How do I reduce my sugar intake?

picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr
picture by Moyan Brenn on Flickr

Reducing your sugar intake is one of the best and easiest ways to improve your health. I know it can seem difficult. But once you get your body adjusted off the sugar burning cycle and replace the sugar with nutrients, the cravings will decrease — they will! Its not generally a good idea to go cold turkey though, as if you cut out all sugar at once, you will probably end up with huge cravings.

There have been studies that prove that sugar is addictive, and willpower alone is often not enough to cut them out. There are many people researching the negative effect sugar has on our health, such as That sugar film. The World Health Organisation has issued a new guideline strongly recommending that we reduce our ‘free sugar’ intake to be no more than 10% of our total daily calories or less than 25 grams.

Sustained gradual change is the best way to change any part of your diet. So pick one of the 3 options below and focus on that goal first, once you have tackled that one, move to the next.Taste buds can change over time. If your goal is to reduce your sugar intake then you will find that the more you reduce the less you will want, naturally.

The top three ways you can reduce your sugar intake:

  • reduce the sugar in your coffee or tea – if you have many cups a day this can add up!
  • replace soft drinks (soda) with water – a 600 ml bottle of soda can have 16 teaspoons of sugar.
  • replace processed foods with real whole foods  – Packaged food contains hidden sugars. eg. one tablespoon of tomato sauce contains around one teaspoon of sugar.

If you focus on these actions above the amount of sugar you consume will naturally decrease and you will find it much easier to maintain your ideal weight. I removed excess sugar from my diet in 2012. I noticed a huge improvement in my health and lost 10 Kilos. It’s definitely worth it!

How do I reduce the sugar in my coffee or tea?

There are 2 options, easy does it or hard core.

Hard Core: If your taste buds are happy go straight to no sugar at all. It is not easy for most of us.

Easy does it:

  1. For most people the best way is to cut the sugar you add gradually. I went from 2 teaspoons to 1 and a half for a couple of days
  2. then drop down to one teaspoon
  3. remain at one for a few days, then go to 3/4 teaspoon.
  4. Set a goal to reduce to 1/2 after a few more days and then down to 1/4 teaspoon. Now your winning.
  5. I needed to sprinkle a few grains on for the last few days, so if this works, do it! Then sit back and think about all the sugar you have cut out 🙂

How do I replace soft drinks (soda) with water?

  1. How many times do you drink soda a day? for the first week, replace the first drink every day with Water.
  2. For the second week increase that to the first 2.
  3. Continue each week to replace one more drink a day with Water or tea.
  4. start with mixing sparkling water with juice. 50% juice and 50% water until your taste buds adjust. Remember Juice is also full of sugar, so replacing soft drink with 100% juice is not going to give you the result you want.
  5. then move to water. Water with Slices of Lime, mint leaves or berries is often much more interesting.
  6. if you miss the fizz of soft drink, drink sparkling with a slice of lime, orange or lemon
  7. try herbal iced tea. Buy an organic tea and keep a big jug pre-brewed in the fridge. Use slices of fruit to sweeten instead of honey or sugar.

How do I replace processed foods with whole foods?

  1. eat more home cooked whole foods – If you make food at home rather than buying takeout or pre-packaged foods the amount of sugar you eat will reduce dramatically.
  2. learn to read labels – Sugar is hidden on labels under many other names. Look for brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol and xylitol.
  3. experiment with recipes.Try some easy home made low sugar recipes. And if a recipe calls for adding sugar to a sauce or stew, try it without, the extra sweetness is often not needed.

Are you ready to break up with sugar? A health coach can support you every step of the way.

Join me on your personal 10-day Simple Sugar Detox plan.

Contact me for one on one coaching, for label reading guides and tours of your supermarket or kitchen cupboards.

Sugar reduction resources:

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4 thoughts

  1. Hi Luanne, thanks for this post. I went sugar-free a while ago and it was definitely a profound change. During that time I read “Sweet Poison” by David Gillespie which was a real eye-opener. After being off sugar for a while, out of curiosity I bought a piece of cake – it was a slice of lemon meringue pie. The sweetness was so extreme I was screwing my face up like I was sucking a lemon! I’ve relaxed a bit since then and sugar has crept in a bit but I find I don’t crave it like I used to. I was quite addicted I must say, and rather than take it slow I went cold turkey. For me, that was better because I did have strong cravings at first but it was remarkable how quickly they went away – maybe a week. After that I felt free! Whereas I think if I’d done it gradually it would have taken much longer to feel that big result. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much for reading Gem. It’s amazing how sweet things taste once you have adjusted to eating less sugar. I agree, cold turkey does get you the benefits quickly. I cut out soda cold turkey and found that worked for me. Quick changes can be painful so it’s sometimes hard to see it through and often a gradual approach can give you more lasting results. Congratulations on your success. It’s an awesome achievement. Celebrate with some carrots 🙂


  2. These are wonderful tips! I’ve been meaning to reduce my sugar for a while. I used to not have very much at all, but slowly I worked it back into my diet and BOOM, now it feels impossible to cut back! I’ll be sure to try your suggestions. The hardest part for me will probably be adding more water. For some reason hydrating is rough, for me. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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