This challenge is officially closed. Thanks to everyone who participated, and please stay tuned for the next challenge!

Welcome to the Third Sugar-Free Challenge Homepage!

Everyone has loved the first and second challenge, and now it is time to kick it up a notch to create a New Year’s Resolution Challenge! This challenge will be a bit different because it is longer, has the option of an exercise challenge, and starts with a “break the habit” phase.

Here’s the Challenge:

“Don’t eat any sugar for one month. This includes honey, molasses, syrups, artificial sweeteners (like Splenda), sugar alcohols (like maltitol or xylitol), and no refined sugar.”

The challenge will start on January 1st and end on January 31st.

Challenge Options:

  • Break the Habit: You may start the challenge with a “Break the Habit” phase where you may eat 1 piece of sugar each day for the first 7 days. If you are someone who has a hard time staying away from sugar, it might benefit you to use this phase. For example, 1 piece of sugar might be your daily soda, small dessert, or a piece chocolate. If you do not feel like eating your sugar that day, then please listen to your body and stay away from it.
  • Exercise Option: This option is for those who do not exercise regularly and would like to jump start their new year with an easy exercise routine. Each round of exercises take just a few minutes to complete. It would also be wise to add a bit of cardio to your day like walking, jogging, bike riding, or jump roping. Right when you get up in the morning, during lunch breaks, or before bed would be an excellent time to complete this routine:
    • Week 1: 10 crunches, 5 squats, 5 pushups, 10 calf raises
    • Week 2: 30 crunches, 15 squats, 10 pushups, 20 calf raises
    • Week 3: 50 crunches, 10 squat jumps, 15 pushups, 20 1-legged calf raises (10 each leg)
    • Week 4: 75 crunches, 15 squat jumps, 20 pushups, 40 1-legged calf raises (20 each leg)
  • Water Option: Are you someone who does not drink water regularly? Try the water option and challenge yourself to drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day (each glass represents 8 oz.). Please note, however, that we receive water from the food we eat, and everyone’s required daily water depends on size and activity per day. If you choose to do the water challenge, do not force yourself to drink water when you are not thirsty. If you feel that 5 glasses of water was enough for that day, then that is fine.

Daily Checklist:

In order to help you stay on track with the challenge, I have created a pdf file that you can print off and use daily. You can record your exercise, meals, water, thoughts, and feelings.

Click Here to View and Download the Challenge Checklist

 

How to Join the Challenge:

Simply leave a comment below to join the challenge. After signing on-there is no turning back! Just kidding, if you wish to be removed for some reason, email me.

Bloggers:

I would love for you all to spread the word and join the challenge! During the challenge, it would be great for you to post your sugar-free eats so that you can inspire others. I will be featuring your sugar-free eats and recipes during the challenge, too. Here’s a badge you can add to your site to help promote this:

 

HTML: <a href=”http://spoonfulofsugarfree.com/sugar-free-challenge-2/january-2012/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee464/acetennis94/JanChallengeBadge.jpg” border=”0″ alt=”Photobucket”></a>

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Email me at spoonfulofsugarfree@gmail.com. If you ever need any help, don’t hesitate to ask. I am creating this challenge so that we will have a big sugar-free support group! If you would like to send me your story on how being sugar-free helped you, I would love to publish it! Any other ideas you have? I’d love to hear!

Frequently Asked Challenge Questions:

Are you allowed to eat fruit during the challenge?

Yes, you are allowed to eat fruit. Try not to overdo it, though (as in, don’t eat 15 bananas a day!). Other than that, I believe the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit are perfectly healthy in small amounts. Fruit contains plenty of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins to help your body. 

Is stevia allowed during the challenge? 

Since stevia is considered a sugar-substitute, I am not allowing it in the challenge. This makes the challenge, well, more challenging! Challenging is fun! If you think that you absolutely cannot complete the challenge without stevia, then feel free to use it.

Is alcohol allowed during the challenge? 

Yes, as long as it isn’t a “mixed” alcoholic beverage like margaritas, because they have added sugar. Mixed alcoholic drinks that use only fruit juice and no added sugar are accepted. Plain wine, beer, etc. are allowed. 

Challenge Recap:

 

 

137 Responses to January, 2012

  1. Donna says:

    I’m ready…..I need it….I have my mind made up….Lets go…Well, lets go in a couple weeks….

  2. Roni says:

    I’m in!

  3. Kayla says:

    I’m in! I can’t wait to start! I’m also trying up convince my sugar addicted boyfriend to do it with me! Wish me luck on that one :P

  4. Shannon Barrett says:

    I would love to sign up for this challenge!

  5. I’m in, too! I’ve mostly kicked sugar, but I don’t really exercise. Time to change that! Are dates used only to sweeten allowed? Or does that fall into the fruit FAQ?

  6. Jen Madsen says:

    Count me in. I have gone sugar-free for long periods before but now need to get back on the wagon.

  7. marcia says:

    I’m in too!

  8. Lou says:

    I’m in…. but I think there is a typo RE the date – Jan 1 – Nove 31st?!? Hehe might be a little long for some people – I’m sure I could do it though :) Awesome – hooooray for no sugar challenge!

  9. Leah says:

    Another challenge? Bring it! I haven’t touched sugar since the last challenge, so I will view this as a challenge to stay sugar free as long as I can.

  10. Suman says:

    I’m ready…..I need it….I have my mind made up….Lets go…

  11. VanessaG says:

    I just have one request. My bday is Jan.28th and I will have lots of sugar in the form of an ice cream cake. :) This challenge will be tough for me. I have lots of sugar in the forms of sugar substitute, gum, and I eat ice cream every single day. I’m not at all overweight, (i run ALOT)but I know my eating habits are horrible. I’m ready for a challenge.

  12. Reid says:

    You know I’m in! Thanks for all your great recipes and encouragement :)!

  13. Linda says:

    I’m in — my husband will do it too :) We both need this — I’m excited to get started.

  14. mindak3 says:

    Hi! My name is Minda! And I am a sugar addict! (Hi Minda…). Haha, ok I am in for this. I have done several cleanses in the past to remove sugar from my diet but somehow I am always enticed by those gum drops and chocolate bars. Your website has been incredibly helpful for getting me on track and figuring out how to make delicious substitutes. I will probably also remove gluten and dairy from my diet for the month of January.

  15. Shannon says:

    I love this! I’m definitely in. I lead a very, very low sugar existence to begin with, but this may just be the push I need! Is there anything you can suggest for salad dressings? They all seem to have added sugars. My favorite is balsamic.

    • Hi Shannon! I always make my own dressings because I can’t seem to find one without added sugar. I have recipes on my “Dressings” page above. Balsamic is easy, though. A drizzle of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a few italian spices (like oregano and basil), and voila!

  16. I’m in! I’ve gotta have a little stevia, though, otherwise my blog will suffer! ;P (And maybe my heart.. a little.)
    I’ll be posting my updates on my blog throughout the month (doesnojustice.wordpress.com), and linking back to you here. I hope it brings more challengers to the .. well.. challenge! :)
    Thank you or hosting this, taking the time to create checklists, and making your own personal time available to assist others in their transitions. I know you are appreciated very much! Thank you! :)

  17. Iris says:

    Alex, I would like to mentally challenge myself so you know I’m in for this! Going to be a toughie to exclude even stevia but I believe it all comes down to willpower. Will give my best shot! Adore your recipes and in fact many are my huge favourite!

  18. teabagginit says:

    i’m in! so excited for the extra challenge of doing it for a whole month!

  19. Chloe says:

    Count me in! It’s one of my New Year’s resolutions!

  20. Taryn says:

    I am ready for the challenge. Let’s do this!

  21. Nicole says:

    Count me in! However, there is one day that I’ll be forced to “cheat.” I have to drink ensure for a medical test I’m having in the middle of the month. I hope that’s ok!

  22. Anne says:

    I’m in. In fact, I started last week, and am shooting for a year.

  23. Beth says:

    I’m in! I recently adopted a sugar free lifestyle, so I am excited to have a network of people living the same type of lifestyle!

  24. Maria says:

    I am trying to ease into challenge already so that I will rally be pumped come January 1st

  25. jenn says:

    Sign me up please. I feel like I need a serious sugar Xerox after the holidays!

  26. I’m in! I was off sugar for 5 solid years (without even a bite) because of Hypoglycemia and have slowing been eating sugar again over the last year :/ but i’m ready to be off again!

  27. Suzy says:

    Please sign me up. I started my own “no sugar” challenge at the beginning of December 2011, but would love to connect with other people who are also eating this way. Actually, i gave up sugar 2 years ago but have been addicted to sweeteners ever since. Am I the only person like this?
    I was sick of being dependent on sweeteners and decided to change my behavior.
    I’m taking it one day at a time. The January challenge will give me some more focus.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Suzy!

      Thanks for joining the challenge! And no, you are definitely not the only one who has given it up, and then gone back onto sugar. I’ve had a few other handfuls of people tell me this, too. It will be great being in a group challenge so you won’t feel like the other one!

  28. I’m ready. I couldn’t get your gadget to work above, so I just saved the image and made it a hyperlink on my blog.

  29. fourdreams says:

    I need to do this too.

  30. Diana S. says:

    I’m in for this challenge. I keep falling off the sugar-free wagon. Maybe a 30-day challenge will make it stick this time. I normally use stevia, but I’m going to omit that too. I need to give my sweet tooth a re-set!!! I’ll also be giving up grains for this challenge, because I feel like they set me up for craving sugar as well. Wish me luck!

  31. Jane says:

    Sounds good! I’m in for the Sugar Free Challenge….

  32. kris says:

    hot damn! sign my sugar free bootie up!

  33. KEP says:

    I am in and I will post on my blog to hopefully get others involved too! Thanks for creating this challenge! This is just the push I need!

  34. Casey says:

    it didn’t seem to work last time- I’d like to join the challenge! Will we get emails during the challenge or do we just come to your blog? (ps- thank you for all the wonderful posts!)

    • Hi Casey! Thanks for joining! And yes, I will send out emails occasionally (probably weekly), but all of my sample menus will be on the blog. If you would like my posts to go straight to your email, “subscribe” to my site by entering your email address in the box on the right of my site.

      (p.s. it didn’t work last time because your comment went to my spam folder! Silly…)

  35. Christine says:

    Doing this!! Excited to start!

  36. Yvette says:

    I’m in !

  37. Ann says:

    I’m going to be participating! I was doing ‘sugar free’ before Thanksgiving but uhh then the pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies came :) Oops..this is the perfect way to get back on track!

  38. [...] available for you to use when monitoring yourself on the challenge. Check out the main page to get the details. It begins January 1, [...]

  39. [...] The challenge begins on January 1st and you can read more about it at her website. [...]

  40. Michelle M. says:

    Joining in. just what i need to stay accountable.

  41. Trisha says:

    I’m doing it!!

  42. Juliana says:

    Count me in! :D

  43. Barbara Meier-Conte says:

    As discussed yesterday, I am in!

  44. moonbutt says:

    this may sound stupid but are fruits allowed?

    • Yep, they are allowed. please look at the FAQ section in the challenge homepage above for more explanation.

      • moonbutt says:

        thanks! i think the morning coffee with nothing in it is what has me freaked most. any suggestions on how to deal with that would be great. either way going to give a whirl. your blog is wonderful

        • I think the coffee thing is really something you just get used to. After a few days, you will probably learn to love it without sweetener. Also, try using flavored coffees (my favorite is pumpkin spice!)…it tastes almost “sweet” because of the flavorings. Good luck!

  45. Kristie says:

    I’m in :) so excited!

  46. Suzanne H says:

    I’m in starting January 5th, after we get back from our vacation.

  47. Anne says:

    Sign me up! Ive been cutting back on added sugar and processed food for the past few years but have been slacking lately and feeling all the worse because of it. This is just the kick in the pants I need!

  48. momma kiki says:

    Ok. I’m in again! Better finish all that x-mas chocolate today!

  49. Adrianna says:

    Count me in! After this holiday sugar bender, I need to get back on the wagon.

  50. Okay! I’m in. Thank you to my sister for guiding me towards your blog when I mentioned I wanted to try sugar free for a bit.

  51. Shannon says:

    Our church is doing a similar fast. Giving up the pleasures of this life and focusing more of our time and thoughts on Him. Excited to join in.

  52. Kelly says:

    I’m in…This challenge is exactly what I need!!

  53. Hope says:

    I’m in!! The no sugar challenge for me ! And the water challenge! Thanx Alex!

  54. jc says:

    i’m in!!!!

  55. Amanda says:

    I’m in!!

  56. Tara says:

    I’m in for sure too! I need to kick my sugar free gum habit. I was on the last challenge and loved the recipe ideas.

  57. EC says:

    I am on the bus!

  58. Anya says:

    I’m in!

  59. Olivia Nunez says:

    I am in and very excited!!!!

  60. Alice Field says:

    I’m in!

  61. Jamie says:

    I’m in!!! And so is my husband…except he doesn’t know it yet;)

  62. Jenn says:

    I am in!!! I never really had a huge sweet tooth until I became pregnant with my son a year and a half ago, I don’t think I went a day without something sweet since. I think I am addicted :/ and need a break!

  63. [...] embarking on another Sugar Free Challenge for January…. check it out over at Alex’s blog.   Lots of people find it hard to cut [...]

  64. Rend Shakir says:

    I am ready and in. I am really looking forward to how I will feel at the end of the month…

  65. vanity says:

    I’m in! I know this is going to be really hard! I love sugar so hopefully i can break the habit. I’m also doing the water challenge too. good luck everyone!

  66. Katie says:

    My sister just pointed your blog out to me and it looks awesome!! I am in my third year of medical school to become a naturopathic doctor and am in full full full support of you philosophy, values and mission. Love it! I would love to join the challenge this month because I feel like I have been slipping on refined sugar and need a reminder. Great idea. Thanks!!!

  67. Wendy says:

    I’m in! I love eating sugar-free and sugar-alternative free. I ate a lot of sugar substitutes all through my 20s (agave, aspartame, honey, splenda, etc) and after cutting out everything sweet except for fruit, I feel a whole lot better. If I’m craving something sweet I head for the dates or raisins or grapes or bananas or watermelon or…you get the picture! Once you start eating this way, you start to realize how many products have added sugar that you would never have thought about before. Things like mustard, dressings, tomato sauce, peanut butter, dried fruit (?!?!). You can get all of these things without sugar or substitutes if you look hard enough. I’ve been sugar free for two years, except for exactly 2 days. I had major headaches after each of those 2 days and they serve as reminders of how sugar has such a negative effect on me. I never want to feel that way again! Good luck to everyone on their endeavors. It is so worth it.

  68. [...] to cheat or back out) that I’ll be participating completing (see, I’m thinking positively) Alex’s Sugar Free Challenge.  The first challenge I took part in lasted 10 days and was hard enough but this challenge lasts [...]

  69. Sarah Bennett says:

    If it’s not too late! I am totally in!!!!

  70. [...] so, my first day “again” no sugar with the inspiration from the http://spoonfulofsugarfree.com/sugar-free-challenge-2/january-2012/  [...]

  71. Becky says:

    I don’t know if I’m too late, but I already committed to another challenge as well, so I would love to join this one too. I’ll be avoiding sugar, gluten and alcohol for the month of January :)

  72. sharon says:

    I’m in. Have been sugar free but fell of wagon over Christmas. Nice to have some motivation:)

  73. Cecile says:

    I am one day late, since I actually have eaten sugar today and I didn’t know about the challenge, but I still want to join you all!

  74. [...] I’m on day 1 of the Sugar-Free Challenge – it’s not too late to join in on the fun. Check it out here. [...]

  75. AGirl says:

    I’m starting lat, but I’m in! As of tomorrow. I’ve been eating WAAAAAY too much sugar lately and am totally addicted. I might go semi-sugar-free all day (except gum) but then I crack and binge at night. I need to lose 3-5 lbs that I picked up (from that) this holiday break, so I’m hoping this’ll work! I’m just doing it for 10 days until Jan 11. Wish me luck!

  76. Courtney says:

    I I’m im in I’m in

  77. Kate says:

    Oooh, I’m late! Can I still sign up? I’ve been meaning to do this for a long, long time!

  78. Tri Life says:

    I’m just reading this blog but definitely want ti participate. Need to prepare so I’ll start later this week. :)

  79. Jen says:

    I’m a little late, but in for round 2 of the challenge. MIght be a little tougher this time around with a vacation coming up.

  80. Lisa says:

    Looking forward to this challenge!!

  81. Peta says:

    I’m in!

  82. Audra says:

    Happy New Year!!! I’m a little late but I’m in. I need to break this sugar habit!

  83. I saw this post a little late, but i’m in! i just found out I have fructose malabsorption, so i need to get rid of my sugar habit, and i think this will really help!

  84. Megan says:

    ack! i didn’t have the pleasure of finding your blog until today, but this sounds like an AMAZING challenge that i would love to join if its not too late! i am a 19 yr-old vegan who has fallen way off her health wagon this holiday break (absolutely pigging out on desserts and telling myself its okay because they’re vegan…but they’re still loaded with sugar!) if its not too late i would definately love to be in!!!

  85. Dreama Neal says:

    A little late but ready to join this challenge! Just found information and excited to begin. Tommorrow is my day–Jan 11. Thanks for the support!

  86. rupa says:

    Hi

    I just bumped into this site, I had have started sugar free challenge from 9th jan, my one month ll b on 9th feb, can I join ?

  87. Sig says:

    I’m currently trying to go fructose free rather than sugar free so not sure if I qualify for this challenge – but will look forward to people’s recipes and tips!

  88. Cassandra says:

    Blast! I wish I has known about this! I’ll do it anyways.

  89. LizAshlee says:

    Wow, what an awesome challenge and I am happy to see you’re starting it again! I would love to join! I will be using stevia however, but I will definitely decrease my intake!!! Awesome!

  90. [...] honor of the last “official” day of the Sugar Free Challenge, I  made an extra special breakfast this morning and had to share immediately.  It’s [...]

  91. Jade C says:

    Heyy, is it too late to join????

  92. Katherine says:

    I’m so pumped I stumbled on your site. I’ve gone sugar free over the last year but recently I’ve drifted back to sugary laden things due to stress and what not. I’m an avid runner (between 10-15 miles a day)and the sugar has greatly disrupted my running :( sad day! You’ve re-motivated me to go back to living sugar free!

    • Sugar Free Alex says:

      Hi Katherine!

      So glad you found me! Good luck with your journey back to sugar-free. If you ever need any help, feel free to email me!

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