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I Quit Sugar For 30 Days And This Is What Happened

No added sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no fake sugars, no honey, no agave, no syrup, no joy.

Hi! I'm Arielle, and I'm addicted to sugar.

Upon clicking this article, you are here, I imagine, because of one of two things:

1. You too are interested in a sugar detox and want to know if it really helps with weight management, increased energy, fewer cravings, improved skin, etc.

2. You don’t understand how a human can do such a thing, so you’re curious to see how intense this form of self-torture is.

First, here's the lowdown on added sugar and why consuming beyond the recommended daily limit might not be the best.

So, besides the obvious, why did I decide to do this?

I was hoping to learn a few things from this experiment and adopt habits that I'll actually stick with.

Leading up to the days of the sugar detox, I behaved like what can only be described as a bear preparing for hibernation.

The day before the challenge:

Grocery shopping:

So, want to see what I actually ate? You can read my entire meal plan here and see my favorite recipes used here.

And now, I give you some highlights from my detox diary, in an attempt to show what it really feels like to eliminate all added sugar for 30 days.

Enjoy the roller coaster that is my life.

6 a.m.: "Welcome to hell, Arielle!" —my body and mind

7:30 a.m.: I am mid-workout, and just realized I am chewing gum, which has sugar alcohol in it.

12:15 p.m.: Basically every salad dressing known to man has added sugar in it, so I am eating a sad lunch with lemon juice as dressing.

11:15 a.m.: I feel like I've had a continuous headache for the past couple days and I hate everything.

1 p.m.: I went to make lunch after noticing I was literally shaking. I don’t know if it’s because I needed food or because of sugar. Maybe both.

3:05 p.m.: 😩

3:30 a.m.: I just had a dream about brownies. I am not joking.

12:30 p.m.: I am sad because our catered lunch looks amazing, but because I have absolutely no idea what is in the food, I am going with the safe option (salad).

5:05 p.m.: Sugar is the second ingredient in Wheat Thins. I am not surprised, but I am also dead inside.

9:30 a.m.: I’m actually feeling really good right now. My bloating has gone WAY down and I feel like I dropped some of the weight I gained from my bingeing episodes.

6:45 a.m.: SoulCycle, a supposed safe space, has an entire spread of bagels, muffins, cookies, brownies, and other sugary shit.

10:05 a.m.: As if the spread at SoulCycle weren’t enough, it is also "bagel Friday" at BuzzFeed. I don’t have super-strong cravings right now — which is nice — but I still want a French toast bagel, because obviously.

5:30 p.m.: I am being trolled at an end-of-the-week meeting.

Facebook: video.php

Every Friday, the video team has a meeting to go over shout-outs and standout pieces of content. When Tasty was up (a BuzzFeed brand that makes recipe videos optimized for Facebook), they showed a video for how to make a French-style apple tart, and one of the directions was to pour 100g of sugar into a bowl. I literally gasped out loud, and two people who know about my sugar detox started laughing. I was screaming.

10:30 a.m.: I went to see Logan, and my friend was eating candy. Even Hugh Jackman’s bulging muscles couldn’t distract me from the smell of Sour Patch Kids.

1 p.m.: When I went to brunch with my friends, to feel less ashamed about being on a sugar detox I told the server I had a bunch of dietary restrictions from my doctor.

11:15 a.m.: My energy is actually really good right now. I don’t know if it’s because I had a large amount of protein or what, but after HIIT (high-intensity interval training) or strength training, I usually crash around two or three hours later.

10:35 a.m.: My coworkers are currently talking in excruciating detail about various types of pie. Particularly Key lime pie, and how it is severely underrated.

I am not joking — at least 10 Instagram followers have sent me this photo:

3 p.m.: Now we are back to pie. BuzzFeed sent an email saying there is free pie in the canteen in honor of “belated Pi Day!”

2:18 p.m.: I’ve been noticing in general that my hunger levels have subsided pretty dramatically.

3:30 p.m.: "Free cookies on the 13th floor!"

5 p.m.: BuzzFeed is officially taunting me.

My will to live is getting stronger and I am craving less and less sugar.

So weird, but some foods actually taste sweeter to me now.

I've realized that I'm definitely not sleeping better, but I'm much more energized during my morning workouts.

I honestly haven’t craved much sugar at all the past couple days, but today I was personally victimized by challah bread.

11:15 a.m.: I kind of overloaded on fruit this morning and now I have a headache and an upset stomach.

Okay, it’s been 20 days and my skin is not any better.

I'm noticing that every week I'm buying fewer processed foods and more whole foods — while also saving money!

2:20 p.m.: There are currently Milk Bar birthday truffles on the free table and everyone around me is eating them and I want to die a little.

6:30 p.m.: Today we went bowling for a team outing and I swear I have never wanted a piece of pizza more in my life. Whyyyyy did I do this??

10:27 p.m.: Apparently I am a masochist because I am scrolling through Instagram, saw a cookie, and then decided to browse the tagged location, and look at 5 million other gooey circles of chocolate and sugar.

It’s getting easier to live without added sugar and I legitimately feel so much better.

4:46 p.m.: Everything was going swell, and then Alvin (our Tasty chef) went and personally attacked me. Exhibit A:

2:45 p.m.: Currently at brunch and the table next to us got the most bomb-looking French toast I’ve ever seen in my life. I am on the edge of grabbing a piece once they turn away.

10:49 a.m.: Alvin is ruining my day again.

I am at the finish line! But now I have extreme anxiety about reintroducing sugar.

3:30 p.m.: In true BuzzFeed fashion, they decided to torment me and laugh in my face by having birthday treat celebrations on my last day of this detox.

I’m done! I’m finished! I feel like a rock star! Honestly I want to try to keep this up and see what happens.

7:30 p.m.: Lol, I ate sugar today and now I am in the fetal position, feeling like I have literally been poisoned.

The Results

If you would like to follow my weight-loss journey and life post-detox, you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook.