Eating too much sugar? Most of us and need a reset to quit the sugar high to sugar low cycle. But how? I recommend one of two methods to quit your sugar addiction
Best way to quit sugar – fast or slow?
I’ve found that personality has a lot to do with how you can break your sugar addiction. Some people have an easier time quitting cold turkey, and many others do better with a gradual weaning off of sugar. Whichever way you pick, the main goal is to reset your tastebuds to that sugar does not taste as good even if your brain craves it. I recommend either of these options to patients.
1. Use 25% less added sugar every week
A lot of people add sugar to their morning coffee or tea and do not like the taste of their drinks without sugar. So a particularly successful method for them can be to reduce the added sugar 25% to their drinks every few days.
Lets say you normally add 1 tablespoon of sugar to your Venti sized coffee every morning. During the first week, try adding only 3/4 tablespoon of sugar to your coffee. On week 2, add 1/2 tablespoon of sugar to your coffee. During week 3, you’ll add 1/4 tablespoon of sugar, and no sugar during week 4.
It takes about 2-4 weeks for your tastebuds to normalize to a different sweetness level. Leveling off how much you add in this way feels less drastic. It also helps trick yourself into accepting the new level of sugar, until you’re finally drinking coffee without sugar.
(With coffee specifically, I also recommend that people drink a better cup of coffee that isn’t so bitter and so would not need sugar. We Americans have an odd fondess for our dark roasts but add tons of sugar to mask its bitterness. Try a light or medium roast coffee instead.)
2. Quit all added sugar for 2 weeks (to 4 weeks)
This is especially useful for patients who need to go on a low carb diet and also have a problem with sugar overconsumption. Because they have to cut refined carbs for health reasons, they also should not eat sugar. Cutting out added sugars for at least 2 weeks (up to 4 weeks) helps their tastebuds reset for a much lower level of sweetness. Many patients come back to tell me that even though their brain craves sugar, it is now too much sweetness for their tastebuds. Whereas before their brain craved and their tastebuds delivered, now their own body is helping them recognize unhealthy amounts of sugar.
Quitting altogether is also more effective for people who need more restriction in their diets. Some people just do better with a set of hard and fast rules, like no added sugar for a certain duration. Once they’re able to get through the duration, their previous amounts of sugar consumption will no longer taste good and they’re unlikely to choose to eat in that same way.
Oh, and the next time you see your doctor or nutritionist, please admit that you are eating (or that you think you might be eating) too much sugar. We aren’t here to judge you, and can help you come up with a healthy and tasty diet plan or monitor your health for an adverse affects. Trust me, you’re not alone and we want to help. Who knows… you might even find your medical professional is also working on decreasing his or her own sugar intake!