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For those who have given up sweets...

How did you do it? Why did you do it? What have been the benifits and downfalls I'm considering going cold turkey on sweets but I want to know everything about it. Thanks!

Mon. Oct 2, 12:05pm

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Giving up sugar is a lot like giving up ciagarettes. I've done both and they are both super rewarding activities. I gave up smoking about 15 years ago. It was miserable to do. I cried every day and wanted to smoke every day for about a year. But when I was completely off of smoking, it was kind of shocking that I'd done anything so horrible to my body and I felt so much better without it.

I have given up almost all sugar - I don't add it to anything and I rarely eat foods with much of it (although you will find that even foods like bread and completely non-sweet tasking breakfast cereals have some sugar ended). I also don't eat other sweetners (Splenda, Equal, honey, etc.) It is super painful to do - it takes a few weeks of incredible willpower. If it took even a year of willpower (like quitting smoking), it would not have been possible for me. I just don't have that kind of willpower and I'm sure if my cravings for sugar were as high on day 20 as they were on day 1, it would just lead to huge binges for me. However, it wasn't that way. After a few weeks, I really, really, really felt a difference. The biggest thing is that my appetite for ALL food went way down. I am just hungry for a lot less food so that my overall calorie intake from all foods just went way down. And my cravings for sugar and for other things (salty, fatty, heavy, etc.) went way down. In other words, taking sugar out of my diet has allowed me to develop a much healthier relationship with all food and with my appetite. It's like sugar was somehow creating a disconnect between food and me.

I am NOT saying that sugar ist as bad for you as smoking - it isn't. Even a few ciagarettes are bad for the individual smoking them and all those around them. A little bit of sugar is absolutely fine and does nothing to innocent bystanders. It's just that for me, sugar has been intensely distructive and cutting it out has been freeing. In my own personal experience, smoking was that way too.

In sum, cutting out sugar has been hugely helpful for me and improved everything about my eating.

Look at it this way - you can try it for a couple of months and if you don't like it, you can always go back. (Note that you would probably have to stick with it for a full couple of months as it goes without saying that the first few weeks are hell.)

Monday, October 02, 2006, 12:47 PM

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My trainer put me on a 30-day challenge to cut out sweets, breads, cereal and alcohol because I'm limited in my exercise due to an injury. I had also gained 3cm in my belly and 5lbs in 6 weeks. Not cool. This isn't to say that this is about no-carbs....I still eat potatoes, pasta (whole wheat), etc.

Anyways. Giving up sugar cold turkey is hard especially if you've been eating it a lot lately or is part of your diet in someway. I crave something sweet after lunch, which I mostly don't fulfill, or dinner. The first week for me was really hard since I was literally withdrawing from all these foods in addition to sugar/sweets and changing the way I eat foods. By the 10th day, the cravings eased up and I stopped obsessing.

The benefits are weight loss (I lost 1.5 lbs in the first week). I haven't weighed my this this week, but my clothes are fitting a bit better. The downfall is that we're entering into Halloween season and Thanksgiving so you'll have to have your own determination and will power. I would ask the people in your life (family, friends, cow-workers) and your groups to hold you accountable.

You can use the sugar substitutes, but I'm not keen on the personally.

Good Luck!

Monday, October 02, 2006, 12:49 PM

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I believe that refined sugar is bad for me. I am a recovering alcoholic, and I have finally come to the conclusion that I have the same relationship to sugar as I did to alcohol. Granted, it's not as destructive to those around me, but when I binge, I feel out of control, have loads of remorse, self-loathing, etc.

The first step is to become aware of how much sugar there is in food - particularly processed stuff. It's HORRIFYING when you start to examine labels. I allow myself unlimited fruit. I know that there is a molecule of glucose in each molecule of fruit sugar, but thats 50% less than in sucrose. I'm not sure why it doesn't have the same effect, it just doesn't.

The most amazing difference for me when I steer clear of sucrose is the benefits of stable moods and energy. I have WAY more energy, and far fewer dips/highs in my moods.

It really is hard when you go cold turkey, but that's the only way for me. After 3 or 4 days of hell, I start to feel better. For those days, I allow myself to eat as much as I want, as long as it's something natural: fruit, veggies, etc. And I keep reminding myself that sugar has no nutritive value. It doesn't contain vitamins that my body needs, and is therefore a waste of calories.

This is just based on my own experience. I have no problem with others eating whatever they want.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 12:56 PM

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Adendum from 12:47 pm poster

I wanted to clarify that when I talked about cutting out sugar, I meant added sweetners including sugar. I have not cut out carbohydrates generally or fruits specifically. I do not know the scientific explanation as to why cutting out refined sugar and other added sweetners makes such a big difference without cutting out other kinds of carbs or even fruits which have fruit sugar. I can just tell you that this has been my experience. Also, it is worth noting that my cravings for carbs (pasta, bread, etc.) have gone down by cutting out sugar even though I've done nothing on purpose to curb pasta or bread - I just feel like eating less of it.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 1:07 PM

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I have cut out nearly all refined sugar and the difference is amazing! I still allow myself to eat sauces prepared in restaurants, have a glass of wine when I eat out and the occasional dessert or hot chocolate at starbucks. But that's what they are - occasional. I don't eat sugar or refined carbs in my daily life, but I have no problem including fruit. I do use artificial sweeteners in tea and hot chocolate (I use cocao powder and splenda).

I didn't stop cold-turkey but I often cook for and with a friend who does not eat any sugar, honey or artificial sweeteners and over time I became very concious of how much sugar is in the foods we eat. When I cooked for her I would come up with recipes and creative seasonings that would easily make up for any ingredient that contained sugar and no one who ever ate the food I prepared guessed for a minute that it was sugar-free (and gluten-free too actually). I realized I could cut it out altogether and still cook wonderful meals and even had a small repetoire of desserts.

When you cut out sugar you cut out nearly all processed, pre-packaged foods because they are all PACKED with it. Look at almost any packaged food or sauce and sugar (or some form of it) will be within the first 5 ingredients. However I should note that the Amy's Organics frozen entrees that I have tried thus far do not contain sugar. In general what you end up with is a diet of whole, unprocessed foods and it's amazing how satisfying that is! I don't spend that much more time in preparation and Trader Joe's has fortunately saved me from having to make my own pasta sauce or salad dressing. Whole Foods also has sauces and dressings that are sugar-free although they are not marketed as such so you have to still be a label detective. I honestly don't remember the last time I bought something without looking at the label - lol!

My body works so much better without sugar and I don't eat compulsively like I used to. I feel so much more in control of my food and my life. My moods are more even, I am more relaxed and I truly enjoy my food much more.

Monday, October 02, 2006, 1:52 PM

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No sugar

Hi, I am on day 12 of my no - sugar plan and have already noticed a HUGE difference. I would highly recommend it to anybody pondering the idea. The reason for my doing this is for being healthier inside and out ...(improving my skin, hair, weight, mood, irritability, everything) And while cravings may get me cranky, I have noticed a huge change in my energy levels. I am now more 'balanced' and there are less peaks and lows in my energy throughout the day. Also, regular food tastes better than usual because I look forward to it more . Don't get me wrong, it's a struggle and i've noticed that today was more difficult than the third day of going without sugar. Although I do allow myself fruit, that is the only exception, I have found that it helps to keep myself occupied with lots of activities to fight off the cravings.

Saturday, January 05, 2008, 1:53 AM

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do not give up fruit, but table sugar---AH! so bad for you! next cut out anything processed and white- white bread,etc. the first ingredient should be 'Whole" wheat, grain etc.

I gave it up months a go and lost 15 lbs!! Yippea!

Thursday, January 10, 2008, 4:33 PM

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You can do anything you put your mind to.

Thursday, January 10, 2008, 4:51 PM

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