Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Have any of you given up sugar?

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01-21-2013, 02:39 AM
Like completely given it up? Or maybe cut it out of excess. I for one learned a lot about places where sugar can be sneaky. Bread, for instance, surprised me! Obviously you'd find it in candy but I was quite surprised to find it almost all sauces and condiments as well as in other strange places I wouldn't have expected.

I have been toying with the idea of giving up sugar just to see if it effects my cravings and urges to overeat and binge.

I attempted a low carb diet but haven't yet gotten that down. I figure giving up sugar could be the first step in trying out a low carb diet, since sugar is a carb in itself and, when it's present, tends to boost the carb count in a food item by quite a bit.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

01-21-2013, 03:16 AM
I'm glad you asked this since I'm interested in what people think about this too :)

I haven't given up sugar yet, but I do know I'm going to soon, but when it comes to sugar in sweets. That's my ultimate trigger food!! If I start out my day eating something sweet, entire day is down hill from there, even if it's cereal. So I definitely will cut it out, not sure if that's the best way to approach it, but knowing me I feel like I need to be a little harsh with myself until I get the ball rolling! Maybe once I see changes I'll be less likely to indulge?

01-21-2013, 03:21 AM
I would say I have not eliminated it, but drastically reduced my intake. I gave up soda and don't really drink juice. It's all water for me. I used to always eat candy or chocolate. I don't really anymore. My only sugar is my cereal I love my morning cereal with almond milk. I still crave sweets. Walked into Walgreens today and told the clerk "man those gummy worms smell so good!" he replied with "u can smell that? I don't smell anything." I still eat fruit too, some days.

Arctic Mama
01-21-2013, 03:21 AM
Yes. Sugar and starch in pretty much all forms. I will occasionally have some dark (75+%) chocolate or a half cup of blueberries, but that's it.

Best decision I ever made, and not nearly as hard to stick to as it seemed it would be. Been that way without any licks, bites, or off plan tastes since the middle of October, and never going back! No bread or other grains, no sugary fruits, starchy veggies, or refined sugar/grain products. I would like to add in the occasional bit of oatmeal down the road when I'm at goal, but even that is pretty unimportant to me. I love what I eat every day :)

April Snow
01-21-2013, 09:54 AM
I'm doing a low fat, low carb plan called the Dukan Diet. I have just the naturally occurring sugars and carbs in veggies and dairy, along with a small amt (1-2 oz) of oat bran (different than oatmeal). No sweets or starches. As Taryl said, once you get going with it, it really becomes a lot easier to stick with than it seems going in and the cravings really do go away.

Like many (most?) low carb plans, this is a phased plan and over time, I will add back in some fruits, whole grains and starches, maybe even the occasional sweer. But the good thing is that it's done gradually so I'll be able identify specific trigger foods and know to just eliminate them permanently.

Personally, I find it much easier to go cold turkey rather than simply cut back. There are a few rough days detoxing from sugars and starches but after that, the desire for them goes away and you also tend to have less of an appetite overall. I found that at least for me, cutting back didn't do that, and I was more likely to be hungry.

01-21-2013, 10:14 AM
Yes.. I reduced my sugar intake by alot. I can safely say that thats the reason why im losing weight. Sugar is a trigger for me, once I cut it out and resisted cravings, I stopped craving it all together. Now, I don't crave it at all.. And if I do have some I only need like a bite to satisfy me.

01-21-2013, 10:38 AM
I've definitely tried to cut way back on refined sugar (including "secret" sugars like corn syrup). If any of the sugars are listed in the first 5 ingredients, I don't eat it. Sugars that are naturally occurring such as in fruits and veggies are harder to avoid. But I try to eat ones that are lower on the glycemic index so they naturally have lower sugars.

Refined sugar really does a number on our bodies. Significant sugar intake on a daily basis really messes up insulin production (thus the epidemic of Type II Diabetes in this country), causes skin problems, and water retention. Plus the effects of it wear off so fast that you're hungry again much sooner than if you'd had something without a lot of sugar in it.

01-21-2013, 10:50 AM
I am not an all or nothing kind of gal, but I have mostly given up sugars.

I don't eat bread (mostly sugar), Rice (mostly sugar), sweet potatoes, almost any grains, etc. And of course, that means no sugar in things like candies, cookies, etc!

But, I do eat fruit, but I don't eat a lot of it. I eat one apple a day with cinnamon and peanut butter. I will eat some frozen berries (strawberries and blueberries) in a yogurt smoothie (just plain yogurt, whey protein and berries) once or twice a week.

Do I miss it? No, not really and I'm still trying to figure out why I allow myself to succumb to it - like on vacation and the holidays. Probably because I love the taste of it. But, man I HATE I how feel when I'm under it's power and then once I'm eating it, I crave it and then it gets harder to stop eating it. Really, the best answer for me is to just stay away from it period as it makes me feel worse than the enjoyment at the moment is worth. Now just to really REMEMBER that then next time the holidays arrive!

01-21-2013, 10:51 AM
I've cut back drastically on refined sugar, but I don't plan on giving it up altogether. I am eating a couple pieces of fruit a day and some starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes a couple times a week). When I make baked oatmeal I use honey instead of refined sugar. I've only been doing this for 2 weeks, and I'm down about 6 pounds.

01-21-2013, 11:34 AM
Yes. Sugar and starch in pretty much all forms. I will occasionally have some dark (75+%) chocolate or a half cup of blueberries, but that's it.

Best decision I ever made, and not nearly as hard to stick to as it seemed it would be. Been that way without any licks, bites, or off plan tastes since the middle of October, and never going back! No bread or other grains, no sugary fruits, starchy veggies, or refined sugar/grain products. I would like to add in the occasional bit of oatmeal down the road when I'm at goal, but even that is pretty unimportant to me. I love what I eat every day :)

Ditto... except I don't eat any dark chocolate and not that fond of blueberries. I do have an occasional strawberry or raspberry though.

01-21-2013, 11:45 AM
One more voice to encourage anyone who's thinking about it to give a try. I cut out almost ALL sugars for a year - even eliminating fruit and switching from milk to cream for my coffee. It was for specific health reasons, but I think almost anyone would see a worthwhile benefit.

I understand how tremendously impossible it might seem to some. It wasn't easy. (It probably helped quite a bit to have the health issue as a "crutch" keeping me compliant for the first several months.) But it's been so worth it. Not just for health reasons. I feel free. There is actually something incredibly freeing when I turn down sugary dessert offers now. I do believe at some point you can cross the rubicon -- you no longer feel deprived or even that you're telling yourself no. Instead, it feels like saying yes each time - yes to what's best for me, and I swear, I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

I realize this sounds a little loonie. :dizzy: Anyway, it's worth every bit of effort to try.

Edit - I'll add that I am less restrictive now. Still no refined sugars, though. The other side effect to having cut them out for so long? The occasional piece of fruit that I have is INCREDIBLE. Holy cow. I had a bite of my husband's pear yesterday and may or may not have been moaning semi-obscenely. :o I wasn't very fond of fruit before - I was the person who'd rather eat a veggie and then some kind of "real" sugar-y treat, none of this halfway stuff with a piece of fruit ;) - so this is pretty dramatic.

01-21-2013, 12:20 PM
I stay away from added sugars 99% of the time, and no longer drink juices or sugary sodas. I also try to stay away from processed carbs period. I'll still have naturally occurring sugar though; I have a small amount of fruit every day in my veggie salads, for example. I don't eat a lot of grains but try to make sure they're whole grains when I do.

I've noticed once I get started on eating something sugary (like the chocolates we got for Christmas), I literally can't stop thinking about them until they're all gone! My cravings have mostly vanished otherwise, and I know I feel a lot better because of it.

My mom used to add sugar to everything when I was growing up, even the sauce for the mac & cheese! She also used to pour syrup over white rice for my breakfast (something she later claimed never happened). And I can remember just pouring sugar into my cereal as a kid, scooping the grey sludge up from the bottom of the milk and finding it delicious. :o I even ate table sugar by the spoon back then . . . so yeah, my issues with sugar started early in my life! :dizzy:

I always read labels to check for grams of sugar, too much and I put it back. I rely mostly on whole foods anyway. :) I don't even keep bags/containers of sugar in the house anymore.

01-21-2013, 12:20 PM
I've cut sugar and grains out of my diet, and I'm very glad that I did. :carrot:

01-21-2013, 12:32 PM
I've cut them out as a result of eating low carb. I credit that for significantly reducing the frequency and severity of my binges, and therefore my weight loss.
I still eat lower carb berries and things like (unsweetened) greek yogurt, which do have sugar, but it's really incidental amounts in the scheme of things.

01-21-2013, 12:43 PM
I have given up sugar all together for 20 days now and I must say, it is true what they say, If you dont have it you dont crave it. The first 2 days were rought but I have been good ever since and because of this I am dropping way more weight working out.

01-21-2013, 12:54 PM
I absolutely LOVE fruit but aside from that, no sugar for me! I've cut it from my coffee and tea, I limit my desert intake to once a week MAX, no more iced cappucinos, no sauces with sugar, no pop, no juice, etc. It was tough at first but it got easier with time! I hear you on finding sugar in random places. It's added in bbq sauces, salad dressings, almost ALL yogurts, and so much more!

In my baking, I started using sucanat. I make Tosca Reno's Eat Clean granola. I can't post the link because I am still too new but a google search will point you in the right direction! It used raw oats and sugar, to still provide a treat but a more organic and less glycemic-spiking one.

So, for me, I avoid sugar like the plague. The way I see it, if I am going to have delicious sugar, I want it to be on purpose, and not just because it was added into some product I would have enjoyed anyway! I have also found sugarless alternatives to be just as tasty. For example, I LOVE iced coffee now without any sugar-just milk. Try it!

Sorry this post was all over the place! I'm still tired from a new workout this morning!

01-21-2013, 01:02 PM
For now, yes. I started a bikini competition diet recently and the only sugar remaining in my diet comes from sweet potatos and a bit of balsamic vinegar. No fruit, dairy, or even artificial sweeteners... stevia only.

I will add them back in after this competition prep diet, because I do fine having moderate amounts from fruit, dairy, the occasional bit of chocolate, marshmallow, etc. I don't find that it makes me crave more but I still try not to eat an excessive amount of it.

01-21-2013, 01:07 PM
Sugary stuff - yes, sugar in foods - no.

I eat dark chocolate as well as some condiments with small amount of sugars. I don't like sweet sauces and such so I don't buy those but I'll use a bit of bbq sauce or what not occasionally.

I also eat a couple servings of fruit per day.

01-21-2013, 01:14 PM
I have cut out most sugars & processed foods. I will have whole wheat wraps or go "bunless". I don't eat bread or cereal, I don't even buy cereal for my family anymore. I will have the occasional starchy veggie and I won't give up fruits.

My cravings have gotten much better and I can see myself maintaining this way of eating long term.

Suzanne 3FC
01-22-2013, 01:44 PM
I severely limit added sugars and I don't use artificial sweeteners or so-called natural sugar substitutes. I don't eat desserts, sweets, or breads - period. But I do eat a lot of fruit, such as blueberries and clementines or whatever is in season. I don't object to small amounts of sugar in something like a bottled organic salad dressing, or where it's necessary to cut the acid or bitterness of a food. I'm careful to limit quantities.

The World Health Organization suggests we limit added sugars to 10% of our daily calories. Unfortunately, it can be hard to distinguish added sugars from naturally occurring sugars on a nutrition label, which is another reason to avoid processed foods. The sugar and soda industries insist we can eat at least 25% of our calories from added sugar :eek:

01-23-2013, 07:28 PM
Well after all these responses I've made my decision!

When I previously tried to go sugar free I was also going vegan and I think I overwhelmed myself with too many changes in my diet. I went back to eating fish and chicken, but I avoid red meat, and I have cheese in various forms but not everyday.

I think phasing out sugar would be a good idea for me. I have horrible issues with compulsive overeating and binging and I almost always binge on sugar and bread. If I let myself have a little it usually doesn't work out.

So here we go again! I don't advocate cutting out entire food groups but I think if something is bad for you and is causing health issues then it's best to avoid it. I do think sugar spurs me onto more sugar and beyond that, even if I can just eat a bit and stop, it's not giving me any real nutrients to work with.

I might as well replace my sugary treat with a fruit-y treat, to actually get some good-for-me stuff.

I have been in a state of mild panic for the last week freaking out about my overeating and binging but I really think I need to try some tweaks to my diet before I declare myself broken and unfixable. There's a lot of evidence showing that some people simply can't tolerate sugar or lots of refined carbs from bread and such.

We'll see how it goes. :)

Thanks for all the responses!