Confessions of a Sugar Addict: How I Finally Said No to Sweets

sweetsFor most of my life, I've been a sugar fiend. Sure, I'd hide behind the excuse of having a "sweet tooth." There have been times in my life when I was oblivious to how much sugar I was consuming from everyday treats (like caramel macchiatos) and other times I only had a once-a-day, calorie-controlled one (like a small portion of low-fat fro yo). But the common thread since I can remember has been a dependence on refined sugar. (Likely linked, in part, to my genetic, hormonal/adrenal issues I've been trying to better understand and address over the past few years.) That is, until recently.

As a part of my pre-wedding fitness efforts and a focused attempt to really address those underlying hormonal issues, I've been eating less and less sugar. Actually, since the New Year, I've cut it out almost completely. And I feel ...

AMAZING. And shocked. Oh, and a little bit sad. Let me explain ...

I've been a stevia (natural herb that is zero calories and typically doesn’t affect blood sugar) fan for a while now, so I just slowly started using it more and more in foods I'd otherwise be using sugar in -- like hot cocoa or cookie recipes. But, for the most part, I've been saying "no, thanks" to dessert. And if I pick up something that does have sugar in it, I'll check the grams on the label, steering clear of anything that seems too high. (I try to follow what celeb trainer Jackie Warner recommends, which is only choosing foods with five grams or less.) And if I'm really experiencing a killer craving, I'll go for a square of super-dark, 60 percent plus cacao chocolate.

The crazy thing is, since doing this, I don't really have cravings anymore. When my bridesmaids told me they'd like to take me on a cupcake crawl as part of my bachelorette weekend, I wasn't nearly as excited as I would have been a couple months ago. And when I thought I'd indulge in some self-serve fro-yo last night, yughhh!! Something that once tasted so blissful is now way too sweet. Honestly, this breaks my heart a little.

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Maybe it's wedding day willpower turning me off of my favorite vice. But I also think it has to do with cutting it out for the most part. I am convinced that once you stop eating sugar -- or at least break your dependency on it -- you really do change your cravings ... And your taste buds, too! You get more energy. You feel more in control. You might lose weight, your skin could clear up. There are a whole slew of health benefits to forgoing sugar.

But, no matter what, I'll never villainize it. I could never see myself eliminating it completely (how is that even possible -- it's in fruit!). I will always welcome a bite or two or three of amazing chocolate cake, the occasional ice cream cone, etc. But am I better off without it being in my life in a big way? I can't think of any reason why the answer to that question wouldn't be a resounding YES.

How do you feel about sugar? Have you ever tried to cut it out?

eating healthy, general health


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nonmember avatar Blue

I cut out added/refined sugar several months ago after struggling with various infections and health problems for way too long. I feel so much better, and no longer like very sweet foods. But, much like when I quit smoking years ago, I think I'll always be at risk of relapse. Have to stay vigilant. I'd be careful with steevia, though. It's believed by some scientists to have anti-androgen properties (disrupts your natural hormone balance) and there hasn't been much safety testing done on it. I'd go with lohan/monk fruit sweetener over steevia. It's been tested much more extensively.

nonmember avatar keely

What sadistic Bridesmaids take you on a CUPCAKE CRAWL before your big day?? OMG!
Can you say sabotage???

Angie... AngieHayes

Its hard to cut back on things you love! Its better for you though and you will look great before your wedding day!

sand008 sand008

I have that problem right now, but I'm not ready to let go of it yet.

nonmember avatar k

Sugar causes horrible eczema breakouts on my hands, with blisters and deep cuts and swelling to the point that I couldn't make a fist. So I do without. I had to give up Splenda too now... I began to get enlarged lymph nodes for no apparent reason, but now that I've cut the artificial sweeteners out they're going down in size. I missed both like crazy at first but your body adjusts within a couple of weeks.

deede... deedee3849

I have found the same thing! The more I cut out sugar and empty carbs, the less cravings I have and the better I feel. I am also slowly learning how to adjust by using Stevia. To the author...What brand of Stevia do you use? I am finding they are not all created equal. Some are much more bitter. Looking for the perfect one.....

kumora kumora

i had to cut back because i used to be quite the sweet tooth as well. i at one point was eating so many foods with added sugar i was peeing sugar!( sorry for a tmi but thats what happened) after that, which drs said could be a sign that i could be giving myself diabieties ((i was 110 llbs at 5'7" so underweight just mostly ate sugar)), it made me sick to even look at thgs with added sugar. now my intake is much less and i feel better for it too. most of my sugar now comes from some sweet drinks and fruits, with the occasional cake or cookie.

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