5 Ways to Quit Sugar – Which One is for You?

So, you’ve decided to quit sugar. There several different ways to go about the process. Which one will serve you best?

How you go about quitting sugar can make or break your experience. Most people go cold turkey and fail within a few days, while others take it too slowly and never completely eliminate this gnarly substance. Take a conscious approach to your sugar detox, and choose a path that suits you best based on your current dietary profile.

5 Ways to Quit Sugar, Starting Today

You may wonder about the best way to stay on a no-sugar diet. Your curiosity—and these sugar craving tips—can help you stay on your path, but which path are you on?

1. Complete Sugar Detox

The complete sugar detox is for two types of people.

The first person is the radical. If you’re this person, you’re hardcore. No matter what your relationship is with sugar—eating it every day or only a few times a week—you’re the type who goes all-in on most everything you do in life. You like to go cold turkey. If you do best with this path, then the complete sugar detox is for you.

The second type of person who does well with this approach is the more health-conscious type. Perhaps you’ve been on a healthy eating path for a while now. You’ve already done a good job cutting out refined carbs and other packaged foods. Maybe you don’t drink soda. You’re not new to the game of cutting out the bad stuff. If you’re this type, then a complete sugar detox would be the appropriate challenge for you.

Now you’re wondering, “what does a complete sugar detox entail?” It means cutting out candy, desserts, sodas, juices, all carbohydrates (temporarily) and even most fruit. If you eat animal products, then there’s a wonderful program called the 21 Day Sugar Detox that provides a meal plan and three levels of challenge based on where you are on your health journey.

This detox can be a challenge for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do your best with what you know.

The point of the challenge is to reduce the amount of sugar you eat in all forms. You’ll need to take a hard look at which forms of sugar make up the biggest portion of your diet and see how you can replace that for about a month, or at least long enough to give your body the reset it needs before reintroducing some foods.

2. Cut the Easy Sweets First

The second path to quitting sugar is for people who openly admit to regular treat consumption. Maybe you eat dessert several times a week, or your breakfast sometimes includes donuts. If you’re not practiced in looking at labels, then this would be a good place to start.

You’ll start by saying no to all treats. Treats include anything like candy, soda, juice, syrupy lattes, desserts or sweet breakfast foods. If it’s an obvious sweet item, then it’s not one for you to consume. Getting into the habit of saying no to these items and then learning what to replace them with will be a big enough task for you. Once you’ve accomplished this level of quitting sugar, you can easily take on the next two methods.

5 Ways to Quit Sugar - Which One is for You?

3. No Added Sugar

The “No Added Sugar” path is for those who feel confident with path #2. You’re well-versed in identifying and avoiding obvious sweet treats, like desserts, candy and soda. At this level, you’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty of quitting sugar, the fine print.

You’ll continue with the practice of path #2 (above), and you’ll begin to read the labels of condiments, bottled beverages and packaged foods you buy. You’ll learn about all forms of added sugar. It comes in various names like fructose, agave nectar, barley malt syrup, cane juice, caramel or dextrin.

You may see one of 61 different types of sugar listed on food labels. What you’ll actually find most of the time is several different forms of sugar. It’s one way that companies get away with making it look like there’s less sugar in a product than there really is.

You may wonder about the new “added sugar” portion of the new nutrition label. It simply identifies the addition of simple sugars, like fruits juices. So it may not include all the varying forms of sugar to give you an accurate understanding.

4. No Refined Carbs, Plus #2 or #3

Once you become pro at identifying obvious sweet treats as well as reading the fine print, then you’re prepared to include refined carbohydrates as another form of sugar. This level is a preparatory stage for the complete sugar detox, which seeks to eliminate all carbohydrates for a short period of time. The ultimate intention is to give your body a reset.

Refined carbs include any kind of white bread or dough, pasta, pastries, breakfast cereals, white flour or white rice. It’s the grain without the “whole” at the front. You’ll want to replace your refined carbs with whole grains. You’ll do this alongside the tasks of either path #2 or #3.

5. Easy-Does-It

The easy-does-it path is for those with a really wonky relationship with sugar. Maybe you’re completely new to health and wellness altogether. Have no fear. There’s room for you here! You are not wrong or bad for being where you are. You will be far more successful for honoring and acknowledging exactly where you are and taking baby steps to get to where you want to go.

On this path, you’ll start with reducing how many sweet treats you eat first in a day, then in a week and then in a month. As you progress, you can move to path #2 and go from there. It may take time, but stay focused and stay true to what you desire to create in your life: health!

Final Thoughts on Quitting Sugar

It’s important to understand the various levels to quitting sugar. You may embark on a sugar detox and never realize that you’re undermining your intentions. Especially since a lot of “health” or “diet” products that market themselves low-fat and weight loss-friendly contain tons of sugar.

Knowledge is power. Once you know the different levels you can start where it makes the most sense for you and level-up as you increase your skills. We are all at different places on our health journeys. If you want to succeed, then you’ll need to find the best place to start that’s right for you.

Photos via Gettys Image


Maria P
Martha Pabout a month ago


heather g
heather g2 months ago

Eat veggies

Chad Anderson
Chad A2 months ago

Thank you.

Kathy K
Kathy K2 months ago


Michael Friedmann
Michael F2 months ago

Thank You for Sharing This !!!

Ben O
Ben O2 months ago

Just a little sugar in my coffee... : ~ )

Melanie St. Germaine

I've slowly weaned off the sweets. I had a jar candy that lasted from one Christmas to the next.

Sherry K
Sherry Kohn2 months ago

Many thanks to you !

Danuta W
Danuta W2 months ago

thank you for posting

Janet B
Janet B2 months ago