How to Break a Sugar Addiction? Best Tips to Stop Sugar Cravings

Heather Campbell
 min read

How to break a sugar addiction?

How to Break a Sugar Addiction? Best Tips to Stop Sugar CravingsIf you want to lose weight healthily, you may recognize the problem of Kate, my niece. She recently sent me a WhatsApp message with the following cry for help:

“I want so badly to get rid of my sugar addiction, and that’s the biggest cause of failure to lose weight. Do you have any ideas how I can get rid of the sugar? If I don’t have sugar for a while, I get shaky, tired, cranky, less focused, and frustrated! HELP!”

Read on for advice and discover various tips and advice on how to get off sugar.

How to break a sugar addiction? Introduction

A lot of people are dealing with this problem. Sugar addiction is a real addiction, even if there is no real professional treatment for it yet.

It is becoming increasingly common, caused mainly by an overabundance of sugars in modern food products.

Sugar is also the biggest contributor to belly fat and the main reason why losing weight sometimes fails. Fortunately, you can do a lot about it yourself!

What is sugar anyway?

Sugar, along with starch, belongs to the food group carbohydrates.

You need carbohydrates for your daily energy supply. Unfortunately, many people still think you need something sweet every day for your energy level. But that’s nonsense.

You are much better off getting your carbs from vegetables, lentils, beans, and quinoa.

If you want to get rid of your sugar addiction, it is good to have a little more knowledge about the types of sugars that exist and what exactly they are in. That makes it easier to make your food choices.

The worst kind of sugar there is, so you should avoid it, is refined sugar (which is factory processed). You can find this sugar in all cookies and sweets and hidden in many pre-packaged products in the supermarket.

When you consume this sugar, you get a brief kick and then your energy level drops, and you feel tired. It also makes you fat, and you don’t get any nutrients from it.

More than 50 different names for sugar

Did you know that the food industry has more than 50 different names for sugar?

It’s no wonder, then, that you often don’t realize you’re ingesting a lot of sugar.

Sugar is found in cakes, sweets, sauces, soups, ready meals, breakfast cereals, cruesli, fruit yogurt, etc.

Cooks in restaurants also often incorporate a lot of sugar into their dishes. Not only in desserts but also in soups, salads, and vegetable and meat dishes.

Do you have packages of pre-packaged food in your refrigerator or pantry? Then look at the ingredients of these foods and look for names such as sugar, maltodextrin, glucose, fructose, molasses, cane sugar, palm sugar, etc.

Natural sugars

Natural sugars are found in fruits, among other things.

These natural sugars are healthier than refined sugars because they don’t burn in your body as quickly. They also reduce spikes in your metabolism by combining with other healthy nutrients and fiber.

In other words, you can safely eat 1-2 pieces of fruit a day. Preferably eat the fruit in the morning and not too late in the day because then your glycogen stores in your muscles are full, and your body stores the sugars as fat.

Even natural sugars are and always will be sugars. So try to avoid honey, agave syrup, and stevia if possible.

After all, these things keep your love of sweet tastes alive.

Furthermore, reduce the amount of squeezed fruit juice, even if it is fresh because of the pressing mechanism and the filter, you get a lot of juice and little natural fiber (which are nevertheless very important).

The pulp is usually filtered out, so your blood sugar has more peaks and valleys.

How does a sugar addiction develop?

The point is that a sugar addiction is a real addiction.

Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners cause dopamine production in your brain. This will make you feel good and positive.

So it is no wonder that it is tough to get rid of this. Your body keeps trying to get back that lovely, pleasant feeling (due to the dopamine created). And the easiest and fastest way to do that is through the intake of refined sugars.

In other words, your brain becomes addicted to dopamine. Thus you become addicted to sugar (because sugar is the fuel that causes the production of the addictive dopamine in the brain).

How do I get rid of my sugar addiction?

Definitely do not underestimate a sugar addiction. It is a real addiction that you can only overcome with a lot of willpower and discipline.

But the good news is that there are plenty of examples of people who have succeeded in getting off sugar. So how might you approach this now?

The 5 best tips for getting rid of your sugar addiction

Start exercising and moving more

Develop for yourself another way to still get that yummy feeling. As explained above, sugar intake causes dopamine production in your brain.

But did you know you can get that same dopamine feeling in another way too?

This is possible by exercising vigorously! Your body then produces endorphins, making you feel terrific and positive.

Exercising can be very tough at first, especially if you are overweight and have to build up your fitness as a beginner.

But you must persevere and exercise regularly for at least 3 weeks to get into the flow and learn to appreciate the endorphins created.

Change begins with how you think

Use your thinking power to change yourself. All changes begin in your mind.

What can help is to take a moment each day to reflect on the tremendous damage that sugar does to your body.

Turn your thoughts inward to your heart and blood vessels, and consider how hard your organs are having to work to get rid of those mountains of unhealthy sugar.

Think how tired and lifeless it makes you. Think about what diseases you are bringing upon yourself in the medium to long term.

Do you want to be intentionally tired and fat? Do you want to deliberately poison yourself and increase the risk of serious illness? Is the next bag of crisps, cookies, or candy really worth all that misery?

Choose pure and natural foods

Go for at least 3 weeks of pure, natural eating. You will then find that your taste improves, and your sugar addiction disappears quite spontaneously and in a natural, unforced way.

Stock up on plenty of healthy produce, including snacks. Think raw nuts, boiled eggs, raw fruits and vegetables, etc.

Sort out the pantry

Take a good look at your cupboards and throw out anything that contains refined sugar.

Cookies, candy, chocolate spread, jam, chocolate, cakes, pastries, ice cream, chocolate mousse, sugared yogurt, etc.

Also, most ready-made meals can be dropped in the trash.  Throw them away with much ritual display and resolve to stop buying all these foods.

While you’re at it, throw out all white bread and classic pasta, too. These products also cause spikes in your blood sugar (unlike their whole-grain versions).

Know yourself and stay realistic

Some people get rid of an addiction best by stopping radically at once (going cold turkey, as it were).

Others, on the other hand, are better off phasing out. Which approach appeals to you the most to kick your sugar addiction?

Be honest with yourself about your own abilities and decide what approach to take.

Do you choose the gradual route? Then jot down a realistic but detailed plan and stick to it.

Do you choose the radical path? Then write down which sweets you will never eat or drink again and which ones you will still allow yourself to have. For that case, too, write down exactly how much of what you do still get to eat and drink.

Tip: If you consume a lot of cola or other soda soft drinks, you may be interested to read our other article Addicted to cola: What to do & how to quit my soda addiction?

Numerous studies have shown that you are more likely to succeed if you write down your plans and goals. So take the effort and time to pen down your goals and strategy.

How to break a sugar addiction? Conclusion

By combining sports and a healthy diet, you directly activate your metabolism and your body, which stimulates your fat burning and gives you energy.

Breaking a sugar addiction may be difficult, but it certainly can be done!

Your reward will be fantastic because you will feel much fitter every day afterward.

A nice side benefit is naturally beginning to lose belly fat. Your body will thank you when you no longer depend on that brief spike in your blood sugar by consuming sugar.

Related: Many snacks contain lots of sugar, and consuming these late at night should be avoided, as explained in our other article How do I stop binge eating at night? Tips to stop eating late at night

About Heather Campbell

As a nutritionist, my field of specialization is science-based nutritional advice but more importantly, it is my goal to share capturing and inspiring stories, examples and solutions which can help plus-size individuals overcome their specific difficulties. Read More