Okay friends. You’ve finally done it. You’ve finally decided to quit sugar for good!
I’m so excited that you have taken the first step towards food freedom. A happier mind, body and soul are in sight! If you haven’t already (and need a little extra motivation) read about the nasty side effects of sugar consumption here as well as the personal benefits I experienced by breaking my addiction.
By quitting sugar, you will find you are naturally eliminating processed foods, and instead opting for whole natural and plant based foods that don’t contain a myriad of ingredients. Your diet will instantly become more nutrient dense rather than sugar (crap) dense!
With 70% of processed foods containing added sugar, it’s hard to avoid. If you’re like me, you will slip up. The important part is getting back on track as soon as you can.
Without further ado, here’s my free seven step shaking sugar guide. Go get it!
7 Step Shaking Sugar Guide
1. Do your research
Before your jump into a full fledged sugar cleanse, make sure you’re motivated enough to stick with it. On this website, I’ve touched just the tip of the iceberg on the dangers of sugar and its addictive qualities. Three Netflix documentaries, Fed Up, That Sugar Film, and Sugarcoated are what really sealed the deal for me. All three of these films take an in depth look at the sugar epidemic and its highly detrimental effects on the body.
2. Check your labels
First of all, download my “Shaking Sugar” grocery list (it can be found in the drop down bar at the top of this page) to get you started.
Part of the benefit of cutting out sugar is that you are automatically inclined to eat more whole foods. These are foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free of additives or artificial substances. Last time I checked broccoli didn’t have an ingredients list (which means it’s free of added sugar!)
Opt for grain products labelled as “whole wheat” rather than “multigrain” or “white”. Examples include whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta and brown rice. Whole wheat means the product hasn’t been refined so healthy components such as bran haven’t been removed. Although all carbohydrates are broken down in the body as sugar, “whole wheat” foods have more complex chemical structures with three or more sugars linked together. Because of their high fiber content, they take longer to digest, which means a less immediate impact on blood sugar.
You will also want to pay special attention to food labels. Sugar has 56 different names and is often slyly hidden in food products with the use of natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey and agave syrup (which often contain more fructose than regular table sugar!)
Also, when in doubt, peruse the recipes section of my website for some meal inspiration.
3. Do I have to quit eating fruit?
No you don’t have to quit eating fruit to quit sugar!
Although fruit contains sugar, the key is to eat it in its whole form (stay FAR way from fruit juice and dried fruits). Foods such as apples and berries contain an abundance of nutrients and fiber, which slow down the absorption of sugar. This helps prevent the crazy blood sugar spike and subsequent crash, allowing your body more time to use the sugar as energy before storing it as fat.
I am PRO FRUIT and REAL FOOD in its WHOLE FORM, but if you’re having trouble “shaking” your sugar addiction, you might want to avoid eating:
and instead opt for:
4. What about artificial sweeteners?
Although artificial sweeteners are not technically sugar, they will feed your addiction and derail your plans to quit by keeping your palette sweet and your cravings steady. There have also been a myriad of studies showing nasty side effects associated with these artificial sweeteners.
5. Will I go through sugar with-drawl?
It depends how addicted you are and your body composition whether you will experience with-drawl symptoms or not. I hope for your sake you don’t. I quit sugar after New Years, which happened to be following Christmas and a hundred servings of sugar cookies, pumpkin pie and truffles. The third day of “shaking sugar” was brutal to say the least. I experienced shakes, a splitting headache, sweats and vicious cravings. I came out the other side on roughly day 5, and it was all uphill from there! Make sure to incorporate some fresh fruit into your meals to help avoid this major shock to your system.
6. How long do I have to quit for?
When I first quit sugar, I avoided anything with added sugar for two months straight. To stick with it, I would suggest trying to cut it out completely for a minimum of 21 days, which is the length of time it takes to form a habit. Your palette and cravings should adjust within two weeks. What happens after that? If you’re like me, you’ll be so thrilled with the benefits of quitting sugar, that you’ll continue on with the lifestyle! Most of my meals are free of added sugar, but I’ll enjoy sweets on special occasions, such as a birthday party or celebration. The difference is now I can enjoy sweets without spinning into a vicious cycle of sugar cravings and binges.
7. Do it with a friend
When I first quit sugar, I was joined with a group of four of my girlfriends. We created a page on Facebook, where we were able to share recipes, and keep each other accountable. Shortly after, my boyfriend saw the benefits I was experiencing, and joined in as well! If you need support, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected] or join my facebook group at www.facebook.com/shakingsugar.