Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Easiest Way to reduce sugar intake

Options
13

Replies

  • KhadijahSmith
    KhadijahSmith Posts: 6 Member
    Options
    Food addictions are hard to break. It will hurt to give up/drastically reduce sugar. There's no way to sugar-coat it, pardon the pun. Start your purge on a Friday and take Monday off work. Physical withdrawal symptoms are worst during the first three days. Concentrate on giving up this ONE thing - sugar - don't worry about trying to give up caffeine, perfecting your water intake, or starting an exercise regime simultaneously. Baby steps. Go ahead and put cream in your coffee, but none of those fancy Starbucks syrups. Switch over to diet soda, invest in bottled water. Once you've kicked sugar, you can take down another addiction.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,746 Member
    Options
    overin2015 wrote: »
    Runaround - my point exactly. The added sugars aren't good for you but natural sugars are. Your brain craves quick energy and it can get energy from fat and natural sugars too but it just has to work a little harder. I was talking about switching to things that are better for you and that your brain (which does cause the majority of the physical symptoms from sugar withdrawal) will find appealing. No I didn't say toxins in my brain. Cleaning up your diet causes toxin release a lot of times and is part of what makes you so sick. The exercise gets it out of your body quicker through sweat and oxygen. Your brain sees any huge change as stressful and wants you to quit it. Make it easier for it to make the transition is my point. Thats the end of my posts about it. I feel I am stating what I was talking about clearly. Good luck OP and congrats xvolution on limiting your sugars! That is such a struggle!

    Added sugar is literally the exact same chemical as "natural sugars".

    So what's your point? Eating doughnuts is the same as eating blueberries?
    If you ate enough blueberries to equal the sugar in a doughnut, then the sugar is the same. Granted blueberries are more nutrient dense than a doughnut, but if we're referring to sugar, basically it's the same whether natural or refined.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

  • KhadijahSmith
    KhadijahSmith Posts: 6 Member
    Options
    A note on added sugars: the chemical composition may be the same as natural sugars, but that's not the problem. Added sugars are DUMPED into processed foods at exponentially higher doses than natural sugars appear in foods. Excessive amounts of almost any chemical is toxic to the body.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,746 Member
    Options
    A note on added sugars: the chemical composition may be the same as natural sugars, but that's not the problem. Added sugars are DUMPED into processed foods at exponentially higher doses than natural sugars appear in foods.
    While true, it still comes down to how much one eats. Eating 5 Hershey's kisses (where sugar is the dominant and only carb) won't really offset too many people. Eating a whole bag, yes.
    Excessive amounts of almost any chemical is toxic to the body.
    So the key is make sure it's not excessive but in amounts the body can handle.


    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • trigden1991
    trigden1991 Posts: 4,658 Member
    Options
    Sugar is not the issue. Total calories is. Eat in moderation, under your calorie goal.
  • Sued0nim
    Sued0nim Posts: 17,456 Member
    Options
    A note on added sugars: the chemical composition may be the same as natural sugars, but that's not the problem. Added sugars are DUMPED into processed foods at exponentially higher doses than natural sugars appear in foods. Excessive amounts of almost any chemical is toxic to the body.

    Really @KhadijahSmith ...dumped are they ...in all processed food?

    Really?

    I think we might be exaggerating a touch, don't you?

    And yes excessive amount of almost anything is toxic to the body including water, sunlight, oxygen ...and everything has a chemical make up...so let's not make up boogeymen
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,745 Member
    Options
    I advise against trying to "cut out" sugar altogether, you would just make things harder than they need to be.

    However, I agree that reducing sugar can be a great way to cut calories without really missing them. I also find too much sugar makes me a bit nibbly, so it's easier to eat less overall if I reduce it a bit. I mainly do this by reducing sugary drinks to maybe one a day.

    As others have said, consider switching to Diet Coke or Coke Zero at least some of the time. I believe Coke Zero is closer to the taste of original Coke - Diet Coke is quite a different recipe and tastes more similar to Pepsi (that's why the two alternatives exist).

    There's no need to cut out the fizzy stuff completely or try to change all your habits at once. In particular I would not try to cut caffeine at the same time as starting a weight loss plan, or you will get overwhelmed. One habit change at a time.
  • ouryve
    ouryve Posts: 572 Member
    Options
    Try taking chromium picolinate 3 times a day before meals. They say it helps with carb and sugar cravings. I read the book "Lose Weight without Dieting or Working Out" which recommends a 21 day jump start with no caffeine, sugar, white carbs, animal protein or alcohol. Instead, you replace those with healthy oils, vegetables and whole grains. I did it and it was surprisingly easy. I haven't eaten refined sugar for 4 weeks! Attended a dinner party tonight with pie, cake and ice cream at desert, and I didn't even want it!!!

    That sounds very much like dieting to me. In fact, counting calories sounds way less restrictive and faffy!
  • subakwa
    subakwa Posts: 347 Member
    Options
    Hi OP. I had got some of the same habits as you, and they were part of my reason for now needing to lose over 100lbs. I had a busy job and didn't eat during the day too much, but I did reach for coke, milky coffee, sugary coffee and chocolate when I really needed a boost. Add this to then being starving when I ate at about 8pm and I had racked up calories before even starting a too large dinner.

    I still have the caffeine habit, and I don't care about that. I just did swaps on my coffee and cola choices. It helped me and I didn't suffer the caffeine headaches I had before, and didn't seem to get any from the loss of sugar.

    Coke was switched for Pepsi Max, which, along with Coke Zero, I find the most "Coke-like" and least "diet-tasting".

    I weaned myself onto black coffee outside the house and soya milk inside the house. It took a while, but now that Starbucks Caramel Macchiato is a treat, and made "skinny" when I do have it.

    I always drank lots of water anyway, but I Have to say I don't see switching your intake to water as a holy grail. Diet pops are not bad for you and keeping a caffeine habit is not going to harm your weight loss. If you decide you want to specifically lose that too then good for you, but it doesn't have to be all or nothing, despite what some might propose.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!
  • Enny2405
    Enny2405 Posts: 97 Member
    Options
    I got hooked on coke for nearly a year - went cold turkey for a few days then switched to coke zero. Soooo not the same but my body ends up being greatful for the caffeine (dont drink coffee).
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    Options
    overin2015 wrote: »
    Runaround - my point exactly. The added sugars aren't good for you but natural sugars are. Your brain craves quick energy and it can get energy from fat and natural sugars too but it just has to work a little harder. I was talking about switching to things that are better for you and that your brain (which does cause the majority of the physical symptoms from sugar withdrawal) will find appealing. No I didn't say toxins in my brain. Cleaning up your diet causes toxin release a lot of times and is part of what makes you so sick. The exercise gets it out of your body quicker through sweat and oxygen. Your brain sees any huge change as stressful and wants you to quit it. Make it easier for it to make the transition is my point. Thats the end of my posts about it. I feel I am stating what I was talking about clearly. Good luck OP and congrats xvolution on limiting your sugars! That is such a struggle!

    Added sugar is literally the exact same chemical as "natural sugars".

    So what's your point? Eating doughnuts is the same as eating blueberries?

    Yep, that's exactly what I said. Gold star for reading comprehension.
  • KhadijahSmith
    KhadijahSmith Posts: 6 Member
    Options
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    A note on added sugars: the chemical composition may be the same as natural sugars, but that's not the problem. Added sugars are DUMPED into processed foods at exponentially higher doses than natural sugars appear in foods. Excessive amounts of almost any chemical is toxic to the body.

    Really @KhadijahSmith ...dumped are they ...in all processed food?

    Really?

    I think we might be exaggerating a touch, don't you?

    And yes excessive amount of almost anything is toxic to the body including water, sunlight, oxygen ...and everything has a chemical make up...so let's not make up boogeymen
    Sued0nim wrote: »
    Really @KhadijahSmith ...dumped are they ...in all processed food?

    Really?

    I think we might be exaggerating a touch, don't you?

    And yes excessive amount of almost anything is toxic to the body including water, sunlight, oxygen ...and everything has a chemical make up...so let's not make up boogeymen

    Yes dear, dumped. In many different forms. And just as too much water can deplete electrolyte levels and too much sunlight can cause damage to your skin, ingestion of large amounts of sugar can lead to obesity, heart disease, and a host of co-morbidities.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
    Options
    Food addictions are hard to break. It will hurt to give up/drastically reduce sugar. There's no way to sugar-coat it, pardon the pun. Start your purge on a Friday and take Monday off work. Physical withdrawal symptoms are worst during the first three days. Concentrate on giving up this ONE thing - sugar - don't worry about trying to give up caffeine, perfecting your water intake, or starting an exercise regime simultaneously. Baby steps. Go ahead and put cream in your coffee, but none of those fancy Starbucks syrups. Switch over to diet soda, invest in bottled water. Once you've kicked sugar, you can take down another addiction.

    Sugar is not addictive. There are no physical withdrawl symptoms. It's from low sodium as was said.
  • CattOfTheGarage
    CattOfTheGarage Posts: 2,745 Member
    edited August 2016
    Options
    Yes, the "sugar addiction" thing is overstated and not backed up by research. If course you can feel "addicted" to anything which sets off the pleasure centres - sugar, sex, exercise - but it's not the same as physical addiction to a drug, not at all. When I reduce sugar intake, I get sugar cravings for a few days, then it settles down. That's all. It's not "withdrawal", It's just a tasty thing that makes me feel good, and I want it.

    Caffeine, on the other hand, is a drug with adaptation issues, and causes withdrawal (headaches, sleepiness). But there's not much evidence that it's particularly bad for you so I wouldn't sweat it. I have anxiety so I avoid caffeine as it makes the symptoms worse, but if you don't have that issue, or another condition where it's contraindicated, I wouldn't worry about it.

    ETA even caffeine is only classed as causing "mild physical dependence" and does not come close to truly addictive drugs in its effects. When we're talking about "addiction" to everyday substances, we really need to get some perspective.
  • brower47
    brower47 Posts: 16,356 Member
    edited August 2016
    Options
    coachfrey wrote: »
    I totally understand how to reduce it, my concern is with the impacts I have when I reduce it. The headaches are unbearable to the point that I get sick to my stomach. Is that normal after removing that much bad crap from your system?

    Sounds like caffeine withdrawal, not sugar withdrawal. If you have cut out coffee and soda cold turkey before with no caffeine substitute, the headaches were from that. Use unsweetened versions and you will not experience that again.
  • DebSozo
    DebSozo Posts: 2,578 Member
    Options
    A note on added sugars: the chemical composition may be the same as natural sugars, but that's not the problem. Added sugars are DUMPED into processed foods at exponentially higher doses than natural sugars appear in foods. Excessive amounts of almost any chemical is toxic to the body.

    Are you talking about high fructose corn syrup as an "added sugar"? It seems as though that particular sweetener product is added to many foods. The body doesn't metabolize it right away like table sugar, supposedly, and it gets quickly stored in the liver and converted to fat. I hear a lot of conflicting messages about adding sugar. Sugar impacts me in a negative way, but some others seem to be able to deal with it. It is a problem food for me in that the more I eat it the greater my cravings are for more. The less I eat it the less I want it.
  • DebSozo
    DebSozo Posts: 2,578 Member
    Options
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    A note on added sugars: the chemical composition may be the same as natural sugars, but that's not the problem. Added sugars are DUMPED into processed foods at exponentially higher doses than natural sugars appear in foods. Excessive amounts of almost any chemical is toxic to the body.

    Not at all true. I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe in my recipe box, and one cookie has 180 calories and 14 g of sugar. An average apple has about 16 g, and a banana even more. That the cookie is "processed" makes no difference. (And plenty of processed foods, like cottage cheese or dried pasta, have no sugar added at all. Just read a label and make sensible choices. It's not difficult.)

    Am I saying there's no difference between the apple and the cookie? No, of course not. The apple has more micros and fiber and fewer calories. Nothing wrong with the cookie, but I include more fruit in my diet, personally (although this is partially because I love fruit and am too lazy to bake often). But the sugar isn't the difference.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    Options
    For OP, as others have said, you actually should have a pretty easy time reducing that sugar. Switch to non sugary drinks (diet if you enjoy it) and reduce the sweetener in the coffee. (I hate sweetened coffee but used to drink mine milky years ago, and that's how I transitioned to black -- gradual reduction.)

    Or, if you can't stand the thought of the drinks without the sugar, taper back.

    Cutting back on caffeine might not hurt (although has nothing to do with weight loss), and cutting out caffeine is likely the reason for the symptoms, as others have said. I personally think tapering off caffeine is the best approach.