13 Effective Ways to Quit Sugar

13 Effective Ways to Quit Sugar
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It’s 4pm, you are sitting in your office and you are getting that all too familiar craving. You don’t smoke, you are not an alcoholic and you don’t take drugs. You may not even drink coffee. However, you do eat a lot of chocolate and cookies. Basically, anything sweet and delicious. Yep, that’s right, you may be addicted to sugar.

Many people realize they are addicted to sugar when throughout the day, they would often find themselves craving something sweet and comforting that would give them a little lift. This surge in energy would soon drop, however, and then they would crave something sweet once again – vicious cycle. Sound familiar?


If so, it’s no wonder. We are surrounded by sugary delights in pretty packages that look so tempting and innocent. Unfortunately, such sweet treats are far from it.

According to a research conducted in the University of Bordeaux sugar is just as addictive as cocaine.1 Now I hear you thinking: “Yeah ok, but sugar is not as detrimental to my health as much as an illegal drug, right?” Maybe not initially, but let me just remind you of the harmful effects sugar can have on your health.

Why you should quit sugar

1. One of the most obvious reasons is that sugar is very calorific, but not very filling. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel all that satisfied after eating just one Krispy Kreme doughnut. Hence, why people tend to over-eat the sweet stuff.

2. Sugar suppresses the immune system – if you regularly eat sugary foods and drinks throughout the day, then you are stopping your immune system from working properly.

3. Sugar causes inflammation – this causes pain and can lead to diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

4. Sugar can cause tooth decay.

5. Sugar reduces the release of the human growth hormone, which accelerates the aging process.


As scary as those points were, don’t feel too ashamed of your sugar habit. We’re only humans, and there’s no shame in admitting that now and again – we like to snuggle up in front of the TV with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, (especially if we’ve just split up with our boyfriend/girlfriend, in which ice cream should be prescribed by the docs). However, it is important we know what we are putting in our bodies. So, read on as I give you my personal tips on how to quit sugar, and feel healthier and happier.

Tricks to quit sugar for good:

1. Eat regularly

Because we are often very busy, we tend to eat irregularly. For many people, if they don’t eat regularly, their blood sugar levels drop, they feel hungry and are more likely to crave sugary snacks. Eating three meals and two snacks or five small meals a day will help you to maintain normal blood sugar levels.

Eating a good breakfast is essential to prevent sugar cravings. Instead of having carbs and sugary foods for breakfast, include in your breakfast protein, healthy fat, fruits or vegetables. Try to include healthy fat and protein with each meal, as it helps control blood sugar levels.

2. Detox your body

When people do a detox and eliminate sugar from their diet, it often decreases their sugar cravings. Although the initial reaction is sugar cravings, which can be overwhelming, our body adjust itself and the desire for sugar will disappear. If you are interested in detoxifying your body, you can find more useful information in my e-book The Detox Guide. This guide will teach you how to use detox to cleanse and energize your body naturally and safely.

3. Emotional eating


Usually we tend to think that a bad mood, stress and anxiety cause us to eat more sugary foods, and we find a cure in eating them. Be honest with yourself and be aware of the emotional issues around your sugar addiction. Eat what you eat with full awareness – ask yourself if you’re eating because you are bored, worried, stressed, and if the answer is “yes”, try to find another solution aside from eating, for example, go for a walk, read, meet with friend, practice yoga, go to a movie, listen to music. Do something you love, get together with someone you love, and see how all of a sudden you’ll great desire so to eat sweets subsides. For more tips read my post on how to beat emotional eating. Beating emotional eating and cravings is also one of the 70 habits featured in my e-book 70 Powerful Habits For A Great Health which will guide you how to take positive steps to improve your wellness and overall health.

4. Eliminate or reduce processed foods

The amount of sugar in processed food is usually quite high. Some food items that don’t seem to contain sugar, can actually be high in sugar content. You need to get into the habit of reading labels to check what you put into your body and check the sugar content.

5. Mineral deficiencies

According to Livestrong website, deficiencies of some trace minerals, including chromium, vanadium, magnesium and zinc, which are involved with glucose metabolism and insulin production, may cause you to crave sugar.

A chromium deficiency may cause intense cravings for sugar. Natural sources of chromium include lean meats, asparagus, cheese, molasses, brewer’s yeast and whole grains.

Magnesium is involved with the regulation of glucose and insulin. If your body lacks magnesium, you may have strong cravings for sugar products, especially chocolate. Food sources of magnesium are spinach, Lima beans, almonds, hazelnuts, oat bran and brown rice.

Vanadium is needed by your muscles to obtain enough glucose for energy and also stabilizes insulin production. A vanadium deficiency may be the cause of some sugar cravings. Vanadium is found in shellfish, mushrooms, dill, parsley, wine, beer and whole grain products,

Zinc is also needed by your body a proper insulin and glucose utilization. A zinc deficiency can result in low insulin levels, which may lead to a craving for sugar. Zinc is found in foods such as beef, pork, oysters, lobster, yogurt, chickpeas, almonds and oatmeal.

6. Get enough sleep


For those who try to maintain a healthy weight and quit sugar, lack of sleep is not recommended at all. Fatigue makes people hungrier, and people who don’t sleep enough hours tend to consume hundreds of calories more a day (much of it in the form of unhealthy sweet foods). You can find here more information about the damages of sleep deprivation.

7. Watch out for sugar substitutes

This includes ‘healthy sugar’ too, such as honey, maple syrup, or molasses. They may contain more nutrients than the refined white stuff, but unfortunately, sugar is sugar, and once it is in your body, it turns into what? You said it – sugar. Using stevia leaves is the best option, although some people don’t like the taste of it.

8. Watch out for dried fruit

Dried fruit may seem like a healthier snack option than cake. And indeed dried fruits have health benefits, but also many calories and sugar. I always felt a sense of smugness when I would be munching away at a packet of dried banana chips while my friend tucked into a cupcake. I would also feel a pang of jealousy, not gonna lie. However, dried fruit contain a lot of sugar. So watch up for portion size and don’t exaggerate with the quantity. If you give in to your cravings, have instead a piece of fresh fruit. It will help you to satisfy a sweet craving and is much healthier.

9. Don’t keep sugary foods at your home and office

Most important, take out of your home all those tempting and unhealthy foods such as cakes and cookies, chips, candies, chocolate and ice cream, and upgrade them to healthier options. You cannot eat a whole package of ice cream straight out of the box if you won’t have ice cream in the freezer, right? We often buy food “for the children”, “For my husband / wife”, “for guests”, but honestly, who really eats it at the end? Do yourself (and your loved ones) a favor and don’t put all that stuff at home. If you really must eat something unhealthy, eat a small dose when you are away from home, but don’t let these foods go through the door.

10. Eat more Vegetables

People think vegetables are boring, but come on, they are so good for you! Not persuaded yet to eat a carrot instead of a cupcake? Bear with me.


Vegetables are full of vitamins and fiber that help to keep you slim and your body working at its best. Furthermore, they keep you full for longer, as they take longer to digest and release energy at a slower rate than sugary foods and simple carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, which soon turn into sugar once they are eaten.

The most recommended snack between meals are washed and cut vegetables that can be taken in a little bag to work and to errands. They contain very few calories and calm the urge to look for carbohydrates.

11. Drink more water

A simple, yet very effective tip. If you do nothing else, I urge you to swap fizzy drinks and sugar laden tea and coffee for lots of H2O. Two liters a day is the recommended amount for adults. A few gulps of water takes the edge of your appetite and helps you to lose weight as it boosts your metabolism and ultimately keeps your body healthy.

12. Cinnamon

Add cinnamon stick or cinnamon powder to hot drinks. Cinnamon reduces the desire for sweets and helps to improve the function of insulin in the cells (thus helping to maintain the blood sugar levels). If you love cinnamon, you may be interested to read my article about how to use cinnamon as a medicine and which type of cinnamon to prefer.

13. L-glutamine

Many people struggle to have the will power and discipline, or just need the first “push”. Once your body has been used to lower amounts of sugar, people find it easier to continue with that process. But how do you even start?

Here comes L-glutamine which is an amino acid (a building block for proteins), found naturally in the body. It is an alternate source of glucose available to the brain, and it often relieves sugar cravings by helping to steady blood sugar. You can open a capsule and put it under your tongue, and within minutes you will feel the crave reducing effect. A better way to use it is to put a heaped spoonful of glutamine powder dissolved in water when craving strikes or as a preventive measure (preferably on an empty stomach). Alternately you can take 3 or 4 times a day between meals. It might be the first step you need to let your body get used to consuming less sugar which will have a much better effect on your diet (and waistline!). It may take a month for your body to wean off sugar, and you won’t need to supplement with L-Glutamine any more.

Be Patient

It may take you around four weeks to reduce your sugar dependence. You may feel like you want to aggressively rip open a packet of Oreos within those days, but stay strong, you can do it! Just think how great you will feel when you’ve kicked the habit.

Many people who enjoy a diet that is low in sugar report that they have lost weight, have clearer skin, feel more energized, a lot healthier, and in turn, happier. Of course you can still treat yourself now and again to sweet treats. Life’s too short not to. The difference is that now you will feel in control and don’t feel that crazy craving for sugar anymore.

When the sugar craving pops up, think about all the benefits that will happen to your body when you quit sugar. Read the story of Sarah Wilson who is suffering from Hashimoto’s disease, an auto-immune condition of the thyroid. She decided to go sugar-free in January 2011 as a part of her pro-active treatment program. After eliminating the sweet stuff from her diet, Sarah experienced a number of health improvements, some connected to her chronic condition and others of a more general type:

6 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Quit Sugar

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23719144?report=abstract
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49 Responses to 13 Effective Ways to Quit Sugar

  1. Anna says:

    I was reading this article on sugar addictions and was questioning the comment about fruits, veggies and dairy products as “simple carbs” I thought they were complex carbs and things like candy or sugar were simple sugars?

    • admin says:

      When it is said in the article that simple carbs are also found in these foods, it means that these foods contain both complex and simple carbs, for example: fructose is a simple carb that is also present in fruits and which immediately enters the bloodstream. Same with the simple carb galactose in milk. BUT given the many benefits of these foods, and the high content of fibre or protein which slows sugar absorption in the blood, it’s not a food to exclude from your diet. You can also read my article Fruits in Your Diet.

      • Berna says:

        I am a serious sugarholic. Seriously, I was eating a popsicle while reading this article. After 24 hours of not eating sugar I had the worse migraine that I have ever had. After a few hours of this pain I realized that it might be the sugar. I ate a mango and, viola, the headache went away. So I’m guessing that if I try it again (because I totally caved) I can look forward to another intense headache. My question is how long does the “withdrawal” symptoms last? I’m willing to try because I like the information that was provided….thank you.

  2. Betty Panetti says:

    I always have a sugar attack in the evening.

  3. holly says:

    I was reading about how to handle your sugar addiction. I was wondering if glutamine was okay for diabetics to use?

  4. admin says:

    Studies have found that glutamine may improve insulin sensitivity and enhance glucose metabolism in diabetics, but more studies should still be conducted to prove it. Therefore, it isn’t known if glutamine is good for all diabetics, and the optimal doses needed. The best idea would be to ask your physician about the best glutamine dosage for your specific needs.

    • Romina says:

      is L-glutamine safe for children of 10 years weighing 40kg?

      • Jenny says:

        Hi Romina, I had a look at webMD website, and this is what they’ve said: “Children: Glutamine is POSSBILY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. Children aged 3 to 18 years should not be given doses that are larger than 0.7 grams per kg of weight daily. Not enough information is known about the safety of higher doses in children”.
        I believe that if you have any concerns, it’s always a good practice to consult with your doctor, as I’m not a doctor or a certified health practitioner.

  5. Rashid Said M. says:

    I have tryed to long long time to quit sugar,but no way,now after see this sitr and read this 13 eff ways to quit sugar
    It looks like I am going to try It .

  6. Virginia CK says:

    Your article is very helpful as I have just decided to quit sugars.
    I will follow and be the happiest person on the planet to say
    “Yes, I’m sugar-free”.
    Thanks very much.

  7. Mary-Lynn Belforti says:

    I have sugar cravings and usually eating a dill pickle helps. Not sure why it works, but figure it has something to do with dill and sugar being opposites tastes.

  8. Paul says:

    I found that when I stopped eating so much wheat that my craving for sweet foods increased a lot. I was advised by a chiropractor to take a chromium piccolinate supplement. I was sceptical but found that it worked immediately and very effectively. I now take it for short periods of time when my craving for sweetness is too much. However like all supplements I would advise researching it first to see if it is suitable.

  9. H Rahman says:

    Good idea. Useful for sugar patients.

  10. Dragon says:

    It’s a plraeuse to find someone who can think so clearly

  11. marina van niekerk says:

    Thank You !

  12. Tammy says:

    I feel so much better and have kicked a major sugar and soda addiction since starting Plexus 2 1/2 months ago! My cravings are gone, totally off soda. Have lost wt and inches, sleeping better at night, no more migraines, and my complexion has almost completely cleared! Great article with excellent info!

  13. Janie Alonzo says:

    I was SO addicted to Blue Bell ice cream and apple pies, among other sweet foods. I quit cold turkey August 2014 and have remained sugar free 99.99% of time. My main motivation that keeps me on track: to keep excess inflammation and pain out of my body. It started with a bone spur in my right hip and I decided I didn’t want any more of that. Lost 12 lb. Six months later gave up wheat, and lost another 10-12 lb. Feeling to good to go back to my old ways.

  14. Valarie says:

    Is there any specific brand of L Glutamine that you recommend? Thx!

  15. Dev says:

    I ate a sugar donut while reading this.

  16. Candice says:

    I have been sugar free for 5 days and have already noticed that I’ve started reducing my inflammation! The cravings are bad at this point and no sugar in my office is physically impossible as I’m a GM at Dairy Queen! I’m literally surrounded by my addiction for 45-50 hours per week! What feels great is that I haven’t caved! I’ve been bringing fresh fruit to help with cravings and sipping on water with citrus essential oils in it or black coffee. I have told myself that I have to do this or sugar will kill me. (That’s how I quit smoking a year and a half ago!) Thank you for your post, it helped encourage me to start!

  17. Linda says:

    You didn’t say where to find Sarah Wilson store.

  18. Linda says:

    What do you think about stevia?

    • Jenny says:

      Stevia is a great option. It has no calories and it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels or cause dental cavities.

  19. astra says:

    I cannot bear aftertaste of stevia and was happy to discover erythritol.It same as sugar -no aftertaste but gives us zero calories. If I want something sweet I use erithritol.

  20. Pam wallace says:

    What’s a good sweetner for coffee

    • Jenny says:

      Stevia is a great option – It has no calories and it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels or cause dental cavities. It often takes a while to get used to the taste of it.

      • Mandy stead says:

        I quit sugar and dairy back in March, I wish I’d done it years ago. I spent 48 years with a blocked up nose and tissue on hand. Two days after quitting I breathed through both nostrils totally clear for the fist time ever! Wow, I had no idea dairy and sugar were causing my problem, I just assumed it was allergies, a dog bite I’d had on my nose when I was 5 and a major head injury at 13. To double check it was milk and sugar, I tried some cheese the other day, I had a cheese sandwich, within 20 minutes of eating it my nose blocked up and that night and following morning was spent blowing my nose and coughing up phlemb, yuck. I’m steering clear of both, my life is so much happier without them.

  21. Jill Wilson says:

    I have given up everything with sugar in, except jam and marmalade. What would be a replacement for these please? I am struggling to find something sweet to put on my rice cakes.

  22. Jill Wilson says:

    Sorry, my email address is [email protected] and not as my first attempt! Typo!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Jill, you can try fruit puree or cooked fruits – manufacturers add sugar to jams not just to sweeten them, but as preservatives. Making your own fruit purees enables you to eliminate sugar. Cook your favorite fruit/s in a saucepan at medium heat with water. Adjust the amount of water according to the consistency you want. You can add herbs and spices like mint, lemon balm, cinnamon or ginger to enhance the flavors without adding sugar.

  23. Dyan says:

    I loved this article…except for “Of course you can still treat yourself now and again to sweet treats. Life’s too short not to. The difference is that now you will feel in control and don’t feel that crazy craving for sugar anymore.” If we have gone through the withdrawal from sugar why would we want to put it in our body again?? If it’s a true ADDICTION, it’s easier to NOT HAVE ANY than to just have a little. It’s like the heroin addict…would you tell them once they are clean to just have heroin on special occasions? Sugar is the same thing…only legal. Sugar-free needs to be a way of life…a WONDERFUL way to live! Thank you!

  24. mike says:

    I have been sugar free for 42 years! I quit when I was 16. I wrote a book Live Your Way Fit to help people with sugar addiction. I was addicted and have no cravings for sugar. It has kept me incredibly healthy and slowed the ageing process. I absolutely never eat anything with sugar. Best decision of my life.

    • Srabanti says:

      That’s so awesome! Don’t eating anything that has sugar for 42 years is freaking hard but if you can do it, so will I. Thanks for the inspiration.

  25. Srabanti says:

    Fortunately iv decided to quit sugar a few days back, and before reading this article. Its been almost 2 weeks and I’m already feeling much better. I used to workout all my life and watched my food, but had 4-5 cups if tea with milk and sugar everyday and probably this particular habit retained me from losing weight. Now I replaced the milk tea with green tea with cinnamon and it gives me energy to move more and by extension losing inches. I will check the weight after a month to see if its really working.

  26. Patty says:

    Is Truvia a good replacement? I dont know why i have a hard time giving up sugar. i quit smoking almost 10years ago and didnt miss it a bit. I also gave up caffeine at the same time.. I occasionally have caffeine now but not on a daily basis.

    • Jenny says:

      No, it’s not. The primary ingredient in Truvia is erythritol (the sweet taste of the stevia is mainly produced by stevioside). Erythritol is a separate sweetener added to some commercial stevia products to make them tastier and have a better consistency. However, it often comes from genetically engineered sources and is not well-tolerated by all people, and thus should be avoided when you want pure stevia leaf extract. Truvia also contains “natural flavors”. If the manufacturer won’t give you a real name for the specific ingredients, avoid it. Natural flavors could be virtually anything, so avoid these products like the plague. Read my article “The Health Benefits of Stevia & The Dangers of Commercial Stevia” for more information.

  27. Casimiro says:

    I also make it a point to avoid sugar because of my weight loss struggle. Sugar contain fructose. Fructose causes insulin resistance and raises insulin levels in the body, which increases the deposition of fat in the fat cells. That’s why it’s a big NO for me.

  28. Don says:

    Honey is a good sugar. Good sugar, you say? Well yes, sugar is not this monster that we are made to believe. It is very important part of human body. So important that even a part of your DNA is made of sugar, deoxy(ribo)nucleic, “ribo” which is sugar. So, cutting out sugar completely won’t work, unless you start eating rocks. You can’t blink an eye without sugar. The question is what type and how much. Honey is a good type, 2-3 tea spoons a day. The extremes of pro and anti sugar camps are misleading and dangerous.

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