How to Go Sugar-Free for a Week Straight Without Hating Your Life

Victoria Hoff
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I am not exaggerating when I say that giving up sugar for 30 days was the best dietary overhaul I've ever tried. I say this not just because it gave my energy and focus an unrivaled boost, all but cured my insomnia, and even gave me a peek at abs for the first time in, um, ever—but mainly because it was doable. So doable, that once my 30-day goal line was up, I kept going. I felt that great.

And maybe it shouldn't have been surprising, given that many scientists and experts denote sugar as the single-most destructive (and addictive) ingredient in the average modern diet. Most Americans eat more sugar in one year than our ancestors did in their entire lifetimes—and that's because it's everywhere. "Because there are over 50 different names give to sugars, it can make it even harder when reading food labels to determine what foods actually contain added sugar," explains Emily Maguire, a UK-based nutritionist. Prepackaged salsa, bread, you name it—chances are, it contains extra sugar, which means even the healthiest among us might not even be aware that we're addicted. And that's why cutting it out entirely was like the breath of fresh air for my entire body and mind that I didn't even know I needed.

So in the wake of my own success (which has since fallen slightly by the wayside) and in the interest of a little mid-season reset, my fellow Byrdie editors and I have pledged to take part in a seven-day version—and since the buddy system is the greatest motivator, we wanted to invite our readers to get in on the challenge as well. I asked Maguire and psychologist and nutritionist Dr. Candice Seti to help devise a week-long plan, which you'll find below—and best of all, we're inviting you to share your progress and any questions you have along the way. Get all the details below.

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