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October 22, 2010

HF – Sugar Addiction

Simple Steps to Breaking a Sugar Addiction

By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.


Oh how sweet it is! Or so you may think but what if you’re addicted to the sweet stuff? You’re not alone. Many people are addicted to sugar in some form or another, and it can be one of the hardest habits to break. The fact is it’s hard to give up (or at least cut down) on sugar in your diet because it tastes good. Plus it makes us feel good. Sugar actually has a temporary uplifting effect on your mood and energy level. But the truth is too much sugar in your diet can be considered an addiction. This addiction can block your efforts to lose weight, cut triglyceride levels, contribute to obesity, and even lead to adult onset diabetes.

There is hope. In spite of all these things you can successfully break a sugar addiction by following these simple steps:?

1. Babysteps.

Cut down on your sugar intake gradually. It’s easier on you than going “cold turkey.”  The World Health Organization suggests your daily intake of sugar should be less than ten percent of your total calories. This means if you eat 2,000 calories daily, you need less than twelve teaspoons of sugar. Cut down week by week. Add less sugar to your tea or coffee one week. The next week, drink bottled water instead of a soda. Eat whole grain bread rather than white bread the next week. Soon, you’ll find that sugar just doesn’t taste as good as it once did.

2. Substitute.

Keep plenty of healthy snacks handy so the first thing you go for when you’re cravings kick in isn’t your favorite candy bar.
Sugar in organic fruits such as an apple, a hand full of grapes, or an orange can be a great snack that will satisfy your sweet
tooth. You can also try some alternative sweeteners such as xylitol or stevia. Avoid chemically laden artificial sweeteners like Splenda.

3. Read.

Try to avoid foods that are high in sugar by reading labels. You might be shocked to find out what you’re eating that has hidden sugars. By eliminating hidden sugars you will go far in killing the cravings. If it’s not in your house, you won’t be tempted to eat it. Sugary cereals, white breads, soda, juices with high fructose corn syrup and even fat free sour cream all have sweeteners that should be avoided and can trigger addictive behaviors. Watch for words ending in -ose (fructose) in the ingredients. Ose equals sugar.

4. Moderation.

When you make something taboo it may only tempt you more. Instead focus on using sugar for special occasions and holidays. Focus on cutting down the amount in recipes and you may find that you enjoy them even more. For instance, Grandma’s Banana Bread Recipe: Try cutting the sugar by 1/4th, then 1/2 to see how it turns out. You might be surprised. Try substituting some of the sugar with honey or molasses for both a sweet effect and a nutrition boost.

5. Plan.

Put your focus on planning well balanced and nutritious meals rather than never eating sugar again. You’ll slowly stop craving sugar in a way that’s more natural than if you swear off of it altogether. We all have a right to enjoy birthday cake, chocolate covered strawberries, and the sweet things in life. Just make them special, not every day.

Learn more about breaking your sugar addiction with our Break Free From Sugar Addiction Bundle and our 28 Day Break Free Plan Volume 2 click here for details.

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  • BarbaraUsack

    I was in a bad way with sugar, only I didn’t know it. I had the ups and downs, masking my depression with the sweet stuff for years. Potatoes Not Prozac (by Kathleen DesMaisons) changed my life. I’m mostly sugar/sweetener free and LOVING life!! Check it out, you won’t be sorry!

  • Bekah

    I’ve had great success with Kathleen DesMaison’s book Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program. There’s an online community too with support for sugar addiction at http://www.radiantrecovery.com. I’ve been off sugar for 9 months, just using her 7-step program. And I feel so much clearer and better–not walking around in a sugar fog all the time. :) (p.s. nobody is paying me to recommend this–it’s from the heart) :) Bekah

  • Teresa

    I’ve also found Kathleen DesMaisons book Potatoes Not Prozac to be enlightening regarding sugar addiction. Although I am not sugar free (yet!) I follow Kathleen’s steps and I feel so much better. I am no longer depressed and feel more energy and enthusiasm as my food improves. I highly recommend her program, more info can be found at http://www.radiantrecovery.com/

  • Alison

    I am a longtime fan of both Flylady & Saving Dinner. The program that helped me kick my sugar habit was Radiant Recovery, an on-line community that supports people following Kathleen DesMaison’s program of recovery from addiction. I have been sugar/sweetener free since 2006 and it has changed my life!

  • Weedabutt

    I stopped eating sugar more than five years ago when I found the Radiant Recovery program for healing sugar addiction. You don’t have to give up anything when you start, you just start by eating a good breakfast, something I didn’t do before.

  • Lucy

    Hi there

    I have been affected by sugar side effects all my life, I stopped having sugar on many occasions but never long term until I found a book called Potatoes Not Prosac by Kathleen Desmaisons, I read myself on every page. She explains all the science behind sugar addiction and the misery it can cause, but in a way that I could understand. She has a 7 step programme that I have been following and now 3 years on my life is completely transormed (it doesn’t take that long!).

    There is a website too called Radiant Recovery here is the link

    http://www.radiantrecovery.com/

    I couldn’t recommend this book, website and programme more highly.

    Lucy

  • Tsuzanne

    Hi! I’ve been sugars free for three years! Your steps are great for someone who just needs to cut down, but for a true addiction, I recommend Radiant Recovery.com. It’s a great way to eliminate the sugars, deal with the addiction, and any other addictions!, and get on with life.

    Therese

  • Kath

    These tips are wonderful if you want to cut down your sugar intake and are not addicted. However the misery of addiction includes being able to see that something should work, and not being able to break free. Logic and choice (will power, or rather WONT power) seem impossible.

    The steps outlined at radiantrecovery.com heal the cause of the addiction, to sugar as well as other drugs and behaviours. Starting with breakfast every day, meeting the nutritional needs of the body steadies the erratic blood sugar levels and heals the damage of many years.

    The life after that existence is amazing. If you want to cut down your sugar use, but find that you have real difficulty, you may benefit from addressing the addiciton at the base of the problem instead of just the symptoms.

    Wishing everyone well.

  • Sparkles

    I love that you are talking about sugar addiction!!!

    I know that I used to try to cut down my sugar intake on a daily basis but it never worked for me – ever.

    When I read Potatoes not Prozac by Dr Kathleen DesMaisons it all made sense!! I swear it was written about me. The book outlines 7 simple steps to healing sugar sensitivity.

    I have been sugar free for three years now and it truly is the best thing I have ever done!

    Keep talking about sugar addiction – so many people out there would love to hear about it!

    All the best!

  • Kate Gerwin

    Please! If you in anyway feel bound by moodswings, lethargy, compuslive eating or any other symptoms of “sugar addiction”, please, please do yourself the favore of checking out radiantrecovery.com and reading Dr. DeMaisons book… it literally saved my life!

  • LnKay

    This article is SO true! Sugar addiction is powerful and can affect our lives in ways that don’t seem related to sugar at all. I’ve been working a program from the radiantrecovery.com site that is absolutely amazing as it offers direction to not only gradually becoming sugar free; but also healing the addiction itself – no willpower needed!

    Dr. Kathleen DeMaisons has done and continues groundbreaking work to help us “sugar sensitives” break free of the addiction and live more normal lives.

  • Anonymous

    When you’re physically addicted to sugar eating it in “moderation” is pretty impossible! That’s the nature of addiction. But there is hope. I urge anyone who’s reading this who has a problem with sugar to check out Kathleen Des Maison’s 7 step programme at radiantrecovery.com. Even just following step 1 of the programme has made a huge difference to how I feel and I no longer suffer from depression and constant lethary. I highly recommend this programme.

  • Zoe

    Yet another voice to support Radiantrecovery.com! I discovered Potatoes not Prozac and the Flylady.net website completely independently but it is incredible how both have changed my life for the better in harmony with each other. I used to be completely overwhelmed by the clutter in my head and my life. But with the help of those babysteps I have so much more energy and clarity. And I KNOW from my Step 2 journal that the days when I go easy on the sugar are better days.

  • Carmelina_iam

    Thankyou for all this information. But from my personal experience as a sugar addict and what I have observed in others, it is dangerous to think you can handle “just a bit” every now and then. I see this as similar to alcoholism. I made a commitment to myself to avoid the stuff. Period. Once i start with “just a bit”…. it has eventually lead to bingeing. Regardless of how well I eat. I know myself well enough now to no longer go that route. That doesn’t mean this no sugar route is for everyone. But I do think it IS best for true “sugar addicts” like myself. Thankyou again

  • Beth

    Oh Leanne. I love Saving Dinner and FlyLady.net. I learned so much about planning and getting good meals on the table every evening from you! And I’m glad you are talking about sugar addiction.
    I so totally agree with you that forbidding yourself to never have sugar again doesn’t work. It never worked for me anyway. But even so, today I am totally sugar-free!! Amazing!! And I don’t go around and crave it or feel sorry for myself because of it. And that I owe to the 7 steps from http://www.radiantrecovery.com. And simply forbidding sugar in your life is NOT a part of this program. It’s gentle and gradual and follows your body’s rythym of healing.
    I don’t eat sugar because I am so addicted to it, that one little bite would lead to a binge. There are those of us, who experience that. But this program has truly changed my life, not only taking away the binges, but the guilt, anger and depression that was once such a huge and unwanted part of my life.