October Mini Challenge – The Results

October Mini Challenge Sugar And Sleep

The October mini challenge was to cut back on sugar and to improve your night-time and morning routine in order to get more and better quality sleep. Today we take a look at the results. 

The people who committed to the challenge were:

  • Graham C
  • Philippa C
  • Cath D
  • Shaun B
  • David M
  • Zubair A
  • Crozza
  • Savannaaah
  • Dan T
  • Jayson



How I Got On…

My challenge was specifically to:

1a. To consume less than 60g of “sugars” each day; and
2. Follow the following sleep rules: don’t look at any screens before bedtime, write your next day’s to-do before bed, never hit that snooze button & drink a pint of cold water as the first thing you do when you wake up.

1a. Sugars. As you probably saw on the Facebook groups, I was shocked to find out how much sugar was hiding in certain foods that most people would consider healthy.

The challenge itself seemed very timely as November saw a drive from popular chef Jamie Oliver to cut down on sugar (especially in children’s foods) and a national debate on whether a “sugar tax” should be implemented to try to reduce the amount of sugary products that people ate.

I found the challenge hugely beneficial. Whilst I struggled at first with sugar withdrawal, this quickly went away and towards the end of the month something happened that I only ever assumed was people lying. In a train station, I ordered a Mocha and I couldn’t drink it because it was too sweet.

The health effects for me were evident. I reduced my 5km personal best by over 2 minutes, and felt generally more awake more consistently throughout the day.

Whilst I’ve regressed a little in early November, I intend to get back on this lower sugar diet going into the Christmas period.

2. Sleep. This was harder than I thought it would be. I was almost ashamed by how hard I found not using a phone, tablet or laptop within 15 minutes of bed time. However, when I did, I found it noticeably easier to drop off to sleep.

However, the other three parts of the sleep challenge I found easier to do and each seemed to help. I literally never lay awake thinking about things that I needed to do the next day, and as I got more used to drinking the water, I actually felt physically dehydrated if I didn’t start my day in that way.

Again, I’m going to try and keep these habits going in the next month.



How Other People Got On…

I was reluctant at first and didn’t think that I would be able to do it –especially when I realised I couldn’t eat things that seemed healthy to be me such as yoghurt and that I would have to cut down on fruit and probably the hardest of all say no to the never ending cakes and biscuits that seem to constantly be in the office.

However once I started doing it, it got easier to do it –I guess with anything you adapt to your new routine. I think I felt better for it and even though I am not 100% cutting sugar out now –I am certainly cutting down and thinking about the sugar content of so called healthy foods a lot more.

I also now crave a pint of water when I get up –so my body is completely used to that routine –and I seem to be snacking less in the mornings because of it.

So thanks moneystepper – I have seen positive results!

Philippa M


It’s not been great – i think i definitely need a minimum of 50grams a sugar a day – but I’ve been eating one meal a day plus snack so that may have influence on hunger and feeling full.
Sleep has been better i think – but i think there’s not much insight to glean from this.
I’ve moved from normal fizz drinks to diet drinks , so the next step will be to cut them out completely.
I don’t eat after 6pm , and i think this has helped better not going to bed uncomfortable or full , and therefore havent been feelling groggy in the morning when I’ve suffered a sugar crash.
Zubair A
I did the sugar part put not sleep – I did it for just under the month and found it really interesting – finding out 2 biscuits / one doughnut / 1 banana – was the same sugar intake – it made me more curious and discerning about what I ate. I don’t know whether it was the focus on what I ate or the actual reduction in sugar but I lost 3-4 lbs.
Am planning on doing it for November in preparation for overeating in December!
Cath D

In general, I managed to broadly stay under the 60g mark every day.

What made it difficult is that I take a supplement during training, which delivers 25g of sugar, so my diet outside of this, had to be super low in sugar.

I think the focus on keeping my sugar low, has made me far more selective on what I was prepared to eat. This removed a number of ‘healthy’ foods from my diet and made me change my supplement choices.

The drop in sugar, has helped me drop a little fat and probably helped me with energy levels, in that they are far more consistent across the day.

I’ll be trying to maintain this going forward.

Dave M


Summary Of Results

So, that sums up the October challenge. The latest challenge table looks as follows:

 Mini Challenge ResultsWe’ll be back tomorrow with the new mini challenge for November, and it’s a Chrimbo special!! It will be great to have you involved. Find out more on Moneystepper tomorrow!



How Do The Mini Challenges Work?

Just as a reminder, the Moneystepper Mini Challenges will be set on the first Sunday of each month, and results will be shown on the first Saturday of the following month.

Just let me know in the comments how you intend to achieve the mini monthly challenge, and indeed whether (and how) that you’ve been successful in doing so and I’ll add it to the table in the monthly challenge articles.

As you can see, you don’t have to be a participant in the overall Savings Challenge to get involved in the mini challenges if you want to!

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