Sugar is highly addictive and a diet destroyer. The question is, can I lose my taste for sugar? In this post, we’ll look into the research to learn how your taste for sugar can diminish and how long it takes.
I also share responses from members of my Freedom Health Coaching Program who were asked them how their taste for sugar has changed since following a low-carb/no-sugar diet.
Losing Your Taste for Sugar – Summary
- Findings from a study show that after just one month on a low-sugar diet, your taste buds become more sensitive to sugar, allowing you to be satisfied on less.
- Eating an unhealthy or high-sugar diet dulls the taste buds, requiring more sugar to feel satisfied.
- You can train your taste buds to dislike intense sweetness, but to get there you need to avoid sugar for at least one month.
Can I Lose My Taste for Sugar? [Video]
In this video, you’ll learn…
- What a high-sugar diet does to your sugar tolerance.
- How long it takes to break free from sugar!
- First hand accounts of people who have broken their sugar addiction.
What It Takes to Lose Your Taste for Sugar
A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition set out to determine what it took to diminish your taste for sugar. The participants were split into groups.
- One of the groups was assigned to eat a low-sugar diet for three months.
- The other group served as the control and did not change their sugar intake.
Each month of the study, the participants were brought in and fed sweetened pudding and were asked to rate the sweetness of the treat. During the first month, the low-sugar group and the control group were equal in their ratings. However, starting in the second month, the low-sugar group rated the pudding samples as more intensely sweet than did the control group (1).
In other words, after just one month on a low-sugar diet, your taste buds become more sensitive to sugar. Therefore, you need less sugar to get the same sugar high that you used to get. And, of course, the less sugar you take in the greater your chance of losing weight.
Sweet Sensation Dulled in Overweight Individuals
Another study published in the journal Appetite, supports this finding, but looks at it from a different angle. They found that overweight individuals have dulled sensitivity to sweets.
With the inference being that eating an unhealthy or high-sugar diet dulls the taste buds. Therefore, you need more sugar to get that same level of satisfaction (2).
Takeaway from Scientific Studies
What do these studies mean to you as a person who is trying to kick your sugar habit to lose weight? The main takeaway is that you can train your taste buds to dislike intense sweetness, but to get there you need to avoid sugar for at least one month.
Real People Answer, “Can I Lose My Taste for Sugar?”
I wanted to see how this played out in real life. I turned to the members of my coaching program, and I asked them this question, “How has your taste for sugar changed since you’ve been following a low-carb/no-sugar diet?”
Here’s what they had to say…
“I used to be an ice cream, candy addict. Not continuously, but at least once or twice a week I’d gorge on SCOOPS of ice cream topped with candy, cookies, cake … whatever I had around (which, at the time, was a plentiful supply). Ice cream still SOUNDS good to me. But when I think about it, it’s not worth going out and buying some. I have eaten it out, but after the first bite, it’s just not appealing.” Ann K.
“I think that any “Normal” sugar item is just too sweet now. I had a bite of birthday chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. One bite was all I could stand and I gave the rest to my husband.” Vickie W.
(I’m not sure if that was the best thing for her husband, but it shows how tastes can change.)
“I was very surprised that after the first challenging week off sugar, more than seven months ago, it was easy to stay off sugar. And no one could have had more of a sweet tooth than I did! The day before yesterday I was at my favorite French restaurant with friends and my friend bought a Creme Brulee. It was a fine one and I enjoyed two small spoonfuls and that was more than enough. I would not want an entire sweet dessert again — one or two bites will suffice.” Barbara
“I’ve noticed that sugar tastes MUCH sweeter when I’ve gone back to it after not having any…even uncomfortably sweet.” Rebecca L-S
I think the thing you pick up from each of these members is that their once intense obsession with sugar has turned in a sense of calm indifference about sugar.
I will add that, from my personal experience as a past sugar addict, it is an empowering feeling when you can look at a donut sitting right in front of you and say, “Eh, not today.”
The message that I want you to leave you with is this. There is hope for breaking your sugar addiction. When you do, a whole new world of opportunity opens up for you in terms of better health and achievable weight loss.
In my coaching program, I ask members to work through 40-day diet cycles. Day 41 is a scheduled day off, which might sound counterintuitive. However, when you apply this rule in the real world, that day 41 becomes an achievable short-term goal. And, because you’ve spent the past month and a half on a low-carb/no-sugar diet, your taste buds have reset and your intense need for sugar has diminished.
Try this for yourself! Give yourself the next 40 days out of your life to see what’s possible. You will be amazed at the speed at which your body can reset and heal.
(1) Wise, Paul M., et al. “Reduced dietary intake of simple sugars alters perceived sweet taste intensity but not perceived pleasantness.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 103.1 (2016): 50-60.
(2) Sartor, Francesco, et al. “Taste perception and implicit attitude toward sweet related to body mass index and soft drink supplementation.” Appetite 57.1 (2011): 237-246.
About the Author
Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.