To think it is not actually possible to "give up sugar"?

(61 Posts)
RevoltingPeasant Mon 01-Feb-16 07:32:06

I had thought of doing this for Lent. But now I start looking more closely, sugar of some type is in everything! Even milk.

AIBU to think cutting down on sugar is possible but giving it up is not and people who say they have cut out sugar must be cheating in some way??!

slebmum1 Mon 01-Feb-16 07:33:07

I think most people mean they cut out refined sugar, naturally occurring sugar is ok.

Muskateersmummy Mon 01-Feb-16 07:34:36

I think it's possible to cut out added sugars, which I think is what most people mean when they say they are cutting out sugar. Although I don't think it's necessary I'm a big believer in all in moderation as cutting something out tends to mean you end up binging once the period of cutting out finishes!

DilysPrice Mon 01-Feb-16 07:35:41

Some people will take it further by giving up fruit though. BIWI's Low Carb boot camp is pretty close to zero sugar afaik.

Thefitfatty Mon 01-Feb-16 07:36:30

I think people are saying they've cut our added sugars, or even foods with particularly high levels of sugar (like fruit), not that they've cut out all sugar.

DizzyNorthernBird Mon 01-Feb-16 08:38:21

You could say I fall into that group who say they've quit sugar.

What I mean when I say it is that I've quit (or at least restricted as much as possible) unnecessary refined sugars.

I'll avoid biscuits, cakes, desserts, sugar or syrups in coffee/tea, chocolate and sweets.

But you're right, you can't eliminate it completely and I personally don't worry too much about the negligible amounts found in things like a dollop of ketchup or a tablespoon of tomato purée in my bolognese!

If you're used to having all the things I've listed above on a regular basis then any reduction at all should be beneficial.

Fruit is different, it's not refined sugar and if you're eating the whole fruit then the fibres break down the fructose as you digest it and it doesn't automatically get converted into fat.

OurBlanche Mon 01-Feb-16 08:38:32

We have done this for so long it seems odd to add sugar to anything these days.

It should be no added sugar. We also tend not to eat fruit but to eat a lot of veg. It is of no great benefit when you eat tiny tomatoes like sweets though smile

If you do try it for Lent start now by looking at what you physically add sugar to: hot drinks, cereals, etc. Then look at what foods you make or buy that are sugary, cakes, bars, chocolate. Remember cereals and ready meals in that list. Then look at the fruit you eat. Some is far more 'sugary' and has less fibre. Apples and pears are better than watermelon, for example.

If you make a 2 column list: 1 with the sugary food in it and the next either a replacement food or a X, for foods you don't really need, you'll be surprised at how easy losing a lot added and refined sugar can be.

We aren't uber healthy or food fanatics, but we both have metabolic diseases in our close family and, out of knowledge and fear on my part, I worked at it until we just no longer have a sweet tooth. We do have chocolate in the fridge, very dark, eaten by the single square (I have no idea how we manage to make 1 bar last for more than a week, it doesn't seem possible).

thumpson Mon 01-Feb-16 08:41:16

I've cut out all added sugar and avoid fruits high in naturally occurring sugar. I limit carbs too! I'm diabetic so it's a necessity.

NorksAreMessy Mon 01-Feb-16 08:43:05

I could have written dizzy's entire post.

I have been cutting out any obvious added sugars for about four months, but I am not fretting about ketchup or apples, and I do have a tiny packet of dried cranberries occasionally.
After the first 24 hours, the cravings disappear and your energy, especially mid afternoon, is notably increased.

OurBlanche Mon 01-Feb-16 08:44:59

It's odd isn't it, thumpson? Lots of people think cutting out sugar is almost unnatural, impossible or simply unhealthy without realising that anyone who is pre-diabetic or diabetic has to do this to remain healthy/alive!

JustWantMyMoneyBack Mon 01-Feb-16 08:46:50

I quit eating all added sugars last summer and have gone from a size 18/20 to 10/12. The only "cheating" I do is have a bit of ketchup here and there or something, and I do eat dried fruits from time to time. Natural sugars that haven't been separated from fibre (unlike in juicing or smoothies) are completely fine.

thumpson Mon 01-Feb-16 08:49:44

Blanche you're right! So many people think it's just a case of avoiding dessert but it's so much more than that. I'm not going to say it's always easy or convenient but I really don't have a choice.

MoonDuke Mon 01-Feb-16 08:52:41

I have "quit sugar" but only refined, added sugars.

I'm also a lot more aware of naturally occurring sugars and try to limit them (e.g. choosing tomatoes instead of sun-dried tomatoes in my salad, reducing my carbohydrate portions,...)

And I've stopped eating chocolate, biscuits, cake and drinking juice.

The difference to my tiredness levels and cravings is enormous. And I've lost weight with very little effort.

Occasionally I'll slip, for example if eating at a friend's house I won't refuse the pudding (as it's rude) but my sugar consumption has greatly reduced and I feel loads better.

RiverTam Mon 01-Feb-16 08:58:26

To my embarrassment I saw a nutritionist about 10 years ago (she could have been a complete charlatan for all I know) who put me in a 6 week sugar-free duet. I did do it, absolutely no sugar at all. End result has been that I now get very thirsty very easily and I do wonder if it completely fucked something up.

DizzyNorthernBird Mon 01-Feb-16 09:01:36

But having to do it because of illness is different to doing it for a lifestyle choice.

People who don't have an illness to consider should benefit without worrying about the GI of an apple versus a banana etc.

I agree though, people think you're completely weird when you say you don't want a slice of cake or a dessert! I've just started saying I don't enjoy them and people tend to leave you alone. People are generally conditioned into thinking they 'need' or that sweet treats offer some sort of indulgence (well, they would if it weren't for the fact that they're pushed on people constantly!)

I've 'quit' as I suspected for some time and was finally diagnosed last month with polycystic ovaries. The jury is out as to whether cutting down has actually helped (I'm already slim so can't use weight as a gauge) but my skin is certainly much better since I've cut down.

HarrysMummy17 Mon 01-Feb-16 09:06:35

There's a programme on at the moment on itv called sugar free farm. It's celebs working in a farm and cutting out all sugars. Some are really struggling with the sugar crash. The programme is showing how to eat without sugar. Making sugar free pizzas etc.

ProfGrammaticus Mon 01-Feb-16 09:11:42

I've done what most people here are describing - cut out sweets, chocolate, cake, biscuits, jam and fruit juice. Oh and alcohol. I eat a small amount of 75% dark chocolate and quite a lot of fruit - fresh, nutri-bulleted and some dried. I don't eat much processed food, so little added sugar from that source. I don't need to lose weight and I haven't done it for that reason. I have noticed after a month that I no longer get anywhere near as hungry pre-lunch and late afternoon as I used to. I think that was more a sugar craving than a genuine hunger.

SecondMrsAshwell Mon 01-Feb-16 13:54:24

I'm diabetic and so shouldn't be on the sugar anyway (but Lent gives me time to muck out the naughty habits that have gradually crept in). I agree, it is a complete pain to get rid of it altogether. But when I cut out all the refined sugar, I lost half a stone without even trying.

And the slice of cake Mafia do make it difficult. My best friend keeps recommending chutneys and jams and get annoyed when I say I can't have it. Yes, maybe I could just have a teaspoon in my sandwich, but what do I do with all the teaspoons left in the jar that I can hear calling my name when I have cravings?

I asked my nurse about fruit and she says that you should consider what you get by including fruit - all the vitamins and fibre. Given a choice between fruit and a bikky, she'd rather I had the fruit. Just not a whole 6 pack in one go!

CoteDAzur Mon 01-Feb-16 14:00:52

"fibres break down the fructose as you digest it and it doesn't automatically get converted into fat"

What do you mean? Fibre doesn't break fructose down. If it did, it would have done so while both are in the fruit itself.

Fibre doesn't get digested in our bodies, either.

OurBlanche Mon 01-Feb-16 15:24:46

Cote, you forgot "And nothing gets converted into or stored as fat, ever"

Katenka Mon 01-Feb-16 15:51:10

I have never heard of someone cutting sugar completely.

I have heard of people cutting added sugar. So swooning a sugary cereal for porridge.

But lots of food have naturally occurring sugar. Trying to cut all sugar would be impossible, but I am not sure why you would want to do that.

RevoltingPeasant Mon 01-Feb-16 20:32:19

Thanks all! This has been really interesting. I think I will check out the boot amp and probably go with alcohol plus refined sugar plus fruit.

I don't add sugar to stuff anyway so it would just be added sugar in bread, packet sauces etc that I'd be giving up.

unimaginativename13 Mon 01-Feb-16 20:45:20

I followed Atkins and have since been diabetic so I'm very careful about what sugar choices I make.

Generally on a day to day basis I try to not eat the obvious- cake biscuits chocolate.
Fruit choices are red berries only no citrus.
No cereal
Veg of the green variety including salads, avocado.
Almonds.
No added sauces
My fav long standing thing is full fat stuff, so full fat Mayo butter milk etc, because they replace the lost fat with sugar.
Peanut butter and Philadelphia as snacks
Diet drinks.
Black coffee with sweetener
Sugar free jelly and no added sugar angel delight.

msrisotto Mon 01-Feb-16 20:57:50

Yeah I "quit sugar", meaning refined sugar. I also cut honey, maple syrup, agave etc. It would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater to give up fruit IMO. Fruit smoothies, sure, but not actual pieces of fruit. Maybe check out "That Sugar Film", or check out the links in the I Quit Sugar thread that's knocking about here somewhere.

And yeah, I lost a stone without trying. I was a healthy BMI before so it was a bit of a surprise, but a lot of it was around the stomach which I think is called visceral fat.

Lurkedforever1 Mon 01-Feb-16 20:57:57

I think a lot of people make silly changes to their diet, or bang on about their bizarre idea of healthy, without having a clue about nutrition or food. Reducing/ cutting out sugar in terms of added sugar/ 'sweet' crap is one thing. Deciding your body doesn't need anything but protein is another. Especially if you haven't got a clue what protein is and are just quoting the quorn advert with half a fried cow in one hand.

(Although I admit I'm not aiming my above rant at you op, just slightly narked at yet another January expert trying to tell me carbs are bad for me, whilst chowing down their own weight in meat and fruit).

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