Saying Goodbye: How To Stop Eating Sugar

Saying Goodbye: How To Stop Eating Sugar

The following post was written about giving up sugar. If you are interested in giving up sugar for good you might want to check out the following books because they are truly helpful in learning how to stop eating sugar.

Beat Sugar Addiction Now!: The Cutting-Edge Program That Cures Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Puts You on the Road to Feeling Great – and Losing Weight!

The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program

The Craving Cure: Break the Hold Carbs and Sweets Have on Your Life

Get the Sugar Out: 501 Simple Ways to Cut the Sugar Out of Any Diet

Click here for more book recommendations on how to stop eating sugar.

Good luck!

After last week’s sugar addiction I’ve decided to get off the stuff and try an experiment giving up sugar. Not eating sugar is hard, but possible. Seriously, I never knew how much sugar and eating all the sweet stuff I loved could affect me. After eating it every day for over two weeks, even in moderation, I’ve been craving it like never before.  Or at least I’ve been craving it like I used to and only now am I realizing the effect it has on the body. Apparently the more sugar and flour and yummy things I eat the more my body wants to eat those things.  My mind can’t stray far from thinking about them and it’s painful to tell myself no.  I’m lucky enough to be in a location where nothing is readily available and I would have to go out and buy anything to fulfill that desire.  But that doesn’t stop the cravings or the desire to eat sugar.  Oh no.  The only thing that is stopping it is willpower. For once, I’m saying no to myself. I’m saying goodbye to sugar this week.  While I know I could still have things in moderation and lose weight, I’m choosing to give up the added sugar I’ve been eating.  This morning I finished the jam I have for breakfast and for the rest of the week I will be avoiding anything with added sugar.  Goodbye ice cream and cookies and delicious hot chocolate.

WHY GIVE UP ADDED SUGAR?

If you want to know why I’m giving up sugar – or why you should, check out these reasons:

  • Cravings suck.  For me at least sugar causes me to want to eat more sugar.  When I don’t the cravings are intense and I think about food way too much, even when I’m not hungry.
  • Blood sugar spikes that leave you feeling hyper or extremely tired after eating sugary or enriched grains.
  • Extra money spent on unnecessary sweet food items bought for sugar addiction induced consumption.
  • The American Heart Association recommends people reduce sugar consumption, which is about 22 teaspoons a day for an average person.

There are other reasons, but those are the main ones for me personally.  Those are definitely enough to make me rethink all this sugar I’m putting in my body.  I need at least a few days without added sugar to get my body back to a good place where it’s not craving the stuff anymore.

WAYS TO STOP SUGAR CRAVINGS

If you are going to do it, you might as well do it right.  Here are some ways to help (source):

  1. Get rid of anything sugary in your house: For most of us this is the best way to do it – eliminate all the sugary foods around.  That way you won’t be able to eat what isn’t available when the cravings occur.
  2. Look for Sugar Free & No Sugar Added Products: Many foods now have sugar free, diet, or no sugar added versions.  Artificial sweeteners aren’t exactly the best thing for you but they can be helpful in weaning you off sugar.  Example: chewing sugar free gum instead of eating candy bars.
  3. Drink More Water: If you are a sugar addict, it’s possible you do not drink enough water. Drink at least 3 glasses of water each day with no sweeteners or flavorings. Just plain delicious water!
  4. Eat More Vegetables: The more veggies you eat, the less likely you will be tempted to go to sugary foods. It will also occupy you long enough to hopefully get through the sugar craving.
  5. Find replacement habits: Eating sugar can be as much about a habit as an actual desire to eat it.  If you chew on candy to calm nerves, try chewing gum or something else.  If you stir sugar into your coffee, try just stirring your coffee to keep the habit.  If sugar is the point then try doing something completely unrelated to eating – go for a walk or do something active.
  6. Get enough rest: Sugar affects your blood sugar levels, which affect your energy levels. If you aren’t sleeping enough then you might be tired and craving sugar that will give you a quick energy boost.  Get enough sleep in order to stop cravings caused by lack of sleep.
  7. Identify and avoid triggers: Figuring out what triggers sugar cravings can help you avoid them.  When you find out whether lack of sleep, boredom, depression, habit, stress, etc. is causing your cravings you can then fix the triggers so that you can stop the cravings.

This is not going to be easy.  Yesterday all I could think about was cookies.  Instead we went for a walk and I bought some sugarfree gum to chew on. At least I can listen to my own advice.  Now I just have to go a few more days with Operation SugarLess, which feels almost like a challenge. Anyone done this before?  Have any tips on giving up the extra sugar? Want to do it with me?

52 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye: How To Stop Eating Sugar

  1. Christie @ Honoring Health

    I have been completely off sugar for a couple of weeks now and I am feeling better day by day with less and less cravings. I don’t use artificial sweeteners at all but have noticed that even when I use the natural sweetener stevia, it still makes me have cravings. My nutritionist said that as far as your tongue is concerned and the signals it sends to the brain, eating fake sugar is no different that eating real sugar.

  2. Fit Mom Now

    I’ve been off sugar for about a month now with only a couple of minor infractions. Overall, I feel so much better and my skin looks better. It also really helps with the ol’ PMS Monster!

  3. Tina

    I find that baking solves my sweet tooth. Just smelling fresh-baked treats cuts the desire to have it. And then I bring whatever I bake into my office or my boyfriend’s work. I do allow myself 50-100 calories of high quality (Vosges, Green & Black, Lindt) chocolate daily. I usually split it between lunch and dinner so I have a sweet bite after each of those meals. Aside from that, I don’t have sugar in my coffee, I rarely eat sugary cereals or really any processed treats and snacks and I don’t eat dessert except on special occasions. I wish that meant I’d instantly lose extra weight, but sadly that is not the case! :(

    Good for you! I used to eat 2 cookies after every lunch and again at midafternoon, I’d have a bowl of fruity pebbles or golden grahams after dinner, and I used to put sugar in my coffee too–when I did this I found that my sugar cravings were out of control!

    1. Mary Post author

      Wow, we are the opposite. Baking would just make me want to try the yummy things I made. ;)

      The chocolate after meals is good, but I’m going to try and get rid of the need for even a bite. We will see how it goes. ;)

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  5. Anonymous Fat Girl

    Sugar is my drug of choice, my kryptonite. I have to be very, very careful when I’m near sugar. It makes me do strange things and causes strange cravings. I can’t control myself when I’m consuming it. I will continue to eat, and eat and eat.

    I really believe that modernized sugar (and it’s various forms) have greatly caused the obesity epidemic in our society.

    Best of luck to you in ridding yourself of that nasty drug!
    .-= Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..Super Bowl pics & do you have any exercise goals this week? =-.

  6. Cynthia (It All Changes)

    I’ve had to give up sugar for the most part due to stomach issues. It’s hard and when I give in and eat it I crave it like nothing else. It is hard but drinking lots of water helps. And doing things to take your mind off the cravings helps immensely.
    .-= Cynthia (It All Changes)´s last blog ..Lessons Learned + Goals =-.

  7. Jen-JensFitnessTips.com

    Great post! Sugar is definitely a threat! On of the past season’s of Biggest Loser, they showed how much an average person consumes sugar a year, and it was mind blowing. It’s really disgusting actually to see how much of that is going into our mouths. Awful!! I’m trying to cut cokes! So far…I’ve made it 3 weeks without it and I feel tons better! I just drink water and that’s good enough for me! I need to work on my sweet tooth for chocolate and those sour patches :) Thanks for sharing!!

    Jen :)
    .-= Jen-JensFitnessTips.com´s last blog ..5 Reasons Swimming Will Make You Look and Feel AMAZING… =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      Eventually that is what I want to do, I’m just going to try to cold turkey my way out of anything sweet for a bit. And then work them back into the weekends, on a limited basis. ;)

  8. Linda

    Like you, I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake and it’s such a struggle because so many things contain sugar as a key ingredient. For example, there are tons of sugars in fruits. Are you considering reducing your fruit intake as well, or at least, reduce the fruits that have more sugar in them? At this moment, I can’t do that as I enjoy juicing fresh greens and need the fruit to balance out the pungent tastes.

    1. Mary Post author

      No. I’m not cutting out all sugar, just excess and refined sugars. No sweets, candies, chocolate, ice cream, jams, or refined flours. I’m still going to eat fruit. Natural occuring sugar is not what I’m worried about… it’s all the other stuff I’ve been eating and getting addicted too.

  9. Libby

    I am somewhat sugar less in my life. I was drinking diet Coke like it was liquid gold…and really started to feel the fake sugars we’re good for me. So I gave up diet Coke…GASP! And instead drink either water or iced tea…but with Truvia (stevia) in it. It’s not as sweet, but gives it a “splash” of sweetness. I have really liked it a lot and now when I do have an occasional Diet Coke it’s pretty much too sweet!

  10. Lara (Thinspired)

    I definitely need to cut down on sugar, but I also need to cut down on sugar-free products! I started up with Splenda and other sweetened products to lower my sugar intake, but now I think I’ve gone overboard with them! Ah, there’s just got to be a balance somewhere!
    .-= Lara (Thinspired)´s last blog ..Sunday With Scoop =-.

  11. merri

    I have taken a break and given up something I sorta craved before and it totally works to just cold turkey for a bit, it cleans out your system and you realize how more energized you feel. You can always go back to it later. My only tip would be to maybe do it with someone else and let people know what your’e doing, so youre not tempted to cheat. I like to do that once in a while with things I like to show I’m in control and choosing them instead of them choosing me.
    Even though my roomie has taught me to like a lil dessert most nites, I don’t really actively crave sweets usually. I’m much more likely to nibble on something starchy, esp when I was younger (leftover rice, noodles, bread, pasta, etc). You are right though, if I have something sugary for breakfast (like yesterday’s choc chip pancakes) I feel tireder the whole day, which is why its just a once in a while thing. No, I don’t want to give up sugar with you, but I wish you good luck!! Umm, and I guess don’t read the blog I posted today cuz it’s a cake recipe. Lol.
    .-= merri´s last blog ..Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cake =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      That’s why I blogged about it. I know if I tell other people I’m doing it I’m much more likely to follow through and not go buy some chocolate.

      Haha, okay, I’ll avoid your blog for today. ;P Lemme know when it’s not about sweet stuff!

  12. Marsha @ Green Mountain at Fox Run

    Great insight, Mary. I can’t eat a lot of sugar either without wanting more. I’m at the point right now where I can have a little without continuing to want more. But if I overdo it, like I did at one point during the holidays, I see the cravings begin. I also think it helps to stop the artificial sweeteners, too. I think they just keep the sweet taste preference going.
    .-= Marsha @ Green Mountain at Fox Run´s last blog ..Sasha & Malia on a Diet? =-.

  13. Kat

    After one too many “oh I’ll just have a little bit”s and “one of these won’t hurt”s lately, I’m with you. No more sugar. The scale isn’t moving like it was, and I find myself slipping up more and more; the more you have sugar, the more you crave it. Ive got to quit cold turkey. I’ll have a slice of cake on my birthday in a couple of weeks, but beyond that, I’m cutting it out. Thanks for the push to declare it!
    .-= Kat´s last blog ..Society Series: The Double Standard of Dating =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      YEAH!!!! I’m not alone! Let’s do it!! … And I’m really glad you are going to eat cake on your birthday. You’re not being silly about it. ;)

  14. Michelle @ Eatingjourney

    I am off of it 95% of the time. The other 5% that I have it..I get a pounding headache and will usually induce–or try to induce–a binge.

    So I just don’t eat it anymore at all. I don’t miss it either. I use xylitol or stevia and I am fine with those choices.
    .-= Michelle @ Eatingjourney´s last blog ..Dress A, B or C? =-.

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  17. Miz

    I am there with you sister—but this is something I struggle with DAILY.
    a well known fitness guru told me if I gave up sugar for five days and THEN added it back in Id no longer want it.

    UH WRONG.
    I think many of us are hardwired to WANTWANT it while others….not so much.

    Im in :)

    ooh and had an idea.
    If I forget to email you—-email me :)
    .-= Miz´s last blog ..Heather Eats Almond Butter… =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      I’m EXACTLY LIKE YOU.

      Some people never want the sweet stuff.

      Me? ALWAYS. OM NOM NOM.

      So I just need a little break, in the Mary + sugar relationship. Time to reevaluate and start feeling like myself again. I’ve become codependent. Hehe.

      Okay…off to check my email!

  18. Sagan

    I did this for a week one time and it was really awesome! Except I did it without ANY added sugars whatsoever, so that included things like bread, and I was sad without my bread.

    It wasn’t actually so difficult (except for things like the bread). Normally, I really DON’T eat much added sugars anyways. I get my sweet fix from fruit. Also, I find that nut butters with fruit are a GREAT sugar replacement. Try eating applesauce on toast instead of jam if you’re even planning on avoiding food like that. And if you’re craving the ice cream (hehe), eat frozen bananas that have been blended in the food processor with some cocoa powder! Bananas are perfect for sweet fixes like that.

    Good luck!
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Poll: Do you approve of competitive sports? =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      I don’t think I want to give up bread. I love it and cutting out the rest of the sugar I eat is enough for now. I am avoiding jam (so much sugar!) so the applesauce idea might work. I’m loving bananas right now. They are sooo sweet and work perfectly as a substitute. That’s a great idea with the blender. You are full of good ideas! Geez!

  19. Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink!

    I’m finishing up my 2nd week of the South Beach Diet, which is essentially a no sugar diet. In the first two weeks you not only give up sugar, but also any natural sugars found in grains and fruit. Then you slowly start adding natural sugars back into your diet until you find your own personal threshold.
    I also realized that I am addicted to sugar. Be prepared for withdrawal headaches – I had them for 5 days! After that, though – I feel amazing!!! I’m able to make better food decisions now that I’m not hooked on the sugar.
    My one piece of advice – go easy on the replacements, such as Splenda and whatnot – the can trigger cravings also. I only use Truvia in the morning in my coffee, then I’m very careful about using artificial sweeteners for the rest of the day.
    Also – you may need more than 1 week to detox. I think 2 weeks is a better timeframe to let yourself get used to not having sugar.
    Best of luck!!!
    .-= Jenn @ Watch My Butt Shrink!´s last blog ..Food Journal: 02.06.10 =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      Thanks Jenn. I was thinking two weeks, but I’m going to eat some stuff on Valentine’s Day with sugar. <3 So I’ll definitely keep it up the week after that too just to be good and clear of any cravings and such. I haven’t had any headaches yet… Just already feel better.

  20. Hanlie

    The problem with sugar is that the body was never designed to deal with it, especially not in the quantities we foist upon it. But note, there is a huge difference between processed sugar and fruit. The body can easily deal with the sugar in fruit and you should not eliminate fruit from your diet. In fact, eating plenty of fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth while helping to stabilize your blood sugar.

    1. Mary Post author

      Exactly. If you check out my food blog you will see I’m eating much more fruit. So technically this is already a great idea. ;)

  21. Megan

    Lots of processed sugar is bad for you but so is lots of artificial sugar. In some cases it can increase your sugar cravings. Another good way to deal with sugar cravings is to eat fruit…it is high and natural sugar and can help balance your diet. Honey is also a good sugar in moderation.
    .-= Megan´s last blog ..My Weekend…in Summary =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      That’s what I plan to do… I’m not a huge fan of anything artificial so I’m not going to rely on fake sugars. My “substitutes” are just fruits which are sweet enough.

  22. Hope @ Hope's Journey

    While I could never and never will cut out sugar completely, I think it’s great that you’ve figured out what to do for you! :) Keep us posted, and the post definitely had some great insights in it.

    Hope

  23. All Women Stalker

    I’m somewhat of a sugar addict myself. I have to eat something sweet after every meal or else I’ll feel like I want to throw up what I just ate. It kinda gives me a full feeling, like sealing the craving so I won’t want to eat again. Good luck on trying to give it up! I’ve been thinking about it, too because well, too much sugar just isn’t good. We’ll see. ;)

  24. Erin

    I’ve yet to completely eliminate sugar from my caloric intake, but I’ve cut way back. Just last night, the craving hit me after supper. I curbed it with unsweetened cocoa powder, almond milk, and a drizzle of agave to make homemade hot cocoa. It was delish and I didn’t eat anything else the rest of the night!
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Fluffy Stuff =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      Yes, but not in excess. I’m trying to just cut out any sweet tastes besides natural sugar in fruit. It’s not a forever thing, but I’d like to cut it all out now and then work some stuff back in once I get out of craving it so much.

      But then again I did this with drinking soda a few years ago and never added it back in – I realized it just wasn’t worth it.

  25. Jasmine @ Eat Move Write

    A great blog to check out if you want to cut back on sugar is Heather Eats Almond Butter. She basically doesn’t consume sugar at all. She even watches her fruit intake. She’s done it for a LONG time, so I’d suggest starting there.

    I wish you lots of luck! :)
    .-= Jasmine @ Eat Move Write´s last blog ..Lunch for Dinner =-.

    1. Mary Post author

      Thanks for the tip! I actually just found Heather Eats Almond Butter through MizFit. This is clearly a sign that I need to start reading her blog. ;)

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  27. Liz

    I gave up sugar for 3 months and never felt better. Then I gradually went back to it. Now I am trying it all over again. This is day one and it is so hard. I am hoping I can do it. I am trying to eat fruit instead. But not the same.

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