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Weight Loss
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Quitting Sugar Cold Turkey?

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I have been trying to lose about 15 lbs for a while now and am thinking of giving up on the bad sugar cold turkey.  I am a healthy eater for the most part and I workout about 4 times a week for around 1.5 hours each day.

My problem is sugar...or specifially anything chocolate or gummie.  I cant resist them no matter what I tell myself and no matter how much I want to lose the weight.  And I know this is probably the main reason why Im not losing the pounds.  So my question is...has anyone ever given up chocolate or sugar cold turkey.  And if so, how hard was it and how did you keep yourself motivated?

Any suggestions are appreciated.  Thanks!

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I did and it didn't make me feel any different :\

I was going to give them up for a month but I only lasted a few days! still, since I gave up I've only eaten a couple bars of chocolate, so actually I did better than I thought I would!

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oh and good luck btw if you decide to do it :D

Original Post by s_4ster:

My problem is sugar...or specifially anything chocolate or gummie. I cant resist them no matter what I tell myself and no matter how much I want to lose the weight.

Oh my gosh, this is ME!  I, too, would really love to see responses from anyone who's conquered the sugar addition...  Funny you posted this -- the idea has been in my mind all morning!
P.S. I just googled "quit sugar," and there were some pretty good things that came up, it looks like...  e.g., ar_addiction
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Thanks Liora, I'll check those out and see what I can find. 

I think IF I do decide to quit cold turkey its going to be very difficult.  Chocoalte after a long stressful day is just too good lol.  And it doesnt help that the hubby brings it home with him.  This past weekend I swear he bought out the entire grocery store's supply of left over easter candy:(

Sugar is like a drug, and if you quit cold turkey you will go into withdrawal and stuff... Not really bad withdrawal, but you will get headaches and stuff... I know because I had to go off sugar for a period of time... However, when I went off sugar that included fruit, I'm assuming you will probably still eat fruit, so you probably won't have that problem.

It would have been really hard for me to go off sugar if there weren't so many sugar-free versions of things available... They taste exactly the same, you can't tell the difference... At least I couldn't...

That explains it!! I wasn't a pure sugar junkie-but before I started this I was eating a lot of sugary things-pastries,cookies etc. when I started my quest to get fit and loose 40 pounds, I gave up all my bad eating habits cold turkey and had a headache for a week solid! I'm happy to say that after 3 weeks being on this, I no longer crave sweets the way I use to and no more headaches!

The pros of quitting sugar cold turkey are that your tastebuds get chance to reset back to being 'sugar intolerant'.  This takes between 1 and 3 weeks dependent on how much sugar you used to eat.  So sweet foods become generally less appealing.  For someone who's weight problem is linked to a sweet tooth, this is very useful.   If you also chuck out any refined carbohydrates from your diet and replace them with wholegrain/high fibre carbohydrates you'll find that your blood-sugars stabilise more easily and that you don't get screaming hunger-pangs, mid-afternoon 'slumps' and low moods quite so badly.  Also good if you want to control your weight.

The cons are that, psychologically, any food you forbid becomes instantly extremely attractive.  So you could find the 'no chocolate' rule starts to prey on your mind and that you over-eat the stuff at the first opportunity.  Another is that sugary foods do have a place in a healthy diet... post exercise for example, or even just as a pleasant treat. 

Best of luck
I went cold turkey from sugary treats & caffiene for a week! [which doesnt sound long - but it felt like it!]

I was... very very grumpy. With a lot of headaches, and very tempted to cave in! (and it didnt help that everyone around me was so annoyed at my grumpyness they were saying 'just have a chocolate bar!!!!' and were trying to feed me diet coke.)

But i will say, when you resist temptation it is worth it. I didnt want to cut those things out my diet completely, I agree with others that sugars have a place on a balanced diet, but I did want to 'let go' of a lot of my treats. It almost felt like i was dependant on them.

It worked! Diet coke has 100% less of an appeal and I just dont drink it, decaf tea all the way now (and regular caffinated products make me feel weird and wired - all awake and buggy eyed!) and I eat far less sugary treats. Infact, I'll voluntarily choose a nice juicy ripe piece of fruit over a chocolate bar 9 times out of 10 :)

I don't know about going cold turkey, it sounds hard!  I quit sugar over an extended time period.  I used to eat pop tarts and chocolate milk for breakfast every morning.  Good lord a pop tart sounds delicious right now....but anyway, as I slowly started caring about nutrition (from just calories to obsessing over macronutrients) I realized that pop tarts were not part of anyone's balanced breakfast.  BUT I didn't give up the pop tarts and chocolate milk at the same time...I went to chocolate in skim milk, then sugar-free Nesquik, and now I've cut it out altogether.  And I drank chocolate milk every morning for nearly 20 years!

So anyway, long story short, maybe if cold turkey doesn't work you can try gradually cutting back, either by eating less or replacing sugary foods with sugar-free substitutes!

Quitting anything cold turkey is hard, but some times it is the only way. I quit smoking in July and traded my cigs for chocolateSurprised well here i am still not smoking and will not start again, thanks to chantix meds.Smile Now I am 35 -40 pounds heavier, where did that come from? So I am no longer eating chocolate at all and have cut my sugar intake down nto whatever is in the fruit I eat. I am not always pleasent to be around, but my husband is a blessing and says things like want chocolate?Wink I know that this too will pass, so just make up your mind and forge on. Drink plenty of water and green tea to flush your system. Good luck!!!

I quit all unhealthy foods cold turkey...I just cut myself off one day and said, DONE! NO MORE!  and I really haven't had trouble with it.  Instead of telling myself I CAN'T HAVE sugar or fried foods or whatever else, I told myself I DON'T WANT them.  I think I truly convinced myself I don't want them after saying it enough times.

I don't even get cravings anymore =P but when I have any options that sound somewhat unhealthy, I ask myself, What do I want more?  This (insert food here), or a healthy body. 

On occasion, it's ok to go with the food ;P

I given up sweets cold turkey and it is really hard since a lot of people just give me candy, cookies, and other pastries out of the kindness of their hearts.  Beginning the month of March, I allowed myself to have 2 freshly baked cookies which were given to me from a friend and I had a headache for the rest of the day.  My body wanted more, but I took control and I'm using that craving headache as motivation...

"eating sweets gives you a headache, therefore you cannot eat sweets or it will give you bad head pain."

So far it worked for the rest of the month and including this month. 

Original Post by deflepfan16:

Instead of telling myself I CAN'T HAVE sugar or fried foods or whatever else, I told myself I DON'T WANT them. I think I truly convinced myself I don't want them after saying it enough times.

When I manage to remember this trick, it DEFINITELY works.  By telling myself "I don't want __________," I am a lot less likely to keep feeling compelled to find it.  Sometimes, telling myself "I don't want __________ right now, but it'll be there tomorrow" also works.

Question for those of you who HAVE quit sugar: did you also quit sugar substitutes at the same time?  How did that go?  Since joining CC I've gotten much better at reading labels, but that also means I know my beloved Balance Bars have high fructose corn syrup in them...and those are something I don't think I could give up!

I didn't get the chance to read the entire thread here, but my women's health magazine this month had a GREAT article about sugar.. you should pick it up if you get the chance :)

also, I've tried quitting cold turkey but I just end up eating too much of it some other time..

here's what I heard that seems to be working for me :) try going one day without sugar.. if you crave it, have some.. from that day you have sugar, try to go 2 days now.. you already went one! you can do 2! if you crave sugar have a little bit... if you start over go 3 days... pretty much, just go as long as you can and if you get a craving go for it! just keep starting over when you do and try to exceed your last record :) after a while, going 30 days without sugar seems hard to give up for a jelly bean :) I'm going for day 5 today! so,  yeah, I'm not expert, but trying to do it myself :) my previous record was 3 days... lol...

I don't have sugar or chocolate usually.  I may have something that has unsweetened cocoa in it though. Like larabars which are really yummy.    I also treat myself to a Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffle once a month.  They're delicious and the only chocolate item I can ever find that's vegan.

About two years ago, I woke up one morning and just decided I didn't eat chocolate any more. I was probably the most contented I'd ever been, therefore comfort eating wasn't much of an issue and while it did in some instances get replaced by caramel and cherries, I didn't eat any chocolate for 8 whole months. Then I went to the South of France and decided to treat myself. In those 8 months I lost about a stone (14lbs)

I'm not sure how I managed that to be honest. It was like I didn't even miss it. I was pretty busy. Commuting two hours a day, working weekends, but not stressed I guess. Whereas now, I can't even think about giving up chocolate. I'm dying for some nutella on toast right now but can't cause I used up my calories for today :S I think it's also harder for me now, having an other half who can eat anything. Chocolate is a hard one to kick, it really is. But if you can do it, don't give up. You will get to a point where you can just take it or leave it and then it's ok, if you know you won't go back into chocolate binges and whatnot. Apparently my resolve weaked once I'd had some on holiday. I'm not sure how I got back to being worse than I was before...

Good luck and I hope you do manage it :) Try chocolate that's 70% cocoa if you can't just give it up, because at least that's a bit better for you. Or some of the vegan chocolate.


I did it cold turkey.  The first 36 hours were hard, and then I honestly barely missed it.  Now I eat really low sugar and when I eat something super-sweet I really dislike it (except ice cream - I still like ice cream).

I find the common advice "just eat fruit" when you're giving up sugar to be a little off, especially when you first start.  Usually when you want something sweet, you want more of a comfort food. 

My suggestions are that before you quit, make yourself a list of everything you CAN eat so when you go into a 7-11  or whatever you can just go for the OK stuff immediately.  Watch out for "juice" and things like Craisins which are chock-full of sugar.  And cereal, granola bars, etc.  Keep some naturally sweet-ish things around your house/workplace (unsweetened peanut butter, some of those all natural fruit leathers, oatmeal with raisins). 

Also, one thing that did help me during those first few days was to make it a challenge for myself.  Sugar was one thing that people told me would be "impossible" to avoid and I kind of said to myself "oh yeah? just watch me."

It's tough for the first week, but it gets easier. The less you eat sugar, the less you crave it.
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