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Sugar - HELP!

So, I think I need to kick sugar out of my diet. But it feels overwhelming, I have no idea where to start! Do I detox from all forms of sugar? What about natural sweetners? Artificial? Stevia, agave? What about crakers, cereals, or other seemingly innocent foods, are they banished for having any trace of sugar? And, aside from the fact that there is no nutrition in it, what is the great big pay off for ditching sugar? Has anyone done this before? HHHEELLPPPP!!!!

Mon. Jan 12, 7:02pm

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i feel your pain-- sugar addiction is powerful. ive managed to cut out sugar by subbing in natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and agave. stevia is great in beverages but ive heard it can be challenging to bake with. if you sub in healthy snacks like dates, figs or raisins when you get a sugar craving, it's totally doable. i saw my own energy and vitality skyrocket when i quit sugar. sugar depresses the immune system and interferes with your bodys absorption of nutrients. not to mention the stress it places on your pancreas, which is why eating lots of sugar puts you at a higher risk for diabetes. if you feel like you should do it then go for it!! your taste for sweets will change over time and candy won't even taste like food anymore. and... i would recommend starting with the more obvious "sweets" with the goal of eventually eliminating the breads crackers etc w sugar. One step at a time. Good luck!!

Monday, January 12, 2009, 7:59 PM

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I gave up sugar for lent one year. All sugar and artificial sweeteners and honey. I still ate fruit and I still ate bread (whole wheat with sugar way down in the ingredient list) but everything else got cut out. I read lots of labels. At first I think I was detoxing. I was cranky and irritable. But after a few days, it got better. When I wanted something sweet, I drank some herbal tea or ate some fruit. I felt better with more energy, my headaches went away. When I started eating sugar again, it was way too sweet and gave me an instant headache and made me feel all restless and jumpy. I don't know if I would be able to cut out sugar completely forever, but I don't think I'll ever go back to eating as much as I did before. Good luck!

Monday, January 12, 2009, 8:18 PM

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Try phase 1 of the south beach diet if you want to detox from sugar and simple carbs.

Monday, January 12, 2009, 8:58 PM

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There's a link below to an article about why refined sugar is bad for you. There are lots of links for why to stay away from artificial sweeteners too. I use dates to sweeten my salad dressings and sometimes add in honey or raw agave to my smoothies when I want something more akin to a shake. And maple syrup on a bowl of hot oat bran is a sweet and filling dessert. Mostly for me it's about not wasting calories on sugar that should be spent on nutrition. Check out natural or raw food stores for cookies made with raw ingredients that are incredible for a sweet fix - they use coconut and fruits etc so you get the nutrition with the sweet. And there is a sugar busters group too I think if you need more focused help.

Link

Monday, January 12, 2009, 11:08 PM

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When I ditched sugar, I lost about 15 pounds and felt great.

Monday, January 12, 2009, 11:08 PM

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Why don't u first try by reducing sugar intake instead of cutting it off completely...
This is what I did..
I reduced my sugar from 2 tsp to 1 tsp for my morning coffee.. I don't realize the bitter taste anymore for me it has become normal though when my boyfriend takes a sip he screams "gosh it has no sugar in it, how do u drink it"...
I don't eat regular size chocolates at all... when I get cravings I eat andes thin mint just 1 and savor it... Sometimes a dums lollipop helps (just 35 cals)... but even this consumption has reduced greatly and I get the cravings during PMS mostly...
Do not substitute sugar with artificial sweeteners that doesn't help you loose weight and you will crave more sugar...
During my first attempt to reduce sugar consumption I started substituting it with artificial sweeteners and that was such a disaster... I was constantly having cravings....
I like to eat dried dates, prunes and apricots and any kind of fresh fruit, helps...



Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 10:34 AM

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Sugar Help

I was a confirmed sugar-holic. I use to scrape the undesolved sugar at the bottom of my coffee cup and eat it. There was no sugar left uneaten in my house.

I tried every conceivable type of sugar: stevia (bitter); sacharine (toxic); splenda (questionable); etc. My first step in the right direction came when I gave up all the fake sugars and opted for raw sugar (Turbinado), honey, Agave sugars. And next...

The best thing in my ENTIRE life was reading Dr. Joel Furhman's book on EAT RIGHT AMERICA. It stressed GREENS in your daily diet. (Kale, collards, spinach, etc.). Please get the book. Anyway.... after 2 weeks of eating these foods, I literally no longer had a addicts craving for sugar. I drink my tea without sugar. I didn't have to have a daily fix of refined sugar. I would be entirely content on fruits and very modest amounts of sugar sweets. It was the most incredible thing I had ever experienced. Even my family benefited from eating the greens I cooked. They didn't eat the nightly icecream or ask for sweets in the house. It was unbelievable.

By all means, don't take my word for it. Get the book and see for yourself. I belong to the Tabs Team and you can see my daily journals to see how sugar diminshed (not totally withdrawns) and how my control over it increased as the months rolled by.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 11:31 AM

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OP here,

Thank you SO MUCH to all who posted! I know I can look all this up online, but it really helps to have the peer support and feedback from you all. It helped to ground me, and focus me in the right direction. I'm going to take the advice and cut back on the obvious sources of sugar, adn go from there. It's hard! I paid attention yesterday, and was AMAZED at how many sugary things I put into my mouth - YUCK!! Also, I have read most of Dr. Fuhrman's books, but not the one the PP mentioned - I'll get it soon!! THANKS AGAIN!!
And please keep advice coming!!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 1:54 PM

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Hey OP. I had the same feeling a few months ago and the South Beach Diet can answer all those questions. It helped me kick my sugar cravings and although the SBD calls for a lot of artificial sweeteners, I found that Stevia is an acceptable alternative (it's all natural, etc.).

Good luck!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 2:24 PM

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I had a good friend who completely cut out sugar, wheat and even artificial sweeteners. Since I entertain often and she's a regular guest, I did a lot of label reading and improvising. See, I refuse to be one of those hostesses who serves one meal to some of my guests and a special plate for others, so if I have a guest who has restrictions, we all eat that type of food and I like to think I cook well enough that no one thinks twice about it.

I was SHOCKED at how MUCH sugar is in nearly everything!!! She wouldn't eat it if sugar was in the top 5 ingredients (or any derivative form of it like corn syrup or cane juice) so that was my guideline too. The basics were not really a problem but sauces and dressings became challenging as did dessert (the wheat was more of a challenge in dessert than sugar almost). I became very adept at learning how to add flavor without using anything sweetened, and I have to say it was a really eye-opening lesson in how much sugar we all eat. It was also challenging to keep the menu diverse, but as time went on I adapted and it's been a great experience.

I have become pretty strict myself. I do indulge in artificial sweeteners sometimes though, and I also allow myself to have dessert from time to time, but on a daily basis I really watch labels and rarely buy processed, pre-prepared food anymore so I can be in greater control of what goes in it.

Sugar is the main culprit in nearly all my cravings and it's a major component of my feelings of hunger. I feel 'released' in that I no longer feel controlled by either of those two forces. Also, my energy levels are better and more consistent, and on a pure vanity level, my skin looks great - so much tighter and brighter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009, 2:37 PM

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