How to Stop Eating Sugar – 21 Tips to Finally Cut Sweets
Two packets of sugar in your coffee, a drizzle of honey on your toast or an iced tea at your local coffee shop; what do those have in common? The short answer — they all contain a fair amount of sugar.
Throughout the previous few decades, Americans have become dependent on sugar to make foods and beverages taste better. However, sugar consumption has skyrocketed so much that more adults (and now more children) are becoming obese with type 2 diabetes and other health conditions. So, how much sugar is the average adult consuming?
The most recent data on the American diet and sugar intake suggested that adults over the age of 20 years old consumed 13 percent of their daily calories from sugar, or about 260 calories each day when the standard 2,000 calorie diet is used. Also, individuals under the age of 19 (including children) consumed higher amounts of sugar than adults 20 years or over, with up to 16 percent of daily calories coming from sugar. Since the statistics are an average, there are many out there who consume much more than this, which is easy to do when foods and beverages are laden with hidden sugars.
Now that you have some information on sugar and how common it is to over-consume this nutrient, what are some things that you can do to kick the habit? What is your motivation to even stop in the first place? In this article, we'll show you how to stop eating sugar, cut the sugar cravings from your daily life and boost your weight loss journey with 21 great tips.
21 Tips on How to Stop Eating Sugar for Good
In this section, you'll learn some of the best advice on how to cut out sugar from more of your meals to keep you on the path towards a better you.
1. Know Your Sources
If you want to know how to cut out sugar effectively, start by doing some quick research on the foods that are going into your body. If the food you purchase at your local grocer comes in a package that is produced from a company, then you will see a nutrition label. Nutrition labels are required by the Food and Drug Administration, and they must state the total calories, fat, carbs and protein, in addition to four vitamins and minerals.
Before you eat anything that has a label, take a look at how much sugar is in each serving. This info is usually found under the carbohydrates section, and it will state “sugar” on the label. This number includes both added and natural sugar, but most manufacturers are rolling out new labels that separate the added sugars.
2. Avoid High-Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup quickly rose in popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s since it was a cheap sweetener alternative. It was placed in sodas, bread and other foods you may not expect to be sweetened. However, the large spike in the consumption of this sweetener quickly gave rise to higher obesity rates and an increase in type 2 diabetes. Though some companies have tried removing it from their manufacturing processes, it’s still commonly found in processed foods because it’s so cheap.
If you want to know how to cut out sugar, achieve optimal weight loss and generally feel better in regard to high-fructose corn syrup consumption, start reading all food labels or researching each product to see if this sweetener is present. If it is, it's time to consider switching to foods with lower amounts of high-fructose corn syrup or restricting it from your diet completely.
3. Start the Day Off the Right Way
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and for a majority of adults, one of the quickest ways to get off to a bad start. Breakfast is touted as being one of the most important meals for your health, energy levels and brain. However, breakfast foods are typically full of sugar. These include:
- French toast
- English muffins
Making healthy decisions and learning how to stop eating sugar first thing in the morning is the best start you can have. Be mindful that most flavored yogurts, even if the container label says they're healthy, contain a lot of hidden sugar to make them taste better.
4. To Fruit or Not to Fruit
There is a wide debate on whether or not fruit is good or bad when trying to cut sugar from our diets. The concern is that fruit contains fructose, which is a type of sugar that is quickly processed in your body and can cause insulin spikes. However, this is natural sugar and your body needs some to survive, right?
This is where some of the confusion lies; consuming large amounts of fructose can set you back in your journey to finally cut back on sugar. That’s because eating sugar makes you crave more sugar. But that doesn’t mean you should cut fruit out of your diet. Fruit contains a lot of antioxidants and minerals that your body needs to fight off infections and stay healthy, so you want to eat up to 2 to 3 pieces of fruit a day, but no more than that.
5. Vegetables for Breakfast
Similar to fruits, vegetables contain a great amount of fructose per serving, but with lower amounts. This is why vegetables are a preferable option when trying to steer toward a no sugar diet. Typically, vegetables are reserved for lunches or dinners, but there is no rule that you should not eat veggies to start your day.
Consider having an egg white omelet in the morning that is loaded with fresh vegetables to make it a healthy option. Not interested in omelets? Consider a veggie smoothie (as long as you’re not adding a ton of fruit or flavored yogurt) or healthy veggie bake to make this option more appealing. The idea here is to begin your day off on the best foot while learning how to cut out sugar.
6. Avoid Fruit Juices
If the fruit is healthy for you, why not drink fruit juice? The reason why this is not the best option is that many fruit juices are loaded with added sugars. This is one area where you need to carefully read food labels and not rely on marketing for your information because most fruit juices have sugar listed as an ingredient.
If you must drink fruit juices, consider finding 100 percent fruit juice options, which means the only ingredient listed is the juice of the fruit. Most importantly, whenever possible, skip on drinking your calories and instead eat the raw food. Yes, fruit contains fructose, but the additional fiber content helps to slow down the absorption of the sugar, and you consume a lot less sugar if you eat it as whole fruit instead of in juiced form.
7. Natural Aids
Sometimes it is necessary to get help to block some of the sugar cravings you may be having. After years of consuming high amounts of sugar, your brain has adapted to a large amount of this nutrient. Now that you want to know how to stop eating sugar, it may be tough to fight the cravings. Fortunately, science has caught on to this and products are available to make the process a bit easier for you.
Sweet Defeat's powerful lozenge and other products have been shown to reduce sugar cravings. Containing extracts from the Gymnema Sylvestre plant, Sweet Defeat's products block the signals to your brain that cause sugar cravings. In addition to Gymnema Sylvestre, zinc is present to work synergistically with Gymnema to block the taste buds on your tongue from attaching to sugar, so you can’t taste sweetness. The combination of these two natural ingredients has been shown to work quickly and effectively in individuals looking to cut sugar from their diet. If this sounds like something that you want to investigate further, consider checking out Sweet Defeat. Similarly, you can try a no-sugar diet or sugar detox methods to assist in cutting sugar.
8. Cut Out Simple Carbohydrates
Carbs are an essential part of your diet, and while excess sugar can be a health issue, learning how to cut out sugar is not the same as cutting all carbs. However, most forms of simple carbs include nothing but refined sugars. Typically, these simple carbs and refined sugar products can be found in the candy, cookie and cracker aisle, all of which you should avoid.
Simple carbs and refined sugars can spike your blood sugar levels as well as insulin in your body, which can cause lethargy and weight gain. For anyone looking to be healthy with optimal weight loss, this should be a no brainer, and the sooner you cut the simple carbs and refined sugars from your diet, the better. If you love carbs, add more whole grains to your diet, like brown rice, farro and oats, as well as fresh veggies.
9. Say Goodbye to Sodas
Soda companies have been under scrutiny for decades now. This is because sodas contain high-fructose corn syrup in most of their regular beverages. However, the diet options contain powerful sugar substitutes that can trick your mind into wanting sweeter foods and drinks. Interestingly, current statistics on soda consumption suggests that close to half of all added sugar in diets come from sodas, which is quite staggering. For this reason, consider skipping these all together in your journey to quitting sugar. If you enjoy the carbonation of sodas, consider consuming seltzer water with a squeeze of lemon or a spoonful of fresh fruit juice. The key to stopping soda consumption is to fight the habit, but the caffeine content in sodas does not make it easy to quit.
10. Be Mindful of Coffees and Teas at Coffee Shops
It is now known that many coffee shops add sugar to their products, which makes them taste better. However, when you look into the nutrition information on many commercial coffee shop options, you may find that many coffees and teas contain upwards of 40 grams of sugar added to the beverage. This is quite high considering the standard diet should have less than 50 grams per day.
If you wish to know how to stop eating sugar for good, you will need to have an idea of which drinks have sugar when you go to these local coffee shops. Consider ordering your coffee and tea with no sugar or sweetener added at all, and if that is not possible, consider a different option. An alternative would be to brew your coffee or tea from your home, which could also save you some money.
11. Eat More Protein
Protein is another vital nutrient that your body needs to heal, grow and rejuvenate each day. If you want to know how to cut out sugar to lose weight, eating more protein is something that you should consider. Raw protein in your diet can help to promote a greater fullness factor by stimulating the body to release satiety hormones. As a result, this can prevent overeating as well as help you feel fuller for longer.
More protein in your diet can help to curb sugar cravings and addiction, and it can be critical in weight loss. In a similar manner to staying full, protein helps to keep your mind and blood sugar levels under control so that you don’t have a midday binge on chocolate or soda. Consider eating more lean protein options such as fresh salmon, halibut, tilapia, chicken and tofu to gain valuable benefits.
12. Avoid More Than Just Sugar
It may be tricky when trying to cut sugar from your diet, but it’s easier once you have a better understanding of all the foods that have added sweeteners. Honey, molasses, maple syrup, agave nectar and cane syrup are all different terms for some form of sugar. What this means is you should avoid these forms of sugar as well.
13. Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning When Full
One of the best ways that you can learn how to cut out sugar is to go to the grocery store on a full stomach, preferably right after eating a meal. Not only will shopping on a full stomach help to save a bit of money in your budget, but it can also help to save on sugar consumption. A good amount of sugar binges happen when hunger is increased, so consider avoiding this altogether.
Also, if you plan your meals throughout the week, consider meal planning after a meal to avoid the temptation of eating foods that are savory and comforting in your mind. Lastly, if you can avoid it, try to prevent trips to the grocery store after a hard day at work, as the temptation to give in to comfort foods is highest at this point.
14. Prepare All of Your Meals at Home
It is tempting to join coworkers and friends for lunch or dinner throughout the week. After all, a meal out is a great way to socialize and to catch up with friends. But, the temptation to consume sugar could be high when eating out in a restaurant. Many restaurants prepare foods with sugar which is why it is important to prepare all of your meals at home as much as possible. Also, many places that offer healthy and refreshing salads for lunch may even have high amounts of fat, sodium and sugar in the dressing, so keep this in mind whenever you are eating out.
15. Avoid Alcohol
This is a hard tip for adults to cope with because alcohol is a way to socialize and unwind from the usual daily routines. However, alcohol and alcoholic beverages typically contain high amounts of sugar. Beer, mixed drinks and straight alcohol all are bad options when cutting sugar from your diet, but the consequences once your inhibitions are lowered can get you as well.
If you are quitting sugar as a way to lose weight, limiting your alcohol intake can certainly boost your efficiency, and it can help to show your results more quickly as well. Not to mention, cutting alcohol will help to keep you honest in the gym and can work wonders on your skin health as well.
16. Skip Dried Fruit
Fruit may be a preferable alternative to other sweet foods, but if you are going to eat fruit, consider skipping the dried version. Many dried fruits contain added sugar as a way to improve the taste and maintain better stability during storage. If dried fruit is something you enjoy eating, consider giving it a break while you are quitting sugar altogether and use whole, fresh fruit as an alternative.
17. Sugar Substitutes When Cooking
If you are preparing your food at home and are in a baking mood, consider swapping your white table sugar for something healthier. This does not mean a sugar substitute, but rather a substitute for the sugar you will use during cooking. One of the most common substitutes for sugar in cooking includes unsweetened applesauce. Many baking recipes are heavily sweetened and can tack on hundreds of calories without even trying, but the use of unsweetened applesauce will help to add flavor without the unhealthy calories.
18. Swap Out Sauces for Tomatoes
Adding tomatoes to the recipe instead of red sauce can help to fight off additional sugar in your diet. Many store-bought sauces contain sugar sweeteners to enhance the flavor, but they are typically high in sugar content. For this reason, making a substitute from sauce to tomatoes can dramatically reduce the amount of sugar you eat in your meal, and it can save on the calories you consume. If the sauce is something you need for a recipe, then you can make yours from scratch. Simply add your fresh tomatoes, seasonings and fresh basil to make this a healthier recipe without sacrificing your health.
19. Set Your Goals
Setting goals is a major component in learning how to stop eating sugar. When you first decide to cut sugar from your diet, it is important to set realistic goals to help you to achieve success. However, your goal of limiting sugar should be more detailed than simply stating “stop eating sugar.” Instead, consider making five or six smaller goals that can help you achieve a bigger goal, which is to quit sugar. These smaller goals should be personalized to your lifestyle and current diet, and if you have a particular weakness, this is a great place to combat it. The idea is to make your goal setting as honest as possible so that you can win the battle.
20. Be Aware of Milk and Milk Alternatives
Milk is a beverage that offers many nutrients that can support your health and wellness. It contains protein, carbohydrates and fat (unless it is fat-free). Also, milk contains lactose, which is a form of sugar. For many people out there, lactose intolerance and allergy means that milk may not be for them, which leads them to switch to milk alternatives.
The popularity of milk alternatives has risen in recent years, and part of it is because many of these options do not include lactose. However, some milk alternatives, such as almond milk and coconut milk, contain some sugar as a way to make it taste better. The good news is that there are sugar-free or unsweetened options available, so consider purchasing the unsweetened milk alternatives whenever possible as a way to cut out the amount of sugar in your diet.
21. Get More Sleep
Sleep is one of the most natural things your body regularly does, and without sleep, your health would be compromised. Sleep is a vital part of your daily life, and while it is tempting to stay up late at night to watch another episode of your favorite show, losing sleep could have an impact on your sugar consumption the following day. A recent study on middle school students found that reduced sleep durations at night are associated with increased consumption of energy drinks as well as sugar-sweetened beverages.
The key to getting more sleep at night and giving your body a better chance at cutting sugar is to aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night. Consider making your room as dark as possible when you sleep and skip on watching TV, getting on your phone or reading on a computer screen before bed, as this can prevent the release of naturally occurring melatonin from being released.
How to Cut Out Sugar: The Bottom Line
Now that you've learned some helpful tips, read further to find out our final thoughts on cutting sugar from diets.
Learning how to stop eating sugar is a difficult task, and many adults attempt this each year as a method to lose weight and feel better. Simply cutting sugar from our diet requires discipline and good knowledge to fully succeed. Also, when the body is addicted to a certain nutrient (in this case sugar), there is a chance that withdrawal symptoms appear. Described as being similar to illicit drug addiction, sugar addiction and the withdrawal symptoms associated with it can be quite serious depending on the level of dependency the body has generated. Check out our article on sugar withdrawal symptoms and how to combat them for more information.
There are many ways to stop eating sugar altogether, as listed by the helpful tips above. While those tips are merely suggestions to improve your success, it is important to tailor them to your own needs and wishes. You know your body best, and when the tips are aimed towards a specific part of your daily life, you are more likely to win the battle. Having a strong understanding of the foods you eat is a great start in the battle to quit sugar, as this is an objective way to see how much sugar you eat. Also, many foods have hidden amounts of sugar, and you may not even realize the amounts you eat regularly. Consider using modern technology to assist with your food tracking: generally, smartphone apps make the food tracking part of your lifestyle change much simpler than writing everything down.
If you are someone who wants to boost your chances of success in cutting sugar from your diet, then consider products from Sweet Defeat. Containing natural Gymnema Sylvestre, Sweet Defeat uses knowledge of nutrition and science to assist in your sugar addiction. Our items ranging from gum to sprays work fast to reduce your cravings throughout the day. If you’re interested in exploring further, consult with your doctor or pharmacist to see if our products are right for you. While the ingredients present in our supplements are naturally occurring, certain herbs can interact and interfere with certain other medications you may already be on.
The tips listed above are methods that have been found by individuals all over to be a good way to reduce the amount of sugar consumed regularly. While you may find something else that works fine, the important part is you have many options and support on your side. Cutting sugar completely from your diet can be a bit of a shock at the beginning of the journey, but the result is better energy, weight loss and a brighter outlook on your new lifestyle. Stay committed to your journey and you'll be surprised by the progress you make!