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Some people do great when quitting sugar cold turkey. They cut it all out of their diet, deal with the nasty side effects of sugar detoxing for a few days and move on about their business. The first time, I was not one of those people. And it doesn’t work for everyone. For some of us the side effects are just too severe, or going cold turkey just doesn’t appeal to us. In those cases a more gradual approach may do the trick.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you cut all the sugar out at once or slowly wean yourself off the stuff. What matters is how you eat a few weeks from now. What matters is making healthy changes to your diet that you can stick with for the long term. And if you slip up it’s snot the end of the world. I have fallen off more than once, sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident. But getting back on track with keto is easy and begins with quitting sugar again. I always feel better once I am sugar free.
Start With A Food Journal
If you’ve tried quitting sugar cold turkey and just couldn’t make it through those days of detoxing, or if the whole idea scares you, you can go with a more gradual approach. Start by taking a good look at what you’re eating and drinking any given day. Where do you consume the most sugar? An easy way to spot the hidden sugar is with a food journal.
Easy Places to Start When Quitting Sugar Cold Turkey
If you’re drinking a lot of soda, start there. Dr. Pepper in particular was my kryptonite. I was having up to three a day, many times a large from Sonic with extra vanilla syrup added. Don’t think you can cut them out all together, start by cutting back to no more than one serving of sugary soda a day. You can replace the rest with water, herbal tea and black coffee.
Is coffee you achilles heel? Or more likely what you are adding to your coffee? If you’re drinking coffee with a lot of sugar and cream or flavored syrups, work on getting yourself used to less and then no sugar in your coffee at all.
Liquid Stevia to the Rescue
I’m from Texas and we are famous for our sweet tea, and my kids like it crazy sweet! Since I couldn’t convince them to give it up, we have switched to using stevia. Stevia is keto approved and still delicious. I’ve also started carrying around the liquid stevia for when we are out. The tiny bottle fits easily into my purse and we’re not held hostage to what sweeteners the restaurants carry.
Quitting Sugar: Time to Get Serious
Next, it’s time to work on your food consumption. If you used a food journal for a week, you’ll see some patterns emerge. Where do the sweet treats pop up? Is it the sugar filled breakfast cereal or muffin you crave in the morning? Is it the bag of cookies to get you through your afternoon? Or is it the chocolate and ice cream late night snack?
Find out when and where you consume a lot of sugar. Then make a plan to break that habit. For example you could fix cheese toast, eggs, or oatmeal with a little stevia instead of pancakes and syrup or sweet cereal for breakfast. If you need a little “pick-me-up” in the afternoon, grab a piece of fruit or makes up some trail mix with various nuts and a few dried cranberries. Is evening snacking your vice? Eat a big dinner and then see if you can make it with just a cup of herbal tea until bedtime. If not, grab some raw veggies and dip or an apple as your evening snack. It will be a lot better for you than that bowl of ice cream.
My Favorite Sugar Free Snacks
- Nuts- cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts
- Cheese- cheddar, swiss, gouda, mmmm cheese
- Coconut Shavings
- Fat Bombs (for my keto friends)
- Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Celery and Homemade Ranch Dip
- Pork Skins
- Meat- salami, beef jerky, ham cubes
- Fruit- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries
Keep making gradual changes that you can live with until you’ve cut most of the added sugar from your diet. Whether you’re quitting sugar cold turkey or getting off of it gradually, you’ll feel better once it’s out of your system.