How Cutting Out Sugar Changed my Body and my Skin
Did you know that dermatologists actually recommend a low sugar diet? I knew this, but I alway just kind of thought that meant junk food causes break outs. I cut out sugar for two full weeks and it completely changed my skin and my body.
Last year I was told by a doctor that I have Leaky Gut Syndrome. In simple terms it basically means what I am eating is going into my bloodstream and causing me to feel allergic to things that aren't necessarily bad for me. Now I don't mean allergic as in hives. I mean it as terrible stomach aches and getting sick when I eat. The solution for me to heal my gut was to avoid the foods that had already entered my bloodstream (even if they're good for you) and cut out sugar. They basically put me on the Keto diet, which is high fat low carbs, but more restricted.
About 6 months before all this I had gone through a really rough time with my health. In the course of 2 months I had gone through tonsillitis, ovarian cysts, and an appendectomy, After my surgery I couldn't move without being in extreme pain because they had cut open my stomach in 3 places to get my appendix out. I didn't realize how much I used my stomach until I couldn't. Because of this I sat on the couch for a month straight. I didn't have a choice. Eventually when I was up and active again I realized I had put on a lot of weight. I assumed it was from being inactive at first. But not long after I started to question it. My body didn't feel like it had added fat. I just felt puffy. There was a difference between fat and bloating and I felt it. I felt like my whole body was unhealthy. I want to make it clear that I was not concerned with losing weight for the sake of being thin. I was concerned because something felt wrong with my body.
Eventually I found out about my leaky gut and how that could be contributing to the puffiness I was experiencing. They told me to cut out sugar 100%. Not in moderation, not a little at a time, but fully. Cold turkey. It was hard. I won't lie to you. I thought it would be easy because I wasn't a huge junk food eater. I was wrong. Sugar is sneaky. It is in everything. I had to stop eating pasta and bread because they convert into sugar. I couldn't have orange juice or bananas. It was shocking that things that I saw as healthy, like fruit, could be so damaging to me.
Over the first few days I was tired and felt sick. I was getting chills and other symptoms you would associate with the flu or a drug detox. And that is exactly what it was for me, a detox. I had no idea I had a sugar addiction until I couldn't have it. After several days I started feeling better and I realized that I wasn't having cravings. That was a huge step up from me crying over a box of KIX in my first couple days. Then the benefits started happening. My skin was clearing up and my puffy swelling was going down. I lost 13lbs in a month. I didn't even know I had 13lbs of fluff! And it was just as I had thought. It wasn't fat, it was inflammation.
Outside of the inflammation weight drop there were many benefits. I felt healthier, I had more energy, I slept better, you name it. But you guys know clear skin is my number one goal. I have struggled with skin issues for many many years and I always wished I could have clear skin. Well while I was doing this my skin wasn't just clear, it was GLOWING. People were stopping me to ask what I use and what my secret was. It honestly changed everything. Less acne, scars were diminishing, more moisture. Don't ask me the science behind it but I am living proof that it works.
After two weeks I was going through something in my personal life and I went back to eating Pop Tarts and frozen pizza. Two of my staples before I had given them up. At first it was in moderation, which kept my progress stable for a while. Eventually I was completely back to my old ways and it wasn't until yesterday that I committed to cutting out sugar again. I know for me I have to go all or nothing. Some people can slowly decrease their intake or just have a low sugar diet instead of a no sugar diet but that just doesn't work for me. So here I am trying it again. This time though, I am not committing to it for a year like the doctors wanted me to. I am committing to a day. One day at a time. If I can make it through today that's just more motivation to make it through tomorrow. And if I mess up, that's ok. This doesn't have to be a complete lifestyle change. I am just trying to improve in any little way I can.
I would suggest a low sugar/ no sugar diet to anyone but as with all things related to our health consult your doctor before making any major decisions. Our bodies are all different so what works for one person could be harmful to another. If you are already doing Keto or any other low sugar diet I would love to hear about your struggles and victories. Please feel free to leave comments with further questions. And don't forget, diet is only one part of it. Proper skincare is important too. Click here to read more about that.