I’m quitting sugar! join me! #1

Posted on January 31st, 2011

I’m a sugar addict. Not merely partial to the sweet stuff. I’m adddddddicted. No bones about it.

It started when, as a teenager, I moved into town from the country (where we ate subsistently and very naturally). A cocktail of girl hormones, new-found access to malls and corner shops,  as well as a kid-in-candy-store delight with foods I’d been previously denied, brought it on. I went sugar crazy. And was soon riding the rollercoaster of highs and lows and battling the desperate, distracted, overwhelming urges to down a cinnamon scroll or some apricot delights or a bakery-issue apple pie. Later, as in nowadays, it’s dark chocolate. And honey.

But I’m quitting sugar. Yes, yes I am. All of it.

bershka-fall-winter-2010

I’m going to write a five-part series on it here, outlining what I’ve learned, the best techniques and how I’m tackling it. I really, really care about this issue – and my studies as a health coach have heightened my awareness of the fact that:

sugar is poison

we were not designed to eat sugar

fat doesn’t make us fat – sugar does

You might like to join me. I’m starting today. The last day of January is a good day, I think!

First up, I’ll tell you why I’m doing it and share some factoids to get you interested.

1. I’m tired of being addicted

It’s really got boring being fixated and controlled by my sugar cravings and my energy highs and lows. I’m a particularly sensitive type, which is why I think sugar affects me so strongly. More so than most. As does caffeine and pharmaceuticals. Some people can eat sugar in moderation. I don’t seem to be able to. I get a taste of it and my body, sensitive as it is to biological cues, says “quick, store energy fast”. Because it’s such an unstable form of energy release I crash and burn abruptly, needing another energy hit…fast! I’ll explain this all better shortly. One 2007 French study shows sugar addiction is more gripping than cocaine addiction. The effect on our dopamine levels is insane. It grips, it keeps us bound.

I should say: I don’t eat massive amounts at all. I don’t eat gluten – so that cuts out biscuits and cakes and muffins. I’ve never liked soft drink or lollies. But when I have it in front of me, something primitive takes over and I can’t stop at one row of chocolate or a small serve of orange almond cake. I gorge. And I’m forced to do as Miranda did on Sex and The City (when she poured water on the cake she’d put in the bin but was still eating).

I’m bored of living like this. It ain’t cool or dignified. I’m ready for a new energetic way.

2. Autoimmune disease + adrenal issues + an excitable personality + sugar = bad story

AI types like me cannot afford to have our stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), nor our neurotransmitter levels  (dopamine), nor our insulin levels mucked around with. When they are, they flare up our conditions. So does the whack of acid that sugar injects into our system. We need to keep our bodies alkalized as much as possible to combat the inflammation at the heart of AI.

Finally, sugar totally disrupts the bacteria count in the gut – massively so. It leads to leaky gut syndrome, which then causes undigested amino acids to pass through the gut wall, which causes antibodies to come out on the attack…which, of course, leads to AI.  Sugar has to go if I’m to ever fully heal my thyroid disease. If you’ve got AI you know how it is – you think you’re on the mend, then – bang – you crash again. It’s up and down constantly, with layers of interchanging symptoms. I have a sneaking suspicions it’s sugar that’s a big part of this.

3. I want to live true.

Fact is we’re not meant to be eating sugar. Again, I’ll detail this further, but for now – our bodies are NOT designed to eat sugar. Until recently (about 200 years ago) sugar was such a rarity in nature (only found in fruit or honey…which were both hard to access) that our bodies were designed without an “I’m full” switch for it so that when we did stumble upon it we could gorge on the stuff and store the energy fast.

Our genetic makeup has not changed in 130,000 years; we are still not designed to eat much sugar. And so when we do we go against our nature, our natural balance, the way we’re meant to be.

I know this viscerally. Sugar doesn’t feel right. I don’t want to live against the grain any longer.

4. And finally, truth be known, I want to lose weight.

I put on weight (12kg) from thyroid disease a few years back and haven’t been able to shift it all since, despite getting my TSH levels under control. It’s not a core issue for me (although it did take a lot of centering to come to terms with!). Mostly it’s disturbed me because I’ll be buggered if I can find the reason why not.

But, you know what… I’ve been lying to myself. I eat better than I’ve ever eaten. I exercise. The ONLY thing left to face is my sugar addiction.

So. This is the deal. My reading over the past few weeks tells me categorically that fat doesn’t make us fat, sugar makes us fat. Over the next month, as I eliminate the white poison the two barometers of whether it’s doing anything will be my weight and my thyroid conditions/energy levels. I’m referring to a number of different sources and notes from the studies I did to become a health coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

I can highly recommend David Gillespie’s books Sweet Poison, Why Sugar is Making Us Fat and The Sweet Poison Quit Plan, and a lot of the info I share will come from these. David was obese. He quit sugar and changed nothing else in his life. And lost 40kg without trying.

He advises never ever touching sugar again. Ever.

I’m meeting David and we’re doing a little video…if you have sugar questions for him/me…jot them below!!!

Scary, but I’m ready for it. For now. David promises once I get off the addiction cycle I won’t feel like it anyway. We’ll see…

****

Next post I’ll explain the two ways sugar makes us fat. I’m soooo fired up about this topic. I reckon you will be, too. I really hope I can get a stack of you feeling better, balanced, happier by trying out a sugar-free life with me.

I’ll also suggest how to get started.

In the meantime, some factoids to get you thinking:

  • 150 years ago we ate no sugar. Today we eat more than a kilo a week on average. Over a year, that translates to almost 15kg of body fat.

  • We need to run 7km every day for the rest of our lives to not gain any weight from the sugar we’re now eating.

  • A glass of full-fat milk is waaaaaaay less fattening than a glass of apple or orange juice. Hard to fathom, right? But fat is good, my friends, fat is good! Better than good…we need it to not put on weight. But more soon…

  • We are eating less fat and exercising more than previous generations. But we keep getting fatter… hmmm….

A piece in the puzzle is missing!

This is all a pretty new area of nutrition and science. Politics are involved. The sugar industry here and the corn industry in the US are propped up by Government tariffs. Our governments are loathe to wade into the debate…

If you feel like joining this ride, please provide your feedback and tips and techniques. And if you have some initial questions, stick em below and I’ll ask David for you.

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  • Erica

    I’m with you Sarah. My mum calls sugar and white flour ‘white death.’ I quit sugar for a few months to combat adrenal issues and felt great, but life takes over and I have since started again, chocolate my biggest weakness.

    For long-term quitting are you going cold-turkey or stepping down gradually? and any tips on snack replacements as I sit here munching on dried fruit?

    Look forward to the challenge!

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    Mia Reply:

    I know a lot of nutritionists and personal trainers who call it White Death too!

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  • Leila

    Hi Sarah…can you please clarify something (sorry if it’s obviousy to everyone else) but when you say cut out sugar, do you mean processed sugar only? I know fruit has high sugar levels but it’s one of the 5 basic food groups (guess this is classified as ‘natural’ sugar).

    I really do admire you for giving up alchol and sugar in one hit. Would love to know how your body reacts as a result. (I once decided to give up smoking and drinking cold turkey at the same time…was REALLY hard going for me and also those around!. Have managed to stay off the ciggies for 15 yrs but drinking has crept back into the picture. Oh well!)

    I saw some photos of you in a bikini from your Cosmo days and although you looked taunt, trim and terrific, you really do look much healthier and natural now.

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    Sarah

    Sarah WilsonSarah Reply:

    Leila, yep, I’ll clarifiy all that in my next post, later in the week. But short answer is: all sugar, including dried fruit, fruit juice, honey etc. I’m allowing 1-2 low sugar pieces of fruit a day (berries, kiwi fruit etc). Stay tuned…
    And thank you…yes, I prefer the extra weight, too!

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    jac Reply:

    that would be great if you could outline that Sarah – I had the exact same question. A friend of mine has had arthritis since she was 15 and went off sugar completely for 3 months last year and the transformation was AMAZING! the problem was that it was so unsustainable – her nutritionist had her off all fruit, and even milk, which apparently contains some sugar content?? anyway she just couldn’t stick to it despite the amazing physical transformation.

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  • Ian

    Sarah…this is timely for me. I consume too much sugar: cereal, chocolate & lollies. Looking forward the series.

    Like Leila, keen to understand how much fruit is too much. I love fruit and eat a fair bit each day.

    Feb will be interesting: no wine, now no sugar! Hmmm…

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  • Madison

    ironically i’m doing a 20 day detox as i feel so crap at the moment. too much gorging for 2 months, so am just going to eat raw food, and focus on vegies.
    minimal fruit.

    this will be an interesting one to read about….thanks sarah.

    i also agree – your wellness shines through now, the cosmo days were too skinny/unhealthy looking

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  • tania

    yes i have a question!

    everyone says dark chocolate is good for you! really, no more chocolate!?

    and no more sugar = no more fruit?!?!?! no oranges, no grapefruit, no bananas, REALLY!!?!??!

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    Sarah

    Sarah WilsonSarah Reply:

    sugar-free chocolate! I’ll be asking David which brands are good…

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    Mia Reply:

    YEAH! :) I would love to know which sugar-free chocolate is good too, as I know some sweeteners (eg. agave) have health costs as well!

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    Maree Reply:

    Sugar free chocolate contains sugar alcohols which are even worse than sugar. David often gets asked about chocolate and he always refers people to a German company that manufactures fructose free chocolate. http://www.frusano.com/Chocolate/chocolate-bars/Filita-Dextrose-chocolate::40.html Catch is that it will cost you about $10 for a 100g bar by the time you pay for the postage. I am experimenting with making my own and will soon publish the results on my blog.

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    amber Reply:

    It depends which sugar alcohol it is — not all behave the same way.

    Maltitol and its syrups, which are the most common sugar alcohols used, impact blood sugar significantly.
    Erythritol and mannitol have no blood sugar effect.
    Lactitol, sorbitol, xylitol and isomalt have a minimal effect.

    Xylitol is the product most readily available at health food stores, and I find it very good to use. It’s also alkaline. Stevia is the only other sweetener to have an alkalising effect on the body (which is what you want for optimum health).

  • Mia

    First step – set fire to the food pyramid. It’s crap.

    Secondly – good on you!!! I know exactly how you feel, raised in a similar environment with a strange and eccentric mother who allowed no treats in the house. Every time I went to a friend’s birthday party I would see chocolates and cakes and muffins and all manner of wonderful things and scoff myself til I was literally sick. They took a photo of my plate once as they were so amazed how much I wanted to eat. My mother was disgusted. It’s like I went temporarily mad!!!

    My best friend and I have found a way (after much trial and error!) to combat this. NO sugar, all week, then we allow ourself one “cheat meal” where we can eat whatever we want. It’s usually Sunday night dinner. So we have a decent meal and follow it with a little chocolate. I cant eat much anyway, after years of addiction followed by adopting healthy eating practises, my body just rejects it if I eat too much. For me, this is my balance – and balance is they key, yes?

    I once gave up ALL sugar, alcohol, junk food and caffeine for a whole month, and my AI was never better! I felt like a million bucks – at the end. At the start, it was an emotional rollercoaster. I never thought I was an emotional eater, but oh my! The things you learn when you cut out your favourite foods!

    I too think you are beautiful, slim and gorgeous now, but I get it. When you have been a certain weight before illness, and you are happy at that weight, of course you want to get back to the best shape of your life! Im on a mission to lose my thyroid weight too which is a bit more than yours (about 25kg, Im down 8kg so far!) Gently, gently. Good luck!

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  • http://sweeter-living.blogspot.com/ Kris

    Thank you for posting this Sarah.
    The whole low-fat v’s low-sugar thing is something I feel so strongly about but when I try to put my point of view across to others they look at me like I’m a crazy woman!

    I am a sugar addict too. I would easily pass up a packet of chips for some chocolate… I feel as though I eat pretty well most of the time and sugar is ultimately my downfall.
    I too have suffered from hashimotos for around 8 years now and I have struggled to drop that last 10 kilos I put on when I was first diagnosed. I reckon sugar may just be the culprit.

    Like Leila, I would like to know if cutting out sugar means ALL sugar as well?

    I am really looking forward to your other posts on this topic!

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  • http://rachelhills.tumblr.com Rachel @ Musings of an Inappropriate Woman

    Perfectly timed, Sarah. I just started my own sugar detox two days ago. I like to think I eat fairly well (I have a fondness for fruit, veggies and fish), but the truth is I eat an enormous amount of sugar.

    I stopped drinking coke zero (almost by accident – I got sit, didn’t feel like it, and then decided to ride with it) just after Christmas, and decided to follow it up by cutting out all sugars – fruit included – for two weeks, as part of a broader shift towards veggies. For me, it’s all about habits. Once I stopped with my daily coke zero fix, it was easy to continue. But I know if I drank it a few days in a row I’d be back on that fizzy drink train again.

    After I finish my two weeks cold turkey, I plan to reintegrate fruit. I also plan to allow myself one sugary treat each week. I know it’s still bad for me, but apparently it’s easier to stick with these things “if you know where your next treat is coming from”.

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  • Kate

    I did a detox a few months back, and afterwards cut out a lot of the sugar in my diet….but over Christmas/New Year it has slowly starting creeping back in, so I am excited to read about how you go and to try again myself!

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  • AJ

    I am also a total sugar addict – I eat chocolate pretty much every day (and not the dark, healthier kind). I’ve tried to quit it before but I just find it so hard. I can go for a few days but then I inevitably binge. I find this whole thing so depressing. I am so over the addiction and what it does to me, but the thought of giving up sugar overwhelms and terrifies me. It’s a love/hate relationship alright!

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  • Glen

    Sarah,

    A nice start to this series of posts.

    I am reluctant to step out of my sugar comfort zone, which I think has only gotten worse in the last couple of weeks with the stresses of moving house, going back to work, and studying for my exams this week. For me, sugar is a treat that I too often reward myself with without earning it, but thinking that I deserve it to cope with what life throws at me. I can understand the addiction aspect. It takes me away to a better place without the use of alcohol or drugs, if only for a few tasty seconds.

    I think I am in the group that you mentioned who exercises daily, eats well in all other areas, and while I managed to lose 11kg last year, I have reached a plateu of sorts and can’t quite budge those few extra kilos – I’m starting to think sugar might be the culprit.

    So, this post has been quite inspiring.. but I think I’ll need a little extra help/convincing I can do it. I’m looking forward to the next post…

    Glen

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    AJ Reply:

    Well said Glen

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  • http://www.tamsinhowse.com Miss T

    I’ll be following this with interest! I suspect everyone in my household could benefit from less sugar.

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  • Brooke

    I know for myself that cold turkey is the only way to give up sugar. I am so addicted that if I have one bite of anything slightly sugary, I am back to the pantry within the next 5 minutes tearing through the shelves on the hunt for anything that will satisfy my sugar cravings. Eating sugar makes me want to eat more sugar. I gave up for 2 whole years about 8 years ago, and I lost weight, felt terrific and had glowing skin (all prior to my Chronic fatigue/hashimotos/psoriasis etc developing). Unfortunately I thought after 2 years I could introduce a small amount of sugar back into my diet gradually, on special occasions and so on (it is very difficult saying no to every birthday cake, Christmas pudding, easter egg etc). But once again the more I ate, the more I craved and my sugar habit spiralled out of control rapidly. Once the chronic fatigue and Hashimoto’s developed, the sugar cravings got much worse, and I was often eating sugar simply to stay awake. Despite being on thyroxine, cutting out gluten and dairy and managing a 30 minute walk daily (the most consistant exercise I’ve been able to manage since CFS struck), I am still gaining weight steadily. Like Sarah has said above, the only thing left is sugar.
    So I will be joining you Sarah on giving up sugar, permanently this time. But I’d also like to know whether or not you will be cutting out fruit? I think I will still include fruit in my diet, because when I was 8 years old, I was hospitalised for constipation. It may be over 20 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday! Since then I have made sure to eat fruit almost every day! :-)
    Thank you for your inspirational website Sarah. It is so generous of you to share your knowledge with your readers. Good luck to you and everyone else who takes up the sugar free challenge. :-)

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  • http://www.dalliancefrancaise.com Another Sarah

    I’m on board, Sarah! I generally cook without sugar at home (well main meals anyway), but I think I’ll struggle when eating out… therefore, would love some tips on how to navigate this.

    Good luck to all the fellow sugar banners!

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  • Dee

    Like the earlier posts, I’d love to be clearer about what’s ‘natural’ sugar (eg fruit) and just how bad artificial sweeteners are, so we know what to look out for. Have read conflicting advice about substitutes like agave syrup. Good luck Sarah.

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  • Joni

    Hi Sarah
    I’m on board with you.
    Loving Earth Raw Organic Dark Chocolate contains agave syrup and tastes amazing. Would this be allowed?

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    Winnie Reply:

    Hi Joni, As a fellow chocolate lover I’m soooo sorry to say this but agave syrup contain 90% fructose (fructose is the damaging part of the sugar molecule). So the chocolate you mention would not be good at all. Google the Sweet Poison Forum for lots of tips on what’s ok and recipes for making your own chocolate!!!!

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  • greenappletrees

    Sarah, as always your post has inspired me to get my sh*t together and take a good look at my habits and their underlying causes (in a good way!).

    While I would never dream of referring to myself as a sugar “addict” I am one. Cake, muffins, chocolate, fruit juice, ice cream don’t temp me in the slightest. HOWEVER sometimes the only thing that’s get me out of the house in the morning is the taste of a chilled Coca-Cola (if only I knew how to stop at one though…). And like behaviours/addictions it’s not just the act of having a coke but the associated behaviours that go with it that I “enjoy”. The feeling of walking away from my desk, going to the vending machine, opening the cold can, the noise the can makes, the first taste.

    Like the readers above have also mentioned, I eat mostly well (I also don’t eat a lot- my lack of appetite is legendary) and exercise at least 4 times a week. And yet, I still put on weight (and lets be honest, one can only blame stress and two vinos a week for so much!).

    SO in order to make 2011 indeed bigger and better I have decided to give up the fizz! It’s been a long time coming but your post (on a Monday morning nonetheless) has been the final straw/sign!

    I look forward to the remaining posts and would be especially interested on any tips related to fizz drinks!

    Bring it.

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  • T

    How timely. After a week of two birthday cakes, mountains of chocolate and copious amounts of sweet wine I decieded I’m cutting it out! I’ve done it before, and will extremely hard, I know it can be done. I will continue to add some low sugar fruit, and perhaps half a banana to my morning smoothie. Bring on more vibrancy and clearer skin, (the kilos I gained with chronic fatigue won’t be missed either!)

    Also sarah I am loving the increased posts about food and nutrition!

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  • Deena

    i’ll be interested to see if there is a connection between sugar and wheat based carbs.. i’ve found when i cut out all wheat, my sugar cravings disappeared… but no wheat is so hard to maintain…

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  • Sian

    I am dying to give up sugar but my addiction is severe and I don’t know if I can! I’m 23, I live out of home, I’m in my stressful final year at Uni, I’m one of the primary carers for my father who has early onset dementia and giving up my addiction my cause me to have a melt down!!! I’m well aware of the horrendous effects sugar is having on my health but giving up my comfort food is a scary thought! If this series of posts manages to get a stressed & hormonal 23 yr old female off sugar, you deserve a big gold medal (note: just then i imagined it was made from chocolate, I need all the help can get).

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  • Penny

    Hi Sarah,
    I agree about the evil-ness of sugar. After huge struggle with poly cystic ovarian syndrome I cut it out and gradually the symptoms have disappeared. I still have some fruit but try to resist most sugars. It really works but it is tough… Good luck!
    Penny

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  • KJ

    Do Fruits count as bad sugar? Is eating too much fruit bad for you? and what fruits are best to eat?

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    KJ Reply:

    ^Questions for David! :)

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    Maureen Reply:

    Fruit is good for you! But maximun 2 pieces per day and stay away from high sugar fruits such as bananas and grapes. I highly recommend David Gillespie’s books. It’s all spelt out in them with charts for food types. It’s scary reading at first. BBQ sauce is 55% sugar and honey is one of the worst things you can consume :(. I’ve been suugar free for several months now. It has helped ease my pre menstrual headaches and moods along with a drop in weight. The best two books I have ever bought are Sweet Poison and The Sweey Poison Quit Plan.

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    Jason Reply:

    Maureen, I really don’t think honey is the worst thing you can consume. Ever heard of heroin?? Let’s not get carried away here. Sugar in small doses is of course fine. If BBQ sauce is 55% sugar, big deal. You only need a little bit anyway.

  • anna:mum of one

    have just started David’s quit sugar plan…at the moment grumpy and headachey…and always hungry :( or rather not really hungry hungry but just not satisfied….the hardest part for me is giving up the strawberry milk that I drink each day…
    Regarding the fruit question…he recommends two pieces of a low fructose high fibre fruit…like pears.

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    Bec Reply:

    Anna,
    It’s interesting to read that David suggests that pears are low fructose, my daughter and husband are fructose intolerant and on the list of fructose loaded fruits are pears which give them horrible gut aches etc… Although having said that, they are probably one of the fruits that are relatively OK for those not fructose intolerant.

    Good luck on the quit sugar plan… I really need to cut out the wine (only 1 glass a night) and chocolate…. bad bad bad.

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    Brooke Reply:

    Hi Bec,
    I am fructose intolerant as well, and you are right, pears are on the banned list for those with fructose intolerance. But from what I understand, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is more fructose in a pear, but that there is less glucose than fructose in pears. People with fructose intolerance need glucose in equal parts (or more) to fructose to enable them to digest fructose. So a pear may be low in fructose, but even lower in glucose, which rules it out for fructose intolerant people, but not necessarily those avoiding sugar. As for it’s total sugar content, I have no idea! I’ll leave that up to the experts. :-)

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    Bec Reply:

    Ahh! lovely thanks for clearing that up. We stay away from pears as a family anyhow… we tend to all eat the same diet, which isn’t so bad.

    Thanks Brooke:)

  • http://www.myspace.com/sophiewilsonbald Sophie Wilson

    Hi Sarah,

    Such a suprise to read the first few sentences of this post – as today is the day i started doing exactly the same thing!
    Bye bye sweet tooth…
    Back to the gym, off the sugar and the processed food and back to bringing my healthy lunches and making good dinners.
    I love reading your blog, it inspires me to always continue growing and questioning what we do and how we act/react and live.
    Sophie

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  • http://maidinaustralia.com Bronnie

    I’ve read that book and thought it made a lot of sense. Though I haven’t given up sugar completely (I very occasionally have a reduced fat chocolate milk when I crave it, or sugar in my tea when I’m really feeling a need for comfort), it’s out of the rest of my life and I feel better for it. Same with junk foods, I don’t even crave them now. I’m still to lose a lot of weight (though the weight-loss finally seems to have begun), and I’m just focussing on eating as many natural, unprocessed products as possible. I would rather go hungry (which may be bad for me I know), than eat something that is fatty, sugary, too salty or in other ways unhealthy. I tend to always carry a health snack and water, so that I’m not tempted to buy food if I’m out when hunger strikes.

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  • Sara

    Hey Sarah…I’m on your Febfast team and the reality of tomorrow’s date in sinking in!

    I don’t eat alot of processed sugar but do like the idea of removing it from my diet. However, in doing so many charities are going to suffer. With all the fund raising chocolate I buy, think I have managed to single handedly build an entire village in Zimbabwe and buy a fleet of mini buses for a local primary school!!

    However, keen to change eating/drinking habits so look forward to reading more.

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    Erin Reply:

    Sara – that is very funny! I am on Sarah’s FebFast team too – all the best of luck to you! :)

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    Sara Reply:

    You too Erin. My mum, in all seriousness, suggested I do a door knock up and down my street looking for Febfast sponsors! Might not be so funny if I wasn’t 42!!

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    Sarah

    Sarah WilsonSarah Reply:

    I like the idea. Age is no barrier to anything. Although if it was a read-a-thon I’d be worried.
    PS Thx Sara and Erin for joining the team!

  • Susie

    I too read David’s book 2 weeks ago. I’m now on day 12 with no sugar. And doing good!

    I went through my cupboard and recipe books and re-arranged everything.

    My vice was baking, but am looking forward to trying some of David’s recipes using Dextrose instead of sugar.

    I successfully made sugar free strawberry jam yesterday!

    Good luck with your blog.

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    anna:mum of one Reply:

    recipe please?

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  • http://sheworeitwell.blogspot.com She Wore It Well Blog

    Gwyneth did a great GOOP article on sugar and the evil aspects of it late last year, check it out.

    I’ve been a different person since quitting sugar. Good luck.

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  • http://www.illuminateyoga.com.au Amanda

    I’m with you Sarah. Enlighten us! x

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  • http://sugar-is-poison.blogspot.com/ Maree

    I’m so excited! I am a devotee of David Gillespie and his Quit Plan. I was the least likely candidate to give up eating sugar but with David’s help I did it with ease and I feel incredible and have lost weight in all the right places. I used to think I was a comfort eater but it turns out I was just addicted to the sugar. The reason I am so excited is that you have and will be able to continue to spread the word. Beware Diet Industry! If we all stop eating sugar things will get tough.

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  • Ross

    I’ll join you in kicking sugarl. While I try to avoid it, for some reason when I sucumb and binge on sugary stuff, I really BIIIIINGE.

    I have a question for consideration. I recently heard a dietician state that the sugar in fruit (fructous?) is just as bad as eating any other form of sugar. Is that correct? I thought I was being healthy by eating more fruit.

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    Alison Reply:

    It’s the fruit juices that are such a big problem – we’ve been led to believe that it’s good for us but all the fibre has been taken out, and most likely thrown out, and you end up drinking concentrated fructose! How many oranges in a glass of orange juice? Maybe three or four or even more, but however many, it would be more than you could eat if you had the whole fruit.

    You can eat fruit, but only whole fruit with its fibre intact. A couple of pieces a day apparently won’t do much harm.

    Keep off the dried fruit too.

    Do some research on how fructose is processed by the body – much of it seems to end up circulating in the blood as triglycerides (also knows as fat!) because it bypasses the mechanisms by which our other food is processed.

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  • Amanda

    I like the IDEA of quitting sugar, I really do, I’m just terrified of what sort of person I might become whilst in the initial detox stage! I’ve been clean off drugs and alcohol for nearly 4 years – and that was a really difficult painful almost deadly addiction to to tame – but I think sugar might actually be a more difficult one for me emotionally! I think I’m going to try to really cut down on my sugar intake – i already read labels of everything since digestive system is highly sensitive – but if I stop having sugar in my coffee in the morning, for example, thats one way to start! I guess I’m also afraid of such controlled eating due to my history of eating disorders – which still lurk around in my head. But cutting down on sugar has got to be a good start for me to make! I actually don’t eat ANY fruit at all – ever – haven’t for more than 20 years – so I won’t have the issue of sugars in fruit to contend with :)

    [Reply]

  • Katrina

    I do the Paleo diet which is no sugar, no rice, pasta or bread but lots of protein, vegies, fruit, nuts and I have never felt so good! It goes perfectly with my crossfit training. Although I do sneek in a choccie every now and then, the no sugar or gluten is the best!

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah WilsonSarah Reply:

    Which theory or book are you following?

    [Reply]

    Carly Reply:

    I also follow a paleo/ primal diet plan, sometimes more convincingly than others and I have often wonder whether you have come across this in your studies Sarah, and what you thought of it. It generally picks up on all the gluten free, sugar free things you talk about.

    I found a definite improvement in health and wellbeing from following it, and weight loss too. I certainly notice the impact when I stray away from it.

    My experience with sugar has been when you eat, you want more of it, when you don’t eat it, you don’t want it either. ‘Suicide by Sugar’ by Nancy Appleton is also a really good read.

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  • http://www.twitter.com/amy_er amyer

    I think it’s about time I bit the bullet and ditched sugar as well.

    When I was 19, I moved out of home & lost 6 kilos without any effort (or an existing exercise regime). Time and time again, I’ve tried to pinpoint what it was which made my metabolism go beyond anything I’d ever experienced beforehand.

    I’ve put it down to the fact that I:

    * ate more protein & ate fewer carbs than I’d done previously;
    * was not using a contraceptive with hormones;
    * was not drinking alcohol at all;
    * ate virtually no sugar.

    These days I’m slowly but surely putting on weight (it’s definitely fat, not muscle!) even though I eat far more healthily – excepting my current sugar intake, and do far more exercise.

    You’ve convinced me to give up sugar & alcohol for February to see if it makes any difference!

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  • http://there-she-goes-again.tumblr.com Rachel

    My goodness I’ve just started reading his books too! I am well aware of my sugar addiction – a handful of lollies as soon as I walk in the door. I somehow convinced myself that this was better at staving off hunger pangs until dinner than my preferred (and much loved!) BBQ Shapes. But it’s quite obviously an addiction now, so I’m reading the books with fascination. Can’t wait to follow and compare experiences as we eliminate sugar!

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  • Joanne

    Im definitely with you Sarah, giving up sugar is something I would love to achieve in 2011!
    I wouldn’t say I’m as addicted as others here, but I have been increasingly aware of the effect sugar has on my body and mood. If for example I eat large amounts of chocolate, and I am relaxing anyway, I fall into a really deep sleep that is hard to wake up from, I tend to get groggy and unmotivated once a sugar high has worn off and also if i stand up too quickly after sugar I get really dizzy. funny how we just come to accept these things and it’s not until we really think about it we realise how wrong they are.

    Would be great if you could post meal ideas and a list of sugar free foods.
    Also, if a food has only a couple of grams of sugar is this too much? Does it have to absolutely ZERO sugar?
    Can you also ask David to clarify if there is such a thing as ‘good sugars’ found naturally in milk/fruit etc. just as there are good and bad fats.
    Also, I play soccer and have been advised that it is good to have some sugar at half time to ‘keep my energy levels up’…is this bad advise?

    Sorry for the long post and THANK YOU for inspiring me :)

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  • http://wabiwabi.wordpress.com amber

    I’ll do it with you, Sarah! I have done it in the past, but have lapsed back into my old ways again too.Once you’ve really made up your mind, it’s not as horrible or hard as you’d think.

    When I was having a bad bout of Crohn’s (?) or anxiety (?) several years ago, I had a family friend who had cancer. She had learned that one teaspoon of sugar depresses the immune system for an hour — that’s one or two jelly beans! So we avoided sugar together.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but I will do so again: Xylitol. It’s not a sugar. Chemically, it’s a sugar alcohol, but it’s alkaline, antifungal, and has about 2/3 of the caloric load of refined sugar. You can purchase it at most health food stores now, and it is a lifesaver if, like me, you love to bake because it is granulated and can be used just like sugar (although you use less because it is naturally sweeter). You can also put half a teaspoon into tea or coffee where you’d usually use a teaspoon of sugar. It doesn’t have any funny aftertaste, and it has been popular in Europe for many, many years as a safe and natural sweetener suitable for diabetics.

    I love Well, naturally… dark chocolate that is available in big supermarkets’ health food sections. It’s 70% cocoa and mildly sweetened with agave. I like the one with flaked almonds, but there is also a plain variety and a mint chip one, too.

    I’d love to know from David which fruits are OK to eat in small doses. I know that the pectin and fibre in fruit helps cut down on the absence of satiety that is a problem with many high-fructose foods. I like bananas, apricots, and watermelon. Can I still eat those?

    Since taking oral contraceptives, medications for depression and anxiety, and treatments for AI diseases, I gained about 12kg in a period of about 9 months last year, too. I have lost half of it again very naturally since scaling back on medications, but the last 6kg will not budge. I am fairly active (but arthritic pain can get in the way sometimes) and eat well, but still not as well as I could.

    I’ve decided to chuck in grains for the month of February and see if that makes a difference. I’ll cook with buckwheat (it’s a herb, not a grain) and ground nuts instead of flour and avoid breads and pastas. I’m a carbophile, so I anticipate that this will be difficult, but I’ll let you know how I’m feeling at the end of Feb!

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  • http://spoiltlily.blogspot.com/ Erin

    Oh my goodness Sarah – I am so glad I saw your post! I just blogged yesterday about maybe giving up sugar as part of FebFast. I am SO addicted to sugar. I actually started today and feel very excited to be freeing myself of sugar. I have been reading and hearing so many bad bad things about sugar lately!
    All the best with your quest to give up sugar!

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  • http://www.twitter.com/amy_er amyer

    Perhaps this is a silly question – but what does David recommend when it comes to toothpaste? Is swapping a regular supermarket variety for something without saccharin going too far? Or is saccharin OK?

    I’m more curious than anything else… ;)

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  • Janet

    Fantastic Sarah.
    I have always been addicted to sugar. My body seriously reacts to it now, but that doesn’t stop me!
    I had a chance to go to a health retreat for 5 days in Oct last year, which was brilliant. I couldn’t believe how quickly I got used to eating vegetarian food with no salt, oil or sugar and not snacking between meals. I came back and haven’t had sugar in my tea or coffee since. However, lollies, chocolate and ice cream have certainly crept back in a big way!
    I was planning on getting back on track once my boy starts school next week, so am very much looking forward to your series. Thank you.

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  • Natalie

    Good luck Sarah! I cut out all sugar a year ago due to a Candida overgrowth in my stomach & intestinal tract that I’m still recovering from. Carbs, starches & all sugar (except stevia & artificial sweeteners) have been out for me. It was hard at first, like kicking any addiction (I have a killer sweet tooth), but I was in so much pain whenever I had something sweet it wasn’t worth it. Though admittedly, I’d allowed my diet to really fall away. I was eating sweets instead of having a meal. Previously, I’d been a vegetarian for 5 years & my staple on that diet was pasta, bread & rice. Ergh, too much sugar.

    But the surprising thing is how easy it is to stay away from it when you no longer have it (pain is always a good motivating factor!). I don’t even crave chocolate anymore (though I had to kick cocoa out of my diet too, as it was causing issues too). There was a time where I felt like I couldn’t go a day without that stuff! I’ve also noticed how stable my emotions are now. I used to hit those rollercoaster highs & lows all the time. Now I’m a lot calmer.

    Berries are the only fruit I consume as well, & I keep it down to a minimum. Basically 3 or 4 strawberries so I don’t push my limit too far. I agree with Mia about the food pyramid – complete rubbish! How is eating processed grains the staple of a healthy diet, when our main diet over the course of our history as a species has been meat, fats & vegetables? I’m still working my way through the brainwashing that ‘fat is bad’, & have been replacing all fats with butter & coconut oil. & they help combat Candida. Kinda says something about what we’ve been sold about the ‘evils’ saturated fats.. :P

    I’m going to check out that book you’ve suggested. I’ve just started reading Gary Taubes’ ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’.

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    Yep, I know intestinal candida too! That was how I first started on my food investigations.
    The formula I have come up with for maximum health (esp. intestinal!) benefits with minimum deprivation is: 80% raw, mostly veggies and 20% good quality, full-fat protein. No grains, no sugar, no booze, no dairy except natural probiotic yoghurt.

    I have found Paleo/ Primal way of eating to be very interesting, which involves no sugar or grains and a lot of saturated fat amongst other things. While I dont follow it completely, the principals behind it are definitely worth a read!

    I didn’t actually realize butter was good for candida. I always thought that as dairy it was out. Good to know!!

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  • http://www.sharnanigans.com sharni montgomery

    Sarah I am trying to stop eating lollies for ONE WEEK and its killing me. I have a huge addiction and I will read your series with avid interest. I need HELP, the thought of quitting actually scares the hell out of me! It is my drug!

    http://www.sharnanigans.com/2011/01/a-spoonful-of/

    [Reply]

    Alison Reply:

    I’m not sure you can seriously give up something for a week – to me that’s a kind of punishment with the ‘reward’ of returning to old habits at the end.

    Giving up sugar is perhaps the reverse, it’s most definitely a reward to our general health, and it’s punishing to the body to consume it in such large quantities.

    If lollies are your biggest failing, try to find a replacement for them which you can consume in the first stages of withdrawal. If you go cold turkey onto a sugar free diet then after a while even this need will fade.

    My biggest consumption before going fructose free was icecream so I bought an icecream maker and used the recipes in David Gillespie’s book. Now I find I have no desire for the bought icecreams and try to limit my consumption of home made icecream as well, and that’s not hard as you need very little of it to be satisfied.

    At first, snacks were the hardest for me – nuts, or unsweetened savoury biscuits with cheese, tomato or avocado became my staple. I often had a nagging feeling of disatisfaction between meals because I was used to eating sweet food at these times. And this is most likely the time you’ll feel a need for your ‘reward’ of sweets.

    Over time I wasn’t aware of the feeling of disatisfaction going, more that one day I noticed it was no longer there. I felt great when I realised I’d reached that point. Good luck. You can do it.

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  • Kim

    Hi Sarah and all,
    Have just recently read both of David’s books. Both my husband and I have decided to go sugar free and have been so for nearly 3 weeks. he has low level prostate cancer and for me just wanting to be healthier and have more energy. Previous to this it was suggested by the naturopath to not eat any processed foods and lay off the gluten and just have 2 cups of fruit a day and a tablespoon of honey maximum. Well im still having the 2 cups of fruit (need to keep regular) but no honey and definately nothing from a packet except from the occasional cracker as per David’s list.

    Definitley some discomfort – constant fullness ( need to start eating less – don’t feel as hungry)
    Not as regular BUT Im waking up with a clear head and have loads more energy.

    If I make a cake or a smoothie I would only include say 1 whole piece of fruit as the sweetner.
    I must say a smoothie with milk, 1 banana, 1 egg and a teaspoon of organic raw cocoa powder and maca makes an excellent power drink and soothes any chocolate cravings in an instant!

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  • Maria

    Hi Sarah and best wishes on your journey. I read David’s second book (Quit Plan) in October and went cold turkey in giving up sugar.Fortunately have not suffered withdrawal and have now lost 10kgs and 10cms from waist. Expect to plateau now as feel am at the correct weight. Am enjoying other unexpected benefits such as improved energy, no PMS symptoms and all headaches and migraines gone, so far.
    The science is so wonderfully simple. Eliminate fructose and your appetite control system starts working properly. I was not a big eater but now am finding I’m eating about half the quantity I used to, and the weight naturally has fallen away. I do not go hungry, simply eat when my body asks for it. I do adore walking every day, my only form of exercise.
    My 19 yr old daughter has joined me and as she prefers something a little sweet every now and then I have made many of the recipes in David’s book which are fabulous. I highly recommend them for those who have completed withdrawal (very important) and want to keep kids or guests happy.
    David’s book has changed my life. I have bought several copies for friends, only those who have expressed interest of course! I can’t lend mine to anyone because I love having it around.
    Life is so much sweeter without sugar!
    Will read your blog with interest and again, very best wishes.

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  • Marie-Ann

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m with you!

    Also interested in hearing more about how eating too much of the wrong kind of carbohydrates will sabotage the anti-inflammatory effect and if David has any thoughts on the Chilton Program?

    Thanks

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  • Hanna

    A wonderful side effect of giving up all sugar is no more trips to the dentist. i was practically sugar-free for most of last year, zero teeth-trouble, back to Oz, tucked in for Christmas, bingo, teeth start aching. My wonderful dentist (who has the best view in the entire Sydney CBD) said out of the blue while inspecting my horrible teeth ‘ if we never ate sugar, we’d never ever need fillings!

    [Reply]

    V Reply:

    Hanna is that SHDC? Sounds like my great dentist!

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  • http://cosmicsymmetry.wordpress.com cosmic

    i have ben (mostly) sugarfree for six months now. Two important tools to beat back sugar: stevia and xylitol. Xylitol chocolate is a life-saver.

    [Reply]

    Debbie Reply:

    What is xylitol? And where do you find it?

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  • http://rosiekalber.tumblr.com Rosie

    Sarah, I was on a low carb, sugar-free diet for 6 months, and it was the most energetic, healthiest six months of my life.

    David is correct, once you get past the detox period of not eating sugar, you don’t crave it anyway… honestly.

    Rosie x

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    Debbie Reply:

    How long is the detox period? I am only on day 2 with no sugar, but I feel like CRAP!

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  • Natalie

    I want to do this with you, I really do, but having used to have an AI and having a bit of trouble with my blood sugar levels ever since, I am super super dependent on sugar to pick me up when I’m not-so-good (I won’t leave the house without a lolly in my bag just in case I feel dizzy), and quitting scares the crap out of me!

    However, I’ve long thought it was a psychological/anxiety thing, rather than a biological one (especially as honey and dried fruit don’t have the same effect as chocolate or a chupa chup), so I’ll at least have a look at the books.

    Looking forward to reading about your journey though! Hopefully it does inspire me to take the plunge.

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  • http://www.annpenhallow.com.au Ann Penhallow

    David Gillespie’s books really made sense to me and I succeeded in going cold turkey on all sugar, apart from two pieces of fruit per day.

    I was lucky enough not to suffer any cravings or adverse reactions, but possibly this was because I was so gungho about giving up. Unfortunately, I slipped when dining out with friends, then I slipped again, then again, and then somewhere after about three weeks I forgot I’d even given it up.

    Sugar is an addiction. And it’s sneaky.

    Armed with this knowledge I’m determined to try again! I look forward to reading about your experiences Sarah, and those of everyone else trying to quit.

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  • Sarah

    Oh Sarah …. I’ve been trying to get out of the sugar habit for ages and ages. But it is hard when your friends and colleagues see you as “the sweet queen” – presents and gifts are made up of lollies and chocolates and cakes to keep my happy going. I don’t drink coffee, don’t even touch the energy drinks now, and get up in the morning so flat that a Chupa Chup seems like the only thing that’ll pick me up! I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s just a mindset in my head.

    If you and David is able to give some tips to conquer my sugar demons, I will salute and sing his praises!! :)

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  • Kar

    Dear Sarah,

    Wow! Your timing is great! For about the last half year I’ve started to try eating healthier (a lot of inspiration came from reading your blog, so thank you for that). I’ve cut out a lot of meat, especially chicken, I am trying to cut out gluten, which is really hard, and last week I’ve started drinking/eating green smoothies for breakfast.

    Quitting sugar is the thing I am thinking about for the last few weeks. For a long time I’ve been wondering why I can’t get up in the morning with 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night, one might think it’s enough. My psychologist told me it’s too much sleep, which does make sense, so I try to get those 8 hours instead. But that does not work.. So now my gynecologist told me it’s because of my high sugar consumption..

    So, yes, I’m going to try quitting sugar with you. The only thing that worries me are the hidden sugars in (processed) food.. I don’t think I’ll have a big problem giving up on chocolate (and I don’t drink sodas or eat sweets, cause I find it too sweet), but dairy is a big problem, especcialy cheese. And I haven’t done research about sugar in foods yet nor have I read any books about it, so I’ll wait for your next posts, cause I have basically the same questions as your other readers above (honey? fruit? other sweeteners? what to eat when having a crave for sugar? what to eat more? what to eat less? tips?).

    Thank you, Sarah, for being an inspiration and the best of luck with quitting sugar!!
    xx kar

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  • Tez

    Hi Sarah,
    I love that you’re doing this. I’ve had various periods over the last few years where I’ve gone completely sugar free (chronic yeast infection issues) and each time I do I feel amazing. I’m hoping reading your writings on this will inspire me to do it again and to keep it up.
    Good luck!

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  • Maria

    Most of the questions raised so far in this blog are answered in David Gillespie’s book “The Sweet Poison Quit Plan”. He covers topics such as Eliminating Habits, Eliminating Sugar, Withdrawal, Re-stocking, Meal Planning, The World of Artificial Sweeteners and (once through withdrawal) Recipes made with dextrose (glucose – the sugar we MUST have).
    The book includes comprehensive charts on the sugar content of Sauces, Pastes and Dressings, Sweet Biscuits, Crackers, Wines, Cereals, Muesli and Snack Bars, Yoghurts, Icecream, Fruit and Vegetables, Nuts, and Spreads.
    The book retails for between $20 and $30 depending on where and when you buy it. Also available from David’s Sweet Poison website.
    Go get it! This has been the single cost of my losing 10kg, although I am now having to invest in new clothing..

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    Joan Reply:

    Canberra library has both books, yippee!

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  • http://www.lizschau.com Liz, Holistic Health Counselor

    Hi there Sarah! Good job in the cutting out sugar — it’s so important! You are really on your way towards healing your Hashimoto’s! And trust me, there is so much hope to do so. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s myself and put it into total unmedicated remission using dietary and natural health therapies. Now I work as a Health Counselor, teaching other people to do the same. I see miracles every day, so keep up the hard work. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. :)

    [Reply]

    Rosie Reply:

    Hi Liz… where did you get tested for Hasimoto’s? I’m wondering if i’ve got something similar, but have no idea where to go to get tested…

    ta
    Rosie

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  • Pingback: sugar sugar | to be illuminated

  • Carey

    So how do you feel about stevia? I use this in place of sugar in may things.

    [Reply]

  • Carey

    So how do you feel about Stevia?

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  • Ami

    How timely! Tiffany Hall (new biggest loser trainer) was just on Nova talking about “the invisible fat” aka sugar! Is hard to ignore such a logical message when it’s being echoed everywhere! Excited to hear the logistics of a sugar free life!!

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  • picardie.girl

    I am certainly interested to follow how this goes, Sarah. And I’ll give it a go too. Interestingly, my fairly sugar-addicted boyfriend came home last night and said that he was going to start cutting out sugar, after reading your article. He listens to you — so thank you for giving great advice!
    You are a clear voice in a confusing muddle of yelling. Thanks as always for helping cut through the crap and get right to the heart of life! :)

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  • Elena

    So does it mean I have to give up my glass of red wine with dinner ? Life is too short to deprive yourself completely of pleasures of good wine!

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  • picardie.girl

    I also have a question: have you, or David, heard of Gillian McKeith from ‘You Are What You Eat’ fame? She has a list of ‘foods of abundance’ which is basically all the good stuff, and says you can eat as much as you want of any of the things on that list (I may be paraphrasing though). This includes all kinds of fruit. May of the things you have mentioned since doing your course, Sarah, are in her book. How do you feel about her and her philosophies?

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  • http://www.urbansmartprojects.com Nicole

    I have just heard about the Rosedale diet by Ron Rosedale M.D. It’s a a diet high in the right kinds of fats, adequate protein and low in total carbohydrates. No starchy carbs as they also turn into sugar. You’ve gotta love a diet where you don’t have to count calories and you can eat blueberries and cream ;)
    I’m keen to try this to see if it helps my Auto Immune Arthritis and recently diagnosed AI Hepatitis.
    Many thanks for your inspiring and informative posts Sarah. x

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  • melipac

    I’m so excited that you are excited about this too Sarah. I’ve been wondering alot about my own sugar addiction lately, and I’m definately coming on the journey with you, this is exactly what I need, so a big thank you.

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  • http://www.aliveandwell.co Nichola

    It is fantastic that you are writing about this Sarah. Thank you.

    When I took sugar out of our otherwise healthy house a couple of years ago, my then 6 year old son’s multiple and complicated health issues started to heal. However, what was really hard to contend with was all the “feedback” from well-meaning family and friends about it…. So, rather than believing that I was depriving my three sons of treats, I decided to think of sugar as poison (yes, I used that strongly emotive term) and then it was really easy to say no to it.

    We are no longer perfect about it though, so time to get back on the sugar free bandwagon. Will be reading with interest. Thanks again.

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  • Mia

    Ok, I have a question for David – what about going out to dinner? Or takeaways? I just got my head around which cuisines were gluten-free, now Im getting my head around the sugar free too!

    Bonus points if he can include anything that we actually have in Perth. Im so jealous of you guys in Bondi that are in the centre of the healthy food movement!

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  • I doubt it

    Very interesting program “Is fructose a root of all evil?” http://www.abc.net.au/rn/ockhamsrazor/stories/2010/2770728.htm

    A bit of critical thinking is always very useful, no point in blaming sugar for increase in obesity, blame yourself for over-indulgence.

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  • Madison

    I’ve been reading this and craving tim tams’…. this is going to be hard…

    [Reply]

    jac Reply:

    agreed – a picture of donuts at the top of the post isn’t helping me…… ;-)

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    V Reply:

    Same, want to, need to, but having a panic attack and craving chocolate?!

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    Debbie Reply:

    Amazing the motions that surface. I feel like tears are right there!

    [Reply]

  • http://jodigibson.com.au/ Jodi Gibson

    Hi Sarah,
    I recently did a sugar free week and blogged about it http://jodigibson.com.au/2011/01/08/challenge-2011-1-sugar-free/
    It was very hard, and I did stumble once, poor little Freddo Frog….
    Anyway, I haven’t broken my addiction, but I have significantly reduced the amount of sugar that I (and my family ) consume. I feel so much better already, am less bloated, don’t get the mid afternoon low and I know my body is starting to like myself again.
    I am with you, and look forward to sharing all of our journeys.
    We need to do this, we can do this and we will do this!
    Warmest
    Jodi Gibson

    [Reply]

  • http://www.ahealthyview.com michele chevalley hedge,nutritionist

    Hi – I loved reading all of your comments on Sugar!
    Some much good feedback and information.
    One good bit of advice that was given to me before I became a Nutrtionist is that
    if you start your day with sugar ( fruit sugar, artificial sugar and even natural sugar ) that begins your sugar cravings for the day and you often end your day with sugar. So try to stick to a higher protein breakfast – like eggs or yogurt , then a a small bit of complex carb for energy ( like a half of sweet potatoe ) and a small bit of healthy fat ( like avo, or cold pressed olive oil) for its satiating properties. Go the LOW sugar world …. you feel so much more energized!

    [Reply]

  • Ellie

    I have been off sugar (by and large) for about 10 days now and feel pretty good. I noticed today that the hommus I was having with celery tasted wrong and quite sweet and low and behold there was sugar listed as one of the ingredients. Sneaky!

    My point I guess is that something must be happening if my taste is changing. Pretty sure I wouldn’t have even tasted this before.

    [Reply]

  • Sarah

    Guys,

    You are doing this all WRONG! Yes sugar is bad for you when you eat it in EXCESS. And I totally agree that sugar contributes to weight gain, more than fats, which we should all eat more of.

    But cutting out sugar 100% is unsustainable. Why? Because as soon as something is ‘banned’ in your mind, you automatically want to eat it. It’s only natural. You start to see the banned food – ie. all things sugary, as a big fat NO – “NO, I’m not allowed that”. “NO, that food will make me fat.” This will only lead, inevitably, to craving sugar even more, and possibly even an unhealthy obsession with it – even healthy nutritionists eat sugar once in a while – After all, where’s the enjoyment in life if you deprive yourself from something totally?

    Lets say, for example, you get invited to a friend’s dinner. Desert comes along and looks magnificent and she’s obviously gone to a lot of effort to make it. But, oh no, you banned yourself from sugar remember? This will only lead to resentment in your mind and more cravings. Why not just have the odd slice of something sweet and really savour it, don’t think about it being unhealthy, just enjoy the moment because you don’t get to eat it often if you try to eat healthily. I believe totally in everything in moderation. Put more simply, that just means allowing yourself the right to eat whatever you fancy once in a while, knowing it is your decision to eat that way.
    You will not crave sugar when A) you allow yourself some sugar in moderation, you don’t have a set of rules against it, and B) You have weaned yourself off eating as much sugar as you did and no longer crave it because you are eating more healthy fats, more protein and less starchy carbohydrates which create the sugar high in the first place.

    You simply wont crave sugar if you are getting the right nutrients from other foods. We should eat more healthy fats and much less carbohydrates, there is no “essential carbohydrate” – the body can make carbohydrate from other sources such as vegetables. But there is an “essential fatty acid”. Allow yourself the occasionally treat, and see it as a treat – a sugary, sweet, naughty but nice treat to be enjoyed in moderation, because life is all about balance.

    [Reply]

    Joanne Reply:

    I can see where you’re coming from Sarah, and this is the approach that I normally take to food. However i think that alot of people underestimate just how bad sugar is for you. Also because it is so addictive, it is very very difficult to have in modereation. Many people cannot just stop at one chocolate bar (i know i have to have 5!!). I would rather just be able to say no in the first place. I think that my life and health will improve if I don’t eat sugar. Any sugar.at. all.

    When something is as toxic as sugar it’s OK to take this approach. Plenty of people never take drugs, never drink alcohol, or never have caffine, because they don’t like the repercussions of doing so…the same thing applies to sugar.

    I used to work with a girl who could not eat anything that had sugar in it because it made her fall asleep. No one got offended when she didn’t have a slice of cake, they just acceptde that she simply didnt eat sugar…no big deal. Also there are plenty of alternatives if you do get a craving (although once you get beyondthe first couple of weeks, the cravings dissapear).

    Life is about balance, and sugar throws my body/skin/moods and energy levels way out of balance, so i would rather say no.

    [Reply]

    Winnie Reply:

    Sarah, I’ve cut out all sugar from my diet but I don’t see it as deprivation. I didn’t ban sugar, it’s just that once I became aware of the damage sugar (or more specifically fructose) was doing to my health, there was no way I wanted to ingest even the smallest amount of such a poisonous substance. Still have plenty of options for sweet foods by using pure glucose or dextrose instead of sugar. I can have my cake and eat it too! Just have to be careful about how the cake is sweetened. Now that the sugar addiction has been broken though, even “safe” sweet foods have very little appeal.

    [Reply]

    Rach Reply:

    I’ve heard of the “but just a small but won’t hurt” or “eat it in moderation” but apparently, and also with my personal experience, you have to go cold turkey or nothing because once you taste a bit of sugar, you try to eat as much of it as you can ie. going on a binge.

    How much is in moderation, though? That varies from person to person. It’s dangerous to use the “moderation” argument for something that has proven to be so addictive (it lights up with great strength the same areas of the brain as alcohol, cocaine – give up sugar and you will understand). Moderation could be as much as once per day or every second day to some people, and sugar is sugar, whether it’s in BBQ sauce (which has just as much or more sugar than chocolate sauce).

    Personally, I think the better example of moderation when it comes to sugar is no more than 20 grams of sugar per day, ideally, only 10 grams (the 100g RDI of sugar on those nutritional labels are a crock of crap), or no more than one treat per month. But if you feel that eating any sugar causes you to go off track, then you know what to do.

    I’ve been trying to go off sugar for a couple of months now. In the beggining it was very very hard. I knew I wasn’t hungry because I’d just eaten a satisfying and healthy meal. But I was going out of my brains wanting more. The first day was the hardest. But it does get easier. I’ve had plenty of slip ups since then, but I’ve found that when I eat sugar, it’s a CHOICE, not because I must have it.

    Cut out all sugar and white flour (which is processed by the stomach as sugar), and what you will be left with on your plate is vegetables (Australians don’t eat nearly enough veggies, cut out white potatoes too) – make veggies 50% of lunch and dinner, a bit of carbs, a bit of protein, nuts and legumes, and good oils and fats like cold olive oil and avocado. A piece or two (max) of fruit per day is fine but be careful with bananas as they have a lot of sugar, so what I do is cut one in half.

    And surprise, what are you left with, probably meals that are closer to what your ancestors ate than what most people are eating today. I always wonder how people can eat so much sugar and white flour and not be constipated too. Go back to the simplest foods with the simplest ingredients – use herbs and spices for flavour.

    My favourite meals are 100% whole rolled oats for breakfast or oat bran porridge (with no flour or sugar added) with cinnamon and half a banana. A cheese, ham and wholegrain bread toastie, with a bit of butter or chickpeas fried with a bit of oil. And a meal with lots of vegetables with no dressings for dinner (cooked veggies taste better with herbs IMO). As a treat I will make a smoothie with half a banana, skim milk (whole milk doesn’t sit well in my stomach), and sweet spices and blend it.

    The simpler the food – the better. It’s a secret that Big Sugar doesn’t want you to know! Co-incidentally, it also means that you’ll be eating less processed and packeted convenience foods (which could be the reason why Big Sugar and food corporations are sweating right now). Go back to basics – your body and wallet will thank you for it. It will put yourself back in control of your life. If you slip up, don’t worry, just move on.

    Read David’s blog too, you will get a real kick out of it – http://www.raisin-hell.com/

    [Reply]

  • AlexandraRS

    This is great! When I saw you posting about giving up alcohol for Feb I tried to think of something I’d like to change. I chose sugar. How fortuitous! I’m on the bandwagon with you all.

    [Reply]

  • Jojo

    Loving this idea. Maybe this is just what I need to improve my energy levels and reduce my waist measurement once and for all!!!!!
    I don’t really eat alot of sugar; chocolate, however is another story. THAT time of the month sends me into a chocolate eating frenzy and I would like this gone.
    I have recently been using rapadura sugar in place of other sugars. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Better, worse or the same.
    Cheers, have a great day.
    Jo

    [Reply]

  • irene

    im on board !!

    my tip – i cant do coffee without sugar so swapped for raw organic honey, taste better this way.

    my question – i love baking more than anything, how do i swap out sugar in muffins, banana cake etc with something else. i currently swap out conventional flour with organic spelt flour…

    [Reply]

    Winnie Reply:

    Try glucose or dextrose as a sweetner Irene, as honey contains a lot of fructose, which is the part of the sugar molecule that does all the damage! Fruit juices and concentrated fruit are also very harmful sweetners. Have a look at David Gillespie’s books “Sweet Poison” or “Sweet Poison Quit Plan” for a more complete explanation. Or try googling his website for lots of very interesting links on the subject. : )

    [Reply]

    Alison Reply:

    I use Rice Malt when I need a sweetener in coffee. Honey tastes too sweet, as well as being 410% fructose.

    [Reply]

    Alison Reply:

    Mistake – honey is 40% fructose

    [Reply]

  • Zoom

    How long does it take for the cravings to go away? Do you feel more tired than usual when you quit? How long does that last?

    [Reply]

  • http://oneaprilmorning.net Laura

    I’m in : ) Just bought David books so I’m sure all my questions will be answered in due time… Thank you for the inspiration and the push, Sarah!

    [Reply]

  • Bryce

    G’day Sarah,

    I’m on the Irritable Bowel-Chronic Fatigue train at the moment. I have suspected sugar for sometime as a major facor in my health. My diet has changed dramatically recenty, with no desserts or lollies, due to sugar absorbtion tests. I can eat fruit , but I am interested in how much is too much and what sorts of fruit are benfecial.

    I enjoy your blogs – keep it up!

    Cheers!

    [Reply]

  • dg

    The hidden sugar really is a concern AND substitutes. If instead of buying a chocolate bar someone buys a dim sim or potato cake could there still be hidden sugar in these supposed okay snacks? Similarly alcohol instead of a (diet) soft drink. And does something like canned chickpeas suddenly become a no-no cos of sugar in the ‘brine’?

    [Reply]

    Alison Reply:

    When you begin studying the labels on supermarket foods you find the hidden sugars quite quickly and far too often. Two of my pet hates are the addition of sugar to canned corn and to many of the savoury biscuits!!

    Recently I discovered that sugar is added to the coating of many frozen chips and wedges (the cook at home variety).

    Keep hunting – there are tinned Chick Peas out there without added sugar, look for an organic product.

    [Reply]

  • Bridget

    Hey Sarah,

    Love this idea! I have been thinking about your post for a day or two, reading about David’s books and also listening to the 50 minute interview on ABC Radio. Very interesting stuff.

    http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/06/29/2939956.htm

    This morning I decided to go sugar free. Woohoo!! I made the Mushroom and Walnut Quinoa with the fried egg and watercress for lunch and it was a-mazing. Totally satisfying.

    Would love to know more about DAIRY. In his ABC interview, David discusses the sugars in milk (one of which is galactose) so I am wondering if there is a limit on milk intake, cheese, yoghurt etc, or if these are great foods for snacks during the day. Presumably I can find this out in the book but I’m traveling and will have to wait to return to Australia before buying it.

    Looking forward to your next post!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.summerhills.com Francesca @ SummerHills Bangalow Accommodation

    Hi Sarah, nice to chat with you yesterday on this subject and I can’t believe this topic is on your blog! I have felt like a lone voice in the wilderness about the perils of sugar! I gave up sugar 13 months ago and have never looked back. These days I eat only protein + veges (about half and half). If I have even a teaspoon of honey or a bite of someone’s dessert (uber naughty), I drop out of ketosis (fat burning) within 1-2 days and it takes about 2-3 weeks to get back onto the ketosis horse. I am pre-diabetic. For some reason I have become insulin resistant, not sure why my pancreas is poor functioning, perhaps it was the carb overload all my life (I am Italian after all!). Having said this, I have had an excellent diet all my life and always been fit and active so it’s not like I have abused my body (to deserve a poor functioning pancreas). I have just been “normal” around food, neither bulimic or anorexic, however I now discover that I can not metabolise sugar. At all. We were taught as kids that the “pyramid” food group with carbs at the bottom, the biggest wedge of our diet, was the be all and end all of your food regime. Not so, now we find out that all these years we’ve been looking at the food pyramid upside down! Fats and proteins should be our highest intakes together with low carb veges (green ones). So after discovering that sugar is evil, I have lost 25 kilos. I am nowhere near my pre-pregnancy weight but I’d be happy to shed just a few more kilos (a work in progress). But it’s been a long road (I’m 41). Apparently a huge number of Australians are “insulin-resistant” (pancreas not able to metabolise sugar) but don’t even know it. It kills me to see TV commercials still saying “kids should eat bread” or “load up on pasta”…..when I know that a dependence on carbs at every meal almost killed me. In our house we now have what we lovingly call a “caveman diet” which is meat or fish, with leafy greens (anything grown above ground) and berries for fruit! No bananas or mangos (too much sugar), no pumpkin or potato (I don’t think the paleoliths grew many root vegetables did they?) and berries (just as our caveman ancestors would have picked). This has been our diet for 13 months and we are not only glowing with health and much happier human beings, but my hubby has also lost 20 kilos and our son has lost 16 kilos. The best result is that it has been permanent weight loss, it’s never crept back on like other fad diets. We also feel alot more energetic, focussed and clearer in the head, the “fog” seems to have cleared….. An excellent post Sarah and I look forward to the comments and follow-ups. I’m a new visitor to your blog so this is exciting stuff to see this serious food issue (sugar dependance) being shared. With sugar added to almost every product on the supermarket shelf, it won’t be long before alot more pancreases start to pack it in on a larger community scale. It’s not surprising that the percentage of kids with diabetes and obesity is on the rise. I believe sugar is the root of this. With a balanced protein/vege diet and moderate exercise (and backing off sugar) our kids can be spared the lifetime merrygoround of the “sugar demon”. But this message needs to get to our educators in schools and also to parents. Cheers Francesca

    [Reply]

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  • http://nofructose.wordpress.com/ Simone

    I have just stumbled upon your blog Sarah and will follow with interest! I read David’s books about six months ago and have pretty much been fructose-free since then.

    IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!!

    I am still battling my weight but I think I’ve just had an epiphany… Regardless of weight-loss (and I need to lose over 20kg so it is a significant aspect for me) the fructose-free lifestyle will stay with me forever.

    It is so hard but so easy. If that makes sense!

    Today is the beginning of a new era for me. I will be adding exercise to my lifestyle to try and return to a healthy weight.

    I have had always had problems with overeating but have no consumed sugar or cakes or lollies in the extreme quantities that so many of David’s success stories seem to have done. So there is no single thing for me to eliminate (aside from fructose). I know now that exercise will be my key. My slothful lifestyle stops today. I’ve already been for one big walk.

    I will read with interest as you journey into the new you :-)

    Take care,
    Simone

    [Reply]

    Mel Reply:

    Way to go Simone

    [Reply]

  • http://www.vedasun.com Gina Rafkind

    I’m so excited to read more about your journey as it progresses.
    I am a true believer that food is our medicine. I’ve done some experiments on my own and have proven this to myself.

    I was diagnosed with Grave’s disease in 2003 and took the natural root and now it’s been in remission, or what my doctor calls, inactive for 3 1/2 years now and I believe food has a big part of it, as well as lots of inner work.

    Look forward to hearing more!
    Gina :)

    [Reply]

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  • Caitlin

    Hi Sarah,

    I was looking into doing the IIN’s health couching program and saw that you are a graduate, then found your blog and I resonate with and enjoy your posts.
    Your honesty is a refreshing relief from all the sugar coated stuff out there! Pardon the pun.

    On the sugar thing…does this mean you are also giving up alcohol?

    I too have recently decided to cut sugar down, treating a 2 year bacterial infection. But I am still letting myself have a vino here and there…okay maybe a few times a week.

    What are your thoughts on this since alcohol is almost pure sugar really, ain’t it?

    Thanks, you are inspiring, keep up the great work!

    Caitlin

    [Reply]

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  • http://yum-and-yuk.blogspot.com/ sarah

    I’m on my 3rd day without sugar, and am so glad I found your site! Thanks for the encouragement/info

    [Reply]

  • Mel

    I think after 3 days the sugar cravings disappear and all I crave is clean unprocessed food, tuna, eggs, lettuce, plain yogurt so just get through 3 days and u don’t even think of sweet stuff and I was a huge sugar-a-holic. I have detoxed from it several times but one day off and u r hooked again.

    [Reply]

  • dee

    Hi to all you sugarless super stars

    Just bought the Sweet Poison books today and read them on a long car journey home. Ps I was not driving. After twenty years of being a plus size girl , is this what I have been looking for. You name it I have tried it anyone remember drinking that dreadful crushed prawn shell drink.. my teeth are still on edge after that one Ha Ha
    Tomorrow is day one so onwards and upwards, currently a size 20 and 104 kgs. There it is I have said it out loud …………………..
    I live in remote qld, so having a place to share , and read your advice is wonderful, keep on keeping on , any responses will be kindly appreciated.
    Kindest Regards Dee

    [Reply]

  • http://www.summerhills.com Francesca @ SummerHills Bangalow Accommodation

    Hi Dee, I feel compelled to reply to your comment. Firstly good on you for having the guts to say all this out loud. And secondly, an emphatic YES, being sugar-free is the change you were looking for but didn’t know it. I too was a plus size after having my son, a curvy 109 kilos and a size 24! Having quit sugar 15 months ago I am now a size 14, and gunning for a size 12! Yay! So keep going Dee, get stuck into the sugar-less menu regime and I promise you, the kilos will peel away, this IS the mother diet of all diets :) I love this blog as well and Sarah is such an inspiration to me… xx Cheers Francesca PS feel free to reply to me too LOL I would love to hear how you get on with this journey Dee…… be brave, you can do it :)

    [Reply]

    dee Reply:

    Dear Francessca
    Thanks for the great encouragement, it is the end of day one, and I made it through.
    Just a slight headache this morning but I made it through one whole day not eating sugar. I felt compelled to say my size and weight, if this is the change of a lifetime then honesty and courage are needed. You have really inspired me, I dont think I have been a size fourteen since I was fourteen, have had my nose in my sugar Bible a few times today, seems like I am reading the lost scrolls of secret weight loss. I took my favourite packet of sweet biscuits today Arnotts Tic Tocs ( yep I know ) and fed them to my favourite sheep!!
    He hoovered them down , and that was that, goodby true love ………..
    Tomorrow is another day and another day closer of getting to like what I see in the mirror again. Kindest Regards The retired sweet Tooth Dee

    [Reply]

    Francesca @ SummerHills Bangalow Accommodation Reply:

    Hi Dee, you’re a trooper! Just take one day at a time. Day by day, week by week, you’ll start to get your head around what you can/can’t eat in your new menu plan (note, deliberate avoidance of the word “diet” LOL). I’m sure your sheep loved the sweet biscuit….. do post any question and any stage of your trials and tribulations. Giving up sugar is very much a process. Eliminating (and letting go of) what you can’t have and falling in love with new foods that you have forgotten about (and are good for you). Anyone on this blog may have some insights to offer you. Letting go of some foods was almost a grieving process for me. Sounds odd but I had a life long love affair with ice cream. Whoah, that was a big one to give up…. and painful (emotionally), only because I was an emotional eater. I’m not anymore since I gave up sugar, which had turned me into a junkie for food of all kinds. That’s when I knew that sugar was a drug and poison to my body, when I noticed that I was addicted to food like a drug addict is addicted to their next fix. I was addicted to my next fix of food. Oh, out with sugar also went the glossy cookbooks and food magazines. I haven’t reconciled that one yet……

    What a fantastic blog ey? I have daily insights from this blog – Sarah Wilson is a champ – a true inspiration to me.

    xx Francesca

    [Reply]

    Mel Reply:

    I can’t agree with u more, I was the same a full on addict and without sugar it is amazing how yumo some quinoa, tuna and avocado is. I love ‘clean’ foods now and gag at rich processed stuff. It can be done.

  • alexandra

    what about tomatoes? Or are they full of sugar too? I love my tomato omelette. Glad to read that good fat isn’t getting a bad wrap, I only use real butter. I can’t understand why as humans we are not attracted to green veges more than we should be or is it because we have been fed potatoes and this has resulted in our craving for them,. With winter coming on how best to serve green veges other than a salad.

    [Reply]

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  • Bernie D

    Hi,
    I am sick of hatching all these great plans to give up sugar and never actually doing it. I feel I could write books about giving up sugar but when it comes to actually doing it- I fall at the first hurdle. I have my big binge and say it is the last one and then the next morning I wake up and I convinve myself that I am overreacting to the sugar thing and no need to give it up at all and guess what happens within the hour………! My weight is ok but my head is not. I find it hard to sleep and I am a constant sufferer of kidney infections which sugar keeps going. I really really dont want to give up hope so from tomorrow the 9th of May I am going to try to give it up for who knows. I just hate been moody and thiniking about it 24/7. Please help me everybody

    [Reply]

    alexandra Reply:

    No one said it would be easy giving up sugar. Like any addiction slowly does it and don’t berate yourself if you slip up, you are only human and there are temptations everywhere, even in our thought patterns. I am a firm believer that stress will kill most of us before food will, as I said most of us because some people put food before life. We live and learn, but mostly we live.

    [Reply]

    Jodie Reply:

    Hi
    Sorry to hear you are in a bad place. I know how it feels, but it feels so much better to be well. Treat your condition as a health problem instead of a problem with you. If you need any food ideas and encouragement I have a blog http://www.modernpaleo.com.au. All the best you can do it..

    [Reply]

  • http://www.modernpaleo.com.au Jodie

    Hi Sarah

    I feel really bad about writing this, I hope you will understand where I am coming from.. I read the Sunday life magazine every week and this week was the first time I read your page, why? because the picture had changed.. These days I read the weekend papers with ipad in hand so that I can look up sites. So I thought I would look up your blog, what a revelation… I read all the blogs on quitting sugar and it sounded exactly like my story. It was mothers day and so I was being indulged by my family, I read bits out loud to my daughters and partner and they said “it sounds like you…” Finally I am not going nuts and someone who does not live on the other side of the earth has a similar view on life… Point one “I’m sick of being addicted” describes me to a “T”. I have been sugar, dairy and wheat free for 7 months and it has completely changed my relationship with food. I now eat 3 meals a day and a treat of sweet potatoes and liquorice tea at night. On the weekends I drink wine with food, may have a small dessert or fruit and a bit of dairy in the form of cheese or yoghurt. But I try not to let any of these trigger a binge, I just try to stay mindful that it’s a treat for being good all week. I can go 6 hours without eating, and I don’t know what hunger pains are anymore. If you have time I have a blog which I try to keep updated with recipes and my foodie finds.. BTW I think it was last weeks magazine – bit behind in my reading..

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Hi Jodie, what do you feel bad for? Being prompted by my pic? Funny! I’ll check out your site…where do you live?

    [Reply]

    Jodie Reply:

    I thought it was a great pic, only wish I had read your column earlier… I live in Mosman..

    [Reply]

  • Danielle

    I am so thrilled to have found your site and the comments made. I have come to the point where I have completely had enough with the way I look and feel about myself. I have been a long term (closet) smoker, and have recently been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. My clothes don’t fit well,I feel tired and miserable, I don’t feel sexy or appealling, and my children tell me I look ‘pregnant’. That was the final straw…as I do look like I am about to hatch a sugar coated baby.

    I booked to see a dietician, who I saw today, and she advised to cut out all sugar from my diet. Yes, I have been a sugar addict (and a nicotine addict). I would raid the pantry at night before the mice got there.

    So, at 41 yrs of age, 5’3″, 76kg, a waistline of 37″, I am done and I have never felt such enthusiasm to change my life, my eating habits, kick the sugar (baby) to the curb, and pull out the fit ball. I have also seen my GP for nicotine patches and I am already 48 hours cigarette free. I know, and I have been told to quit one thing at a time, but I’d rather go insane in the one innings!

    Thanks again for your story.

    [Reply]

  • Kel

    I went off sugar, milk and grains. I lost 45kg in 8 months and felt fantastic. It took 4 days of headaches and nausea. I went away to a beach for that time and was very kind to myself. Water helped to detox me, so I drank heaps during those initial days.
    I introducing small amounts of sugar, grains and the occassional latte once losing the weight. I was able to keep this up for several months. I had a month of weekends away and total indugence. It took me 8 months and I put on 20kg again. Low energy and lathagic all the time. Very depressing!
    I am currently back on course and surprisingly enough the first few days did not involve headaches and the like. Four days into it and my energy levels have peaked again, I feel fantastic again and now I know the difference. Will not take it for granted this time around.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.diigo.com/user/jamespark661 Enoch Dandoy

    The way Football Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with regards to club owners’ overwhelming authorization of a tentative decade-long deal to end the actual lockout, he may as well are actually screaming, Are anyone set for many football? Not so fast, followers. The deal’s not done nevertheless.

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  • Laura

    Great idea, but I find the attitude towards fruit quite alarming. The suggestions that eating no/very little fruit is a healthy choice seems very odd to me.
    Sure, fruit contains (natural) sugars, but it also contains a huge variety of vitamins! And hundreds of years ago, our ancestors did indeed eat fruit!

    Interested to know if a dietician would consider it wise to cut out this whole food group (and thus a great number of important vitamins)?

    [Reply]

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  • Natalie Meade

    All year I had fairly low sugar consumption, it was orange season that caused me problems. They tasted so good and I could not stop at one, two or sometimes three or four per day. I was back on the sugar addiction roller coaster :(

    Suddenly I couldn’t drag myself out of bed anymore. I was goign to bed later and later, spending that time eating oranges. Then I started grabbing jelly beans and sweetened, salty, fatty savoury crackers.

    The fatty, salty, sugar cravings inreased hand in hand.

    Then I had a can of softdrink at a dinner date and all I could talk to the poor guy about was how bad and addictive sugar was!

    That night I was so restless and craving sugar so bad! I ate lots of bad foods trying to resist the sugar craving and then ate sweet buscuit and peach anyway (the last orange in the house was actually split and rotton on one side much to my shock and horror)

    The next day – I totally declared on facebook – “thats it I am avoiding all sugars!”

    A friend sent me a link to your blog!!! YEY!!!! excellent timing!

    I am with you, 100% :)

    Bring on withdrawal, I will beat you NASTY POISON !!!

    [Reply]

  • Ros

    I’m on Week 6 of my quitting sugar – hooray! I was very addicted to sugar. I don’t think a week went by without eating sugar from the age of about 15, I’m now 33. I feel so much better, and calmer. It’s like I have a different personality. I’m not agitated or anxious. I feel like something profound has happened on an unconscious level – does anyone else feel like this? I feel more in love with my husband, it’s strange. I keep dreaming about eating cake and chocolate though, which oddly kind of helps me not to eat it in real life.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/directory/people/A-49898401-49902600 party crackers

    I do consider all of the ideas you’ve introduced to your post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for novices. May just you please prolong them a bit from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.

    [Reply]

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  • seangel

    Hi Sara,

    Thank-you for inspiring me to quit.I am on day 8 of no sugar but i can’t stop eating!. It’s not that i’m hungry it’s just that i’m not satisfied. Is this a normal part of sugar detox and will it end. The last thing i want is to put weigh on. Can you help Sara with any tips?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.summerhills.com Francesca @ SummerHills Bangalow Accommodation

    Seangal, I feel for your plea, I have been there so many times before, but after many attempts, I finally stuck to it. For me, the trick I found with not putting on weight, was to ensure that it was only protein that I ate when I was still hungry. So a cube of cheese (or three), a tin of tuna, a steak! Protein will fill you up eventually as it’s concetrated energy. So SNACK ON PROTEIN. Also, fill up on green vegetables at every meal. Yup, even breakfast (think baby spinach/asparagus for breakfast, brocolini for lunch, beans/zuchini for dinner). ….. Drink water, tea, soup……. fill up on clear fluids…. Hope that helps…… Cheers Francesca @ SummerHills Retreat Byron Bay

    [Reply]

  • thian

    I wish to quit sugar but i’m sugar addict for the past 30years. What should i replace with if i’m not eating sugar- muffin, cheese cake for my afternoon hi tea and night time super. It will be a long long afternoon and long long night to go, i feel like cannot get through the time without sugar.

    [Reply]

  • Ang

    After years of migraine I’m still looking for the reason I continue to get them. I gave up caffeine 3 weeks ago and had horrendous migraine for 13 days straight! However I’m still getting them and relying on imigran almost every day, so now looking at giving up sugar to see if that helps. This has all been interesting reading and I’m hopeful quitting sugar may be the answer to my well being. Thanks Sara!

    [Reply]

  • Shirleyanne

    Thank you Sarah. Its inspirational to read all the comments. I eat a lot of lollies and chocolate – chocolate bullets and licorice allsorts are all time favourites. And yes, once you start on these things you can’t stop until the packet is empty. I do eat a lot of fresh fruit, and would find that difficult to give up. I have had a feeling of “unwellness” for some long time with nothing that I could specifically point a finger at, and have often wondered whether sugar is the culprit. I am 60 years old, and have been able to link sugar directly to some of my hot flushes. Could sinus problems be related to sugar as well? Its worth giving it a go!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.kellymartinspeaks.co.uk Kelly Martin

    Hi just discovered your site when I was searching about sweet potato as I have been having a big cravings for sugar today. I have been free of sugar for just over a month now, some foods I cannot totally eliminate sugar from (peanut butter has some sugar in – and sugar-free is too expensive). But I don’t eat chocolate, cakes or biscuits anymore. After discovering what it does to the skin and my hormonal balance. I am going through my monthly cycle at the moment which tends to make me emotional and that is when I grab a chocolate bar, what would you recommend as an alternative? I have grapes, bananas, fruit, nuts, peanut butter, ryebread etc etc.. which I do have but I don’t want to encourage the sweet desire. Since reading this thread I am considering changing the way I start my day also from fruit or muesli to more protein and fats to begin my day with. I also am interested in what beverages you drink? I used to love m coffee with cream and lots of sugar, I then discovered I did not like coffee without sugar and then discovered I am highly sensitive to coffee after one cup and no sleep for 24 hours, soo… i miss my creamy drinks. I have warm milk or warm almond milk sometime but nothing quite like a sweeter beverage sometimes. I tried making hot chocolate with banana and coconut milk but it was not too nice, someone recommended dates.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.kellymartinspeaks.co.uk Kelly Martin

    Hi just discovered your site when I was searching about sweet potato as I have been having a big cravings for sugar today. I have been free of sugar for just over a month now, some foods I cannot totally eliminate sugar from (peanut butter has some sugar in – and sugar-free is too expensive). But I don’t eat chocolate, cakes or biscuits anymore. After discovering what it does to the skin and my hormonal balance. I am going through my monthly cycle at the moment which tends to make me emotional and that is when I grab a chocolate bar, what would you recommend as an alternative? I have grapes, bananas, fruit, nuts, peanut butter, ryebread etc etc.. which I do have but I don’t want to encourage the sweet desire. Since reading this thread I am considering changing the way I start my day also from fruit or muesli to more protein and fats to begin my day with. I also am interested in what beverages you drink? I used to love m coffee with cream and lots of sugar, I then discovered I did not like coffee without sugar and then discovered I am highly sensitive to coffee after one cup and no sleep for 24 hours, soo… i miss my creamy drinks. I have warm milk or warm almond milk sometime but nothing quite like a sweeter beverage sometimes. I tried making hot chocolate with banana and coconut milk but it was not too nice, someone recommended dates.

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  • Erin

    I just started reading ‘I quit sugar’. I was disgnosed with fructose malabsorption in my early 20′s and from that time I’ve tried to avoid the foods that I was told were the worst in terms of fructose. The two main ones being onions and apples. Now I’m confused as one of the first recipes in this book contains apples. Have I been wrong all these years in thinking apples are bad?! Thanks!

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  • Gemma Elder

    Hi, Im loving this book!I have always been a big protein person and this has shown me healthier no sugar options instead of meat all the time! Recipes are FAB!!!
    Only one question so far – Can I use Butternut pumpkin instead on normal pumpkin?

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  • http://www.mdcold.com/wp-login.php Police

    I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours nowadays, but I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours. It is pretty price enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content material as you probably did, the net shall be much more useful than ever before.

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  • Heidi

    Sarah, good on you giving up sugar! Like you I am super sensitive to sugar, one taste, and I can’t stop.I have tried to give it up completely from time to time, but that one tiny taste, (no matter how good my intentions on just having a little), and I fall off the rails again. Do you find like me that any form of sugar will effect you. I can’t even use dates or honey, even high sugar fruit like bananas can set me off. Also I find my family very unsupportive! I’d love to join you, and once again lead a sugar free lifestyle.

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  • Rebecca

    I have a question. I have been off sugar since Aug 24, 2012–almost a year! I quit sugar due to chronic, systemic candida. I also quit wheat and milk and most yeasts. I only eat potatos occasionally, as in a couple times a month. Basically my diet consists of:
    Breakfast–egg, lean turkey, spinach (or other veggie) scramble in a brown rice tortilla with a TBSP of goat cheese and homemade salsa.
    Mid-morning snack–almond milk latte sweetened with Stevia with a handful of almonds

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  • Rebecca

    Sorry, I hit the wrong thing on my computer and it posted my question before I was finished writing!! :( Anyway…
    Lunch–leftover from dinner the night before usually. Occasionally I go out with colleagues and choose something that falls within the parameters of my diet. I don’t always know the ingredients, however!
    Afternoon snack–Baked nut chips with hummus
    Dinner–Varies. I usually cook. For example, last night I baked Tilapia and served it with cauliflower, brown rice, and spinach. I “creamed” the spinach with vegan mayo and vegan sour cream (tofutti).

    Between August and November of 2012, I lost 11 pounds and maintained that loss all winter. In May this year, I had a flare up of Yeast Infection, Acne, Canker Sores, Cold Sores, and foggy vision and at the same time started gaining weight. I increased the use of homepathic remedies for Yeast and it went away in a weeks’ time. The Acne and mouth sores are just now clearing up. Nevertheless I continue to gain weight gradually. This morning I was 8 whopping pounds above my maintenence weight. When brown rice, brown rice tortillas and brown rice pasta are basically the only carbs I’m consuming, and I’m not eating wheat, milk, or sugar, what could be making fat??? Please opine. Thanks

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  • Rebecca

    Also, I exercised less in the winter, because of the cold. Walking outside is my exercise of preference. Since May, I have been walking more-like 3 hours or more a week, but still gaining weight. Exercise does not seem to make a difference for me when it come to loosing or gaining weight.

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