Sugar is one of the most addictive yet widely available substances. You’ll find it in many of our supermarket staples, from bread to canned beans – strange, we know! – but with obesity and liver disease rates soaring, there’s never been a better time to learn how to quit added sugar. We’ll be giving you our top tips to have you free from the sweet clutches of sugar.
Study the nutritional labels
One of the most effective ways to reduce your sugar intake is to become familiar with the back of your food package. We’re talking about the nutrition label here – though you’re welcome to study the general design of your food if you so choose! But on the nutritional panel is where you’ll find the sugar content, which will allow you to see just how much you’re consuming. You can also see the ingredients list, be sure to check for sugar in all its forms – it may show up as glucose, fructose, syrup, high-fructose corn syrup – these are all to be avoided in the quest to quit added sugar.
Reduce your added sugar intake gradually
When you’re learning how to quit sugar, it can be tempting to just jump in head first – but for some of us, a gradual wading in is the best way to guarantee success. If you quit added sugar cold turkey, you may be more likely to fall off the wagon. If you’re someone who struggles with big changes, start by cutting back on the amount of sugar you add to your coffee or reducing the sugar in baked goods. You can also replace sugary snacks with fruit or yoghurt. This gradual approach will help your body adjust to a lower sugar intake and ensure you experience fewer withdrawal symptoms.
Watch out for hidden sugars
Sugar is added to many staples that we think of as healthy – we’re talking about cereal, muesli, bread and yoghurt here – these add up over the day, even if we’re avoiding junk food! Then there are the usual suspects for added sugar like sauce, confectionery and premade meals – while many of us know they have added sugars, it’s often a surprise to learn just how much. Some will send us soaring past the daily limit in just a serve! Make sure to read the labels on all of the products you consume so you know exactly how much added sugar you’re eating. You might be surprised how quickly you go past that 6-9 teaspoon limit.
Just eat real food
Just eat real food, or JERF, is the antithesis to added sugar. You won’t find unnecessary ingredients here, just whole and nutritious food. Legumes, whole grain, fruits, veggies and minimally-processed eggs and dairy feature in the JERF diet, and it completely removes the concern of added sugars. It also ensures you’re hitting your nutrition targets as you get a higher dose of essential nutrients – not to mention the fibre that helps regulate your bowel movements and keeps things running smoothly.
Planning your meals ahead of time helps you cut down on impulse buys and snacking on foods with added sugar. Be sure to have a shopping list ready before you go to the grocery store, and focus on buying whole foods. You can also prep your meals and store them in the fridge or freezer so that you’ll never be short of time to eat a healthy meal. That’s usually when most of us reach for the snacks! So, make sure you’ve got healthy options on hand.
Make healthy alternatives
When you're craving something sweet, try reaching for a healthy alternative like fruit, yoghurt or homemade muesli with real oats and nuts. Berries are loaded with antioxidants, and paired with some cheese you’ve got a tasty snack. You may also want to try freezing fruit in plain yoghurt or dark chocolate. Roasted beans or nuts also make for a quick snack to keep you going.
Keep your fluids up – minus the sugar!
Drinking water can help you reduce your sugar intake by replacing sugary drinks like soda or juice. When you’re in the early stages of quitting added sugar, you’ll likely be cravings the stuff worse than ever – at times like these, opt for cup of soothing tea instead – research shows that herbal teas like green tea and peppermint tea can combat the intensity of added sugar cravings. Research from Ernst Shaefer found that six cups of tea each day significantly reduced the blood-sugar levels of participants by up to 20% - this not only improves your insulin regulation, but it also reduces cravings. Win, win!
Join the 8-Week Program
Quitting sugar can be challenging when you’re doing it alone. That’s why it can help to join a program like ours – our 8-Week Program is based on accountability, support and providing the essential resources to set you up for success. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- Exclusive content from our panel of experts.
So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!Top of Form