I think an all or nothing approach is hard to stick to for the reasons you cite. I have cut down sugar but I still eat carbs and fruit. I started by just cutting out the worst and most obvious things ( cakes, pastries, biscuits, desserts, sweets, ice cream etc) and then gradually got stricter from there. I don't stress about small quantities of added sugar in 'savoury' things but I don't eat many prepared sauces and dressings.
It's also important to get into a long term mindset so it's better to get it 70% right forever than 100% perfect for a month.
When you say everything has sugar in it, what do you mean? I'm sugar free, and just don't eat cakes, puddings and sweets. I have everything else. I now find fruit, and even things like carrots seem really sweet.
ohyesiam Some people apply it very strictly, so for example, won't eat shop bought bread or any shop bought sauces/ marinades as they often have sugar in them, and also dont eat fruit. While I agree that this is a not good and that when you educate your palate, stuff starts tasting sweeter, I personally find that 80% is good enough.
Also, in the history of the world. I doubt anyone got fat because they ate too much fruit.
I have cut out sugar apart from a square or two of Dark Chocolate a day. Sweeteners also can lead to sugar cravings and can make dieting very difficult..The only sweetener that's ok to use is Truvia and only when absolutely necessary.I must admit I have substituted healthy fats instead of sugary breakfast cereal.For breakfast I often have things like scrambled eggs with smoked salmon or advocado with salmon.
I do it and I don't feel deprived. I keep it simple and just cut out added sugar - so I avoid processed foods, ketchup mayo and sweet things. I still eat bread and still eat out but don't have dessert. I don't try and keep carbs low or anything like that. It works for me. As for not feeling deprived here are a few things.... I have full fat everything now which is tasty and satisfying. I might have fruit with double cream as a treat. If I were watching calories that would be a no no but I'm not, its still sugar free. Homemade baking with dried fruit and Apple usually to sweeten it. I make a lot of pancakes like this at the moment. No sugar. I still eat out, just don't have pud or anything like sweet n sour sauces. There are plenty of savoury treats you can have. I still join in the very occasional sweet treat e.g. afternoon teas, parties etc. It's a life change and doing this rarely is fine when my normal daily intake of sugar is very low.
I still eat carbs but try to avoid processed foods that are more than 5% sugar.
I don’t eat sweets, or sweet tasting food other than fruit. I still eat at least one piece of fruit per day, often more.
What I’ve found is (due to the addictive qualities of sweets) you just need to power through for the first few days and then you lose the urge rapidly. I used to gobble a big bar of chocolate every night but now it never occurs to me to do that. Haven’t really eaten any sweets to speak of since February. I feel great! Can’t see me ever going back, to be honest.
What’s been key for me is finding other, non-sugary foods that you love to eat and changing up. I love cashew nut butter with apple wedges now and genuinely enjoy eating that snack as much as I used to like the chocolate. I don’t worry about fruit - I’m aiming for as much whole food in my diet as possible. I feel about a zillion times better about myself.
I'm off sugar but similar to you I'm not low carbing so still have porridge with frozen fruit, bread in moderation and while I'm avoiding very sugary foods like curry or sweet n sour I still have a bit of ketchup if I'm having an omelette.
My treats are:
Cashews Halloumi Avocado Raspberries Brie and grape on m&s fig and hazelnut bread (new one I discovered this week)
It's costing me a fortune! These are occasional Friday night treats not every day.
I've lost half a stone and I haven't really felt deprived or hungry at all.
I take the long view and think that I'm not depriving myself of sweets, I'm giving myself a gift of health and hopefully my golden years will be enjoyable rather than an endless round of hospital stays. No guarantees in life of course, but I doubt on my deathbed I'll regret not eating chocolate.