I made it to the halfway mark! I’ve now gone 6 months with no sugar. 6 more to go! I’ve had quite a few people mention to me that they would be interested in doing this as well, so today I thought I’d share some tips for cutting out sugar.
Last time I wrote an update, I gave some specifics about what I was eating and not eating, so feel free to check that out if you have questions. As for a weight update, I’m down 30 pounds from when I stopped eating sugar. I’d say about half of that was baby weight that was destined to come off, and the other half was not.
1. Go cold turkey and commit to at least 6 weeks
I don’t believe in “cutting down” or “cutting back.” Not at first anyway. If you want to see results quickly, cut it out completely. Cutting out sugar is always going to be a healthy choice, but the visible results from doing so are most drastic in the first few weeks.
I’m completing a full year because I want to show myself that I can be that disciplined, but in the future, I think I would go cold turkey off sugar for 6 week periods at a time. That’s a good way to “restart.” You’ll lose your sugar cravings, you’ll lose weight, and you’ll be healthier overall. And you’ll stick with it because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!
2. Pick the right time to start
If you want to cut out sugar for a full year, think about when it would be best to start (or end). Would it be best for you to start right before the holiday season, because then it’s out of the way and you won’t be tempted for the remainder of the year? Is there a big event coming up that you’d want to be finished by?
For me, I knew I wanted to be able to indulge during our trip to Maine in July, so I started earlier than I had originally planned. As it is, the end of my year will come halfway through our vacation, so I’m glad I didn’t start any later!
I also think it was a good choice to start halfway through the year. If I had started at the beginning, I’d just be looking forward to a whole long year of no desserts, but since I started in July and now we’re into the new year, it just feels like the final stretch.
3. Don’t substitute sugar-free treats
It might be tempting to just switch to diet Coke and indulge in sugar free cookies and candies, but diet Coke will leave you bloated, and sugar free cookies and candy have lots of calories. Both have no nutritional value. Go ahead and have these every once in awhile if you’re feeling deprived, but just switching one for the other isn’t a good idea in the long run.
4. Find some good substitutions
Giving up sugar is hard. So while I think cutting it out cold turkey is best, find a couple of “kosher” things that will lift your spirits every once in awhile. An all-fruit smoothie will give that sugar boost you want. A slice of pizza is good on a rough day when you really want to down a giant candy bar and a bottle of soda.
5. Distract yourself
Feel a craving? Become actively engaged in something. Read a book, research something interesting on the internet. The busier your mind is, the less you’ll think about food. When I get really into working on my blog, hours can pass without me eating anything. As soon as I get bored, I find myself wandering into the kitchen and opening cupboards!
Overall, just keep your goals in mind, take it one day at a time, and remind yourself that each day you stick to the plan you are getting closer to where you want to be!