment.

  • Susan

    Cheese doesn’t have refined sugar in it and neither does meat! Maybe you’re some sort of sushi-eating vegetarian and didn’t make that clear. What about other vegetables: asparagus, broccoli, eggplant, squash, etc? No wonder you were tired. Your goal was admirable but your execution should not be held up as a model for anyone to emulate.

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