Sugar addiction

Having realised this is my issue, and why my weight loss might be slowing, can anyone help with ideas for giving up sugar. Clearly there are foods which are obviously full of sugar, but it seems sugar is in a lot of other foods too. Has anyone else gone cold turkey and have have ideas to help me give it up please? Had a right binge last night, and it was all sweet stuff. I've given up wine this year, but now substituting with other sweet stuff.


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34 Replies

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  • Hi Sarah,

    I know exactly what you're going through and I decided to go cold turkey on added sugar around this time last year. It was one of the best things I ever did. My understanding is that it's not just the sugar, but the proportion of fat and sugar in many of our favourite foods that messes up our ability to know when we have had enough and results in some of us wanting more and more and more .....

    It was quite impossible for me to cope with having sweet treats now and again, because one treat led to another and the frequency of the treats increased which is why I was forced to take drastic action.

    My approach was to totally rid my house of cakes, biscuits, chocolates etc and for the first few weeks I even avoided dried fruit and restricted myself to a maximum of two portions of fresh fruit a day. I had the support of my family and they've all become healthier, fitter and lighter along with me. I would sprinkle lemon juice on salads and drink water with lemon juice in to train myself to accept less sweet foods and drink. I read labels and did as much home cooking as possible - it's amazing how much sugar is added to prepared sauces and you will notice the difference. You can do this without it taking over your life and becoming an obsession; a tiny bit of added sugar in a shop bought lasagne isn't going to wreck your efforts but eating a big bar of milk chocolate just might. I decided to totally give up puddings and never have them when I eat out - to be honest I'm always full after a main course anyway and haven't missed them.

    For me I got used to less sweet foods after just a few weeks and having got it out of my system I can now eat fresh fruits daily (and a handful of dried fruit now and again) as I please. It is so rare now for me to want sweet things I think my last pudding was around Christmas time; I'm not having to resist it any more as the temptation isn't there. I do have a couple of squares of 85% dark chocolate every other day or so, but that doesn't taste sweet to me. I find 75% chocolate tastes almost sickly which is quite ridiculous but just shows how far I've come.

    I have read some posts from people who say they've suffered from frequent headaches for a while after giving up added sugar so that may happen to you, but I was lucky and suffered no ill effects.

    I feel like a computer that's had a virus and been rebooted back to factory settings!

    Good luck x

  • Love that term computer settings๐Ÿ‘ and I can relate to the dark chocolate. I have dark chocolate occasionally now and have not had a actual bar of milk chocolate for 10 months. I have said I am going to have a Creme egg one of the little ones as an Easter treat but I have a funny feeling it will taste sickly now hope so then I will be weaned off them lol.

  • That must be a record time for resisting a bar of chocolate and I bet your creme egg will taste really sweet after all this time; I'm sure one will be enough! x

  • Hopefully!๐Ÿฃ

  • Someone at work handed out creme eggs the other week. I don't actually like them, but after a week or so, was craving sugar, so ate it, incredibly sickly, so I'm over that one lol! It's just all the rest now. Revels will be seeing their profits rise after this last week, but ready to knock them on the head too. Slightly worried the toffee ones will pull out a filling to be honest!

  • Then don't temp it leave them alone lol๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Š

    I sooner not have the sweet than go to the dentists.๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿ˜ฌ๐Ÿ˜ข

  • I agree. Will stop before I have one too many!

  • Wow, thank you so much for such a detailed reply! When I gave up wine, the first week was awful, so I expect I'll have similar withdrawal symptoms, but I feel so much better being alcohol free, that if I can feel as good without sugar it will be worth it. Great advice about not having any in the house. My daughters have Eat natural bars for their lunches, but I don't crave them, although I may get them to keep them out of my way in case of a desperate moment.

    I love the lemon in water idea too. It's very cleansing, and I can see it can retrain the taste buds to like less sweet flavours.

    I'd love to be in the position of saying no to desserts. To be honest I was more able to do that when I was drinking, and I've literally only just realised one has taken the place of the other, so it's time to get cracking.

    I'll let you know how it goes, and thank you again, I really appreciate your reply.

  • You're welcome and good luck x

  • Brilliant response kalahuchi ๐Ÿ˜Š

    Good luck SarahLDgetthin ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Hi sugar is one of the most addictive substances around and you are right there is loads of hidden sugars in other foods especially low fat ones so just check the labels.

    My food shop started to get longer a while ago as I was reading labels but once you get an idea of what foods you like it soon gets quicker.

    There are lots of people on here who have more advice to give than I can give you so I hope some answer from their experiences. Some that have gone cold turkey etc. I know from watching sugar free farm how the effects such as headaches, dizziness etc can be a problem.

    All I can say is that I try to eat as much fresh and less processed as possible I don't go for low fat as I check labels. My yoghurts now may be slightly higher in calories but have less sugar and more natural fat in them , I don't have margarine but have butter and only once in a while.

    If you have very busy life I wouldn't go cold turkey just cut down as you go week after week so your body can get used to less sugar, check labels, buy more fresh, less processed etc.

    Good luck maybe our member Concerned could give you some good advice as they have a wealth of knowledge about sugar and natural fats that has helped me loads.

    Good luck keep us posted how you get on with reducing the sugar


  • Thanks Bev for your reply. Reading labels is a very good idea. I do a lot of cooking from scratch, but have far too many sweet things in the cupboard, and have developed an ice cream craving, which I never had before the wine went. Feel a bit stupid for not realising I was substituting one with the other...big light bulb moment now though! I have this week off, so I think it may be a good idea to start now, before going back to work next week, when there are always cakes.

    Like you I prefer 'better' yoghurts, I can't stand the low fat ones, as they taste artificially sweet to me. I bought an expensive pot yesterday, the something collective, I think. Says it's unsweetened, so will have that.

    I will definitely let you know how I'm getting on, thank you again!

  • How about freezing yoghurt with berries added to curb that ice cream craving. Takes longer to eat too lol.

  • Ooh good idea!

  • Frozen bananas, pre-cut into small pieces and open frozen so they don't stick together, are amazing whizzed up into "ice-cream". Add a nut butter if you like and cacao powder. Yummy. Or just munch on the frozen banana or frozen grapes-just like mini sorbets.

    I have found my sweet tooth has upped and gone and left me. Very happy and I can have a piece of chocolate and not want another-that didn't use to happen. No way could I tackle a creme egg-but used to enjoy them.

    Good luck, I am sure you will get there.

  • Thanks Cells, great idea. I can't wait for my sugar taste buds to leave the building!!

  • They will

  • Ooh, those Collective yoghurts are amazing! They did an apple and blackberry limited edition one last year and I was addicted!

  • I'm low-sugar rather than no-sugar, but all my sugar comes from natural sources (this still has to be consumed sparingly though). From the start, I just banned biscuits, cakes and suchlike outright because if I have them in the house, I'll eat them. Then I cut out fruit juice and stuck to fruit and nuts. My substitute 'kick' comes from healthy fats. I do a lot of mostly vegetable stir-fries using extra virgin olive oil, plenty of it too. I also have full fat milk in one drink - my first morning coffee - and full fat yogurt once a day (plain, live). Nuts, dates and bananas allowed, but in controlled portions (one lot a day, basically) Dates are very sweet, so I can't eat more than one at a time anyway. I find the yogurt helps with the cravings for baked goods - something to do with gut bacteria...? Oh and the occasional square of super dark chocolate. I like it, but not enough to eat more than a bit at a time. I keep some Nakd bars (mostly made of dates) for when I'm out cycling but I don't crave them when I'm in the house. I use honey rarely in herbal tea and molasses in stews. After a while, I just don't need as much sugar. Same goes for salt, but that's another story...

  • Mayaena, thank you, it sounds like you have a very healthy approach to sugar! My daughter loves nakd bars, may have to get more! Am glad the yoghurt can help with cravings.

    Although I've lost over a stone, I seem to be a bit stuck. I see sugar as a treat/reward, but now realise it's the opposite. Feeling lethargic after my binge last night. If I can give up wine, I can definitely work on the sugar.

    I drink fruit tea, as I shouldn't have caffeine, but now the weather is warmer, I tend to stick to water.

    I feel ready for this challenge now, thank you!

  • Good luck to you - it's not easy to keep on losing. I can see I'm going to have to eat a bit less as I lose (stands to reason really) or risk grinding to a halt. But it'll be less of the same food because I like this eating plan a lot.

  • Although I generally don't have any added sugar in my diet, occasionally I get a nothing but sweets will do moment. At these times I use Werthers' sugar free toffees, both hard (9 calories a sweet) and soft (18 calories a sweet). They taste like the real thing, but I find that having one is enough to sastisfy that sweet craving, but doesn't seem to set up the need to continue stuffing more sweets in my face. Good luck with ditching the sugar.

  • I can so relate to you, I too have an awful craving for chocolate of an evening. All day I am good and eating healthy but night time is terrible. I have cut down now though from 200g bar every night to 100g and I have actually lost. Some weight in my first week

    It's not going to happenovernight but your a strong lady ! .. never give up the fight. Good luck ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Great answers there for you Sarah, good luck, you can do it ๐Ÿ˜Š

  • Incredibly helpful! Going to make a plan in the morning :)

  • Hi. My hubby is sugar intolerant so I used to bake separately. However, for the past three months I've been eating the cakes etc made with a sugar substitute too. They are just as nice as ordinary cakes. I add raisins or ginger. I also melt sugar free chocolate and add lavender or lemon and make chocolate drops. One or two is ample. I'm hoping that this will assist my weight loss now I have decided to take weight loss seriously as I do need a cake now and again. There are also sugar free biscuits. We stock up when in Spain as they are so much cheaper and better variety. If you really can't live without the occasional cake or biscuit I find them helpful๐Ÿค—

  • Thanks Sally that's really helpful. I like the sound of the sf choc drops! You must know everything with hidden sugars in!

  • Pretty much, but it's still a challenge. He used to have fortnightly treatments, now recently it's moved to four weekly and they are thinking of trying six so it's working! Our aim is six so we can visit our son in Oz.

  • Wow, the treatment sounds like it must impact on your lives greatly. What an aim though! Oz would be a wonderful trip. We're off to Canada to see close friends in the summer, hence my need for healthiness!

  • How wonderful. What an incentive. We did Canada and Alaska one if my favourite holidays. Love Canada. The Bears - wow. Went whale watching too. So we both have incentive. We can do it ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿค—

  • Best advice to consider is too much sugar damages our health .. Check out Davina McCall sugar free info online . It's a good place to start .. good luck!

  • I have reserved a couple of books from the library, hers is one. It does seem to have a massive effect on health, can't believe it's taken me this long to realise!

  • Just a thought weight gain/loss is all about re-educating ourselves to acknowledge triggers to over eating , stoping them , eating healthy , losing weight but not necessarily completely denying ourselves the things we enjoy. Life is for living , enjoying things that make us happy .. So little treats of things we like will have a positive influence on mind & body.. The key is self control , a lithe of what you like is good for you .. Too much of anything is bad for you .. So it's all about balance!! Bye bye muffin!! ๐Ÿ‘

  • Brilliant advice! I have given up wine, and that's one thing I personally can't moderate, so that's gone now for good. But I would like to know I can allow myself the odd bag of Maltesers etc, otherwise it's all going to be very hard!

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