Sugar Detox - and no more processed foods - can it be done?

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  1. Jewels profile image83
    Jewelsposted 13 years ago

    I'm about to embark on my biggest act of will yet.  Beating the sugar addiction.  Sugar is said to be akin to heroin - makes the task sound daunting  Giving up cigarettes is also said to be like giving up heroin - I've been smoke free since 2002. 

    To give up processed sugar means to stop eating processed foods also.  I am doing this with the guidance of a qualified naturopath as I'm not confident I can do it alone. 

    So wish me luck.  Would love to hear your experiences if you've attempted this, succeeded or failed.

    1. earnestshub profile image84
      earnestshubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I found that it is easy enough to give up sugar in coffee and tea, but in processed food? Tough!

      I do hope you succeed Jewel and wish you well in your endeavour. smile

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thankyou Ernest.  I think I'll need it.  Seems like a task for sure.  But I want  the alternative - feeling good!

    2. Sunnyglitter profile image79
      Sunnyglitterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I know that you can do it!

      Personally, I have given up sugar before (although I started using it sometimes again), and I felt a lot better.  After awhile, you won't even like it.  Sugar and other processed foods will taste disgusting to you.  The only bad thing is that it's hard to find "healthy" food where I live, so I just eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies.

      Anyway, good luck with everything!  It will be hard at first, but you'll be glad you did it!

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thankyou Sunnyglitter.  I'm a broccoli junkie - love it.  Fruit also.  I'm lucky we have good fresh food where I live, plus farmers markets so I can get organic produce quite easily.  Thanks for the encouragement.

    3. profile image0
      Sarra Garrettposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      The only way to give up processed food is to have your own garden and can your food yourself.  I grew up on a self sufficient farm wherein we only went to a grocery store once a year.  Although farming isn't for the weak, you will be eating healthier.  You can can meats as well.  Even if you are in an urban area you can have a small farm to include chickens and a goat.  Try getting together with neighbors and friends and get a co-op going.  Many plots of land are sitting empty and you can get the  use of this land for little to nothing just to raise a garden.

    4. beyoulou profile image60
      beyoulouposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Jewels,
      I am only new to hubpages, hence my reply 4 years after you posted.
      I am very interested in the no sugar diet and how it has worked for you. Do you still continue this lifestyle 4 years on?
      There is a lot of controversy surrounding a no sugar diet, and I have briefly tried it myself, but I am addicted and have struggled finding an alternative that is pleasing to the tastebuds!
      It would be wonderful to hear your experience.

  2. profile image0
    Feline Prophetposted 13 years ago

    What? No chocolate?!!!

    1. earnestshub profile image84
      earnestshubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      With you feline! I do not think I could give up chocolate. Especially rum n raisin!

  3. profile image0
    Feline Prophetposted 13 years ago

    Sigh. Like you said, EH, giving up sugar in tea and coffee is easy...the rest is going to be a challenge. All the best, Jewels!

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, appreciate the heads up.

  4. Jewels profile image83
    Jewelsposted 13 years ago

    I'm going to gradually decrease the intake.  But replace processed sugar with honey.  Also can make 'rum balls' without processed sugar which will help with the cravings.

    Honey in tea and coffee.  Mind you - I felt very proud of myself.  For the last two weeks I've been drinking black coffee no sugar.  Sort of feels like being in an elite club.

    1. Misha profile image62
      Mishaposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Welcome to the club smile

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Hey Misha, nice to see you again.  smile

  5. LeanMan profile image81
    LeanManposted 13 years ago

    I gave up putting sugar into anything like my tea long ago, avoiding processed foods however is tough if you are busy..

    Most of my food is cooked from scratch.. meat and veg... and my wife juices fruit and veg for drinks,  but if I am in a hurry grabbing something quick from the freezer...

    Most ready cooked stuff in the supermarket is highly processed or contains sugar as one of the first few ingredients, even most "healthy" fruit juices are full of sugar..

    I do feel better for it ... but I still have an occasional bite or 5 of chocolate.. lol

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Great to hear these experiences.  I cleaned out my pantry today.  Sugar in everything, even some seasonings - now gone.

      I've always been a convenience cook - quicker the better.  I'm looking forward to changing my habits though.  Bit of an adventure!

      1. earnestshub profile image84
        earnestshubposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I was married to a Chinese woman for 7 years. A fabulous cook, very fast and healthy food.
        Go get em Jewels I reckon you are on the right road. smile

  6. Jewels profile image83
    Jewelsposted 13 years ago

    And able to use cocoa with Coconut sugar for awhile.  So chocolate is not totally off the menu.

  7. ilmdamaily profile image69
    ilmdamailyposted 13 years ago

    Whoa, nice work!

    I think you'll be fine with the "addiction" part of it, but I think the actual task of finding sugar free foods at mainstream super markets will be exhausting. I hate having to read ingredient labels all the time lol. But you'll do fine:-)

    A challenge like this is the perfect time to learn a specific type of cooking too. Often the best way to avoid sugar is to restrict yourself to eating only fresh, natural foods. Combine that requirement with learning a new skill, and you might even enjoy it all:-)

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I think I will enjoy it.  We have a local farmers market every Sunday with great produce.  The naturopath has her own store with heaps of organic grains and nuts, herbs and spices.  So I've a lot of help.

      Interesting the more I got used to the Sunday market, the less I go inside a supermarket.  So now I am to learn how to really cook.

  8. Eleanor Candy profile image67
    Eleanor Candyposted 13 years ago

    For a healthier sugar alternative try stevia, which is a natural herbal sweetener.It is 300 times sweeter than normal sugar, so you only need a small amount.

    You can also try xylitol which is a natural sugar found in fruits and vegetables.You can use it the same way you use normal sugar.

    1. Mama Sez profile image63
      Mama Sezposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I tried Stevia....really good.  Grow them in your backyard to have a steady supply.

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        I've tasted stevia and like it.  At the moment It's so expensive unfortunately.  I will try the growing option for a long term solution.

        For the time being I'm using unprocessed natural honey, plus natural fruits.

        Thing is though I have to change my entire eating regime to exclude processed foods.  So far so good.

  9. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 13 years ago

    The diet you are on sounds a lot like the Atkins diet where all sugar is prohibited, at least at first.
    Even fruits are not recommended in the first two weeks as they contain natural sugars.
    It was through doing the Atkins diet I got my eyes opened wide to what is added to processed foods. Not just sugar, but loads of salt both of which are slowly killing us.We should really stay away from processed foods and cook everything from scratch, but its true that with our busy lifestyles we are hard pushed to fit this into our schedules - thinking of office workers and the like who simply do not have the time or facilities to cook something healthy at lunchtime.

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I doubt I could go without sugar completely in the initial stages of this detox.  I'd probably not find it sustainable.  That's me personally.  So fruit and honey - anything that is natural, not processed is ok.  Then there will be a gradual weaning off the sugar, or at least less of it until my digestive system is clean.

      I agree izzyM, there is so much crap in processed foods, mostly we don't know what it is.

      I was one of those office workers - everything was about convenience, quick and easy.  I don't do fast foods - as in McDonalds and KFC, but I had a lot of packaged food in my cupboards.  All gone now.

  10. IzzyM profile image87
    IzzyMposted 13 years ago

    Good luck with the processed food free diet! I've no doubt that within a couple of weeks you are going to feel fantastic as all those chemicals are banished from your body.
    While you're at it, have a read up on essential fatty acids as processed foods are upsetting our natural balance of the omega-3s and the omega-6s causing all sorts of illnesses from heart disease to depression. You'll never hear a government speaking out against processed foods because the industry is just too powerful. Your diet is going to correct them too smile

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      How true izzyM - no bad words about the elephant - BIG ELEPHANT in the room.  I put fish oil on my salad plus just got onto coconut oil - yummm.  Great on the porridge.

  11. travelespresso profile image69
    travelespressoposted 13 years ago

    You can do it but its not easy to keep at it.  I did it.  To begin with it was such a pain reading all the labels and supermarket shopping took me ages!  But after a time, it became easier as I knew what I could and couldn't have.

    I feel so much better now, even though I'm no longer so vigilant.   Good on you.

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the encouragement.  I have to remember to take the magnifiers with me to the supermarket.  Mind you since using the farmers market I don't need to go in much.

  12. Richieb799 profile image66
    Richieb799posted 13 years ago

    I eat very little sugar, I have sweeteners in my tea and not a big fan off deserts, biscuits etc.. you need sugar for energy though remember, so its all about moderation

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yikes.  Don't want to be anal, but those sweeteners are toxic. Aspartame is sooooooo bad.  I used to have the habit of chewing gum but about 95% of them have aspartame in them.  So another thing I've weaned myself off.

      I'll still have natural sugars, but just less of it eventually.

  13. rebekahELLE profile image85
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    you can do it!! and you will feel so much better and it does take a while. I hardly eat any processed food and stopped adding sugar many years ago. the cravings will stop.
    knowing what is in processed food gives you even more incentive to stop, it's not good for us.

    label checking while shopping simply becomes part of taking care of yourself and your family.a decent farmers market usually have everything you need for a healthy diet.

    good luck! smile 

    fruit will take care of your sugar needs, combine it with protein for energy.  like an apple with a handful of nuts.

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      You would love my new friend - Amy my naturopath.   Nuts are my new friends!  Thanks  rebekahELLE for the encouragement.  at the moment it's fun to have this change.  I'm cooking more which is good.  The whole exercise is a good lesson in not taking my health for granted and myself for granted also.

  14. gracenotes profile image90
    gracenotesposted 13 years ago

    Way to go, Jewels!

    I advocate and practice this regimen.  Prepare to spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen.  I write about healthy eating from time to time.

    Getting rid of boxed food is excellent.  Over time, you'll learn which "boxed" items actually are healthy, and there are some.  But they don't have any preservatives, so you have to use them up rather quickly.

    I despise stevia.  It takes a lot of honey to make my tea the right sweetness.  So, instead, I use agave nectar, which is 25% sweeter than sugar.  For me, it's more economical to use than honey.  Unfortunately, not everyone will find a retail outlet for agave nectar.

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the thumbs up gracenotes.  I've tried agave.  It's not as easy to get in Australia as the States.  At the moment honey is easy to get, lots of local suppliers also.  But eventually I'll lessen that also, so I'll go hunt the agave.

  15. Flightkeeper profile image67
    Flightkeeperposted 13 years ago

    I think giving up processed foods and sugar can be done.  I don't know if it can be done 100%, but if you give up 85% that would go a long way to good health.  Good Luck!

  16. Jewels profile image83
    Jewelsposted 13 years ago

    Headache today, it's happening.  Elimination has started.

    1. travelespresso profile image69
      travelespressoposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Not nice to experience those headaches but in a weird way its a great sign of the body purging itself. 
      Take care.

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you smile

  17. Marisa Wright profile image89
    Marisa Wrightposted 13 years ago

    Jewels, replacing sugar with other sweet things doesn't fix anything.

    I cured my sugar addiction by following the Carbohydrate Addicts diet - it's much less painful than giving up sugars altogether, and more effective. 

    The rules are that you eat NO carbohydrates - which includes all sugars, obviously - all day.  Then for your evening meal, you're allowed to eat anything you like and as much as you like, but you're only allowed one hour to do it in.

    I found it almost effortless to avoid all sweet things during the day, knowing I could have some ice cream or cake in the evening.  Obviously that meant I couldn't have any sweetener - even honey - in my tea or coffee.

    I was doing it to lose weight, but I was surprised to find I lost my sweet tooth.  I got to the stage where I didn't even want ice cream in the evening!

    You might consider taking a similar approach as a first step, because you'll then find it easier to "go the whole hog".

    1. lightning john profile image60
      lightning johnposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      This cannot be good for you!

      1. Jewels profile image83
        Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Marisa I'm really happy with the program I've been put on.  The processed sugar is being replaced by natural sugars and the intake is less than I would normally have, much less actually.  And it is a positive step.  Once I've stabilised I will then reduce the natural sugar intake more. 

        I have already lost weight but that's one side of this change.  I'm after a healthier me all round. 

        Because of years and years of processed foods, my liver is very sluggish.  This is being addressed also.  I doubt I'd succeed with your plan to be honest.

        I'm going a la naturale which will be sustainable in the longer term.  I would never eradicate fruit from my diet.   But I'll keep you in mind if this fails.

  18. waynet profile image68
    waynetposted 13 years ago

    As that guy from Lazy Town your sports candy and don't have a sugar meltdown.....oh no someones in trouble!!

    1. Jewels profile image83
      Jewelsposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Have the meltdown Wayne, we'll pick up the pieces if you need.

  19. profile image52
    gennsengposted 11 years ago

    I would love an update on how you are doing?  I gave up sugar/processed foods in January and I am loving it.  I feel so much healthier, I have more energy and a bonus - I lost 25lbs.

  20. ftclick profile image56
    ftclickposted 11 years ago

    do you mean unhealthy white granulated sugar?

    raw brown sugar is still OK
    honey too
    cinnamon as well.
    organic chocolate

    I gave it up to some extent but even with some breads (or all?) it will transform into a glucose sugar in your body.

    EDIT: I see you meant processed sugars a few posts down.

    Fruits as well. So, yes it can be done to an extent. Although there are certain baked goods I still get periodically I know have white sugar. (life is short so...)

  21. profile image0
    healthylife2posted 11 years ago

    I'm also giving up processed food and sugar for health reasons. How long does it take to feel energetic?
    Where do you find good  recipes? Do people really feel amazing?

  22. naturman profile image60
    naturmanposted 10 years ago

    I have had a foot detox, its amazing how the water turns dark taking all the toxins out of my body. No change in how I felt though.

  23. ocbill profile image53
    ocbillposted 10 years ago

    I did it for a week. It was tough. I will try and go longer. It;s kind of like learning to swim or bike. I did notice weight loss, somewhat more energy, and able to life more (hence more energy). Be careful with the fruits though.. it tuns into fructose if consuming too much...I'm not an expert on this area.


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