The story of New York Times bestseller Sarah Wilson and I Quit Sugar.
In January 2011, journalist, author and entrepreneur Sarah Wilson quit sugar. It started as an experiment, but her energy, skin and wellness improved so much, she just kept going. And going. And feeling better and better. From this journey, I Quit Sugar was born.
For years, Sarah had been told by specialists and nutritionists that she should stop eating sugar. She has an autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s, a disease that attacks the thyroid and mostly affects women over 40) and sugar flares the condition terribly. Some even argue sugar causes the disease in the first place. Anyone with a compromised system simply cannot afford to have their stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), their neurotransmitter levels (dopamine) or their insulin levels tipped off balance by sugar. It’s a hard, cold, but oddly motivating fact.
One week, Sarah was short of a topic for the column she wrote in a Sunday newspaper magazine. She committed to a fortnight off sugar, to see how it went. The effects were immediate so she shared her story with the readers in the magazine and on her blog (sarahwilson.com). I Quit Sugar dominoed from there.
At the time, Sarah was addicted to sugar, although (like many of us!) she convinced herself she ate “healthy sugars”: honey in chai tea, dark chocolate every afternoon and sweet treats after dinner.
Does your day look something like this?
- A generous handful of dried fruit on muesli or in porridge.
- Low-fat yoghurt.
- A teaspoon of honey in tea.
- A glass or two of fruit juice.
- A small (35g) bar of dark chocolate after lunch.
- Dinner with lush tomato or Asian sauce.
- And, after dinner, honey drizzled on (low-fat) yoghurt (or a dessert if out with friends).
In a conservative day you can rack up more than 25 teaspoons of added sugar.
Added or “free” sugars are those added to processed foods, as well as fruit juice, dried fruit and fruit concentrate. And added sugar is added sugar, whether it comes from a beehive or a sugarcane field.
For Sarah, it was time to face the facts. Sure, the other ingredients mixed in with the sugar in, say, a Thai stir-fry, are good for you. But the chemical composition of sugar – whether from dried mango or a Mars bar – remains the same. And it’s highly addictive.
Enough was enough.
To get off the roller-coaster of sugar highs and lows, and escape her obsession with the next fix, Sarah
eliminated sugar. Just to see… A gentle experiment, if you will.
If you’ve tried quitting sugar you’ll know that questions abound. What do you do when you get the 3pm slump? How do you cope when out with friends? How do you reward yourself after a tough day?
How do you deal with the fact that everyone around you suddenly feels threatened by the decision? Why is everyone so attached to sugar?
Sarah went through it all. But today she is still off the sugar. And IQS sprang from there. First a column, then a blog; a Facebook group, then an online 8-Week Program.
Today the reactions people have to the extended experiment are different.
Mostly, they are genuinely curious to try it for themselves. They’ve heard about the studies that show sugar is as addictive as cocaine, and the ones that link our over-consumption of the stuff to modern diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.
And, of course, they’ve read about the research that links sugar to obesity. We’re eating less fat than ever before, we take out more gym memberships than ever before, but we’re only getting bigger and bigger.
Could it be that sugar is making us fat… and sick?
To date, more than 1.2 million people have quit sugar with I Quit Sugar, through the original website, books, eBooks and online 8-Week Program. IQS books sell in more than 45 countries around the world.
So why does it work? Well, it’s not a diet and it doesn’t come with a gruelling bootcamp-ish exercise regime. But pretty much everyone who’s completed the Program has lost weight from cutting out this one ingredient.
And, more importantly, they say they end up feeling brighter, clearer, and much nicer to be around! Sound good? Read more about the 8-Week Program and see whether it could work for you.
Are you ready to transform your life and quit sugar for good?
Join us on our next 8-Week Program, starting soon!