12 Things I Learned About Sugar Addiction

In the almost ten years since I wrote Sugarettes, I’ve had the chance to help a few people kick their sugar habit (close to 20,000).

And while I still don’t consider myself an expert (I’m leaning new things every day), I have learned a few things about kicking nature’s most white food out of your life.

try-hardIt is Hard. Quitting sugar is hard. I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise when scientist release studies suggesting that our brains light up like a Christmas tree in Summer as soon as sugar touches our tongues. Fighting our brains desire for sweet is just the beginning of the struggle to kick sugar down the road.


hqdefaultIt is Hard. I’ve said that kicking sugar is hard many times, but it is also the most common comment I hear from people starting the 30 Sugar Free Day Challenge. Kicking sugar, they tell me, is just as hard as kicking smoking, alcohol, or other drugs.


image001Sugar is an Addiction. Just about weekly, I hear of a new study that suggests sugar is an addiction. How bad of an addiction? Scientists place it somewhere in the neighborhood of heroin and cocaine. Our brains love sugar – and part of this is because our bodies use sugar, but another part is that our brains are obsessed with the stuff.


antique_mechanical_clockTime is your friend. The more you work at stopping sugar, the better you get. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise: everything we practice gets easier with time. We give ourselves a lot of leeway when learning to ride a bike or play the piano – we need to do the same when we are making dietary changes (especially addictive foods).


test-failureYou are going to fail. There are going to be times when you are tempted by sugar and you give in. While it is easy to think that this is a bad thing, it usually is not. If you have stayed away from sugar for any period of time, eating a bunch will only result in one thing: you feeling like crap latter.


main-qimg-f8582195ee3d817513e4f4d11c4812bdFailing is not necessarily bad. One of the key signs of an addiction is uncontrolled craving followed by binging (if you give into that craving). These “falling off the wagon” points are fine if you start thinking,
“Maybe that momentary mouth bliss isn’t worth the hours (and sometimes days) of feeling awful.” It just isn’t worth it. 
article-2132531-12AC7176000005DC-534_634x422You are going to feel like an alien. When you choose to stop eating sugar you are going to notice that everyone around you is blissfully ignorant of both why you should stop eating sugar AND they have no desire to stop.


sugar-cravingsCravings don’t go away. This is the other common questions I get: “When will the cravings go away?” The answer is: never. The sugar-craving gene is a strong one and you will be tempted forever. It does get easier, though. What keeps you on the path is the realization that giving into temptation is just not worth it.


Worst-Food-Mistakes-You-Can-Make-For-Your-Skin-collectionSugar has lots of bad friends. People who quit sugar notice that by kicking sugar out of their lives that they automatically start eating better. That is because sugar usually doesn’t come to a party by itself. It comes in packaged foods, processed foods, and foods that are generally not that good for you. I’m not joking when I suggest that the best thing you can do for your health is say goodbye to sugar.


new-on-netflix-movies-tv-january-2015Friends are not friendly. You are going to find that some of your friends they will do everything they can to temp you into eating sugar. Even your good friends. They do this not because they are mean, but because they want you to enjoy yourself.


6357484828615022401643384470_best-friends-79185799701_xlargeFriends are your best friends. You are going to find that when you quit sugar friends are going to be your best resource to help you stay away from sugar. In fact, getting people to join you is one of the best indicators of success.


imagesIt is worth it. While most of what I’ve written sounds like bad news, it really isn’t. When you kick sugar out of your life you are going to be surprised by just how great you feel. Bloating, extra weight, energy, sleep… all get better when you stop sugar. I personally found that I could breathe easier and my nose wasn’t stuffed up every morning and I had better energy throughout the day when I decided to quit sugar.


Join my program.

Join someone else’s program.

Stop all sugar suddenly.

Do it gradually.

Find anything that works for you. You and your body will be much happier when you leave sugar for a healthier lifestyle.



  1. I have been sugar free for 7 years. I am 74 and am much healthier. I have more energy, better heart health, all around better health. I am not tempted at all, because I would never ever want to have the health I had before I quit sugar. I feel I would be eating poison. I do feel sad for all the people around me when I watch them indulge. I wish they and all of you could have the chance to know what it feels like to be sugar free.

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