5 ways to quit sugar

This is based on my personal experience. As someone who likes to “eat their emotions” sugar is what I’ve turned to whenever feeling stressed, bored, tired or just because. I have found these tips have worked for me and I hope they help you as well.

Why? Refined sugar has been shown to cause inflammation, contribute to a host of chronic conditions and supresses the immune system.

  1. Regular nutritious meals
    Having regular, nutritious meals will help you to feel full and stop cravings due to fluctuations in blood sugar. This can look like 3 meals a day and 2 snacks in between. As an example- what I will normally eat is Oats for breakfast, vegetables and hummus on bread for lunch and dal/kichari for dinner. In between I’ll usually eat some nuts and dates or a piece of fruit. By eating regularly you prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes which can cause sugar cravings.
  2. Reducing stress levels
    When stressed or overworked, the natural response is to uncontrollably reach for sugar. I have found that by keeping stress levels and energy levels above a certain line (i.e. not pushing to the point of stress and exhaustion you can prevent this uncontrollable urge). When in this state though of fatigue, overwhelm and intense stress, I personally believe it is impossible to stop reaching for sugar.
  3. Alternatives
    Having some sugar alternatives on hand available when you do feel like you want something sweet. I’ll always keep these with me when I’m at work or out and about. My go-to’s are dates and nuts or a piece of fruit. If you are cooking with sugar- having alternative sweeteners in the house- maple syrup, coconut sugar, jaggery (rapadura unrefined sugar), molasses, stevia are great options as well over refined sugar for cooking. I also like to get bars from woolies that have a bit of a sugar but are generally ‘better’- Kujo chocolate chip bars are fantastic. They are in the health food isle (sponsorship pls)
  4. Chuck it out of the house
    I made the rule that I won’t keep any sugary processed foods in the house which has helped immensely. Now whenever I want something sweet I have to go out and get it. It has created friction which means that I must pay more for something sweet and If I do want a sugar hit- I’ll just go to woollies and get something like Pana chocolate which is expensive, or an oat and chocolate bar or a fruit juice.
  5. Binge 1x per week-
    Give yourself permission to eat something sweet and unhealthy once a week- baklava, pancakes, cookies whatever it is. As the saying goes- “Moderation in everything, including moderation.”
  6. If appropriate- medicine
    There are conditions where blood sugar imbalances are a hallmark. In these conditions, it may be appropriate to have added support in addressing these conditions which will work two fold- prevent progression of the condition and also assist in reducing sugar consumed in your diet. These medicines can be prescriptions from your doctor, herbs and nutrients from your naturopath or acupuncture treatment. Before having added support it is important to consult your doctor first and foremost.

I hope this helps you in reducing sugar, improving your health and the health of those around you. Wishing you all the best. Ahil