Before we begin this article, there is something I need to say one more time: Sugar is a highly addictive substance, 10 times more addicting than cocaine.
It is also very normal that we want to eat something sweet, however, craving sweets all the time is not normal and may hint at an underlying dopamine problem.
Trying to fully cut sugar out cold turkey can be a huge mistake and this is where everyone fails in their approach. Our first target should be limiting its usage and take it from there.
Table of Contents
- 1 15 steps to limit and eliminate sugar from your life
- 1.1 Eat more veggies
- 1.2 Eat more fat
- 1.3 Eat more protein
- 1.4 Focus on foods with low glycemic index values
- 1.5 Remove any type of processed food
- 1.6 Drink more water!
- 1.7 Avoid drinking boxed juices!
- 1.8 Choose the right breakfast
- 1.9 Take your coffee black
- 1.10 Use natural sweeteners instead
- 1.11 Skip Dessert
- 1.12 Start slowly and take baby steps
- 1.13 Replace old bad habits with new healthier ones
- 1.14 Get some support
- 1.15 Don’t give up
- 2 How to apply all this
15 steps to limit and eliminate sugar from your life
So here are 15 basic steps to eliminate your sugar consumption and get on the right path to a healthier nutritional plan and life.
Eat more veggies
Focus on getting your majority of carbs from veggies and fruits. Be careful not to overdo it with fruits though.
Not all fruits are the same. Very sweet fruit such as bananas, oranges etc can cause a higher insulin spike which should be avoided for better hormonal health and better body composition.
Stick to berries and citrus fruit which are as equally full of nutrients, vitamins and enzymes without hurting your hormonal profile.
Eat more fat
Instead of eating a lot of carbs, try eating more healthy fats instead. Healthy fats will support your hormonal health (testosterone production for men and progesterone for women), keep you full for longer and also support your dopamine and energy levels.
However, a diet that is higher in fats may not work for everyone right off the bat so this is something to experiment with to get the right amount of fats in your diet.
Remember that if you go high fat you must minimize your carb intake.
Good ways to up your healthy fats are:
- Use organic coconut oil to cook with,
- Prepare salads with raw olive oil,
- Eat more fish, avocados and nuts.
Eat more protein
Instead of carbs, focus on eating more protein (along with extra fat).
Great protein based foods are:
- Organic beef,
- Organic (not farmed) fish,
- Free range chicken,
- Free range eggs.
However, if you are a vegan, you should focus more on nuts and legumes (just stay away from soy or fake protein products such as tofu).
Focus on foods with low glycemic index values
The Glycemic Index is an indication or measure of how each food affects our insulin levels (and therefore the glucose levels in our blood).
This will allow you to better understand what is harmful and full of sugar.
The goal here is to consume foods with the smallest amount of glycemic index.
Some exceptions do apply as some very nutritional foods have a higher glycemic index.
If you check below you will see that white sugar has the same glycemic index as sweet potato. We have already discussed the dangers of sugar, however, sweet potatoes are perhaps one of the best foods you can have in your diet (and is one of the few carbs that I personally consume on a regular basis).
GI FOOD Examples
Here are some examples of the GI values of various foods:
|Raspberries||*||* Little or no carbohydrates|
|Rhubarb||*||* Little or no carbohydrates|
|Sucrose (White Sugar):||70||High|
|Gluten-free white bread:||90||High|
|Potatoes, oven cooked:||95||High|
Here is a helpful link from Harvard with Glycemic Index values on various foods.
Note: For athletes and other categories who are very active the Glycemic Index does not apply since their bodies can use any type of carbs more efficiently. For these people, a carb is a carb.
Remove any type of processed food
“If man made it, don’t eat it” was a quote from the late fitness legend Jack Lalane.
Processed foods you need to avoid include:
- Pre made foods,
- Microwave dinners,
- White rice and grains,
- White salt,
- White flour.
White (or chlorinated) salt, sugar and flour products come from sources that are most possibly GMO and unhealthy in more ways that you can possibly imagine.
Instead, try to focus on getting natural foods.
Hint: natural is something you find on a label and it’s something that usually lists only 1 ingredient.
Drink more water!
If you start craving sugar, focus on drinking more water to fill you up. Water is important for optimal health and you should be drinking a minimum of 2 liters per day anyway.
Hint: Another way to beat those cravings is eating half a tablespoon of raw organic coconut oil.
Avoid drinking boxed juices!
Packaged juices are full of fructose but without any of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients that protect your body from the high insulin spike that follows the consumption of juices.
You should not fully eliminate juices and you can still have 1 or 2 per day but you will have to make them yourself from fresh organic fruits and consume it immediately. This is because all the enzymes and vitamins are destroyed after 30-60 minutes and all you are left with is plain fructose.
Choose the right breakfast
Cereals, juices, croissant and muffins are not a healthy breakfast by any standard. They are more of an open invitation for cancer and disease (when consumed consistently for long periods of time).
Instead, make sure that your breakfast contains healthy fats, a big dose of protein and a bit of carbs. A good example would be: nuts and seeds in some oatmeal (avoid instant oatmeal as it is filled with sugar and flavorings) topped with full fat milk or almond milk. If you desperately need something sweet, you can add 1 spoonful of raw organic honey, date syrup or grade A maple syrup to the above mix.
Other good alternatives are low fat Greek yogurt with berries or 3 eggs with some fresh juice.
You can also check out one of my health recipe alternatives for breakfast in the recipes section.
Take your coffee black
People have been blaming coffee for all of today’s evils however, it is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is the combination of milk and sugar in coffee that makes it a calorie-dense bomb that destroys your insulin, leptin and adrenaline receptors (like the one sold in famous coffee companies).
Milk contains lactase which is also a sugar. So in fact you are taking your coffee with sugar and sugar. Not a good way to start your day.
Instead get a good breakfast and take your coffee BLACK.
PS: Ignore all fads where people put grassfed butter (and coconut oil) in their coffee. If you want to combine healthy fats and a cup of coffee, get a handful of raw macadamia nuts and wash it down with your coffee.
Use natural sweeteners instead
As an alternative, you can use sweeteners. But make sure they are all natural and avoid all the artificial sweeteners for all the reasons I will explain in my upcoming article.
The only calorie-free sweetener I can safely recommend is stevia which comes from a South American plant. Check the labels as some Stevia sweeteners are part Stevia and part artificial sweetener such as xylitol. Others may contain Maltodextrin (a sugar derived from corn or rice) which defeats the purpose.
Another sweetener you could use is the amino acid Glycine in small doses. It also has a number of other qualities aside from its sweet taste. Check my article on Glycine for its powerful benefits.
This should be obvious. If you still want something sweet, eat 1 piece of fruit or some fresh berries.
Low calorie or fat free dessert is also not a good idea and despite how people label them, they will never be healthy.
Sugar-free foods are also not an option as they are full of artificial sweeteners. Every time you eat something that is sugar-free you are trading one evil for another.
Start slowly and take baby steps
Rome was not built overnight so don’t expect to do all of the above in a day or even a week. By choosing to remove sugar from your diet, you will be actually creating a new habit – a healthy one. This, of course, takes time.
Be patient and take one step at a time. See how it works for you and make the appropriate changes to correct your course. Be consistent and you will get what you have worked for.
Replace old bad habits with new healthier ones
Remember that in order to have consistent results, you may need to make a lifestyle change.
In some cases, this is the only way you can actually make a permanent change in your life. Anything else will work for only a few months and then the addiction will come back to haunt you with a vengeance.
Get some support
Once you have done all of the above, you may still need some kind of support. This support can come from your immediate environment like family and friends or from an external party like a nutrition specialist or other professionals.
There is no shame in getting some extra help, in fact, it is part of the drill. The most successful businessmen, coaches and athletes all have a team of specialists who support and coach them.
It is also very normal if you feel lost or scared or powerless at times. For this reason it is especially helpful when you have a support network around. It will benefit you greatly in not only keeping up your progress but to continue stronger towards your desired goal.
Don’t give up
Whatever you do, this should always be your motto. Never give up on anything. Even if life throws you a nasty curveball, find a way to get back on top.
Sometimes we feel bad or need to take a step back. There is nothing wrong with that. We all need to take a break sometime. Once the break is over, get up and soldier through the pain (or guilt) and get back on track.
How to apply all this
Try to implement one step per week and make it your goal to commit to each step for at least 7 days before moving on to the next.
In this way, you should be able to ease yourself into a healthier diet in about 11 to 16 weeks which is easier, realistic, attainable and has a higher rate of success than the usual ‘90 days to sugar free’ programs (that do not work).
I hope you enjoyed this small guide on how to remove sugar from your diet (and your life). By taking action, you will be upgrading your nutrition and consequently your health in order to live a life that is truly strong, healthy and free.
If you have any comments or questions, leave them in a comment below and I will answer back asap. Also, don’t forget to share this article by using one of the social media buttons below.
by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200