In Part 1 we learned 4 truths about sugar. Now that you know these truths, you know that sugar is completely necessary for you: if it’s the right kind of sugar in the right amounts.
Now here’s a very scary statistic that shows just how deep our modern sugar addiction goes:
The Average American Consumes 152 Pounds (69 kg) of Added Sugars…Every YEAR!
In the UK, the numbers aren’t much better, with 109 lbs. (49.5 kg) of added sugar consumption every year.
And Australians consume 117 lbs. (53 kg) of added sugar every year.
Those numbers are even higher in teenagers.
Now, contrast that to the World Health Association’s recommended maximum daily amount of ADDED sugar (including natural-sounding sugars like “fruit juice concentrate”) :
25 grams per day, which comes out to about 6 teaspoons. That’s all!
We don’t have to imagine what all the extra sugar is doing to us: the explosion of obesity and diabetes all around us, coupled with our own expanding waistlines, is entirely visible.
So where is all this sugar hiding?
Well, if you check the labels on your juice (40 grams of sugar per cup), vitamin water (30 grams of sugar per cup), and even high-bran breakfast cereal (24 grams of sugar per cup), you’ll find things like:
- Agave nectar
- Beet sugar
- Cane juice
- Coconut sugar
- Corn syrup (including high-fructose corn syrup)
- Grape sugar
- Juice concentrate
- Maple syrup
- Palm sugar
- Rice syrup
- Wood sugar
- Yellow sugar
These Sugars are in Many Foods You Don’t Expect, such as…
…foods that aren’t sweet, like crackers and tomato sauce. They can be found in shockingly high amounts in “natural” foods, even those granola bars you picked because there were no chocolate chips in them—but didn’t know they had so much “honey” and “maple syrup” you might as well have eaten a candy bar. The same goes for many reduced- or low-fat versions of sweets, to which extra sugar is added to make up for the difference in taste.
Eating these foods, without knowing how much sugar they have, is how you develop a sugar addiction even when you’re trying not to eat sweets. Because it doesn’t matter how healthy it sounds, it’s still sugar. These foods are designed to make you crave them, which causes a blood sugar spike and then a sharp crash, which only makes you crave more.
And when many of us are struggling valiantly to watch our weight and eat all kinds of “low-fat,” “healthy” foods… when unhealthy, processed foods are cheap and available… when nearly 70% of us are overweight or obese and… when a rising incidence of diabetes means our children are likely to be the first generation with shorter lives than our parents…
It’s not us. It’s not our genes and it’s not our will power and it’s not our lack of individual responsibility that got us here. It’s not your fault.
And now that you know the truth, you can take steps to break your sugar addiction…
Without Giving Up Sweets!
Freeing yourself from the processed sugar addiction doesn’t mean never eating sugar again. Let me explain.
What you should begin to cut out from your diet is the processed sugar. Unprocessed sugar, like in fresh fruit, is the good stuff that you need—and it’ll help you detox from the harmful processed sugars.
How to Detox from Sugar
This is how I successfully detoxed from sugar after all my failed attempts—and it was the first step in losing 75 pounds—and keep them off. (If you’re a diabetic, consult your doctor before going any further.)
Some of you may want to go cold turkey, others may have more success if you do this gradually. Choose whatever works for you.
- Get rid of any food or drink with any form of sugar in it: the suffix –ose indicates it’s a sugar. And when it comes to sugar, juice is no better for you than soda.
- Get rid of any food or drink with artificial sweeteners in it: the sweet taste primes your brain to want more sweet things but the lack of calories tells your brain to slow your metabolism. Not what you want.
- Get rid of all refined carbohydrates, such as breads and bagels from processed flour, which the body readily converts to blood sugar, and often have sugar added to them. Breads from 100% whole grain and sprouted whole grain flour and unrefined carbs such as brown rice, hulled barley and steel-cut oats are fine.
- Stock your house with healthy, whole, unprocessed food. Make sure you have an ample supply of whole, fresh fruit and healthy proteins like milk and vegan cheeses and yogurts (full-fat, please, pastured if you can) as well as nuts and nut butters and spreads. Believe it or not, proteins can actually subdue sugar cravings, and “good” fats can help subdue to bad effects of sugars.
The Trim Down Club helps make this process easier by giving you customized weekly menus, so that you know exactly what you need to eat to lose weight and get healthy.
5 Steps to Enjoy Good Sugar
Once you’ve cut back on the unhealthy processed sugars, you can enjoy sweets in a healthy way by following these tips:
- Never skip meals. A craving is much, much easier to handle when you’re not hungry.
- Breakfast, especially, should begin with protein. An example could be oatmeal with eggs and a piece of fruit.
- Drink water all day long: this helps regulate your appetite and reduces your cravings.
- When you have a craving, eat a serving of fruit paired with some of the healthy fats and proteins mentioned above: cheese, yogurt, nuts, nut butters. When you combine the fruit with the fat and the protein, you will get an extended release of the sugar your brain needs.
- Keep a diary or journal about your cravings. If you routinely have cravings because you’re stressed, find an enjoyable way that is also good for your body to manage that stress: take a walk, climb stairs. If you’re bored, tend to your knitting, read a book or take a long, hot soak. Always distract yourself with something you enjoy.
Sweets as Pleasure, not Addiction
I encourage people to go 2 weeks (3 is better) before taking the next step, which will work for some people, not others.
After 3 weeks, have a sweet treat you enjoy once or twice a week. (Do not make the mistake of keeping treats in the house. You will eat them—probably very quickly.) Keep setting yourself up for success by making an occasion of these treats: share a slice of cheesecake and some fruit with your sweetie. Go to a nice little ice cream shop and have a cone of something you totally enjoy. Enjoy a really decadent something from your favorite bakery. And savor your treat: it’s a delight for your mouth and a pleasure for your soul.
This sugar detox plan works for one simple reason. You’re in control. This is the exact opposite of every deprivation diet you’ve ever been on. For many of us, those diets end with a binge that makes us feel physically sick because all that sugar’s so hard on our body. And then we often feel disgusted and ashamed and out of control. If that’s happened to you, now you know why.
It’s Not a Diet, It’s Being Good to Your Body
Everything about this sugar detox program is about being good to your body.
Here at the Trim Down Club, we are against restrictive dieting: calorie counting, deprivation, hunger, exhausting exercise. If you want to lose the weight that all this hidden sugar has forced your body to gain, doing these things to yourself will probably not lead to long-term weight loss but probably will cause rebound weight gain.
Detoxing from sugar helps your body reset your metabolism and insulin response patterns so you can lose weight if you want to. When you start eating the right amounts of nourishing proteins, healthy fats and good carbs at the right times and in the right combinations, your body can shed weight like you’ve never experienced before.
Enjoying Great Food Without Spending Hours in the Kitchen
The food and beverage industry spends billions trying to convince us that we can’t live without their products, but that’s not true. And while changing the way we eat can seem overwhelming at first (I felt that way myself), I can tell you from experience that it gets much easier the more you do it—especially if you have help and support along the way.
The Trim Down Club offers that support and much more, with tons of great recipes, a fool-proof menu planner to take all the guesswork out (and give you the foods that you love), and all the information and tools you need to get the body you want and the health you deserve.
 US Department of Agriculture. (2003.) Agriculture Fact Book 2001-2002.
 Jaslow, Ryan. (March 5, 2014) World Health Organization lowers sugar intake recommendations. CBS News.