Candied Apples

Without the sugar.

Have you been toying with the idea of cutting that pesky little nuisance, sugar, out of your diet? Or do you need more incentive? If so, check out our last blog. If you are ready, here are some tips to get that sugary stuff off of its pedestal and make nature’s candy, fruit, the reigning supreme!

Cut. It. Out. Going cold turkey is THE preferred method to kick that sweet but nasty habit. Dr. Robert Lustig, the protagonist in this sugary tale, compares quitting sugar to any other addictive substance. Think about it like this: if you are an alcoholic preparing to quit drinking, would you buy it if the experts told you to keep drinking but keep it to two drinks a day? If you are suffering from an addiction, how likely is it that saying no to that third drink would even be a possibility for you? Weening yourself off of sugar is about as successful as weening an alcoholic off of alcohol.

Some experts believe that the first three days should include not just a removal of sugar (and any of its extended family members) but also that of fruit, dairy, grains, starchy vegetables, and alcohol. And, for all of you sneaky little addicts out there, this also includes artificial sweeteners. Not only do they create cravings for sweet things, they can actually cause weight gain. So, three days of protein and vegetables, while a tall order, can kick off your freedom from sugar and even prompt a change in your palate.

Once the three days are over and you have survived hell – experiencing symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and sour (pun intended) mood are a side effect – add an apple to your diet. How the playing field does level! Apples are now as sweet as candy! Over the next week, you can begin adding full-fat dairy products and higher sugar vegetables like carrots back into your food routine, within reason. The science behind full-fat dairy and foods full of fiber and protein is that these products slow down your body’s absorption of sugar. Things that are low fat are actually absorbed faster into your digestive system and are broken down into sugar by your body.

Several weeks in, the additions of starchy vegetables like yams, and grains such as quinoa and brown rice make living without sugar and processed flours feel much more livable. You may even find that you don’t miss them as much as you thought you would. Red wine and some liquors such as vodka and tequila can even be indulged in as long as you keep it to a minimum – remember, being drunk, hungover, or tired makes it more difficult to make good decisions about our food.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash