What I’ve noticed since giving up sugar

Summer is filled with all kinds of sweet and sugary goodness. Fruity cocktails and syrupy blender drinks. Regular trips to the ice cream stand. Picnics, barbecues and family gatherings with desserts and carbohydrate heavy foods.

But after a couple months of indulgence, you might be starting to feel some effects. Perhaps your moods are all over the place. Maybe you’ve gained a few extra pounds around your belly. Or you’re craving a little treat every evening. Does any of this sound familiar?

I can totally relate. I used to have a huge sweet tooth and along with it came a whole host of digestive issues and sensitivities. I was bloated, had frequent yeast infections and headaches, got the flu and colds every few months, had low energy, and over time put on a few extra pounds.

I tried everything. I read diet and nutrition books. I sought out naturopaths, oriental and biological medicine, had Omega AcuBase testing, tried supplements and cleanses. I made changed my diet – cut out dairy and gluten, minimized processed foods, added in more veggies and switched to healthier sweet alternatives.

Some of my symptoms went away. But I was still craving sweets, ate a lot of fruit, and my weight wasn’t really budging.

I wondered if sugar was my problem. I started noticing my cravings and my thoughts about sweets. Dreaming about that gluten free cookie at the market. Needing to have desserts after dinner. Unable to resist sweets if they were in the house. Looking to sugary foods to comfort me when I was stressed.

In February 2014 my husband and I went to Costa Rica for a retreat on brain health. We learned more about the impacts of sugar on the body and the brain and gave it up for eight days. By the end of the week we knew this was the final step. We needed to give up sugar for good.

Opps, Michelle MacLeanI truly believe I was headed for continued health troubles and likely diabetes.

I finally feel like my digestive issues are clearing up, my constant headaches and brain fog are retreating and my weight has balanced out. Today, my diet is the best it’s ever been. I’m truly satisfied with food and no longer look for sweets to fill a void. I’m feeling great.

I do have sweets every once in awhile. And on special occasions I’ll likely order dessert. Especially my favourite Chocolate Tofu Pie at the Wooden Monkey. You can’t go through life restricting and thinking you are never going to have a sweet again. That would just be wrong. You can make healthier choices. Choice being the key word. You want to be in control of what sweets you eat and when, versus the sweets controlling you.

Here’s what I’ve noticed since giving up sugar:

Sugar makes you feel terrible – Until you actually give it up you won’t know how good you can feel. When you’re caught in the sugar cycle you get used to feeling like crap all the time. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can feel light, balanced, energetic and positive.

I don’t have cravings – I used to scrounge around my desk or bug my co-workers for anything sweet to keep me going through the afternoon. I needed a sugar fix. Now I eat three meals a day, rarely look for a snack, and eating after dinner is a thing of the past. The cravings simply aren’t there.

My energy levels have improved – At the end of the day I used to be done. Drained. Tired. Worn out. Evenings were spent watching mindless TV. Now my energy levels are consistent throughout the day. I exercise regularly and have the mental alertness to be active and engaged in the things I love to do.

I don’t get sick anymore – Did you know that sugar impairs your immunity? I used to notice two or three days after a sugar binge I’d get a cold or flu-like symptoms. I was always complaining about feeling sick. I’ve been on a good healthy streak for awhile and hope to continue strengthening my immune system.

My digestion is strong – For so long I suffered with digestive issues. No matter what I did, it was always off. Finally, the cramps and bloating are gone. I’m regular as clockwork.

My emotions are balanced – I used to think I was just a moody person. Cranky, sensitive, easy to set off. Up and down throughout the day. Now I know these were symptoms of the sugar. Days now are much smoother, balanced and joyful.

I’m really satisfied – I never feel deprived or like I’m missing out when it comes to food. I thoroughly enjoy the taste. It’s satisfying and nourishing on so many levels. And knowing I can have a treat when I want, is comforting.

If you are ready to let go of the negative impacts of sugar and want to start feeling great again, join me for my 8-Week Sugar Shift Intensive starting in October.


  1. Joann Chapman on October 7, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Michelle! Almost everything you describe is what is happening to me! I have lost weight and cut down on sugar in the past and I remember how great I felt. I remember having energy and just a general feeling of satisfaction. I remember feeling…well…just happy! Now I am struggling. I want to return to the place I was. I feel like I am taking my first steps there now.

  2. Jeanette MaLean on October 8, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    Anxious to get started on this adventure.

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