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How to Kill Your Sugar Cravings Without Turning Into an Actual Monster

So long, daily doughnuts. It’s been real.

01.24.17
Candy Christmas background with different sweets with copy space. Candy mix with jellybeans, marshmellows, cone, sweets and bonbons on blue background.

I always look like a million bucks by the end of January.

opengear-one-million-dollars

See? Faintly green. As dry as paper. Angry in the face. Puffy and bloated, like six zeros in a row.

Everyone’s always like, “Stop eating sugar and drinking alcohol and eating bread and stuff!” And I’m like, “Hahahahaha, k.”

But I feel gross and need to do something, so I started looking into what “cutting sugar” — and not “with my teeth,” AKA chewing — would actually look like, along with how the hell I was supposed to stave off withdrawal symptoms.

McKel Hill of Nutrition StrippedShira Lenchewski, MS, RD and Anne Markt, Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, all weighed (haha!) in. Sorry if I’m in a weird mood while writing this, by the way. I AM DAY ONE OFF SUGAR.

***Talk to your doctor about all of this before you begin***

Step 1: Swear an Oath to Cut Out Added Sugar Forever

Step 2: Feel Like You Are Going to Cry if You Don’t Get Chocolate In Your Mouth ASAP. Eat a Candy Bar and…aw shit. 

One of the first things that Shira did was empathize with that off-the-sugar-wagon mindset, “Well, I’ve ruined everything so I might as well continue to eat like this for the rest of the year.” No. “You’re fine,” she said. Take a couple of days and get back in the game!” Okay then. Rather than steps, let’s think about all of this in terms of solutions.

Solution 1: Get that gut in order.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 4: Kimchi at the home of Grace Hong and husband David Olsen who host Dumplingfest, a holiday party after all the other holiday parties, ringing in the New Year with as many friends as will fit in their row house Saturday January 4, 2013. (Photo by Dayna Smith/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Shira said told me that the makeup of your gut microbiome can actually affect sugar cravings. She recommends incorporating foods with “good” bacteria (think live cultures like lactobacillus) which can help balance out that delicate ecosystem. She’s into coconut kefir, raw sauerkraut and kimchi.

(Note: Raw fermented foods are not recommended for those who are pregnant or have a compromised immune system. Speak to your doctor about a probiotic supplement instead.)

Solution 2: Sure, you can replace added sugar with stevia, but don’t go crazy!

Stevia. (Photo by: MediaForMedical/UIG via Getty Images)

If you’re going to replace added sugar with stevia, don’t overdo it just because it’s “better for you,” or your taste buds are going to have a very hard time adjusting to non-sweetened foods, which is the point. Stevia is very sweet. Go easy on it. (All three nutritionists promised me that my taste buds will adjust, but it will take time.)

Solution 3: Get proper sleep. 

UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1950s: Portrait of woman in bed sleeping. (Photo by George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Sigh. This damn sleep thing. Both Shira and Anne stressed the importance of sleep and relaxation. Anne said that if you get inadequate sleep, you’ll crave sugar (or caffeine) for energy. Can 2017 please be the year we stop staying up until 2 a.m. to look at multiple version of the same meme and actually go to bed? How bow dah?

Shira said if you’re craving bread (which has sugar in it, y’allll) it could be because your cortisol (the stress hormone) is surging, which can also peak from lack of sleep. She recommends making a serious effort to take a breather, whether it’s unwinding after a long day with an Epsom salt bath or taking five minutes to put in your headphones and listen to good music. Yes, to avoid sugar cravings.

Let me know if this has ever helped you not eat a third bagel because at this point I’m trying it all.

Solution 4: Drink water!

Two Glasses Of Water with Lemon Slice. (Photo by: A&G Reporter/AGF/UIG via Getty Images)

Drink it in the morning and throughout the day. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: your brain, while remarkable, confuses thirst with hunger. Dehydration can also make you tired, which causes you to reach for sugar to spike your energy, which will cause you to crash later — it’s a cycle. Stay hydrated, and since there’s controversy over the amount (and it all depends on your individual body) Anne’s rule of thumb is to make sure your pee is light to clear so you know you’re drinking enough water.

Solution 5: Start the day with a healthy breakfast.

If you hate breakfast, Anne suggests bulletproof coffee because the healthy fat will help you feel satiated and not jittery. For those who can stomach a morning meal (I wake up ready to eat another human), you want a balanced mix of carbs, protein and fat. Aim for real, whole foods that are dense in micronutrients, nothing processed, and obviously no added sugars.

Solution 6: Balance your macro nutrients at every meal.

Several vegetables and fruits: grapefruit, cabbage, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, squash, garlic mushrooms and kiwis. (Photo by Jose R. Aguirre/Cover/Getty Images)

Including snack time. And aim to eat every three to four hours to keep your blood sugar balanced. Anne said that at Dr. Lipman’s office, they encourage clients to fill two thirds of their plate with green, leafy vegetables (if you’re going for the starchy variety, shrink that down a bit), then add a high-quality protein (chicken, beef, turkey, fish, eggs; organic, grass-fed, no chemicals or preservatives). If you’re vegan or vegetarian, beans, nuts and seeds offer a “decent source” of protein.  You also want to incorporate a healthy fat into each meal, such as avocado; nuts; seeds; a high-quality oil like olive, coconut or avocado; or ghee.

So that’s: 2/3 veggies, 1/4 protein and one to two servings of high quality fat.

And for portion control, Dr. Lipman’s website recommends:

Salads: about the size of two open hands
Vegetables: about the size of one open hand
High-quality carbohydrate, like a sweet potato: about the size of your fist
High-quality protein: about the size of your palm

Solution 7: Buy things plain and if you have to sweeten them, keep it natural.

When you’re starting to eliminate sugar, Anne said that first and foremost, you have to try to buy things plain to get used to the taste. If you can’t, rather than sweeten with honey, agave, cane sugar, maple sugar or chemical fake shit sugar (those are my words, not Anne’s!), try adding coconut sugar, Stevia, or pieces of actual fruit. If you fear that your sugar addiction is at an all-time high, avoid high-sugar fruits like pineapple, mango and banana, which will make it harder for your taste buds to adjust.

Solution 8: I feel like you know this already, but meditate, exercise and hang out with your friends.

We’re far more likely to crave sugar if our body is chronically in fight-or-flight mode, said Anne. Sugar puts more stress on the body, so the cycle continues. You know what else causes stress and therefore the urge to eat a brownie? Experiencing a lack of creativity or feeling lonely.

I know that I personally go into hermit mode when I’m trying to get healthy because it feels easier than being tempted by what my friends are eating or doing. This time around, I’m going to keep up what I started in December: turn social plans into fitness plans so that I can see friends, avoid alcohol and get exercise at the same timeAnd I’ll start meditating again, mom.

Solution 9: If you’re beginning to picture your roommate as a lollipop, try L-Glutamine.

Anne recommends this Amino acid that both can “heal gut lining and reduce sugar cravings.” When taken in high-quality form (from a good brand without junk fillers — she recommends Be Well) it can really help with symptoms of sugar cravings. Check with your doctor about this to ensure that it’s a good fit for you.

Solution 10: Substitutions

dark chocolate bar as background closeup

McKel Hill of Nutrition Stripped offered up these swaps:

If you want bread, try making your own homemade loaf, or, the baby-step version, opt for one that contains the most fiber you can find, which will help stabilize blood sugars (versus white bread). Eventually, this will lead to less overall sugar cravings due to a drop in blood sugar. Eat this bread with protein and healthy fats to further stabilize. Or, consume a whole food carbohydrate, like fruit, sweet potato, millet, quinoa or barley instead.

[Ed note: Leslie sent me a “recipe” for sweet potato toast and it looks easy/weird/good.]

If you want chocolate, eat magnesium-rich foods like pumpkin seeds, beans and maca powder, OR go for a high-quality, 80% dark chocolate bar (she suggests that you limit it to two small squares at a time and look for brands that are organic and support Fair Trade).

If you need sugar-sugar, McKel said to try a small amount (she stressed the small amount portion of this advice) of honey, maple syrup, fruit or dates to sweeten whatever it is you’re sweetening (i.e. oatmeal, smoothies, etc.)

If you want a sugary drink, try sparkling water with a splash of lime, lemon or grapefruit juice. Or, try 1/2 cup coconut water mixed with filtered water for a subtle-sweet taste while still decreasing sugar content. “It’s a good baby step.”

IS THIS NORMAL?!!?

You might feel tired or irritable for the first couple days during this process. The pros above told me this is normal, and what’s happening is that we are in detox mode.

shall-not-pass

Ignore Gandolf. THIS WILL PASS!!!! They promised me. In the mean time, drink lots of water (yeah, yeah, we KNOW!) and rest. Listen, if I cannot eat my daily pack of Reece’s Cups, you better believe I am going to take up a habit of naps.

Anne Markt is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and is currently working with a Functional Medicine Doctor as well as studying Functional Medicine techniques for her practice at NAO and Be Well’s patients/Clients.

Shira Lenchewski, MS, RD (@shira_RD) is a Los Angeles based nutritionist and writer. She emphasizes self-compassion as a way to help people develop a healthier relationship with food.

McKel Hill (@nutritionstripped) is a Dietitian Nutritionist who runs wellness blog Nutrition Stripped.

Photos via Getty Images.

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  • Mary

    THIS! All of this. I am in the same situation (million dollar bill resemblance, third bagel, etc) and I need to stop, so thank you for bringing in the reinforcements

    • Amelia Diamond

      Ok we can do this together!!

  • Clara

    Ugh this sounds like a total life-do over. Maybe it would be easier not to do all of this at once? But good luck to you!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Or to do none of it?? Hahah. Well, it’s a “lifestyle” not a diet so I’m going to try to start small until I get used to it, although I tend to be one of those people who just accepts that at restaurants and birthdays and superbowl parties I’m going to be like, “Fuck it” and eat what I want.

      • Senka

        That actually mght be the best approach as long as you dont eat most of your meals out.

  • Jamie

    Yes!!! Keep up the fight! It’s sooooo worth it. Essential for good gut health as well, which literally affects everything else. And less health problems means more energy to kick butt and create and do all that awesome stuff.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Not having energy (mid-day, like 2-5) recently has been my biggest motivator in actually trying this.

  • Andrea Raymer

    yes! i went off sugar last october and kept eating sugar free protein bars to get my chocolate fix. i want to do it again, but i always wait til february to start any diet-based resolutions because my january birthday tends to get in the way and ruin my plans

    • Amelia Diamond

      omg you did it in OCTOBER? WHAT DID YOU DO ON HALLOWEEN??

      • Andrea Raymer

        thats when I gave up

        • Amelia Diamond

          ah well WHEN YA FALL OFF THE HORSE or whatever

  • literarity

    when i did whole30, which requires this kind of restriction, the sugar part was my biggest concern and turned out to be the easiest part. the 3 things that made the biggest difference:
    1) eating a protein-heavy breakfast with good veg present,
    2) not thinking of it as eliminating sugar, but rather only eating naturally occurring “sugar.” need something sweet? eat fruit.
    3) avoiding fruit until mid-afternoon (2 meals in, and the effect of a glucose spike on my craving cycle was significantly lessened)

    • Amelia Diamond

      Did you do the whole 30 all 30 days? What were your go-to meals? I am trying this but I am SO NOT CREATIVE in the kitchen. I basically can’t cook and panic when I order. One more q: how did you eat veg with breakfast (or does that not make you feel sick? i can’t eat them in the am)

      • literarity

        doing whole30 without cooking/meal planning sounds really hard and stressful! i actually have a huge database of what i ate at every meal and how i integrated it into sunday cooking, so i basically never had to think about food. i’d be happy to share.

        short version:
        breakfast was usually scrambled eggs w wilted spinach and some roasted tomatoes, or a sausage/squash hash, or sauteed green beans and mushrooms, or bacon and plums, or if i was in a rush a ton of nuts and berries and a protein shake (not ideal — hard on yr digestion), and tbh i also really like salad for breakfast, shrug

        greatest hits of lunch — wilted kale/sausage/other veg combo, turkey/chicken thighs w roasted veggies (throw carrots, green beans, baby potatoes, beets, squash, w/e tossed in oil in the oven), homemade hot/sour soup w broccoli noodles (i made a big broth out of a leftover turkey carcass), salmon over salad

        dinner — i don’t get super hungry at night + eating nutrient dense food kept me much fuller, so it was a small meal — sometimes prosciutto wrapped asparagus, or little spinach and beef/pork meatloafs, turkey burger patty w green salsa & veg-loaded guac, blackberries & pancetta, squash soup…

        • Amelia Diamond

          omg. ok. see. if I could cook…this all actually sounds so so delicious. I need to learn how to cook you guys.

      • AbigailatSea

        To chime in on the salad for breakfast thing- I regularly have mixed greens with added radicchio, a little bit of chopped ham, a french mustard vinaigrette (just salt, pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar and trader joe’s dijon mustard) topped with two fried eggs for breakfast. It’s delicious, has enough good fats and protein to last all day, and gets me my veggies at breakfast.

      • Sugar Bones

        Amelia! I am on week three of whole 30 and stumbled across this blog while looking for recipes early in the game. Homegirl has a 3-meal/day plan (and snacks!) along with a shopping list. The list is giant because she is feeding a family, but I slash it in half for my 2 person household and it’s still pretty pricey, but we’re not dining out or drinking so it evens out. There are plans for week 2, 3, and 4, too.
        Good luck on your sugar-free journey, you’ve totally got this.

        https://www.ourpaleolife.com/2013/09/whole30-meal-plan-week-1/

    • Andrea Raymer

      I always make Whole30 cookies for my friend the couple of times she has done it. Just bananas, almond flour and blueberries

      • Amelia Diamond

        RECIPE HERE PLEASE?

        • Andrea Raymer

          Recipe:

          Smash 2 ripe bananas in a large bowl with a fork.

          Mix in 2 and some change cups of almond flour.

          Wash and add 1 small carton of blueberries.

          Separate into 12 golfball sized blobs on a greased baking sheet

          Bake at 350 for 15ish minutes, or until slightly brown at the top.

          Turn off your oven.

          Eat.

          I alos made them in one of my Bachelor vlogs! (for my new years resolution!
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6VWVY6OZbY&t=3s

          • Amelia Diamond

            i think i can handle this

      • literarity

        nice! i’m about to do another round in feb. i avoided baking “replacement” treats the first time around bc i worried it would make it harder with glucose spiking… but my best gal is joining me and she loves baking so i’m adding this to my recipe list!

  • Luarnaiz

    The most important part for cutting out sugar is learning how to cook, at least some easy meals. Also, almond butter!

    • Amelia Diamond

      i know i gotta get on it

  • MMR

    so inspiringgg… great suggestions! i am going to try the sweet potato toast tomorrow wooo! also, i would recommend having at least 1 friend/relative/s.o do it with you, misery loves company 😉

    • Amelia Diamond

      good call. my friend got my ass to the gym this am so definitely, buddy system.

  • Lauren

    I really enjoyed this article until I realized it will effect my 11am Diet Mt. Dew break….did they happen to have a replacement for this?

    • Amelia Diamond

      i had a teacher who lovedddd diet mountain dew. um… water with lemon and a big imagination?

      • Lauren

        4 minutes too late *sip* …tomorrow

  • Tania

    For me, my main motivation for having a diet limited in processed sugar is skin care and effortless weight maintenance. My skin’s elasticity and glow is poppin’! Sugar undoubtedly dehydrates your skin which i think contributes to artificially oily skin and then breakouts.

    I also replace coffee with black tea and milk and try to drink more cooled herbal teas as a juice substitute.

    Diabetes is common in my family so I do stay clear of ripe bananas due to their have high sugar content. However, I still consume yellow bananas right before they are ripe . They go great with a nut butter on rice cakes. I also like to freeze them when they are mildly sweet and they are still a good base for “ice cream” – simple recipe is 1.5 large frozen mild sweet banana (cut up), 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 date or 8-10 soft raisins, 1tsp of all natural cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon or tumeric and 2 tsp of all natural peanut butter (with no sugar added). Add ice to thicken.

    • Amelia Diamond

      Yup, sugar is another reason I want to try this, too. My skin has been so weird lately.

      That “ice cream” sounds amazing!

      • Basil

        I tried the “ice cream” once – set your expectations low (I was hoping for a Ben and Jerry’s replacement – WRONG) and maybe try something like coconut milk to make it creamier tasting.

        I’m trying to cut sugar but the sleep deprivation is what screws me over. That and an office constantly filled with snacks

    • Shevaun

      yes, agreed, the effortless weight maintenance is such a side-benefit.

      i used to feel bloated all the time, even if I was working out a lot, just because I was always snacking on sweets. cut out sugar, and now look/feel ripped all the time. so good.

      Also, I used to blend raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, almond milk and cinnamon (I think?) in my food processor, and then put it in the freezer to make a sort of dairy-free ice-cream. So tastyyyyy.

  • Starvenchy

    They say the biggest motivation is fear. The fear of eating that delicious glazed donut and breaking out the next day or eating that whole pizza pie and regretting it in the morning. Out of all the diets I’ve tried in my life, the sugar-free diet was the most difficult by far. For six months I kept it up, no carbs, no sugar with great results. Add to the fact I found out what foods I was allergic to and a proper sleep regimen during that time period, and it resulted in smooth skin and a bloat-free tummy

    • Mariana

      I don’t know if I have a bigger problem with sugar-free or carbs-free. What would you eat at breakfast and snacks when you are carbs-free and still have energy? That is my biggest prob

      • Starvenchy

        Breakfast was the heaviest meal of the day for me so it was either greens and protein (eggs, meat, etc.), or just protein. I usually created some sort of random veggie dish to snack or juiced veggies which is where my energy came from along with various supplements (CoQ10, Vitamin B Complex, etc.). Vitamin C powder was my sugar placebo that I would sprinkle in every glass of water I drank lol.

  • tmm16

    I read this and was like yeah! I’m on board with you, Amelia! then 5 minutes later, “Man, insomnia cookies should really good for tonight.” I’ll try to resist the temptation. But sugar really is the devil.

  • Jen

    Honestly…all I want right now are the tantalizing candy orange slices in that picture.

  • Rachael Rose

    I’m trying to go sugar free.. the struggle is real. I find myself snacking on my gummy vitamins far too frequently to get a sugar hit…. but after being inspired by this article I’m trying to get back on the horse and am currentlyn indulging in some apple cider vinegar….

  • Grace B

    I eat small daily portions of sugar without guilt.

  • Amelia, maybe think about the 80/20 diet. I loosely follow it and don’t find myself crying over eating a donut. I make sure to incorporate veggies and whole grains into meals and every once in a while will order a cheeseburger/pizza so I don’t murder someone because of withdrawals.

  • ReS

    (High quality) L-Glutamine is def not a casual supplement for sugar cravings! I’m on it for serious stomach issues because of an autoimmune disease. And it’s powerful!

    That being said, good luck! I quit sugar 2 years ago and it changed my life. Also could not have weaned myself off it without eating a few squares of Antidote 100% cacao every day (are you allowed that??) http://www.antidotechoco.com/shop-bars/raw-100-nibs-antidote

  • kitmcc

    I am one year in to taking most sugar out of my diet. I never thought I would type those words. But as my waist line kept growing despite lots of exercise and moderate eating, I had to consider it. Most people would not have said I need to lose weight, but I lost 10lbs and honestly my activity has gone down if anything. Waistline was my problem but I lost fat in my hips and butt. My inspiration was a this 17 minute segment on Science Friday: http://www.sciencefriday.com/segments/always-hungry-your-fat-cells-may-be-to-blame/ . I’d like to share the key points if you aren’t game to jump full in. Btw, chocolate is on this from day 1 and is encouraged (it just has to be 70% or above).

    Mostly I’d like to say please don’t go full tilt on something only to have a stopping point, consider a slow change to something better. I know that cold turkey is ideal but I don’t know if it’s realistic for most, be realistic. Ramp up the fat (nuts and dairy) you eat and cut the sugar but don’t set yourself up too rigidly. Try to approach it mindfully. Start noticing what you eat that has sugar (or turns to sugar, carbs), you will be shocked how much sugar you eat that isn’t even sweet! Look at labels – sugar in the ingredients (not naturally occurring)? – look for another brand. Skip the bread unless its the best bread in the world. Think of it this way, you want to eat all foods in their most natural form, where they haven’t been broken down. Your body knows how to use these kinds of foods most efficiently.

    The best part of the whole thing was the fat! No eating non or low fat milk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, etc. We need to eat healthy fats but they do not make you fat! I keep trail mix (make it myself – super easy) with me and eat it at will.

    Hints for lunch idea: buy sliced cheese (I always use swiss) you like and make little veggie tacos. I spread hummus, sliced peppers, avocado, dill pickles, tomatoes, whatever you like – fill it up and fold it in half. Eat until you are full. An apple and almond butter is great along with it. Creamy dill dip with veggies.

    Breakfast smoothie is super simple and delicious – stays with you for hours. I missed Diet Coke the most (no go on fake sugar) but fizzy water has helped. I gave up flavored low fat creamer in my coffee, but the Half & Half made it easier. It will take sacrifice but it’s so nice eating as much as I want all with full fat flavor, NO calorie counting!

    A calorie is NOT a calorie! You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. Journey toward movement (exercise) you love and get back to eating real food that is rich, creamy, and satisfying. The loss of sugar will seem like a small price to pay.

    • belle

      This was really motivating to read! I am definitely addicted to sugar/carbs and have such a hard time avoiding it. I have recently switched to whole milk and started making my own (unsweetened) whole milk yogurt – super easy! I’m going to give homemade sourdough starter a try too…and I’m definitely going to have to try your lunch taco suggestions!

  • Miss J

    And don’t forget to make this giant leap right after your menstrual cycle because the cravings won’t be as bad.

    My favorite 15 minute sugar free dessert goes something like this:

    Soak a cup of dates overnight.
    Drain, remove pits, and use your stick blender to make it the consistency of toothpaste.
    Add unsweetened cocoa powder to taste, cinnamon, and whatever else you have handy.
    Oil up your hands with whatever- coconut, olive oil, anything really.
    Here comes the best part: roll these bite size balls in whatever you want, such as: coconut flakes, almond meal, ground walnuts, flax meal, pulverized whatever, even more cocoa.

    So there you have it, a raw, sugar-free, grain-free, dairy-free, everything free, vegan snack/dessert that even a cat could make if it had thumbs.

    You’re welcome.

    Love,

    Occasional Housewife

    P.S. (second one today)

    I love that there’s more food talk on MR lately.

  • kea

    For me, the hardest thing to cut out would be CHEESE and WINE. Because I’m obsessed with both.

    • kitmcc

      The way I eat you don’t have to – just know and understand what you’re eating and use moderation.

      • kea

        Tell me more about what you eat/your philosophy 🙂

        • kitmcc

          Try to stay away from extremes, they are very hard to maintain. My main lightbulb was realizing that my body knows how to process and efficiently use whole foods, I need to eat those as much as possible. So NO non or low fat dairy products (yay!) -they have been broken down and changed from their natural state, our bodies don’t really know what to do with that so sets it aside and stores it as fat and then makes you hungry again), Look at the ingredient list of everything you eat and if sugar is on the list find another brand (this will shock you!) or skip it.
          General rules: Fruit and veggies to my content (except for tropical fruit, moderation here due to high sugar), no juice (it’s not in it’s whole form!), nuts and seeds (I eat these as much as I want in trail mix and nut butters). Sliced turkey, cheese, hummus, eggs, creamy sauces, there is so much you CAN eat! I only eat bread if it’s the best ever or from a sprouted grain. A little wine, and occasional margarita, a little sugar (70% and above chocolate), a small amount of dessert when I’m at a celebration (remember don’t go with extreme deprivation!).
          Take a look at the Always Hungry website (https://www.drdavidludwig.com) Educating yourself in the basics and then building on it as you are ready. Sure, cold turkey NO SUGAR detox may be ideal but if you can’t stay with it then why bother. Mindful eating (do I know what’s in it and am I full?) will hopefully get nurtured with a new set of eyes on your eating.
          There is so much to share but hopefully that’s a bit helpful. The urge for sugar does go away, honestly! I’m not going to say that I now think sugar is too sweet and yuk, it’s still delicious, it’s just not controlling me and I don’t crave it because I eat so much more fat. Ahhhh, somebody stop my going on and on….

  • Meredith

    You should look into the “Wild Diet” for ideas and recipes. Good guidance for a lifestyle change over a diet, less extreme than Whole30. It basically boils down to way less sugar and carbs, more good fats, and a lot more veggies compared with the average American diet. My husband and I changed our habits over a year ago and have collectively lost over 125lbs. We are pretty moderate in our execution (still have donuts and pizza on occasion), but now we have the willpower and desire to reset.

  • Gene

    Gandalf. That’s all, it’s a douchy/dorky comment.

  • I’m 26 days in of no sugar or alcohol. Downside: I’m still craving it, I make whimpering noises going past the cake and chocolate aisle and I just really miss eating it. Lots of it.

    Upside: I look amazing, I’ve lost weight and my skin can go without a layer of foundation. Urgh.

    I tried to avoid substituting as you aint cutting out sugar if you do that as you’re not breaking a cycle. But when I’m desperate I make a hot drink with unsweetened almond milk and a teaspoon (or tablespoon…) of blackstrap molasses which tastes like a malty coffee. It’s still sugar, but it’s also a way to get iron, copper, chromium etc. and is supposed to be good for your hair & nails.

    I also make stewed apple (just apple and water) and make a puree to have with yoghurt on a morning or a dessert on an evening with a whole heap of cream. Just found a sugar free crumble topping recipe too!

  • Shevaun

    So I used to have a real problem with candy, donuts and chocolate. Chock it up to being canadian (donutttttts are everywherrrrrre), and loving incremental foods/snacks (when my husband introduced me to pomegranates I almost died; such a delightfully time-consuming snack), and being a full-time student, and you can bet your damn ass I was in the candy aisle of every store at least once a day.

    but i also had headaches everyday, i felt nauseous most of the time, and turned into a lunatic if I couldn’t get my hands on sour keys or a honey cruller.

    so for my new year’s resolution for 2016 I announced “I’MA QUIT SUGAR FOR ALL OF 2016; NO DONUTS, NO CANDY, NO CHOCOLATE”. And literally every single person I knew laughed at me. because, whoah that is definitely not something I could do.

    but I am a stubborn ass, so I literally did it. As of three weeks ago I have not ingested any candy, chocolate-bars, or donuts for a whole year.

    there were caveats, like I have eaten ice-cream (but I didn’t even try it until about April 2016, so as to not freak my body back into addiction) and I have had cake about twice (we gave away half of my birthday cake because i couldn’t even deal with it, it was so sweet), and one pie for husbu’s birthday. but I don’t drink juice, don’t eat cupcakes or anything, and pretty much avoid it 100%.

    But seriously Amelia, if you can, you should stick with it. You have no idea how shitty sugar makes you feel until you go off and then revisit it. now when I have ice-cream or cake it’s like I have a cold the next day, or a hangover. Your taste-buds will be so much better. I actually cook now and experiment past just salt-and-pepper because i can *actually taste differences in flavors now*. also oranges are now so sweet they’re almost too much (every time I’m eating one I’m just like OMG SO EXTREME), and apples are the most delicious and refreshing treat. I sound like a mormon, but really.

    End Goal: so my parent’s took me into a candy shop when they were visiting and my mouth started watering and my hands were itching. It’s like having an addictive relapse. So I’m gonna keep this going for probably ever now. Also, I don’t drink alcohol, which I think can probably make sugar addiction/dependency worse, because there is so much sugar in alcohol and it compromises your reasoning etc.

    So, tl;dr, quit eating it and feel great and never have headaches again! oranges will be insane! you’ll feel like a million bucks (after the 2 months of extreme irrationality and mood-swings)!

    • belle

      “I sound like a mormon” I’m dying….thank you

  • Peter

    I find an effective way to limit my sugar intake is to commit a crime that will ensure I’ll be locked away and unable to access the sugary foods I crave. There’s no ice cream in prison. You’re welcome, guys!

  • Christel Michelle

    I slowly eased into this (am still easing into it) and agave syrup is my favorite sugar alternative. When I want candy I eat dried or reg fresh fruit. Also, nut butters are the best!!!!

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