Vanadia

Stop Being Sweet

10 Reasons Why Quitting Sugar Will Make You Happy

33

1. You find out who your friends are.

When you announce that you are quitting sugar it’s like you are declaring war on food. People who know you will immediately take sides or try to stay neutral. Of those who take sides, some will side against you. These people will act as devil’s advocate by tempting you with your favorite sweets. They’ll make fun of you. They’ll tell you you’re crazy or that you cannot sustain your unsweet ways. Forget about them! You aren’t here to make them happy.

2. You find new, healthy, things to eat.

When I quit sugar for the first time in 2001 I ended up eating nothing but complex carbohydrates—orange juice, bagels, and pasta. I was getting my sugar from sources other than my usual chocolate, ice cream, and baked snacks. After being off sugar for a long time, I’ve discovered all kinds of amazing vegetable dishes, sugar-free snacks, and great fruit juices. What’s more is that I very much enjoy and appreciate these naturally sweet snacks because my sense of taste isn’t spoiled by corn-syrup.

3. You find that you have more (or at least more even) energy.

Prior to quitting sugar I just couldn’t wake up in the morning. I wouldn’t feel awake until about 10 pm every night. In fact, I’d be so awake that I’d stay up late (sometimes really late) and then it would be harder to wake up in the morning. The cycle would continue but I’d start to eat sweet things to get my system going. For some it’s coffee that wakes them up. For me it was sugary breakfast cereal or cookies.

Now that I’m “off sugar” I can wake up easily in the morning. I eat good food and am able to sustain a great deal of physical activity all day long without the need for a crashing 2-hour nap at 3pm in the afternoon.

4. You become a smart consumer.

You’ll be amazed at how many foods have added sugars—soups, pasta sauce, bread, drinks, steak sauce, meats, apple sauce, chips, peanut butter, and more. Just about every product with a logo or a character on to it contains sugar.  Not only will you learn to spot those products and avoid them, you’ll also learn how to measure portions and know how much sugar you’re taking in should you decide to eat something with any level of sugar in it.

5. You learn how to cook new things.

What do you cook when you aren’t eating sweets? All kinds of stuff! Try walking down a different aisle at your store. Pick out something that you’ve never seen from the produce section. Mix together some of your favorite unsweetened dishes and make up something new. It’s hard to see and taste good food when everything around you is a candy-style product. Not only will you find new things to eat, you’ll also CREATE new things! 

6. Your sweet moments get sweeter.

It’s a rare breed, but some people can eat sugar only once a week. For those who can manage such a feat, they appreciate those moments for what they are. For those of us who avoid sugar altogether, we learn to create a sweet moment in some other way. For instance, instead of running out to buy a pint of chocolate chip mint ice cream to celebrate a moment, you’ll find yourself eating something else (if you must eat something) or doing something else altogether. Imagine celebrating your raise at work by spending $15 on a book rather than buying a cheeseburger, fries, coke and dessert.

7. You learn how to stand up for yourself.

People are going to wonder what-the-heck is wrong with you. You’re at a birthday party and you’re not having cake? You won’t have a mint at the cocktail party? You’re not going to at least have one of your friend’s mother’s homemade cookies? After all, she made them by scratch just for you (and everyone who came to visit). Who has more power over our decisions than friends, family, and coworkers? Peer pressure stinks. Forget about it! Do what makes you happy.

8. You replace sugar binges with other behaviors.

I used to buy lunch. Some days I’d spend $12 on lunch. It adds up. $12 three times a month equals $36. Add a tip and you’re easily at $45 or $50. What did I get for my $50 per month?

Fat.

Sugar.

Nothing.

Had I spent $50 a month on books, a training course, a savings account—anything but whatever it was I ate—I’d still have that thing (or possibly that 50 dollars) today.

9. You smile more.

When you quit sugar your teeth don’t feel coated with scum like they used to (Milk Chocolate with Nugat does that, you know). Your smile is brighter and you don’t need an artificial chemical in your body to lift your mood. You are spending less time eating and more time doing. No wonder you are smiling more! No wonder people are asking themselves, “How can I do that? Can I do that?”

10. You learn that you can do anything.

It’s been eight months, maybe a year, and you haven’t eaten sweets. Your friends stopped offering you dessert when you go to their house and your real friends make sugar free desserts when you come over—just for you. You wake up early in the mornings and make it through the day without a nap. Your behavior patterns have shifted, you no longer binge, and you’ve given up emotional eating. Instead you’ve taken up knitting and find it relaxing to sit on the front porch after dinner. You’ve taken up fencing and are on your way to the championships. You saved up $400 dollars from lunch money and are going to take the kids to the zoo. Why go back to sugar? There are so many other things to do.

Related Posts

Why Avoid Sugar?
Try Removing Sweets One-At-A-Time
Sugar Addicts Set Themselves Up For Failure

↜Previous / Next↝

Comments 33

Seb

1

Amen Brother!

r

2

i am trying to quit sugar…but i have a question.

xylitol? i have heard a many good things about this… but what’s your take? your body’s reaction?

Vanadia

3

I don’t like it and opt for sweeteners like agave or fruit juice.

Sonya Hare

4

I have amitted to my self i have a problem, im a sugar addict, im putting on weight causing me more health problems and i want it to stop, i was brought up on sweets as a kid and now i dont want my son to follow me. where can i start? i know its not going to be easy but i have to do it. tell me how did you start off. can you give me any pointers i need all the help i can get. could you please pass me some information that helped you that can help me please. thank you

Vanadia

5

Hi Sonya,

The first step is to start eliminating the sugar form your diet and replacing those foods with healthy alternatives. Remember to use replacement foods or else you will be starving yourself and it won’t be fun. Go to the supermarket and start trying new fruits and vegetables. It’s going to take some time to see what you like. Think of this as an adventure, or more like a quest, that won’t get completed overnight. See how long you can last without sweets. A day? A month? Do you know?

Let me know how you do!

David

Sonya Hare

6

thanks david i will keep you informed.  i know its going to be hard but i have to do this not only for me but my unborn child as well.
i will let you know in a week how i got on and work from there.

thanks

Cory

7

Thank you so much for this article! After I ate half a cake today (throughout the day) I realized I have a problem! smile Actually I knew before… I am the type of person who would buy a bag of cookies and before 2 or 3 days, they were gone. I am not a huge person either (average with some extra weight 160ish) and don’t have any other bad eating habits (not crazy about chips, or pop, beer…). I could eat a donut everyday if I had one in front of me though. I have two small kids and that is a big motivation to stop with the sugar. I know my dad has a problem and his mom did too… so I want to do as much as I can now so my kids don’t feel like when they get a reward it has to be sweet food!

Traci

8

I am printing this out and hanging it on my fridge.

Ray

9

I really think giving up refined (over processed) sugars is a great thing for many reasons.  I have known several people that have lost significant amounts of weight by cutting sugar out of their diets alone.  If you want to spare your pancreas and avoid getting diabetes cutting the sugar definitely would be a great step in the right direction.

As far as will power to avoid sugar is concerned, I really feel that if you can kill/cut the cravings it can go a long long way with your ability to resist sugary unhealthy food.  I found that certain herbal supplements and even certain meal replacement shakes really cut the cravings for sugar.

sass

10

I really find it hard to quit sugar tho I really want to.  I have one friend in particular who pushes me to eat cake, cookies, ect.
I decided in Sept. to quit drinking for a year to see how that feels.
(it feels great!) Just the other day she was pushing me to have a glass of wine. (she was unsuccessful) What gives??  Why does she care?  I don’t care what food/drink choices she makes.  It’s not my business.  And I would certainly support whatever healthy choices she makes.

Vanadia

11

Hi Sass,

You could look at your “friend” as an antagonist or you could see them as a coach who is challenging you to stand up for yourself and stop being so sweet!

As far as quitting goes, read All or Nothing

sass

12

Hi David,

Beautiful! Thanx for your self empowering response.
(when i’m under stress i see enemies - much prefer
your helpful viewpoint)
Checked out the link and it makes sense. 
(when i’m under stress i see in black and white - lol!)
Thanx again.

Louise

13

I recently looked into the maximum sugar allowance that the US Surgeon General recommends for daily individuals.  This turns out to be 40 grams (or 10 tablespoons).  As a runner and overall pretty healthy eater, I thought I would surely be under this 40 gram “limit”, though it has been widely publicized that many Americans consume double if not triple this in a typical day. Well, I tallied the damage (breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, and of course, dessert), and guess what?  My daily sugar intake was 82 grams!!! How scary. I would highly recommend doing a sugar breakdown of your daily meals/snacks to figure out where to “save” your sugars for (i.e. fruit, bread, etc).  http://www.nutritiondata.com is where I found all the sugar info for every food type. Good luck and prepare for an eye opener.

Vanadia

14

Louise, thanks and thanks for the link!

Wendy

15

Thank you for your site - I’ve been off my sweets for 12 days - and have been wondering why I’ve been eating so much bread - now I know…...keep writing, this site is very helpful.

Vanadia

16

Thanks Wendy. Keep in touch!

Lori Johnston

17

I came here for motivation. I went off sugar because:  1. I am a junky 2. I am always tired. I am still so tired. How long before you felt great?
It has been 30 days since I have eaten ANY sugar. Thank you for your site.

Vanadia

18

Hi Lori. What have you been eating instead of sugar? Are you sure that the foods you’re eating don’t have sugar in them? Are you eating enough?

You should feel a bit better after 30 days, but I always say it takes a full year for you to really be “off” sugar. The tricky part is that you don’t really know you’re feeling better unless you go back to eating sugar—in which case you’ll suddenly feel miserable again and be like, “Oh yeah, this is what it feels like to be hopped up on sugar!”

ThatGuy

19

I just wanted to let everyone here know about a book that I’ve just read that has convinced me to quit sugar once and for all. It’s called “Sweet Poison” by an Australian named David Gillespie. In it, he basically takes you (in plain English) the science of why sugar is addictive and horrible for us, and why it’s causing or facilitating just about all the modern diseases (not just obesity, but diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimers, cancers, you name it).

Basically it comes down to fructose, and the fact that we overconsume it. There are 3 basic sugars: glucose, fructose and lactose. Our body has natural mechanisms for dealing with glucose and lactose (if you’re not lactose-intolerant), but fructose is a different story. In nature, the only way we could get it would be in tiny doses (a couple pieces of fruit a day, maybe VERY occasionally honey if we don’t mind battling bees). But fruit has fiber, which dilutes the effect of fructose within our bodies.

Table sugar (the thing we’re all quitting) is half glucose, half fructose. The glucose isn’t bad, but the fructose portion is, and we’re consuming far more of it than nature ever intended. If we eat normally (anything, be it protein, carbs or fat), our body has regulatory systems to tell us we’re full, stop eating, I have enough now (insulin and CCK). But when we overconsume fructose, it bypasses those. There’s no mechanism in our bodies to tell us when we’ve had enough. We can keep consuming it and our body doesn’t notice. In fact, it screws up our appetite control mechanisms as the fructose gets converted to fatty acids in the blood which become fat almost immediately (and what doesn’t clogs our arteries). And the hormones that normally keep everything regulated get thrown all out of whack.

So if you’re quitting sugar, quit fruit juices, too, because they squeeze all the sweetness (fructose) but keep none of the fiber that enables your body to deal with it. Eat the fruit instead. (In the book, he shows why fruit juice is worse for you than full sugar sodas.) And avoid agave juice like the plague, it’s even worse than sugar because it’s 90% fructose (sugar’s only 50%). Remember, your body turns everything into glucose when you eat it, that’s what fuels you. But fructose it can’t do anything with (except turn to triglycerides, which turn to fat). So the key is to quit fructose (unless it comes with fiber, like in fruit).

All I can say is that I’m done with sugar. I don’t need help quitting, and I’m never looking back. The science of it is clear. It’s poison and long-term overconsumption of it slowly destroys the human body. So if anybody needs further reading, that book is a must. Try Amazon (though it looks like you can only get it used at the moment) or sweetpoison.com.au If nothing else, it WILL help you quit.

ThatGuy

20

I’ve been doing some additional research on this and found a book written by an American medical doctor that looks to focus on the same thing. It’s called “The Sugar Fix” by Richard Johnson, MD and it’s on Amazon. I haven’t read it but an interview with the doctor on mercola.com sounds like he’s saying the same things Gillespie does.

Vanadia

21

Thank you, this is interesting information. As I posted on the other threads you commented on, I’d love to hear your personal sugar addiction story.

Maria Scutari

22

The best way to get off sugar is to do it little by little. I know it sounds old and cliche, but it really works.

I tried going all out once and had no success, the next time, I did it little by little and it really helped! Good luck! smile

Vanadia

23

I fully agree Maria! That’s what the Stop Being Sweet book is all about.

Patience

24

I recently watch something on 60 min about sugar being toxic and I was wondering if that related to even fruits? I’m trying to quit sugar but just want to know what the right info is. Thanks so much.

Patience

25

One more thing I forgot to mention, what is your take on caffeine and cortisol? I don’t drink very much just a cups of green tea in the am but I was wondering what your thoughts were?

Vanadia

26

Hi Patience,

Fruit contains fructose but is also packed with fiber. A lot of people don’t eat sweetened food products but do eat fruit and they do just fine. Some people can’t eat fruit. If you can eat it without having a negative reaction then go for it. If you’re not sure, try avoiding it for a period of time and then reintroduce it into your diet and see how you feel. The same goes for green tea. Lots of people report that it’s easier to get off sweets when they go off all stimulants as well. I personally eat fruit but do not drink coffee or green tea. Hope that helps!

Patience

27

It sure does help. Sadly I think I get a response from fruit too with the obvious exceptions of avocado, tomato, and olives. Thanks so much, I will refrain from all for awhile.

Brooke

28

Hi, I’m a terrible sugar addict which is greatly effecting my moods and energy levels. I’ve recently decided I want to get off it but find it extremely difficult. Ive just started seeing a herbalist who suggested I try having raw sugar in my tea and give up the sweets, cookies and icecream and see how I go. I’ve only been doing this for 2 days and that’s quite amazing for me. I feel the honey is helping me ease into this and helping me not reach for the sweets. What is your take on raw honey. I’ve been having about 2 table spoons a day. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Patience

29

Honey is one of the highest glycemic products you could be having. Why not try a piece of fruit? The fiber in it will not give you as high of a spike. Also stevia and xylitol are good natural options for sweetener. Some people can have a spike with even these. Also unless you drink your tea fast you will be getting a response from the honey for a long period. Local raw honey does have great health benefits but not in terms of getting off sugar.

Vanadia

30

I agree with Patience about having fruit instead of honey, but take your time. Over the next two weeks start to replace one hit of honey with a piece of fruit and then eventually remove the honey. Natural sugars are still sugars. Stevia can be okay but Xylitol is not something I’d recommend.

Sugar Abstinence

31

Lovely post; I’ve quit sugar from confectionery, drinks and alcohol. Every week or so I give myself a cheat day. Usually it’s a social occasion, to which I can then look forward. This keeps me on the rails.
Mornings are getting easier and easier, but I notice at 10pm I’m usually knackered and ready for bed!!

shawn

32

Hi David,

Love your site and the simplicity of your message. You articulate so many truths so clearly.  I manage a FB page called SugarIsKillingUs. I post news articles, tips and like-minded websites daily at SugarIsKillingUs, and yours is the best site I’ve found recently. Keep up the great work.
Shawn

Vanadia

33

Thanks Shawn!

Add a Reply