Mary James

Break Free From Sugar Addiction With These 9 Expert-Approved Tips

Jackie Warner is an American fitness trainer

People really have to start being a smarter consumer, read labels, and understand what hidden sugars are.

Jackie Warner

You’re tired, edgy, and cranky in the morning… till you get your sweet, sweet Starbucks frappé. If black coffee doesn’t do it for your 'caffeine fix', maybe your real problem is sugar addiction. According to some nutritionists, sugar is at least as addictive as cocaine.

Can You Really Be Addicted To Sugar?

The scientific community hasn’t come to a consensus on whether sugar is a genuine addiction. But according to the line at Starbucks, the nutritionists may be right. Sugar addicts get high that drop off into awful-feeling lows, just like any other addict. And then it’s back to the sugar to get that energy rush again. Keep at it and you risk developing blood sugar disorders like diabetes and hypoglycemia.

Not to mention obesity. Sucrose has been found to spike opioids and dopamine, the 'pleasure chemicals' in the brain. And when sugar is taken away, dopamine drops abnormally low. Withdrawal from sugar can cause physical and mental symptoms ranging from anxiety to tiredness to tantrums and anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure.

But it’s not impossible to get through it. Take it slow, take care of yourself, and try these tips to ease the process.

#1. Eliminate The Worst Carbs

Don’t go 'cold turkey'. Some detox and diet plans suggest you eliminate all carbs, from whole grains to green vegetables! The sheer misery - and the inconvenience of not being able to eat anything like a normal person - sets these plans up for failure.

Instead, eliminate the worst carbs. Sugary snacks obviously have to go, but starchy items like pasta and boiled potatoes can spike your blood sugar as well. If you must have potatoes, fry them in a healthy oil instead, to slow sugar absorption and keep your levels steady.

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TIP: Eliminate the worst carbs. Sugary snacks obviously have to go, but starchy items like pasta and boiled potatoes can spike your blood sugar as well. 

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#2. Eat More Fibre

Mix your sweets with fibre. If you’re dying for something sweet, go for fruit and soymilk in a nice hearty bowl of oatmeal.

Gradually reduce the sugar you use in coffee or baking to 'retrain' your sweet tooth. Once you learn to enjoy foods that aren’t so sweet, you might be surprised by how badly over-sweetened baked goods and coffee drinks begin to taste.

#3. Drink Plenty Of Water

Water helps detox and helps you feel less fake hunger. By the way, high-protein foods can help you feel full, too. Remember, a lot of 'hunger' is, actually, thirsting. And the plain-tasting beverage will help you learn to like non-sweet tastes.

Drinking water. Happy young woman smiling while holding a glass of water

TIP: Water helps detox and helps you feel less fake hunger.

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#4. Avoid Sweeteners

Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as you can. By making your brain expect sugar calories, they’ve been shown to actually increase hunger in the hours following consumption.

Each year, Americans consume about $1.6 billion dollars worth of artificial sweeteners. This directly results from the obesity epidemic in America, where two-thirds of the adult population is considered obese. The availability of these products encourages people to believe that they can eat whatever they want as long as they avoid sugar. However, multiple kinds of research have shown that artificial sweeteners may actually increase weight gain, not decrease it.

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#5. Benefits Of Leafy Greens

Eat more leafy greens, the more bitter the better, such as kale, mustard greens and turnip tops. Detox dieters' claims that they magically help speed up a sugar purge are probably bunk - but the fibre, chlorophyll, vitamins and minerals in greens are a great substitute for sugary junk. It's hard to eat a chocolate bar when your mouth is full of spinach.

And slightly bitter greens are a great way to retrain your taste buds. If you can find the sweetness in kale, you don't need a Slurpee. In short, there are many health benefits to be gained from eating leafy greens regularly, and they are an excellent addition to any diet.

Choose black coffee

#6. Choose Black Coffee

Drinking your coffee black can also help you learn to appreciate non-sweet foods. What is more, black coffee is the best way to start the day.

It definitely wakes you up and can help you focus on the tasks at hand. It also has no calories and a small amount of healthy antioxidants. Drinking your coffee black can also help you learn to appreciate non-sweet foods.

#7. Season Food With Spices

Spicy foods are great too; on top of retraining your taste buds and adding a kick to your diet with minimal calories, hot pepper sauces have been shown to release endorphins. This is a great replacement for the mood boost you used to get from sugar.

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#8. Check For Glutamine Deficiency

You may have a glutamine deficiency. Supplementing with amino acid boosters like L-glutamine can stop sugar cravings in some individuals almost immediately.

Stress can burn out your neurotransmitters even if your diet is sufficient… but if you’re filling up on sugary foods, it probably isn’t. According to, it takes about a month of L-glutamine supplementation to carry you through the sugar detox to avoid your sugar addiction.

#9. Get Some Exercise Regularly

You may feel sluggish at first, but the more you move, the better you'll feel: exercise is a natural way to burn excess sugar in your bloodstream and regulate your blood sugar levels. And the endorphins released by the activity will ease your depression and anxiety.

Overall, a sedentary lifestyle is associated with a higher risk of developing conditions such as obesity, heart disease, sugar addiction and cancer, which are all major causes of death. Exercise has been shown to reduce these risks, and regular exercise can save your life.

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TIP: Working out is a natural way to burn excess sugars in the bloodstream and regular your glucose levels.

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The Bottom Line

Despite the best efforts of many, sugar addiction remains a problem in today's society. People are still drawn to the sweet taste and it can be difficult to break the cycle. There are a number of tips that can help, and this article will outline some of them. Breaking the sugar habit is not easy, but with a little effort it can be done.

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Sugar addiction is a condition characterized by an intense craving for sugary foods and difficulty controlling the consumption of these foods. It can be harmful because excessive sugar intake is linked to various health issues, including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. Sugar addiction is often driven by the brain's reward system, which associates sugary foods with pleasure and reinforces cravings.


One effective strategy to break sugar addiction is to go cold turkey, which involves completely eliminating added sugars from your diet for a period of time. This approach can help reset your taste buds and reduce cravings by breaking the cycle of sugar consumption and the associated dopamine release in the brain. While it may be challenging initially, going cold turkey can help you overcome the physical and psychological dependence on sugar.


Artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose, can be helpful in overcoming sugar addiction as they can satisfy sweet cravings without the added calories or potential for addiction. However, it's important to use artificial sweeteners in moderation and gradually transition to a preference for natural, unsweetened foods and beverages.


Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help curb sugar cravings. Dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger or cravings, and drinking water can help alleviate these false signals. Additionally, water can aid in flushing out excess sugar and toxins from the body, reducing the potential for cravings and withdrawal symptoms.


Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, consider healthy alternatives that can satisfy sweet cravings without contributing to sugar addiction. Some options include fresh fruits like berries, mangoes, or grapes, which provide natural sweetness and fiber. Other alternatives include yogurt with fresh fruit, nut butter on whole-grain toast, or a small portion of dark chocolate (70% cocoa or higher).


Exercise and stress management can play a crucial role in breaking sugar addiction. Regular physical activity can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce cravings, and boost mood through the release of endorphins. Additionally, practicing stress management techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help combat emotional eating and reduce the urge to turn to sugary foods for comfort.

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About the Author Mary James

I am passionate about fitness, a healthy lifestyle, cooking, and well-being. This blog is about some of my thoughts that are occupying my mind and spirit daily over the last 10 years and my grand passion – weight loss and fitness, healthy lifestyle and healthy food, mindfulness and self-improvement.

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