10 Ways to Prepare to go Sugar Free!

Eliminating sugar from your diet is a big change for many people. Hidden in food we don’t even normally associate with sugar (canned tomatoes I am looking at you!). It really is smart to prepare to go sugar free to increase your chances of quitting.

Sugar Cubes

1 – Get Mentally Ready.

Make sure you are ready to begin by keeping your life stress free (or as much as possible!). Making a big change while under stress makes the challenge even harder and you may not be able to feel the full benefits of a sugar free diet. Be positive and think about the healthy changes you are making for your body. Fill your mind with positive thoughts so you can eliminate sugar.

2 – Start to Purge Sugar from your Home.

Donate, give away or throw away (we avoid throwing away good food, so try taking it to your workplace and offer to people who may want it) your sugar! We are talking about white sugar, cane sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners, soda, cereals, candy and sweet cookies. You won’t be needing these anymore! If you have a large household, check with everyone else if it is okay to donate this food if they aren’t participating. Make sure you check your condiments, pasta sauces and breads for lurking sugar!

3 – Make One Big Change.

If you are a soda drinker, replace this with water with a slice of lemon or orange (A 12-ounce can contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar.). Make one big change first before you begin the full cleanse this will make the other changes easier to battle as you have already completely eliminated one problem area. Other things to change; having no sugar in your tea or coffee, no sugar at breakfast, no donuts or muffins as snacks or no candy at all.

4 – Drink Plenty of Water.

Make sure you are well hydrated. This helps you fight off any hunger pains and cravings. If your main beverage of choice was previously soda, by drinking plenty of water you will be able to ease off drinking soda. You can replace one for the other! Make this a habit today!

5 – Get Plenty of Sleep.

This is very important to make sure you body and mind is well rested. Your body will crave the sugar hit for quick bursts of energy. This can easily be avoided with getting enough sleep every night. This may require you to avoid afternoon or evening coffee to maintain a healthy amount of sleep. Set a time to cut off any caffeine intake.

6 – Start reading labels.

Start looking at the labels of the food you would buy. Check out the sugar content and remember that sugar comes in many forms such as: high fructose corn syrup, white sugar, brown sugar, fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, honey, maple syrup and maltose. Begin looking at products that you normally wouldn’t think would have sugar, you may be surprised where you find it!

7 – Find some new Habits.

Think about the times you desperately crave something sweet – is it after you have had your dinner and you need some sugar to ‘feel’ finished? Or is at 3:00 in the afternoon and you need something to get you through your day? Look at these times and think of better ways to tackle this craving. Go for a walk, take a 5 minute stretch session or have some carrots. Make a new habit to take up this time.

8 – Find a Friend.

This may not work for everyone, but finding someone who also shares your thoughts and ideas about quitting sugar can help you throw the low spots. They can help you remain accountable and also encourage you to stay focused.

9 – Start Reading.

Preparing for your new lifestyle, you will need new recipes that can cater to your sugar free habits. Read up on the internet or invest in a cookbook or two of sugar free recipes. Long term you will be able to incorporate some sugars again, such as in fruit and even glucose in baking but when you are starting it is better to eliminate all sugar from your diet to reset your taste buds and also your habits. Be excited about the new type of food you will eat and exploring new styles of cooking.

10 – Just Start.

It is easier to keep talking about quitting sugar and “preparing” but the only way to eliminate sugar is to start! Stop thinking about what you will be missing and start thinking about all the new things you will gain!

 

I Quit Sugar for Life - PRINT

 

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Comments

  1. Hello, I’m confused about reading labels. If I’m cutting out sugar and a nutrition label says there is Carbohydrate 7.6 sugar .09 per 100ml – is that ok? Its a packet of pea and ham soup. I do often make my own soups but sometimes buy the cup of soups for when I’m at work and feeling hungry. I just never know if I am only reading the sugar content or the carb content. And I know everyone / every website says ‘go cold turkey’ but I just dont’ think I can. Today is day 1 of my no more sugar but if I try and change the whole family with me it will be too hard and stressful so I’m startinbg this week of only cutting out the obvious sugar in my life. Next week I will start to really focus on hidden sugars., Any advice would be appreciated

    • I am also confused like Genny about reading labels!

    • Hi Genny,

      If you have just started the I Quit Sugar Journey, I recommend if you are not following along with Sarah’s guide is to take it slowly. You don’t have to go cold turkey. You can create your own plan over a few weeks to build up to a point where, for one or two weeks, you are sugar free. This is means that your body experiences no sugar and can reset itself before you reintroduce different foods back in again.

      Everyone may appear to be “sugar free” and totally amazing and can do it with ease, but I couldn’t. I had to take my time and ease into it, so don’t beat yourself up over the hard parts so early on.

      As for reading the labels, you are really looking at the sugars in food. Over time, if you are doing the full 8 week program you do end up cutting a lot of processed carbs from your diet just by the sheer fact that you are cutting out processed sugars and foods. So look at the sugar labels first and work out if it has way too much. I tend to think the pre-made soups are quite high in salt and sugar, but if you are beginning your journey, don’t sweat this for now. Make a plan for your net two weeks to make some smaller home made soups and you can monitor what is in it and take those for snacks.

      You want this lifestyle change to last, then it will take time and has a learning curve.

      Here is the advice Sarah has on reading labels in her guidebook:

      On the labels, where it says ‘sugars’, it’s refer- ring to all sugar – glucose, fructose, and lactose. Different sugars contain different amounts of fructose eg: table sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, while the sugar in milk is lactose and contains no fructose. So, it’s confusing.
      Generally this is the vibe:

      • Eat products with less than 3-6g of sugar per 100g or 100mls.
      • And for dairy, stay under 8g of sugar per 100g or 100mls. The first 4.7g of sugar will be lactose, which is fine. Anything on top of that is added sugar.
      • Drink liquids that contain no sugar only. This is because a standard drink is around 350ml, so even a few grams/100ml is too much.
      • More than this and you’ll find by the end of the day your “incidental” sugar intake is way too high.
        Tip: 4g of sugar = 1 tsp of sugar = A sugar cube

        I hope this helps!!!! If anyone else has any advice, let us know.

  2. Hi Kate,
    Before I started my sugar-free journey (last week:), I began to cut gluten out of my diet. Well, gluten free products still have sugar so I’m unsure if I’m able to eat any kinds of gluten free bread without feeling all the icky symptoms of sugar (extremely fatigued, faintish, low energy, achy, etc.) I know that breads and starches turn into sugar. Do you know if this is also true for gluten free breads such as Millet Chia bread (Udi’s GF brand)? Do you allow yourself to eat breads occasionally? I’ve also heard sprouted grains are ideal, although not gluten free.
    Thanks so much for your help and for sharing!
    Mal

    • Hi Mal,

      Yep! I definitely eat bread occasionally. I am not one to say no if someone has specifically prepared a sandwich for me or if there is bread in something. I tend to have less of it though if I am in charge of all my food. If I am having lunches for my work, I will use thin wraps/mountain bread instead. It may not be strict to a no sugar diet but really it is all about portions and moderation. I have tried the sprouted grain breads and they are delicious, but you are right that they aren’t gluten free.

      If you are attempting to do the full quit sugar guide and want to do it correctly, then I would avoid the gluten free products for the duration of the program. Just avoiding bread for the whole thing will make a huge difference, but for some this just isn’t a reasonable expectation.

      Give the program a go without any breads, if you are struggling and you feel like your food options are too restricted, then bring in the gluten free products but read the labels and find the ones with the lowest amounts of sugar in them.

      Hopefully this helps you, so see how you go!

  3. Thank you so much, Kate! I appreciate all of your detailed feedback. Be blessed! 🙂

  4. Balenda scott says:

    I make homemade almond bread isn’t that good for sugar free diet