A week without sweets

Five Bull’s Eye editors attempt to survive a week without eating added sugar.

johnny wang

Asst. Sports Editor 

Lasted: 1 day

In the beginning of my journey, I refrained from eating any sugar by simply skipping meals. For breakfast, I couldn’t eat anything, because all my usual breakfasts—namely a bagel with some jam or some cereal — have some form of added sugar involved.

My lunch feast of school lunch was also cancelled since I couldn’t tell whether my lunch contained any added sugars.

Dinner was a different story, as it was like entering an enchanting forest that enticed me and broke my will.

Since it was Chinese New Year, I was confronted with heaping plates of delicious food like succulent braised pork, Peking duck with hoisin sauce and even rice balls that was filled sesame or red beans.

It was simply too good to pass up. The only thing that I gained from this experience was to break rules if they keep me from things that I usually enjoy.

Kristen Sanchez

Asst. Feature Editor

Lasted: 4 days

With my competitive nature and healthy eating habits, I naively went into the no-sugar challenge thinking I would easily win and last until the end. I didn’t bother checking labels or preparing sugar-free meals beforehand since I figured everything I ate was already fairly healthy—I only had to replace my daily spoonful of peanut butter with honey and sweet snacks with fruit or extremely salty foods to satisfy my sugar cravings.

However, the hardest part was not building up the willpower to avoid sweets but rather fighting my frustration when I realized that much of my food options are completely out of my control. It’s hard to avoid added sugar when you have a loving mother and family who practically decide every meal you eat.

I lost the challenge when my mother made oatmeal with almond milk—which regrettably has three grams of sugar in it—for my family in the morning.

This week was fun to bond with the other staffers over our shared misery, but when it comes to worrying about checking food labels and declining foods containing sugar in the future, I’d rather not waste my time.

Erin li

Asst. Opinion Editor

Lasted: 6 days

The past week was filled with nothing but pain, regret and sorrow. I started off Monday morning with a piece of toast in one hand and peanut butter in the other until I realized they both contain sugar. Since I ignored advice to prepare sugar-free meals ahead of time, I had no breakfast.

Having regretfully bought Girl Scout cookies the week before this challenge, I had my mom to hide them in case of intense sugar cravings. I also couldn’t drink boba or eat ice cream with my friends when we hung out.

Instead, fruits and salty foods helped my cravings. I don’t have a habit of eating sugary foods, which made me think the challenge was going to be easy. However, after checking food labels for a week, I realized sugar is in a lot of unexpected food items like spaghetti sauce and ketchup.

Overall, this has been one of the most miserable things I have ever participated in. I broke just four hours before the challenge ended when I caved and ate macarons. While I don’t usually go out of my way to consume sugar, being forbidden to have it made me want it more.

But one thing I have been looking forward to all week long was eating chicken nuggets—which I can now eat with ketchup.

Amelie Lee


Lasted: 5 days

Equipped with salty almond snacks and a stone cold resolve, I was prepared to win the no-sugar challenge.

Despite my careful approach, the prevalence of sugar in most foods and my lack of self control eventually led to my failure. While I was officially eliminated on Friday, I’m almost certain that I unknowingly and inadvertently consumed small amounts of sugar throughout the week, unsure if there was any  included within restaurant Chinese sauce dips or hidden in the bite I took of my friend’s salad dressing.

With the inconvenience of skimming jar labels for any sort of natural or unnatural sugars, I can only imagine how difficult eating normal foods is for those with diabetes or other health issues that prevent them from intaking sugar.

I don’t usually have sugary desserts on a regular basis, I found the challenge especially difficult to follow during the week, with Girl Scout cookies and offers of buy-one-get-one free frozen yogurt continually tempting me.

In the end, I couldn’t avoid a bite of cake when celebrating a special event with my friends, giving into the sugary sweet delight of strawberry cheesecake.

Elizabeth Peng

Asst. News Editor

Lasted: 2 days

The fact that I lost the challenge after only two days helped me realize the surprising  amount of foods that contain added sugar. The first three days, I stuck to eating vegetables and meat for three meals a day. However, it wasn’t until the third day when I checked the nutrition label of a Chinese steamed bun that I realized I had already accidentally broke the challenge on the second day.

From my experiences in the first three days, I found that it was possible to avoid eating any foods or snacks with added sugars because I still felt satiated after all my meals. I did not get any sugar cravings until after I realized I broke the challenge, which led me to eat a lot of food with added sugar.

While sweet snacks and chocolate are too delicious to pass up, I would still like to work toward eating less sugar.