While sometimes nothing beats a bite of something sweet, there are many reasons for needing to live without sugar. Whether you're diabetic or just want to cut calories and lose weight, it can become an important life decision. Maybe you just need to conquer a sweet tooth. All of these are good motivators -- not only does sugar add empty calories to your food, but it can also cause inflammation and impair your immune system.
Things You'll Need
- Sugar-free foods
- Sugar substitutes
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
Switch out your current favorite sweets with their sugar-free varieties. Cutting your daily can of regular soda, for instance, and swapping it with sugar-free version will save you at least 150 calories and help you gradually lose weight. It is best to eventually wean yourself off the need for so many sweet tastes. If weight loss and blood sugar control are your main focus, and you already eat a lot of candy and desserts, little changes to sugar-free ice cream, candy, and beverages help to start you down the right path.
Learn to bake with natural sweeteners. If you love baked goods, you may not always be able to get your favorites ready made in sugar-free form at the store. There are a number of web sites and cookbooks devoted to sugar-free baking. Recipes involve powdered sugar substitutes which measure cup for cup, or baking with natural sweeteners like honey, molasses or agave syrup.
Put yourself on a sweets detox. To truly live and thrive without sugar, decrease your cravings for sweets in general. Challenge yourself to take a month -- or even just a week -- off of all sweets, with sugar or otherwise. Read food labels and look for hidden sugars under names like fructose, maltose, sorbitol or evaporated cane juice. If your sugar addiction is very strong, it may be best to avoid the sweetest, most high-sugar fruits like pineapple.
Enjoy nature's version of sweetness. Once you've spent at least a month detoxing from sugar itself, whole foods will naturally start to taste sweeter. Your old favorite sodas, candies and baked goods may even taste uncomfortably sweet. Embrace the change. Instead, select nature's version of sugar: fresh fruit. At its ripest and most seasonal fruit offers enough of that sweet taste you crave.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images