The Sugar and Depression Experiment – Part 2

by Martin

in A Depression Blog

Cold Turkey

So, it’s only been 2 days since I gave up the sugar, but it seems like a lifetime.

I’ve been fighting off cravings like I did when I gave up smoking.

The difference is that I’d had hypnotism then but I’m going stone cold turkey now.

I’ll give you an idea of the extent of my sacrifice by listing the sugar-laden things I would probably have consumed today.

Since today is a Saturday, I probably would have had:

  • Some toast with jam or honey
  • A cake, banana bread or couple of biscuits
  • One latte with sugar
  • Maybe some sweetened yoghurt
  • Definitely some chocolate after dinner
  • At least one cup of decaf coffee with sugar
  • Maybe another sneaky square of chocolate before I went to bed.

Instead, the only things that I ate today that would have had any sugar in them were some unsweetened fruit yoghurt and a tiny bit of muesli. I haven’t checked the muesli packet, but it’s one of those which purports to be healthy but is probably packed with garbage.

I would love to tell you that I’m now bursting with optimism and energy.

Except that, unfortunately, I’m not.

My mood has plummeted in the last couple of days and I feel worse than I have in a while. Check out my Optimism mood chart where, in the upper graph, the red line is my mood and the grey line is how well I’m coping:

Sugar and depression - effect on mood shown on Optimism chart

Plummeting mood shown on Optimism App chart

The grey blocks show the amount of exercise that I’ve been doing. As you can see I’ve made an effort in the last couple of days to actually do some exercise, but the strange thing is, it’s not helping at all.

Usually exercise does lift my mood a bit, at least for a while, but today I got absolutely no benefit from it. If anything I think it made me worse. I went out for a 40 minute walk at about 5.30am and when I came back I felt really quite low.

I hadn’t eaten anything since the night before, so I’m pretty sure that there was some kind of blood sugar effect. Maybe the lack of sugar intake over the last couple of days meant that I didn’t have the reserves to cope with exercising on an empty stomach.

I need to research this more, especially as I have always suspected that some of my moods swings have a blood sugar element. Ask my wife, I’m not a happy hungry person.

I’d be interested to get some thoughts on this. So please comment below.

Sign up for regular updates while you’re at it, so that you can see this most unscientific of experiments unfold: Part 3 is here.


What else but John Lennon’s Cold Turkey from the Shaved Fish compilation album (originally it was only a single release).

Go to Part 1 of the Sugar and Depression experiment
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Burning Sugar Cane Image: think4photop /

About the Author

Father, husband, writer and website publisher, discontented in his day-job, he writes here about depression - his own and in general. You can follow Too Depressed on Twitter. Please share the content on this site with all your friends, followers and contacts using the buttons above.

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Last revised on May 2, 2012

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