How Did You Get over Your Sugar "Addiction?"

Updated on June 09, 2014
P.H. asks from McKinney, TX
16 answers

I am addicted to sugar! To make matters worse, I am pre-diabetic.
This started a few months ago and has escalated. I actually hide my sweets to be sure I have them when I "need" them
and because I'm embarrassed. I've recently gained a few pounds and this has opened my eyes about what I'm really doing. I really appreciate any advice of those of you who've been thru this and can please share your advice.

What can I do next?

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answers from Dallas on

Remove sugar through a low-carb, no sugar detox for a couple weeks. It will be difficult at first (especially the first 3-4 days) but is so worth it. Your cravings will go away. It's really a chemical addiction; not that sugar is a chemical, but that it affects your brain chemistry and causes extreme cravings, emotional dependency, low and high energy, etc.

Eggs with cheese for breakfast, chicken with salad for lunch (no sugar dressing), protein and veggies for dinner. You can do it. If the thought of two weeks is too daunting, just try it for a week and see how you feel.

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Huntington on

Drink lots of water. I mean, the first thing to do when you wake up is to guzzle 2 large glasses of water. You can do hot lemon water instead, if you like.

And, basically stop eating sugar. I know it is super hard to stop, but if you can get off it for a few weeks, that is pretty much all it takes.

I stopped eating sugar about 1 month ago. I drink a lot of water in the morning and take my water bottle everywhere. I eat a healthy breakfast with protein to keep myself full till lunch. I pack my lunch with only healthy items, so I am "stuck" eating healthy at work. By the time I get home for dinner, I am past that sugar-craving stage and am fine eating a light healthy dinner and being done for the night.

I AM/was a sugar addict and have had a hard time managing my weight.
The biggest difference for me was getting a new job that keeps me so busy that I am not bored, because for me, boredom=eating.

Today I treated myself to my favorite premium ice cream bar, and IT DIDN'T EVEN TASTE THAT GOOD! I also munched on 3 pieces of licorice and by then I was sick from eating that much sugar. But I used to eat waaay more sugar than that in an average day, sad to say.

You CAN beat this. Get rid of all the sugar and treats in your house. Plan your meals, drink a lot of water, and stick with it for at least 3 weeks. Once you get over that hump, it will not seem appealing anymore.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Wausau on

A brief period of cold turkey avoidance of all foods/drinks containing added sugars & sweeteners (natural and fake) as well as simple carbs (potatos, bread, white rice) and no fruit.

It took less than a week, but boy was it horrible. I wanted to chew my own arm off, and on the 3rd day I was so physically ill that stayed in bed most of the day. On the 5th day, I woke up feeling reborn. The "I must have it!!!" craving was gone and I was in full control of my eating choices.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My husband was recently diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic, and is on Metformin now. He was surprised and shaken by this diagnosis, but took an honest look at his diet and exercise habits, and realized that he has probably been on this collision course for quite some time. After consulting with his doctor, he started exercising several times per week. Then, he cut out processed foods. All of them. He now carries around raw almonds as a snack. If he's jonesing for sugar, he has grapes or an apple. On the rare occasion he allows himself bread products, he makes sure they're whole wheat. (This goes for pasta as well.) He has cut out alcohol. As a family, we have added a LOT more veggies to our diet. In general, we are trying to eat foods that are as close to how they came out of the ground as possible. With these changes, he is feeling SO much better (he's avoiding those nasty blood sugar-induced mood swings), and because he's feeling better, he wants to continue along that path. Even though he has a major sweet tooth, he's just re-training himself hour by hour, day by day. The more progress he makes, the more his determination to keep getting better. Just make steps in the right direction. If you make a mistake, acknowledge it, and go back to eating right. Nobody is perfect, but at this point, it's a matter of life and death for you. Just make the decision right now to start eating whole foods, and do it.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Don't feel embarrassed. Congratulations on being willing to learn.

I believe that it's helpful to first learn about the ways sugar is added to our processed foods, and the different words for sugars. I write a healthy food blog (about cooking simple, easy foods without processed ingredients - PM me if you'd like the blog site info; I wrote an informational post about sugars and sweeteners and how they're incorporated into our diets). As a part of the blog research, my daughter and I spent an afternoon in a national chain grocery store. We studied the canned soups, bottled salad dressings, dry salad dressing mixes, seasoning packets, convenience foods, boxed dinners, and sauces (spaghetti, cheese, etc). The amount of sugar, in multiple forms, in all the foods was staggering. The deli potato salad contained 4 different kinds of sugars, and the list of ingredients was TWELVE lines long!

Sugars can be any ingredient that ends in "ose", "itol" and anything that is labeled as "syrup". Of course, it can also just be "sugar" or "honey" or any one of several dozen words. There are lists available online.

So if you have used jarred pasta sauce, the famous dry ranch salad dressing mix (the first ingredient in that is sugar), bottled salad dressing, convenient boxed "helper" type of dinners, cereals, canned soups, or seasoning packets at any time, you've fed your addiction, perhaps unknowingly. There's no need to be embarrassed! We have been tricked and manipulated by manufacturers who put sugar in multiple forms in our savory foods.

Simply getting rid of cookies and candy won't be enough (unless you don't cook with any processed foods, or convenience foods, of course). Being informed is a great place to start. And when you realize how much sugar is in our spaghetti sauces and salads and macaroni and cheese and in every ingredient in a typical dinner, you won't want to have to pay for those additional ingredients. Refuse to be forced to buy additives, and to have to pay for sugar in your dinner. That might help your addiction and increase your willpower.

And it will be just as harmful to use Stevia, Truvia, Agave Nectar, Sucralose, Splenda and all those chemically processed foods. Yes, Stevia is a plant, and if you grow the actual plant and grind up the leaves, it's a great sweetening choice. The plant is easy to grow. However, the Stevia in the stores are anything but natural (yes, the label says "natural" but that just means there are no artificial colors or synthetic ingredients according to the FDA standards.) If you see the words "Rebaudioside" or "Reb A" or "Rebiana" or anything starting with "Reb..." on the Stevia label, that means it has been chemically and artificially processed with a gas and a complicated mechanical process and it's not natural. Similarly, there is a method of extracting an elixir from the agave plant that is kind of like how maple syrup is made (and it's available in rural authentic South American farms), but that's not what Agave "Nectar" is. The stuff on our shelves is more processed than high fructose corn syrup and can contain more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Raw local honey and pure maple syrup, along with organic coconut palm sugar, in limited quantities, are good choices.

So I suggest that you first learn about how sugar assaults every grocery store shopper, and learn about sugars, and sweeteners. Being informed can give you a boost when starting to reduce the sugar in your diet.

My daughter is also a sugar-craver, and needs to sharply reduce her sugar intake for medical reasons, and we are working together to help rid her diet of sugar. We began by helping her realize that there is a place for sugar, and that is in a dessert, in modest, limited amounts. Sugary cereals and energy bars and drinks had to go. Sugar in spaghetti had to go. Bottled salad dressings and dips had to go. We substituted her sugary artificial yogurt with plain organic Greek yogurt and fresh berries and just a touch of maple syrup (which she is decreasing now). No more convenience foods - she is old enough to buy her own foods and although I cook very healthy foods, she would buy fast food and ice cream and cookies. So I've been helping her substitute her sugary foods with healthy alternatives. She does get an occasional treat but it's in its place: a treat. Drinks are lactose-free milk, water, and unsweetened fruit juice occasionally.

So you might try modifying your diet, to remove the unnecessary sugars, cut down on any sugary drinks, eliminate artificial sweeteners, limit fruits, and increase vegetables and proteins. It will take some time for you to get used to less sugar, but that's ok. If you would like any specific help with what you usually like to cook or eat, please message me and I'd love to help you.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Beaumont on

What helped me was to stop cold turkey. The more I had, the more I wanted and I had to do something drastic. BTW. It worked. Don't crave it at all anymore.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

no help, just fellowship. i'm right there with ya, sister!
:( khairete

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I applaud you for knowing what needs to be done and willing to do it!
I am going to send you a PM with a link to the way I got rid of my food addictions. Mine was potato chips. Don't laugh...1 very large bag every night, and if I didn't have one in the house, I would drive to go and get one. Even in the freezing cold.
Once I started feeding my body right, all the cravings went did over 40 lbs of excess "fluff".
Check your inbox!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I go to OA... (check em out online) it's free and they have meetings in person or via the phone..
It's interesting because as someone who is a compulsive over-eater (I LOVE pasta) .... it's helped tremendously in terms of understanding what is driving my hunger.. the program is less about food perse and more focused on " addiction and the behavior that goes along with it"

as for ridding myself of my cravings.. they come and go... I do find that the more meetings I attend, the better I do...

check em out and see if the program could wk for you.. they have a questionaire online you can answer.. OA. ORG..
again, it's free..

good luck

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Recognizing this right now in me. I just went to the library and got a couple books about it. Mostly about insulin resistance. So far I like Dr. Travis Stork's, Lean Belly Prescription. I also went on Pintrest and found information and recipes for a Insulin Resistant diet.

The way I understand it so far, the cell needs energy ( glucose/food) and insulin is the key that opens the door and let's the food in. When it's resistant to that key (like a rusty door), the food gets stored as fat. But your cells are still hungry and tell you they are hungry all day long!

I'm trying to not only cut down on sugar but bread also. I've just got to find the right foods to substitute. Lots of protein, ect.

I feel your pain! Good luck to both of us:)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

My name is C. and I am a sugar addict who has been in recovery for 5 weeks.

How did I kick the habit? I stopped eating wheat.

My doctor thought that perhaps some other heatlh issues that I was having were caused by a wheat sensitivity. And sure enough, as soon as I quit eating wheat and other gluten containing products, all the symptoms disappeared.

Read the book "Wheat Belly." It explains things very well....and since you're a diabetic, it might just change your life.

Best of luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

This is soooo common. It is also sooo fixable. Almost everyone who has a sugar "addiction" TRULY craves sugar. Over 85% of Americans have a problem with Candida. Candida is simply yeast. If you know anything about yeast, it's favorite food is sugar. It needs it to survive. If you starve it, it will die and the cravings will miraculously disappear. There are two problems. The first one is that it takes a loooong time to starve it. The second problem is almost everything in an American diet contains sugar. Other than processed sugar, white potatoes, white breads, most processed foods have added you have to go natural for a while. (McDonalds even adds sugar to their French fries giving you a double whammy.)

Green leafy vegetables, red potatoes, even sweet potatoes if simply baked with butter and salt added will starve yeast. Non processed protein will also do well. A cheat here and there will put you back at square one. So simply don't do it. Six to nine months is when you will be yeast free. Don't think because you can't see yeast or feel it that it's not there. It is!

I guess the third issue is that yeast is dangerous. If it continues to grow, diseases begin to develop. The immune system is so compromised that the body ceases to function the way it is supposed to.

Don't be discouraged. This is doable. Hope this helps!


2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

When I became diabetic I started making substitutes for the sugary things. I know many people are against Splenda and other substitutes but, for ME this is what worked to keep my blood sugar in check. I eat alot of the Atkins products, to me they are like candy bars, I eat tea biscuts instead of cookies, I make ice cream sandwiches with two tea biscuts ans a spoonful of Carb Smart ice cream. I make French toast with low carb multi grain bread and sugar free syrup. I eat Light & Fit Greek Yogurt. You need to watch your carb intake as it's the same effect as sugar. It's a bit difficult at first but you get used to it. Do it now before you feel your feet tingle or your eyes getting blurry. Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Sugar cravings can be improved by filling in other parts of life. I always crave sugar IF I'm not getting enough sleep, not getting enough exercise, not getting proper nutrition, stress, not enough sex, whatever you're NOT getting can turn itself into a sugar craving basically. So a poor diet-even with sugar-will cause more sugar cravings because your body is off kilter.

Stay hydrated. Eat well. It's healthy to have a square or two of dark chocolate per day. It's oK to use honey in your tea. You do need fruit. Molasses are yummy on bread and healthy too. You don't have to "totally quit sugar" and you shouldn't. But help yourself not to overdo it by making sure you are taking good care of yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Since you are a pre-diabetic, you are probably already working with a dietician/ nutritionist to re-tool your diet. Maybe cold turkey is the way you are going to have to go (given the urgency).

If you have more time on your hands, try keeping an honest food diary for 2 weeks and see when you eat and what you eat. keeping a food journal, might in and of itself help you curb, because you would rather not have to write down that you hid and ate sweets.

After you journal, see if you can tally the number of sweets, and give up one portion every two weeks (so if right now you are having on average 4 daily, cut it down to 3.

All the while up your water (put a gallon on your desk and have a cup before giving into any food/ sweet cravings).

Try eating more (healthy, unsweetened, unprocessed foods), if you have that second helping of spinach, maybe there will be less room for cake.

increase your exercise (never hurts), and it can be a delay tactic too, to keep you from that cake. i.e. it is dinner time. you have had a glass of water, you have had a second helping of spinach. you now take the dog out for a 20 minute walk, or take the kids out for a 20 minute bike ride, you take a brisk walk by yourself etc. then come back and have another glass of water, by the time you get back you might not be after that cake after all.

F. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

find a television show on the BBC called "you are what you eat." Watch a few episodes. I don't think it aires anymore, but sure you can find it on your computer. The nutritionist put people on an 8 week cleanse that did not restrict calories, but types of foods. They were taken off meat, dairy, sugar, alcohol, most fats and oils, and grains. They ate fruits, veg, legumes and nuts. At first they were all miserable and hating the diet. But by the time they were done, most people wanted to continue on or at least adopt a modified version of the diet because it had so transformed their lives. Their cravings were gone, they usually all lost well over 20 lbs (some lost 30 or 40 lbs). Their hair and skin shined. Their entire countenance looked different. Now I know thats a little extreme, and I think grains are just perfectly great to eat. But I think you would find the show inspirational and you could develop your own cleanse even if you did a modified version for 30 days.
but yes, cold turkey is the way to go. Just start when you are prepared and have a plan.

1 mom found this helpful
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