7 Steps to Break Your Sugar Addiction

Updated on April 9, 2018
Kaitlyn Lo profile image

Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.

By 9355. CC0 Creative Commons.
By 9355. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

When your sugar craving hits, and there’s nothing in your cupboards, do you make a trip to the grocery store especially to buy a sugary snack? Are sweet treats the most effective reward system you know? Do you have a secret “emergency sugar stash”? Have you tried to cut back on sugar in the past only to rebound with a vengeance?

If any of these resonate with you, you may have an addiction to sugar, and this is what you can do to kick the sweet stuff once and for all.

Poll: What’s Your Vice?

What’s the sugary treat you just can't resist?

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7 Steps to Cure Your Addiction to Sugar

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By Tofros.com. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

1. Don’t quit all at once

Many sources say that the most effective way to quit sugar is to cut it all out immediately. While that may work for some, slowly cutting sugar out of your diet is a much less daunting task and will help your body adapt more comfortably. You may experience fewer withdrawal symptoms this way.

For example, if you like to put four sugars into your daily coffee, you can start by reducing down to three, then two, then one, and then down to zero. If chocolate is your vice, learn to enjoy a 70% dark chocolate that has less sugar and milk. Soon, you may find that you prefer dark chocolate over the sickly sweet taste of milk chocolate.

2. Stay away from artificial sweeteners

When you put something sweet into your mouth, your body is expecting calories and will prepare to process them. So, if you swap out real sugar and ingest zero-calorie artificial sweeteners instead, you’re confusing your body by giving it something sweet and yet provides zero energy. But since your body has prepared for an energy boost, your cravings will increase as your body continues to search for that energy that never came.

If the only way you’ll drink water is of the flavored variety, opt to add fruit and berries for flavor instead of syrups made with artificial sweeteners.

Dehydration can often be misconstrued as hunger or a craving for sugar.

3. Exercise more

Sugar makes you feel happy and makes your brain produce a pleasure chemical called dopamine. This is partly why sugar is so addictive. So, when you’re trying to cut sugar out of your life, try doing some moderate exercise every day. Exercise makes your body release endorphins that will help you feel energized and in the zone without the added calories.

Instead of chowing down on that Snickers bar, put on your running shoes and go for a jog around the block, or even do some yoga.

4. Eat throughout the day

Speaking of keeping blood sugar levels stable, never skip meals when trying to cure your sugar addiction. If you’re prone to snacking, choose to eat multiple small meals throughout the day instead of your usual three major meals. When you’re constantly putting nutritious food into your body, you won’t give yourself time to think about that candy bar sitting in your desk.

Eating healthy, home-cooked meals can be challenging when you’re constantly on the go, so learn to plan your meals and snacks. Cook in bulk. Spend one day every week to cook for the whole week, portioned them into labeled Tupperware and stick them in the freezer. That way, you’ll have ready-made meals throughout the week.

5. Drink water

Dehydration can often be misconstrued as hunger or a craving for sugar. The daily recommended amount of water we should drink in a day is about 6-8 glasses. So, make sure you keep a bottle of water close by. Take a few sips whenever you get a craving for sugar and see if that feeling doesn’t go away. But if it turns out that your hunger is real, go for a healthy snack like a boiled egg that will keep you full for longer while keeping your blood sugar levels stable.

Poll: Mealtime

How many major meals do you eat a day?

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6. Learn to read labels

Just because something doesn’t taste sweet doesn’t mean that it's free from added sugar. Pasta sauce, condiments, bread, salad dressing, and even savory biscuits can contain added sugar. So, learn to read the nutritional information on the back of packaged foods. If sugar is anywhere in the top 5 of the ingredients list (or even anywhere on the list), move on. The closer an ingredient is to the top of the list, the more of it the product contains.

7. Get more sleep

Sugar is a quick source of energy for your body, so when you’re tired, your body craves sugar just to keep you functioning at normal levels. If you’re having a hard time controlling your cravings, consider taking a nap or reexamine your sleep schedule. Make sure you’re getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night.

Eat Your Way to Better Health and Weight Loss

By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons.
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

When detoxing from sugar, your taste buds will adjust, and you’ll start to enjoy foods that are naturally sweet. In fact, foods with added sugar will become too much or even downright nauseating. When you get to that stage, celebrate with a delicious glass of fruity water because you’ve done it. Without your addiction to sugar, the extra pounds you’ve been trying so hard to get rid of will melt away on their own.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 KV Lo


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      • profile image

        Courtney Pagan 2 weeks ago

        I loved this post as well! This is what I needed to read!

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        Tressie Dawson 7 weeks ago

        I am addicted to sugar, this is an amazing post. The content is really very informative and useful.

      • profile image

        Jenn 7 weeks ago

        I am big fan of sweets and at the same time i drink a lot of water whenever i consume a lot of it.

      • profile image

        Erika Lancaster 2 months ago

        Great post! A while back I decided to cut out sugar as much as I could, as well as white bread/gluten and dairy. It was a process, of course, but it was one of the best things I've done. Whenever I try to eat candy now, it tastes extremely sweet to me and I can't have much of it.

      • profile image

        Rondoview 3 months ago

        I am addicted to sugar and found your post to be exactly what i need to cut back .

      • profile image

        Steven Shakeshaft 3 months ago

        I'm a bit fan of savoury snacks like potato chips and nuts!

      • profile image

        Miranda 3 months ago

        Hello, My name is Miranda and I am a soda addict. Seriously though this was very informative and I will be trying these methods. Having PCOS sugar is NOT good for me!!

      • profile image

        Amanda 3 months ago

        My favorite way to beat sugar cravings is to sub fruit in! I'm not a huge sweets person, but I was eating a bowl of ice cream a night for dessert, and I starting subbing that with half a cup of frozen fruit and I feel great now!

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        Zedric Earl Ramada 3 months ago

        I had this addiction since I was diagnosed having a fatty liver 10 years ago. And as I observe, taking sugar helps me a lot or perhaps its just an influence from the doctor's advise to take sugar to regulate too much insulin in blood.

        Anyway, I know that sugar is bad if taken in large amounts. I also want to lessen my intakes.

        Thank you for the wonderful tips! :)

      • profile image

        Ajay Chander R. 3 months ago

        Thank you for this great tips and how to cure sugar addiction

      • profile image

        Blognerd 3 months ago

        Practical points which can be easily followed. Thnx for sharing.

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        Adrian K. 3 months ago

        Unfortunately, almost all foods in supermarkets contain, in a smaller or larger quantity, sugar. It is used not only as a sweetener but also as a preservative. So, as you point out, we should read the labels very carefully to find out how much sugar the product contains.

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        AmberLynn 3 months ago

        I don't believe that I have a sugar addiction (though it may be possible that I am in denial), but I am gearing up for a fast from sugars. I love Hershey's Chocolate, so I will use these tips so that I don't go into shock when I give it up for a while.

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        Alice 4 months ago

        I've found that drinking water helped the most out of all of these. I drink about 2 liters a day and it's helped with my cravings.

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        Melitta 4 months ago

        Fantastic tips, thank you! I'd never thought about the impact exercise and sleep could have before.

      • Kaitlyn Lo profile image

        KV Lo 4 months ago

        @Sheila Price Yes, fat is not the problem at all! Healthy fats can actually help us lose weight while sugar is never good for us. I'm glad you've found something that worked for you.

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        Sheila Price 4 months ago

        Great advice! I've always had a huge sweet tooth, and I didn't realize how addicted I was until I tried to stop! It's crazy the hold sugar can have on us. I've always thought the problem was fat, but I've learned the last few years that the real problem is sugar. And now I've lost several pounds that wouldn't come off no matter what I did before.

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        Cristina 4 months ago

        Great tips! I just can't stay away from chocolate, but am trying to cut down

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        Tiazim 4 months ago

        This post was really useful since i too struggle with breaking my relationship with sugar. Thank you for sharing!

      • Kaitlyn Lo profile image

        KV Lo 4 months ago

        @Nastwa You're very welcome, thanks for reading, Nashwa!

      • Kaitlyn Lo profile image

        KV Lo 4 months ago

        @Scott That's a great point! I also tend to snack more when I'm bored so that's when I either go out for a walk or try to distract myself with something that requires my full attention instead of reaching for a cookie.

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        Scott 4 months ago

        One thing I've noticed with myself is if I'm super busy all day I won't have time for snacks and sweet stuff. I'll just eat normal means and work the rest of the day. It's only when I'm bored and start looking around at timesinks that I get really bad cravings for sugary goodies.


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        Nashwa 4 months ago

        Great tips and sound very doable! Thanks Kat!