Lessons from a 30-day No-Sugar Challenge

Rachael Phillips
6 min readAug 29, 2022

I did a 30-day no-sugar challenge… but it actually was more like 25 days and it made a HUGE difference for me! Since it made such a big difference, I thought I would share that with all of you in case you have the same issue that I do… SUGAR ADDICTION!

For years, since I was a child, I have been addicted to sugar. It has been a sickness that I have had a hard time ignoring. I love the taste, the way that it makes me feel and frankly, the smell. I am the type of person that would eat frosting by itself if I could, sometimes until I made myself sick. In fact, one time as a child I consumed 8 of those really good sugar cookies with the frosting from Wal-Mart that are clearly mass produced and probably made of plastic or something and threw them all up…yeah, I had a problem.

It really got to me when I went to visit one of my best friends on the East Coast. We ate so much food and desserts that I felt really bloated and bad about myself. Therefore, I wanted to do something about it and started doing some research on different ways to do a no-sugar cleanse or challenge.

I started by purchasing a juice cleanse from Amazon from the company Raw Generation. This was a good starting point, but I only did 2 days out of the 3 and it didn’t really taste very good and I was STARVING all the time!

As I was doing research, I found some documentaries and other videos about the horrors of sugar and stumbled upon That Sugar Movement, a company created by an Australian man named Damon Gameau. He is the founder of the company and made the documentary called That Sugar Film.

Damon Gameau

It was an eye opening and yet, not surprising documentary about this man who decided to eat 40 grams of sugar a day for 60 days straight and see what it did to his mind, body and soul. He did many medical and psychological tests before and after his 60-day experience. He discussed the effects of sugar from several experts in various fields and came to some pretty damning conclusions about having food deemed “healthy”.

When I saw that he had a 30-day kick sugar challenge, I chose to spend the 79 dollars to participate. The challenge consisted of spending 30 days eating 25 grams of added sugar or less…. no problem, right?!?!?

It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and after the roughly 30 days of this torture, this is what I found out about what happens when you stop eating too much excess sugar.

  1. My mood was much more regulated and therefore, my anxiety had minimized:

Since childhood, I have struggled with anxiety. From just being nervous to trying something new to a full blown anxiety attack where I can’t function for 3 days and am sick. I have dealt with a lot of it and therefore, I am always trying to find new ways to calm my nervous system down.

Doing this sugar kick challenge and not eating too much added sugars forced me to eat more natural foods that did not have a bunch of junk in them. I was eating mostly fruits, vegetables, meats and grains… what we all should be eating… and it was GREAT for my anxiety. Mainly because sugar is a drug and when you have some you peak…. and then you crash and then your body tells you that you need more… so you eat more sugar at that point and the cycle starts all over again.

In That Sugar Film, Damon talks to a psychology expert and is informed of this phenomenon of the sugar rush and then the sugar crash. She then continues to explain that a lot of the mental health issues in children these days could possibly be solved by having a less sugar intensive diet.

I knew this before I participated in the challenge, however, it wasn’t until I FELT the effects of it that I really understood the power that sugar has on our emotions. We spend so much time being mindless about our bodies and the affects of different substances that it is easy to let something go unnoticed. This had opened my eyes to one of the negative effects that sugar has on me…. that I can be much calmer without it.

Me during the no-sugar challenge

2. My skin was clear:

As a 31 year old woman, I still break out. I hate it and I am really bad about touching my face and messing with the little white heads, which of course spreads them around. So, of course I try to keep my face as clear as possible. While doing this challenge, I noticed that my face was a lot clearer. I also noticed that if I did get a zit or two, it would go away much faster than it normally does, even if I touched it. I try my best not to touch my face, but it is a bad habit of mine so I’m sure I touched it at least once.

It was awesome how little I broke out during this challenge and during the film, they discussed how sugar makes your skin break out. This is due to the insulin spike, which increases the production of oils in the skin, which then leads to your follicles and pores clogging up with sebum.

So, the bottom line is, if you have an acne issue, you could first try to help yourself by reducing your sugar intake down to 25 grams of extra sugars a day or less.

Me during the no-sugar challenge

These two things: reducing my anxiety/improving my overall mood and my skin being more clear were the main things that I noticed while I did this challenge.

There are multiple reasons why too much sugar is bad for people, especially at the speed in which we consume it. According to Heart Attack and Stroke Symptoms, the average American adult consumes an average of 77 grams of sugar a DAY and the American child consumes an average of 81 grams of sugar a DAY!!! The epidemic of over-consumption of sugar is HUGE and I hope that this article motivates you to protect yourself and your family from the evils of sugar.