First, if you want to quit sugar, I don’t recommend drinking, and not because alcohol has sugar in it. Alcohol is rather effective at lowering inhibitions, and you might discover in addition to your wine, you also downed two pieces of homemade black pepper shortbread. Oops.
At least one ice cream session was a test. The other time, covered in hot fudge and crumbled peanut butter cups, was not.
But I’ve hung on for 10 weeks, with the aforementioned lapses and some fruit indulgences at the farmers market. Despite those, I got back on track the next day and stayed on.
I quit sugar for column in The Seattle Times. I followed the book “ I Quit Sugar ” by Sarah Wilson, which advocates an eight-week plan to stay off everything with fructose — added sugar, balsamic vinegar, honey, agave, fresh fruit, dried fruit. She does allow some red wine. Thank you, Sarah! Here’s some more information on the science behind quitting sugar. I’ve done a few food cleanses/challenges, and this one ranks up there with the toughest because of how long it lasted and the unavoidable fact that sugar is addicting. For six weeks, gummy worms danced before my eyes. I stared at colorful macarons in glass cases in bakeries. I grimaced at the farmers market at plump raspberries, round blueberries and bright red strawberries. I declined fresh-baked cookies. It was torture.
But in week seven, the gummy worms fantasies disappeared. Instead of obsessing over sugar, I didn’t think about it. I already had seen benefits, like stable energy and a flatter belly. By week seven, I loved how free I felt without my cookie obsession. I added some brown rice syrup back in, on Sarah’s plan, and found a little bit was sweet and satisfying.
My main strategy when a craving hit was to eat or drink something else. At first, tea felt like a poor substitute for dessert, but now I love my nightly cup post meal. Sarah also recommends eating fat when a craving hits. Coconut oil doesn’t hit the same note as sugar, but it staves off the sharp sugar edge. Coconut water is my favorite stand-by. Over time, these snacks not only work, they become a healthy habit. If you are thinking about or want to quit sugar, consider these tips.
6 Sure-Fire Ways to Face Sugar Cravings
1. Drink iced or hot tea. I love hibiscus for the tart pop, and licorice root and cinnamon tea for the sweetness.
2. Eat b asic raw chocolate . The chocolate is made of melted coconut oil mixed with raw cacao powder, sprinkled with sea salt and frozen. The salty hit is key. It’s awesome for chocolate cravings. I live off this still.
3. Combine prosciutto and pickles. Seriously.
4. Snack on coco-nutty granola . Keep some in your bag for on the go.
5. Crunch on potato chips. My favorite brand uses olive oil versus the cheap oils that aren’t so good for you. Sarah doesn’t recommend this one, but since I can’t eat sugar, I will eat potato chips.
6. Drink coconut water. It’s low in fructose, tastes sweet and is hydrating.
If you have other ideas or questions, share below!