If you’re trying to find a way to kill your sugar habit these tips will help get you started.
Have you ever gone on a cookie binge? Or maybe you ate an entire carton of ice cream. And although it tasted amazing going down, your stomach is mad at you. You feel sluggish and gross and you 100% regret eating that food. I like to call it a sugar hangover. The problem with eating sugar is that the more you eat, the more you crave. Yep, true story. Refined sugar triggers the same parts of the brain as drugs, alcohol and smoking. It’s a drug. And guess what else? Sugar ages you! A 2014 study by the American Journal of Public Health found that sugary drinks like soda speed up the body’s aging process by shortening the length of your chromosomes. So if you down a can of soda, your body ages faster. No one in their right mind would want to age faster!
Confession time. I used to have a major sugar addiction. When I was in high school, I ate more sugar each day than one person should consume in a month. I’d eat a candy bar for a snack between breakfast and lunch, have a diet soda with lunch (the worst!), and eat more junk in the afternoon before tennis or cheer practice. I didn’t take care of my body like I should have. Of course at the time I didn’t know it was a true addiction; but looking back I can’t believe all the crap I put into my body.
We all know that sugar can be attributed to many health-related conditions. Eating too much refined sugar has been linked to cancer, liver damage, heart failure, and other serious conditions. Many times we’re eating sugar and don’t even know it thanks to hidden sugar found in processed foods. Sugar provides no nutritional benefit to the body at all.
But cutting sugar out can be HARD. Because many of us are addicted, killing an addiction takes time and dedication. Here are a few tips to help you get your sugar addiction in check and enjoy those sweet treats in moderation.
Here is how to kill your sugar habit for good.
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Track what you eat.
Figuring out how much sugar you’re taking in on a daily basis could be a huge eye opener for some. You think that mocha you’re getting each morning is just coffee? No, it’s sugar and milk with a little bit of coffee. If you can track what you’re eating, then you can easily start to cut out the sugar laden foods. According to the American Heart Association, the average woman should eat no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day (100 calories); the average man no more than 9 teaspoons per day (150 calories).
If you’re going to eat a sugary treat try to limit what you’re eating. Choose items that have natural sweeteners, like Stevia and honey. Honey also has some health benefits like alleviating allergies and boosting memory. Our favorite brand of Stevia is this one.
Don’t reach for sugar when you’re hungry.
When you’re famished and need something quick to eat, you’re more likely to grab something sweet. Have some prepared snacks in the fridge and pantry, like nuts and berries, that are easy to reach for when those hunger pangs kick in.
Realize that cravings could mean something else.
A lot of times when we are hungry and craving foods we’re actually dehydrated. Drink a glass of water and wait a bit to see if the craving goes away. More times than not it will. I’m obsessed with my Hydro Flask water bottle. And I love that they have so many fun colors!
Don’t dwell on what you ate.
So you did it. You ate 2 doughnuts and now you feel like shit. Well guess what? It’s in the past. Nothing you can do about it now! So don’t dwell on the extra calories you just ingested and focus on what healthy meal you’re going to eat next.
Don’t do it at night.
Sugar at night is going to turn to bad fat in your body. The problem is that’s when most people eat and crave sweet treats. If you must have something sweet, eat it in the morning or after a workout. Your body is more likely to use it as fuel during these times than store it as fat.
Try fruit instead.
Fruit is naturally sweet and a great substitute for a sugary treat. Try easy to reach for fruit like berries and apples. A yogurt parfait with berries and granola is just as satisfying and good for you!
As someone who has a sweet tooth, I know that cutting sugar out can be a hard thing to do. Our body goes through withdrawals and all you can think about is having something sweet. But a sugar habit isn’t one you want to have. It is terrible for your body and only causes more harm than good to your organs. But once you can get it out of your system, you’ll not only feel better but you won’t really miss it at all.
What are some tips you have to cut sugar intake?
I like your tips, especially not to dwell on it and to choose fruit instead. I feel like when people dwell on their slips, they figure, ‘oh, I already fell off the wagon, I might as well have XYZ now.” Thanks for the great tips and motivation.
The first line of your post made me sick to my stomach.. Cookie binge?! Whole tubs of ice cream?! I know people do it, I just can’t fathom it. I’ve never liked sugar. We don’t keep any in the house (outside of alcohol and maple syrup) and hubs is always upset because I don’t buy enough fruit for him and the kids (I don’t even eat fruit, I dislike sweet things that much!) I absolutely cringe when I see people consume diet coke, which turns into another diet coke, then another… Ugh, gross.
Don’t worry, I’m not over here with the perfect diet. I have my weaknesses… Like gravy. And queso. Mmmm, FATS!!!
It’s amazing the things people eat, but really a lot of it is addiction. I am all too familiar with how addictions work. It’s hard to stop but it’s so important for people to be conscious of what they eat. I’m definitely not perfect either but I do my best and don’t make excuses when I do feel like I need a sweet treat.m
Uhhh. Hi. My name is Jaelan and I’m a sugar addict.
The sad part is that I 100% know that I am. I know it and I still just haven’t shaken it. I have all the right intentions… then I last a day or two and I cave. I think right now everything is just too chaotic for me. I can only choose so many things to focus on and my diet isn’t it… even though I realize it should be.
Reading this was definitely a kick in the butt…. I need to make this a priority.
Girl I totally get it. When the time is right you’ll know what to do. But it does take time and you have to be diligent! I know you can do it and will work on making it a priority when the time comes.
Man, I wish Abbie could understand these concepts! We’re teaching her so she’s learning and now the agency wants her to meet with a dietitian. I’m sure she’ll be repeating what we tell her but that’s good! I do like sugar though I normally would be savory over sweet…oops…I just ate 3 tiny macarons…delicious!
Some people need to hear it from an outsider for it to stick. I hope she can get some help. Macaroons….oh my word my favorite!
I feel like you wrote this for me right now! I have just been dying for sugar recently, and it’s so hard to just say no! These tips will for sure help! Thanks so much!
Girl I totally understand! I have days every now and then when I really crave sweets. It is a hard habit to break that’s for sure!
Ah I loe sugar, but tried to go a more clean route near the end of last year. I’ve cut down LOTS of it. I’ll go out for cakes and tea sometime, but opt for homemade and naturally sweetened. Luckily in the UK, you can find more organic choices. But since controlling my sugar intake, I feel so much more energized and leaner even. I LOVE the tip on not dwelling on what you ate… going to incorporate that after nights of drinking too hahaha
YES! Since cutting the sugar I can see a huge difference. It’s definitely hard sometimes, but I find that when I use natural sugars I just feel better.
LOL! Yes, like Sunday night when the hubs and I shared a bottle of wine. Whoops! 🙂
These are so smart. Darn you, sugar! I suppose I wouldn’t call myself an addict, but I definitely reach for sweets way more than I should. It’s best to just keep them out of the house haha!!
So true Ann! We don’t really bring sweets into our house. We have very little in our pantry actually. My daughter’s friends are never going to want to eat here, lol!
First, ‘research’ suggesting that sugar, and soft drink intake specifically, accelerates aging, has been debunked: http://slate.me/10yvm5I. Second, demonizing any one set of calories is unproductive. Sugars, just like any source of calories, can be enjoyed in moderation. It is overall dietary balance and activity that matters.
I’m not surprised that you would say so, since you indeed work for the American Beverage Association. But I’m more inclined to believe an article I found in my research from the American Public Health Association than from Slate.com, an online current affairs and culture magazine.
It’s a known fact that sugar is bad for you. Plain and simple. It has no nutritional value whatsoever and is not a good source of calories. I agree that it can be enjoyed in moderation, but for those that have true addictive tendencies it’s better to be cut out completely.
Well as you know, I went on the sugar-free journey and was committed to it for about 4 1/2 months. In light of recent life happenings, I decided to wean myself down – if not completely off of it over the next month.
I actually have been pretty disciplined over the past 2 months but have had my share of slip-ups too. It’s hard with all the birthdays, celebrations, and outings during the summer months.
The tough part is holidays. I mean… no candy at Halloween? No shortbread cookies? No Christmas fudge? I want to cry just thinking about it.
Slow and steady…..
Thanks for sharing.
Great tips! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by Katie!
Eating fruit instead is a great tip… because if you are addicted to sugar, you need something sweet. It’s super hard to just quit anything that is sweet. But killing the sugar habit can be done. My husband used to be exactly how you described… eating whole bags of candy in one sitting, etc. Now he eats almost no sugar. Instead he eats fruit. And for a treat, he eats fruit dipped in greek honey yogurt. YUM!
Yes! I think killing a sugar habit is one of the hardest things to do. My treat lately has been Greek yogurt with granola and berries. So good!
Giving up an addiction is hard. Sugar is the next thing on my list. Right now I am on my 4th week without soda and it’s hard enough. Sugar will have to wait its turn. Thanks for sharing so now I will have more knowledge to help me fight it. Wish me luck!
Good for you for giving up soda! I can imagine that’s a tough one. If you can do soda you can do sugar, I know it!
Love those tips. My husband and I both have a sweet tooth, and sometimes we overdose on sugar. I’ve been trying hard lately to work on my sugar habit but it’s a work in progress.
Oh, this is something I am working on. I like your idea of tracking what we eat. I bet I eat more sugar than I think. This month I have cut out soda because I had been drinking about one a day! Not good!
Good for you for cutting out soda! That’s a hard one. You’re right though; so many of us eat more sugar than we realize. It is eye opening once you start tracking it.
This can be a hard one and something think about with my children. For me I have cut out all sugar in my hot drinks, I grew up always have one or two spoons of sugar in my tea and I didn’t even think about it. In recent years I have become more aware of how unnecessary this is and I’ve cut it out.
mainy – myrealfairy
Me too! I always had sugar in my tea, but now I just drink it plain and love it. I’m so glad you’ve been able to cut a lot of it out. It really has no value at all.
Oh man this post was written for me!! I have a HUGE sugar addiction and I know it’s bad but somehow I just can’t stop. It’s the worst. I will be good for a few days and then want it, crave it, and totally give in! One bag of candy won’t hurt, right? Until that turns into another bag and then the addiction keeps going… ugh. I really need to kick this habit for good and stop justifying it but it’s just so….damn….good. ARG! haha.