7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings

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7 Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings

OK.  I admit it.  I’m a little intense about the subject of sugar.

As a child I was practically raised on white sugar and feel that it had a part in my many health problems which took me decades to overcome.  You can read some of my story here: Diana’s Story. It was a different time back then. There was not the awareness about nutrition that there is now.

I’m going to give you strategies to avoid sugar and the cravings, but first I must make a few points about why you would want to do such a thing.  This was already dealt with briefly in my previous article on artificial sweeteners.

sugar cube - sugarless recipes

7 Reasons to Give Up Sugar:

1. Sugar is Not Food – It is empty calories with little nutritional value and actually causes your body to steal vitamins from other vital organs in attempt to process the sugar, leaving you undernourished.

2. Sugar Makes You Fat – It is filled with calories that are stored in your fat tissues.

3. Sugar Makes You Nervous – There is a clear link between excess sugar and disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia, because of extreme levels of insulin and adrenalin.

4. Sugar Causes Diabetes, Kidney and Heart Problems – Excess sugar can damage the pancreas’s ability to function properly.

5. Sugar Kills Your Teeth – Sugar increases the bacteria in your mouth that erodes enamel. The biggest crime is that many popular toothpastes contain sugar which is not required to be put the on the label.

6. Sugar Suppresses the Immune System – Sugar interferes with the body by overtaxing its defenses.  Research at Loma Linda University , California studied the effects of overeating sugar on white blood cell activity.  Those who ate a whole candy bar and a soft drink could only capture 1/10 the bacteria as those who only ate only ½  chocolate  bar.

7. Sugar Causes Wrinkles – A high-sugar diet damages collagen.

The average American consumes 20 teaspoons of added sugar each day; that is 2-3 pounds of sugar per week!  This is added sugar; not sugar naturally found in fruit, vegetables, grains and milk. The World Health Organization says no more than 10 percent of calories should come from added sweeteners; that is a maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar for a 2,200-calorie diet.  Twenty teaspoons may sound like a lot of sugar to get through in one day, but…

sugar donut

sugar donut

Consider the following:

  • Low-fat fruit yogurt (125ml) contains 4 1/2 tsp of sugar.
  • 2 slices white bread contains 6 tsp of sugar.
  • Wheaties (1 bowl & 1/2 tsp sugar) contains 3-4 tsp sugar.
  • 1 glazed donut contains 6 tsp of sugar.
  • A 12 ounce Pepsi contains 10 tsp of sugar.

That is a total of 29.5 teaspoons of sugar!  It is easy to see why sugar consumption is on the rise when we look at how many foods have added sugar in them.

It takes about 7 days to get the addiction out of your system. This does not mean the cravings will disappear but the intense addiction needs that amount of time.  Wean yourself off sugar or go cold-turkey.  The choice is yours — you pick the way that works for you as we are all different.

7 Tips on How Wean Yourself off Sugar Slowly

1. Eat fresh and dried fruit instead of sugary sweets – Although they are filled with natural sugar, they are a healthier choice as fruit is filled with vitamins, minerals and fiber.  It is okay at first to eat a bigger quantity of them while weaning.

2. Dessert Rules – Week 1: Maximum once a day. Week 2: twice a week. Week 3: once a week.  Make it your rule to have raw fruit at least half the time.

3. Try Stevia – A natural sugar alternative that actually nourishes the pancreas and has no calories. Stevia is an herbal extract from the Stevia Rebaudiana leaf that has been shown to regulate blood sugar and blood pressure.

4. Don’t skip meals – When you miss regular meals; you create a starving situation in your body and you will eat anything to bring your blood sugar level back to normal and you know what that means.

5. Instead of soda pop, lemonade & iced tea – Make lemonade with stevia and herb tea with stevia.  If you need that carbonated zing, add sparkling mineral water. When at a party or at the bar, drink soda water with lime or lemon.

6. No sweets in your cupboards or fridge – It is too tempting to have them available.

7. When craving strikes, go for a walk – Athletes’ cravings for sweet foods declines after exercise; they prefer salty foods.

Tip: Read labels for hidden sugars & sugar aliases
Hidden sugars: tomato sauce, baked beans, packaged foods, chewing gum, mints, and lunch meats.
Sugar aliases: corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, and xylitol.

How to Get Off Sugar Quickly

I am so passionate about getting off sugar that I offer Online Courses where for two days you get focused support in eating perfectly balanced healthy meals.  Sometimes just knowing what to do is not enough.  A person has to feel  confident enough to do it easily.

Check out our  2 5 30 Online Courses  in which you can create healthy habits, detox and balance out your body. This will be focused on alkalizing your body permanently and also applying food combining principles.  There will not a single bit of sugar in any of the healthy recipes.

Check out the Free  Webinar:  How to Detox Your Body in the Summer. 

More about Sugar

What is the Healthiest Sweetener

Is Sugar the New Tobacco?

This article is a second in a three-part series about sugar. The third will deal with all the wonderful natural sweeteners, their different qualities, benefits, and when to use them. Will the Real Food Sugar Please Stand Up!

Copyright ©Diana Herrington  You are welcome to share this article with anyone who you think may benefit from this information as long as you give credit to Real Food for Life by including the link to the home page www.RealFoodforLife.com or the direct link to this post.

By | 2017-10-29T15:42:06+00:00 March 31st, 2011|Health Tips, Nutrition|16 Comments

About the Author:

I am the Founder and Author at Real Food For Life. Have been teaching cooking classes worldwide since 1982. Create original, healthy recipes and menus, which are gluten free and white sugar free. Also, the author of the GREEN means LEAN and Balance Your Body e-books. I turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for helping others with healthy, sugar free, gluten free eating and cooking.


  1. Debbie Cooper January 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thank you for the tips of weaning off of sugar. I’ve had a hard time doing that.

  2. Michael Wecke January 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Reading this article I remembered that sugar – and other – cravings also signal mineral or vitamin deficiencies in our system…knowing which may also help weaning oneself from sugar cravings. I’ll have to think over that with a hot chocolate drink! 🙂

  3. Mara January 6, 2014 at 5:15 am

    At the end of this excellent article xylitol is listed as one of the aliases of sugar. That is inaccurate, xylitol is a different substance and one that is hailed as very healthy both for the liver and the teeth–being the only other known substance apart from fluoride that actively protects against cavities. As a regular consumer, I can vouch for its non-addictive properties.

  4. G. Young January 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I agree with Mara regarding xylitol! Just make sure you get NON-GMO made from corn. I thought it was all from birch but that isn’t so.

  5. Sandra January 13, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    If this is the 2nd article in a series of 3, how may I access the 1st?

  6. Craig Patterson February 9, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    So if I don’t have many wrinkles, does that mean I’m not eating too much sugar??

  7. Greg Brady February 17, 2014 at 4:09 am

    As I read this article, it was like watching my own life unfold in front of me.
    Yes I had all the childhood bad foods and had the teeth to prove it….. I was always sick and the weaker one in the family.
    Now I suffer extreme anxiety / Depression and Fibromyalgia and Diabetes 2. Constant cravings for sugar … a chocolate bar, Ice Cream , anything that will have chocolate. I am a living double of the author of this article. You have given me more common sense than all the G.P.s and Dietitians combined….. They new nothing of my “addiction” you have made this ever so clear.
    Recently I have started eating large amounts of fruit and I ditched the chocolate, my neighbour not knowing…. gave me a half of a bar of chocolate to eat while we watched T.V. I was hooked again.
    I am going to hit the gym and I can lose the weight I want and divert my cravings to fruit. I am so glad I read this article, because I have had people telling me to stop eating so much fruit. I am happy eating fruit with my meals and now I will make an all out effort to eliminate or drastically reduce all sugar from my diet. I am determined to improve my health and it starts today.
    Thank you for running this article, I have learned a great lesson and I can follow this direction very easily….. Game On.

  8. Billie February 17, 2014 at 4:44 am

    Hello and congratulations for weaning yourself off of chocolate and sugar!
    I have been a Fibromyalgia sufferer for 9 years now as well as kidney disease. I was first told that I had Polimyalgia and then some years later told I had Fibro. I cannot take anything for pain, so it is a very daunting daily experience.
    Thank you for enlightening me.
    Kind regards,

  9. Martha February 17, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Is xylotol a good substitute for sugar?

  10. Colleen February 17, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Japan has another sugar substitute that’s becoming popular. It is Beet Sugar, available in either syrup or granules. Looks like brown sugar, tastes just a bit less sweet, and is easy to assume its therefore not as bad as regular sugar. After all, its new and natural. Oh my. How an addict can make up justifications. Oh dear.

  11. myri February 21, 2014 at 5:01 am

    Hi Is monkfruit sugar ok?

  12. Diana Herrington February 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Myri, I have not used monkfruit myself but have read that it is a superior sugar. I need to try it out and do some more research. Thank you for asking.

  13. Diana Herrington February 24, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Colleen, beet sugar is not much different then sugar cane sugar. In Canada we grow sugar beets and the sugar looks just like white sugar. The only difference is that it is less processed but still raise the glycemic index in the same way.

  14. Ann Fenner June 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    How can I tell if my Xylitol is non-GMO? I bought it at the health food store. I know that may not mean much but I am hopeful it is not GMO.

    I still use saccharin occasionally in iced tea because I just can’t stand tea with no sweetener.

  15. ebere January 1, 2015 at 4:18 am

    thanks for sharing this article on taking off sugar in what we eat you know all the food we eat contain sugar. How possible will it befor a farmer thatdoes a hard labour work from 8:am to 12: noon to avoid carb food like rice yam garri before work and how can only fruit sustain him on the process of work

  16. Alex B. May 12, 2015 at 4:21 am

    Sugar is a discovery of the modern times. We can live without it, just like our ancestors do. Instead of sugar they used honey to make sweets.

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