How To Get Off Sugar

How to get off of sugar: Overcoming sugar addiction

Modern society is hopelessly hooked on the white stuff – how to wean yourself off sugar.

If we could identify a single substance that causes half a dozen chronic health issues, kills millions of people long before their time, and reduces hundreds of millions more to a lifetime of debilitating illness, you’d think we’d do something about it, right?

Look at how we’ve dealt with deadly threats like tobacco, alcohol over-consumption, lack of seat belts, lead in paint – the list goes on.

But the fact is, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, chronic fatigue, ADHD, irritable bowel syndrome, decreased immunity and many more conditions are at least in part attributable to the over-consumption of sugar. 

Indeed, figuring out how to overcome a sugar addiction may turn out to be the next great health battle for our lives.

Getting off sugar: Gosh, how did THAT happen?

Weird, innit, that so many of us are getting fat and developing Type 2 diabetes these days. 

One study shows that since 1977, consumption of sugar has increased in adults by 30 percent – and in children by 20 percent. 

In just 20 years time, the obesity rate in England has doubled, affecting some 13 million people. 

But of course, we’re talking about overcoming sugar addiction, not cocaine, not alcohol, not tobacco – so you don’t hear a lot about sugar’s dangerously addictive nature. Not when there’s billions to made from putting it in almost literally everything

Yet scientists are learning that sugar’s addictive qualities have a whole lot in common with hard drugs. To put it the simplest terms, you’ve got your high, you’ve got your crash, and you’ve got your subsequent cravings. Ultimately, you’ve got your deadly results.

Sound familiar?

That’s why it falls upon us to overcome sugar addiction on our own – despite the fact that massive amounts of added sugar can be found in healthy-seeming substances like salad dressing, dried fruit, whole grain bagels and more.

Weird, innit, that so many of us are getting fat and developing Type 2 diabetes these days. 

One study shows that since 1977, consumption of sugar has increased in adults by 30 percent – and in children by 20 percent. 

In just 20 years time, the obesity rate in England has doubled, affecting some 13 million people. 

But of course, we’re talking about overcoming sugar addiction, not cocaine, not alcohol, not tobacco – so you don’t hear a lot about sugar’s dangerously addictive nature. Not when there’s billions to made from putting it in almost literally everything

Yet scientists are learning that sugar’s addictive qualities have a whole lot in common with hard drugs. To put it the simplest terms, you’ve got your high, you’ve got your crash, and you’ve got your subsequent cravings. Ultimately, you’ve got your deadly results.

Sound familiar?

That’s why it falls upon us to overcome sugar addiction on our own – despite the fact that massive amounts of added sugar can be found in healthy-seeming substances like salad dressing, dried fruit, whole grain bagels and more.

But, it’s possible to learn how to get off sugar in a sane and healthy way. 

How to break a sugar addiction

The first step is to be coldly analytical in understanding what you are about to attempt. When we talk about overcoming sugar addiction, we mean literally that: sugar is an addiction, an addictive substance that alters your thinking, your behaviors, and ultimately your body.

This isn’t going to be easy, in other words.  

Just to illustrate what we’re talking about when we discuss how to break a sugar addiction, in one 2007 French study, when rats were given a choice between water laced with saccharine or water laced with cocaine, fully 94 percent of them chose the saccharine water. 

Further testing showed the identical percentage of preferred water laced with sucrose (sugar) over the cocaine water. 

And these results held even when the researchers increased the dosage of the cocaine. The rats continued to prefer the sweetened water over the cocaine water – even rats that were previously addicted to cocaine!

So clearly, we are dealing with a powerful enemy here in the form of breakfast cereals, sodas, and snacks. How to wean yourself off sugar when the odds are so against you?

How to get off sugar: 5 simple steps

1. Eat regularly

It’s important to recognize that the term “junk food” isn’t just some funny little one-liner created by a 1970s government-hired ad exec. As far as your body is concerned, most of the snack food and sweets we eat are literally the nutritional equivalent of garbage. 


You throw a bunch of potato chips and soda into your body, sure, you’ll feel full for a little while, but that fades quickly.

And what it leaves behind is craving. 

Now, here’s another important distinction: a craving for a soda or a snack isn’t the same as hunger. 

When you’re developing a tool kit for overcoming sugar addiction, you’ve got to train yourself to recognize when your body is sending you craving signals – just like a heroin addict or meth addict experiences – when the body’s supply of sugar is running low.

One great way to combat this problem of cravings when you’re weaning off sugar is to make sure you keep your body full of real food. Keeping easy-to-grab yet filling snacks like carrots and nuts on hand is a great start. 

But also make sure that you’re eating healthy, full meals that contain plenty of protein and fats, both of which stick with you longer and leave you feeling full long after sugar has worn off and demanded yet another bump. 

2. Eat a high-quality breakfast

This might seem redundant following the first tip, but there’s a reason they call breakfast the most important meal of the day. 

As you begin to think critically about sugar as an addictive substance and overcoming sugar addiction for yourself, consider what a typical breakfast looks like in a modern western home. 

One study showed that 56 percent of Americans eat cold cereal for breakfast. 

It only takes about half a second to realize that what this means is that, given how much sugar is in the vast majority of cereals, nearly half of Americans are walking out the door riding a wave of sugar buzz – one that’s doomed to crash right around the time they start checking their work emails. 

As we’ve noted, when you peak out on blood sugar, it drops, and it drops hard. And then it demands that you replenish it. 

And then it drops again.

The only way to beat this cycle is to not jump on the train in the fist place. Start your day with high-protein foods and skimp on the sugar. 

An egg contains about 6.5 grams of protein, and only about 70 calories, so there’s a great start. Steel-cut oats are another popular choice, especially with milk instead of water. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and regular cheese are also high in protein that’ll stick with you.  

3. Watch out for sneaky sugar

So far we’ve focused on the simplest, most blatant offenders when it comes to overcoming sugar addiction: added sugar and foods that are clearly designed to titillate your sugar cravings. 

But we’ve got to review a bit about our biology if we really want to learn how to cure sugar addiction.

That’s because carbohydrates by any other name might as well be sugar. 

When you eat pasta, white bread, biscuits or whatever foods that are high in carbs, it may not seem like you’re upping your glycemic index (blood sugar), but the way your body processes carbs is by immediately converting them to sucrose. 

So while a big bowl of pasta with garlic bread on the side might not seem terribly sugar-heavy, in fact it  will cause your blood sugar to skyrocket – and then plummet, just as if you had eaten a couple of candy bars and drank a big soda. 

One great combo path towards weight loss and learning how to get off sugar is to try out a keto diet. This diet focuses on eating lots of high-protein, high-fat, low carb (and therefore low sugar) foods, so it’s great for reducing sugar intake and your waistline all at once.

4. Eat whole foods 

We’ve touched on this one as we learn how to cure a sugar addiction, but it’s worth noting directly as well that the more processed a food is, the more likely it is that it contains added sugar. 

So, when you eat an orange, you’re getting sugars, of course. 

But unlike when you drink processed orange juice, you’re not getting any added sugar eating a whole orange – nor nearly as much. 

Another bonus of eating whole fruits and vegetables is that they contain fiber, which is critical for keeping you feeling full longer. 

Other great whole foods include unprocessed nuts and seeds, whole grains, and while some don’t like their inclusion in this category, meat and fish that you prepare yourself with minimal ingredients also fit for our purposes.

5. Water is life

For starters, most people just don’t drink enough water as it is. 

Secondly, when you’re working on overcoming sugar addiction, keep in mind that feelings of thirst often get mistranslated between our body and our brain as hunger. 

One study showed that people who drank 2 cups of water before a meal ate 600 fewer calories than those who didn’t drink any water.

And while the term “detox” gets thrown around a lot these days, it is absolutely true that the body requires water to stay healthy. As you wean yourself off sugar, staying hydrated will help flush it away. 

Conclusions on how to get off sugar:

It’s vital to realize just how badly we are poisoning ourselves on a daily basis with sugar, and that getting off sugar is no joke. 

But by coming at it with clear eyes and a plan, you can break a sugar addiction and reap the health rewards!

Blitz yourself better!

This article contains general nutritional tips and advice. However, no diet or exercise program should be started without consulting your physician or other industry professional first. For more information read our full disclaimer here.

Blitz’d Magazine is a next men’s health magazine. It’s powerful, beautifully designed and comes with everything you need to engage your visitors and increase conversions.

Top 3 Stories

More Stories
Probiotics For Skin Health
What every man should know about probiotics and skin health