Monday, 4 April 2016

How to Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet in 21 Days

Mounting research shows that going overboard on sugar can lead to high cholesterol and blood pressure and a greater risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, not to mention excess weight gain. But there’s a difference between added sugars and the kinds found naturally in whole foods, like fructose in fruit and lactose in dairy: Eating naturally occurring sugars is generally considered healthy because they contain nutrients with metabolic benefits, such as fiber and antioxidants. Added sugars (sweeteners put into food for flavor) have no such perks; they are the type you’ll be eliminating during this challenge.
Week 1 to-do list:
• Clean house: The more sugar you have, the more you crave it, says Mark Gold, MD, a professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Sleuth out and avoid common culprits.
• Learn sugar lingo: Sound the alarm when you spot cane, syrup, nectar, words ending in “-ose,” agave, and fruit juice concentrate in ingredient lists. Dining out? Skip glazed, honey-dipped, sticky, and BBQ options.
• Purge the pantry: Throw out sugary packaged food and drinks. When in doubt, check the ingredients rather than the sugar grams; nutrition labels don’t yet specify how much of a product’s sugar is added versus natural.
• Sticker sweeteners: Put a Post-it on items like honey and brown sugar to act as a caution sign when you open the cabinet.
• Have a backup plan: Stash an emergency snack (like a banana or low-sugar Kind bar) in your bag, advises David Katz, MD, director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.
Week 2 to-do list:
• Start slashing: Retrain your palate by making incremental changes. “You can lower your taste for sweetness in two weeks,” says Dr. Katz.
• Measure carefully: Scoop the sweetener you think you need—then put back half. “Half a teaspoon goes a long way,” says Sally Kuzemchak, RD.
• Mix it up: Combine no-sugar-added foods with the sweet versions (think ½ cup of plain, unsweetened almond milk with ½ cup of vanilla).
• Drink only water:  For a full week, down H20 instead of sodas (including diet kinds) and fruit juices.
Week 3 to-do list:
• Plan long-term: You’ve upped your sugar IQ and neutralized your sweet tooth. “After about three months, this diet overhaul will be the new familiar,” says Dr. Katz.
• Eat dessert:  Going cold turkey can cause headaches and cravings for some—so have a well-portioned treat if you want it.
• Increase healthy fat:  Add a “good” fat—avocado, olive oil—to every meal, urges Mark Hyman, MD, director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine: “Healthy fats shut off receptors in your brain that stimulate sweetness cravings.”
• Stick to a schedule: Aim to eat your meals and snacks at the same time each day. “Having a routine keeps you from getting caught off guard by hunger and giving in to something that comes in a wrapper,” says Maria Rodriguez, RD, program manager of the Diabetes Alliance at the Mount Sinai Health System.


  1. This makes sense, but unless you dump your family and friends and live like a hermit, forgetting the rest of the world around you don't exist, this is all just an exercise in wishing it could happen.

    1. John, be positive. Take baby steps to eliminate sugar. Recognize it in its various forms. You will see by reducing your added sugar intake, your clothes will start to fall off. That's what happened to me. Check labels for sugar grams. Try to to consume more than 15g. daily. Eat fruit for natural sucrose. Come on, John, you can do this! Your family and friends have their own journey. You're only responsible for yours. Good luck.

  2. This makes sense, but unless you dump your family and friends and live like a hermit, forgetting the rest of the world around you don't exist, this is all just an exercise in wishing it could happen.

  3. I gave up sugar completely 11 months ago. It was tough. I was 'sick' for a few days. Headaches and nausea. Benefits are amazing though. Been able to eat what I want, when I want, within reason, and maintain my weight. After the first three months it becomes normal. I just dont eat dessert. Went through Christmas and just watched others eat sweets. My dessert now is popcorn or natural peanut butter on a banana. I am very finely tuned to sweet tastes now. When I put 2% milk in my tea, as opposed to unsweetened cashew milk, which I use 99% percent of the time, I can actually taste the naturally occurring sugar in the milk! Would never go back to sugar. I talked to a friend at work who drinks 10 to 12 cans of Coke a day. That is 100 teaspoons of sugar. A day.

  4. As a total lover of anything sweet, if I followed this guy's method I'd fail in the first 10 minutes. The key is so simple. Make your approach more real. Either you succeed or the "Cookie Monster" will rule over you. I just couldn't stand that any more. So I woke up one morning and had the brilliant idea to NOT wake up the Cookie Monster. This is the key. NOT trying to put him on a diet, negotiate with him, or trick him. No, instead just do 1 thing. You don't have to be strong, smart, powerful, be a yogi or a mystic. Just don't wake the Cookie Monster up. Is that so hard? Instead, put 100% Shredded Wheat in a bowl (or cooked steel-cut oaks boiled with 2 chopped dates), add some nuts, seeds, a ripe banana, sliced strawberries, blueberries and unsweetened almond milk and you will be in heaven while all along the Cookie Monster is fast asleep. If you were at a friend's house and they asked you to not open the bedroom door and wake up the baby, could you do that? Good, of course you wouldn't wake up the baby. So starting tomorrow morning, don't wake up "the baby." You can send me a comment over on - an Internet radio station I own. I haven't had a drop of sugar in months.