How Do You Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet?

Updated on April 27, 2013
M.M. asks from Apex, NC
17 answers

For Lent I tried to cut out sugar/desserts but I only lasted about 3 weeks. I felt better and I think I lost a couple pounds. At least I felt better in my own skin if that makes any sense. Right now I'm about 50 lbs overweight. I'm so frusterated that I can't stick to a plan. What made things worse is when my neighbor put some dessert bars on a plate and left them on my porch! About 2 dozen of them and I was doing so well before that! She even knew that I was cutting sweets for Lent and so was she, she said that is why she gave the bars to me...Ugh! Well, she didn't make me eat them so i can't put all the blame on her. After I ate a few I threw the rest in the trash. do you cut out sweets? I want this to be a lifestyle change that lasts for more than a few weeks. Any tips, stratagies and personal success stories would be helpful. Also, what do you eat when you crave desserts? Sometimes I drink 100% fruit juice but I don't know if that is good for me or not.

Please help!

Thanks in advance!

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answers from Portland on

I've cut out sweets and found that in a few weeks I stopped craving sweets. Then I'd eat a piece or two or three of cake and be back to craving them. For me it means not eating any sweets. What helps me is to munch on crisp and salty things. Crisp bread sticks is one thing. They're long and thin. Pretzels and popcorn are others.

I can avoid sweets after meals and with friends but my downfall is at night. I live alone and so I don't buy sweets. That helps.

I suggest fruit juice won't help because it too is sweet. Do eat some fruits, just not juice because it's so dense in sweetness.

I did well for awhile and then got started eating sweets again. It's something that I have to continuously be aware of.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I don't try to completely eliminate any one thing from my diet, just balance everything.
If I crave sweets, I have a piece of fruit, but not a pound of fruit. Or I have a cookie but not a whole package of cookies.
If I crave salt, I have a handful of chips, but not a whole bag of chips.
If I crave alcohol, I have a beer, but not a whole six-pack of beer.

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answers from Boston on

I use myfitnesspal to track what I eat and one of the things it tracks is your sugar intake. You'd be surprised how much sugar is in everything, including fruit. No, that fruit juice is not a good substitute for dessert. For me, seeing the numbers is helpful. For example, I switched from vanilla yogurt to plain yogurt in my fruit smoothie because there was a ton of sugar in the vanilla yogurt. I'm definitely not 100% sugar free, but have cut back dramatically.

Artificial sweeteners can cause sugar/sweet cravings so if you are trying to cut out sugar, cut those out too. So no splenda, no apartame. Stevia is OK if you really want a little sweetener (I put a little in my iced tea).

I usually have some chocolate or white chocolate chips for baking in the freezer so if I'm really craving a dessert, I'll eat a handful of those with some almonds or walnuts. As long as I watch the portion size, I can do this every now and again and still be within my calorie goals for the day.

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answers from Norfolk on

When I start feeling hungry I have some nuts - which are a great protein source.
I have some that come in 100 calorie packets - it's not much - it doesn't take a lot of nuts to make up 100 calories.
It seems to curb the cravings.
Lately I've been drinking watered down juice.
About 4 oz of grapefruit juice with 16 oz of water is quite refreshing.
Cider works well like this too.
Although you can eliminate a lot of sweets, it's ok to have a chocolate kiss maybe once a week.
A small treat once in a great while can help you to not feel deprived.
Drink a lot of water and if that starts getting boring there are a lot of great herbal teas which taste great hot or cold that don't need to be sweetened.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

100% fruit juice is NOT unhealthy. It is however often used in abundance. A serving is 4-8 ounces PER DAY. Not more.

There are tons of recipes on the web that use less sugar than the ones we often make. I know one of my friends served a pie made with 1/4 the sugar that it's counterpart is made with and it was truly awful to all of us. But to her it tasted totally fruity and sweet.

She gradually started cutting down the amount of sugar she added to stuff. Like me, I only use 1/2 cup of sugar for a whole gallon of Koolaid instead of the 2 cups normally used. I am used to it tasting like that. I make tea the same way, I use hot water and melt the sugar in it then add the steeped tea. Then I add ice to the top and add some filtered water. It is super sweet to me and tastes really good to most.

I think that our body's rebel when we take something away cold turkey, it's miserable. So don't do that. Use less sugar. If you eat a candy bar get the smaller ones and only have 1. Then the next time you buy them get the smaller sizes. Again, only have 1 of those and the next time you buy them you get the bite size. I keep my candy bars in the freezer so when I decide to eat one, they are bite size Milky Way Caramel, they are super chewy and hard to eat. SO it takes a long time. My body feels like it got a huge snack but in reality I only had a bite size candy bar. I often chew gum when I am craving something sweet and rich. The chewing tells my tummy that food is coming and the sweet flavor tells it that it's candy. SO I get that filling feeling without even eating anything.

Eat hard candy too, it lasts a long long time if you suck it. It gives you the satisfaction of a sweet but has minimal calories.

I truly believe that artificial sweeteners are poison. I believe that each time they come out with something "safe" it's not too long until they start posting stories about people who have developed cancer or diabetes, or some other disease that is easily contributed to artificial sweeteners. They are not good for you, they are not natural but are man made messes. Do not use them in any form and you'll feel better sooner.

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answers from Augusta on

just don't buy sweets. It's that simple. if it's not in the house you can't eat it.
No soda, even diet soda.
opt for flavored water or water with lemon.
I cut out candy , soda, cut back on carbs and limited my portions to loose weight.
Don't go back for seconds stop at that first serving.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

Thankfully for me, salt is my vice, not sweets. Not that a big basket of greesy salty fries (mmmmmmmm!) would be any less fattening-so I can't eat it though, so I can relate to you. I do have great control over eating (I have fries less than once a month-sometimes a whole year will pass without).

The only sweet I like is dark chocolate. I do eat a square or two of is (like one bite) pretty much every day. Once in a bue moon, I'll have a dessert in a restaurant. Eating sweets SPARINGLY will not make you overweight. Eating them excessively will. Since I barely ever eat treats, I can have some birthday cake or whatever weird sweet thing pops up sometimes, because overall, it's not enough to matter. I exercise and eat right most of the time.

Quit the juice. It's massively full of natural sugar-which in excess is bad. HOWEVER, your body does need fruit and it does need natural sugar! Each piece of fruit is perfectly balanced with vitamins and nutrients and fiber and carbs that your body needs. You're way better off sitting and eating a whole orange, and a banana, and a whole apple, and a whole grapefruit and some pineapple chunks. Or a big old fruit salad. Every day! Then you have a filling energizing refreshing snack with enough natural sugar to stave off sugar cravings. Drinking juice is just giving you the sugar of 10 pieces of fruit with none of the fiber and you won't feel full after you drink it. Don't drink your sugar and calories. A splash of juice in a tall glass of water is OK.

I recently started the Fit For Life eating plan, and from 8am to noon all I eat is fruit every day. I used to barely ever eat it. The energy boost has been massive and I rarely remember to eat my square of chocolate anymore.

Ideally you want 75% of your daily food intake to be raw vegetables and fruit. And you need regular exercise. Once you've got that much natural goodness coursing through your veins and your metabolism is pumped, you don't crave sugar as much. Eating too many carbs and sugar vs what you burn off sends you off balance and makes you keep craving those things. But allow yourself some treats. You did a great job by throwing most of those bars from your neighbor away! If your overall eating is on track the 100 calories from a daily treat-cookie, half a pastry, whatever, isn't going to put you over the edge on weight gain. You can do five minutes of strenuous exercise after to negate it.

Total deprivation will make you binge, so keep some treats but increase your good eating and exercise to gradually edge them out. Eat more fruit so your body isn't craving sugar so much. Don't have a big bag or freezer full of treats in your home. Reserve them for when you're out and only buy one thing at a time.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I've cut carbs from my diet with the exception of fruit. I do not ever drink fruit is all sugar.
Since I do not eat many carbs I have increased the fat and protein in my diet so I am rarely hungry. When I crave sweets, I eat strawberries or blackberries with homemade whipped cream. I put whipping cream, Splenda and a little vanilla in the blender).
I've been doing this for over a year. I lost 15 lbs and have kept it off. I am now a size 6 and sometimes a 4😃

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Track it.
I use MyFitness Pal on the iPhone and you only have to do it for a little while before you look at what you are eating and it's a giant slap in the face holy cow moment. Just eat what you want and watch those calories add up and see how if you had not eaten that one stinking cookie you would be able to have that slice of tiramisu you totally want more. I'm not for total abstinence, your body wants what it wants but try to get it to want something else. Don't have snacks in your house. Don't have soda in the house. I did that and over time I just didn't want the snacks anymore. You just get used to it.

But it starts with seeing how each small item you dont' think matters.. matters. Then start getting rid of stuff. If for the calorie cost of that cookie you could've had a better dessert and more of it, you start to see it. One cookie or a chicken breast, grilled with a side of rice and vegetables. A whole meal has the same calories as the few cookies you just ate. It's a wake up call.

When I crave dessert I eat dessert. But my idea of dessert is italian ices or Talente ice cream or fruit, lots of fruit. Yes there is sugar but there is also fiber and tons of vitamins. I like gello and yogurt as well and sometimes I like to eat cottage cheese with canned peaches. I know the canned peaches are all sweet and stuff but the cottage cheese fills me up so I don't have as many peaches. I also add granola to top it off. Sounds cliche but it's the one health thing I do eat. I'm not much for all that healthy eating yet I just fall into healthy eating. It's not that I resist sweets, I no longer have a craving for it now that I'm "grossed out" by the calorie wastefulness. Trust me, I was a huge sweets person before.

Oh, and drink lots of water. I make two kinds of water: cucumber slices with mint and apple slices with a cinnamon stick. It makes it taste so amazingly yummy but it's just water. You can also do a berry one. But the apple one increases metabolism and the cucumber one I'm sure does something, I don't care, it taste good. Always go for taste and your body will love you. Not all good things taste bad.

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answers from Chicago on

Good alternatives to drinking sweetened juice:
Ice water with freshly squeezed lemons
Ice water with frozen raspberries
Iced tea (my favorite is iced green tea, the Tazo brand)

I don't keep desserts in my house. I keep a TON of fruit on hand. Grapes, canteloupe, watermelon, apples, oranges, bananas, frozen berries that I make into smoothies, etc. If I DO want a dessert, I go to the store or a drive thru and buy ONE. Not a box. An individual ice cream cone or sundae, 1 muffin, etc. If I don't keep it in my home chances are I won't actually go out of my way to get it.

When someone gives us sweets and I don't want the temptation, I post it on Freecycle: "Free Desserts." It is usually picked up from my porch within 2 hours. I post it as soon as I receive it so that I can promise it right away. If I've promised it, I know I'm not going to crack it open.

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answers from Sioux City on

I said a prayer each time I really desired to put sugar in my mouth.

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answers from Cleveland on

When you crave something sweet get berries and whip up real whip cream and shave dark chocolate on it its sweet enough to curb it but semi healthy or have a couple squares of good 70 or 80% dark chocolate all stores sell it in good sized bars that will last a while and dark chocolate is good for you

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answers from Dallas on

I need help, too! Thanks for asking this question. You have some great ideas here.

I did cut out diet soda. It helps because nothing tasted as sweet anymore because it was so sweet.

Last week I mad a fruit salad, pineapple, mandarin oranges and strawberries mixed with low fat sour cream and a few marshmallows. It was great to have something fairly quick and healthy to grab out of the fridge when the sugar monster calls you!

I can't drink juice at all. It makes my blood sugar peak and dive, which leads to over eating for me.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New London on

Purchase a Yonanas machine. Freeze a banana overnight and add some blueberries. It tastes like ice cream, but, it's fruit !

Drink water instead of juice. Squeeze the juice of fresh fruit into the water. I drink lemon Perrier once in a while !

Green tea is wonderful for health.

Walk every day ! Excercise is the best for burning calories !

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answers from Houston on

We just don't buy soft drink or desert!! We usually eat berries or date( one or two) as deaerts and water for drink.
You can do it!

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answers from Detroit on

Be very careful about checking labels and only buy what you want in your house. We cut out nearly all sugar, including regular pasta sauce and regular peanut butter, yogurt (except plain), juice, anything packaged in a box for the most part, etc.

Our treat once in a while is plain applesauce (no sugar added) kind and add your own spices if you want. Also, 90% dark chocolate (but a small square).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

For me it has to be cold turkey. Once I start I can't stop. It's definitely an addiction!

I do get by with putting a little honey in tea after dinner. It takes awhile to drink and it's sweet. I consider it dessert!

To lose weight it's all about balanced meals with small portions and I am a huge believer in a good dose of protein after exercise to build your muscle mass. But have that honey'ed tea ready when the stbx brings out the full fat ice cream. Don't deprive yourself..... just have an alternative.

1 mom found this helpful
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