It is clear that eating sugar leads to weight, mood, and health problems. But that knowledge does little to prevent us from wanting to eat it. The hard truth is that breaking your addiction to sugar requires you to stop eating sugar.
The silver lining is that your taste and desire for sugar will diminish in just one month, and the improvement in how you feel will shock you. From a former sugar addict to you. This blog post shares the ground rules, so you are crystal clear on what exactly it means to be sugar-free.
Break Sugar Addiction – At-A-Glance
- Primary Goal: eliminate added sugar from your diet for 30 consecutive days
- Rule 1: Pick a start date, so you move from planning to action.
- Rule 2: If sugar is listed as one of the first three ingredients, don’t eat it.
- Rule 3: If you are unsure if a food contains added sugar, don’t eat it (a.k.a. When in doubt, do without).
- Rule 4: Allow fruit initially to ease the transition to a sugar-free life. However, avoid concentrated natural sweeteners like honey, agave, and dried fruit.
- Rule 5: Avoid fruit juice.
- Rule 6: Allow non-caloric sugar substitutes initially but taper your use to the point where you are using them sparingly by the final week.
How to Break Sugar Addiction in 30 Days [The Rules] (Video)
In this video, you’ll learn…
- How to move from the planning stage to the action stage.
- When it is okay to have fruit, and when it is not.
- Rules to help you pick the best foods for your sugar-free diet.
Primary Goal: 30-Days Sugar-Free
Plainly stated, the primary goal is to eliminate added sugar from your diet for 30 consecutive days. With that in mind, let’s set the ground rules.
Rule #1: Set Your Start Date
The very first thing you want to do is grab a calendar and mark down your Day 1. This blog post gives you the rules to follow, but if you never start, you never get to experience how amazing your body and brain feel when they are not overpowered by sugar.
Rule #2: The 1st 3 Ingredients Rule
Rule number 2 is what I call the first three ingredients rule. To follow it, you’ll avoid packaged foods with sugar listed as one of the first three ingredients. If sugar is in one of those first three spots, don’t eat it.
That is a simple rule, but food companies complicate things by calling sugar a host of different names. Some of the most common sugar aliases are corn syrup, dextrose, maltodextrin, fruit juice concentrate, and sucrose.
Rule #3: When in Doubt, Do Without
This twisting of sugar’s identity is why rule number three exists. The third rule is when in doubt, do without. In other words, if you are unsure if a food contains added sugar, don’t eat it.
Sugar and its many close cousins are hidden in foods you would never suspect, from salad dressing to beef sticks. If there is no label or you are unsure, err on the side of caution today, and you’ll be happiest with your result in thirty days.
Rule #4: Some Natural Sugar is Allowed
Rule number four addresses the questions surrounding natural sugars. Ultimately, how you handle any of the foods I am about to mention is up to you. However, when the goal is breaking your sugar addiction, here’s what I have found most beneficial.
Allow fruit in your diet without restriction when starting your no-sugar month. Fruit helps you ease into a sugar-free lifestyle with less of a sense of deprivation, and fruit has a fibrous matrix that locks in the natural sugars, lessening their impact. However, as you enter your fourth and final week, I encouraged you to reduce your fruit intake to no more than two servings per day, reducing your dependence on sweet taste.
Natural sugar can also be isolated, giving us sweetened products like honey, agave, and dried fruit. These sweeteners come from natural sources, but they get their sweetness from fructose, which is a type of sugar that is easily metabolized into fat by your liver. Because of that fact and the intense sweetness of these products, I recommend avoiding them during your sugar-free month.
Rule #5: Avoid Fruit Juice.
Rule number five is to avoid fruit juice. 100% fruit juice is low in fiber and high in fructose. It absorbs into your system quickly and converts to fat easily. On top of that, some fruit juices contain added sugar. For these reasons, avoiding fruit juice during the month is best.
Rule #6: Taper Non-Caloric Sugar Substitutes
Rule number six looks at non-caloric sweeteners, like stevia and monk fruit. I recommend approaching them in the same way you approach natural sugar from fruit. Therefore, they can be used for the first few weeks, allowing you to ease into the month with less discomfort.
However, as you enter your final week, you are encouraged to taper your use to the point where you are using them sparingly. The rationale for this is once again the irony of living sugar-free. The more you can move away from sweetness today, the less likely you will be to desire it tomorrow.
Making the Most out of Your Sugar-Free Month
Following these six rules for 30 consecutive days will give your tastebuds and brain chemistry time to reset, helping you move past the addictive pull of sugar. If you want to knock your sugar-free month out of the park, I recommend two things:
First, read my blog post titled “You Gave Up Sugar…Now What Do You Eat?”
Second, grab a copy of my 0,1,2,3 strategy. The strategy can be printed and posted somewhere you often see to keep your goal at the top of your awareness, and it comes with a four-part video series that will strengthen your motivation.
You are all set! These rules prepare you for a full month without sugar. The one thing you cannot prepare for is how great you will feel on Day 30. Being sugar-free can positively impact a whole host of problems that you have likely been searching for remedies to, including snoring, sleep apnea, brain fog, fatigue, headaches, heartburn, and so many others.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful week!