Sugar junkie

Hello, my name is Kelly and I am a sugar junkie.


I’ve eluded to this before.  I’ve joked about it, laughed about it, told funny stories about it.

But, it’s not funny anymore.

I’ve been mulling this over in my mind for quite some time and have come to one conclusion: I am addicted to sugar and now I’m ready to do something about it.

Sugar is fine for some people in moderation, but it makes me crazy. Just a bit of something sugary, especially if I’m even slightly hungry, makes me crave more sugar.

Often, I feel really bad after I overindulge in something sugary.  I’ve always thought this was the guilt from eating too much,, and yes, I do feel guilty.  But I also think that eating too much sugar is making me feel bad emotionally.


It all seems harmless the way I go about  it.  After all, most of the things I eat are healthy, right? For me, the justifiable sugar comes in the form of baked goods made with whole grains, ‘healthy’ granola and bars, and cereal, who I sometimes fondly think of as my abusive boyfriend.  Even though I know how it will turn out, I keep going back to it.  I put cereal in my cart less often now, but I’ve adopted other sugary ‘healthy’ vices to make up for its absence.

*Please know* that I’m not saying these things are bad for you.  But for me, clearly there is a pattern.  I turn to sugar when I want a pick me up physically and emotionally, when I feel a bit down, and especially when I’m anxious.

I turn to sugar and sugar turns on me.

I’ve been reading a lot about sugar addiction recently and found Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ Series particularly interesting.  In this series she talks about why and how she quit sugar.  In her series she discusses how the body processes various sugars in different ways and also how the body doesn’t recognize satiation when consuming sugar in the form of fructose (the sugar found in fruit).

I’ve read conflicting articles on this. Some state that fructose in the form of fruit isn’t meant to be consumed at the level most people eat it.  Fruit was few and far between for our ancestors and consumption of fruit was to give us a jolt of energy, like one might need to hunt down prey.  However other articles state that fructose in whole fruit form is fine.  When fructose is attached to fiber, as is the case with fruit, fiber slows the absorption and our insulin levels aren’t affected in the same way as when straight sugar is consumed. This article does a good job at explaining this.

So after doing my homework, considering my own dietary beliefs and needs, I have decided to embark on a week long sugar detox, to better understand what my body feels like when sugar is not a driving force.

My Sugar Detox Plan:

– Eliminate the majority of sugar from my diet.

– Eliminate the majority of processed bread that contains sugar from my diet.

– Eat no more than two servings of fruit per day.

– Eat two snacks per day.

– Amp up my healthy fat intake.

I’m sticking to language like “eliminate the majority of” because we are going out to dinner on Saturday night to one of my favorite restaurant; a tapas restaurant.   We’ll be sharing food and I don’t want to miss out on that experience.  But I am sticking to my plan to not eat dessert and not much bread since I have no idea what is in it.

These goals might not be as “smart” as my fitness goals for the week, but trust me when I say rigid eating plans and I don’t jive well, so I think this type of plan is for the best.


I’m sure some of you are wondering why I don’t just stick to “healthier” sugars like honey, turbinado, agave, etc.

*Please remember* that I’m doing this because I have a strong reaction to sugar. All sugar.  Not just the white bleached processed kind.  In no way am I saying that eating sugary things in moderation are a bad thing.  It’s very challenging for me to eat sugary things in moderation, so I need to take a step back and see what it looks like to not give into my cravings and hopefully rid myself of my cravings.  I need to hit my restart button.

And that’s the ultimate goal here: to have complete control over what I put in my body; to not feel compelled to eat something or continue to eat something; to be able to stop when I’m satiated and make a healthy choice when I’m not.

By the way, this is my number six goal, I eluded to earlier.  I strongly believe that in my world, fitness and diet are related.  They’re not long lost cousins. They’re siblings.  When I’m eating what my body wants and needs, I enjoy exercise.  When I’m crashing and burning from sugar overload, I just want to sit on the couch and eat more sugar.

So this is my plan for the next week beginning this  evening at dinner.  No last minute sugar binges allowed! And as a part of this plan, I’m going to hold myself accountable by posting photos of my daily eating here.  For me, this is the ultimate form of accountability.  I’m not going back to “this is what I ate” blogging full time, only for this specific purpose.  It might just look like a bunch of random photos with a short description, and commentary on how my plan is going.  I’ll still be posting my regular food (recipes), fitness, and style posts in addition.

Any other sugar addicts out there? Have you ever done a sugar detox and did you follow a plan or just wing it?

29 Responses to Sugar junkie

  1. Good for you! I’ll be supporting you every step of the way!

    I’ve mostly eliminated sugar from my diet, and have reduced my reliance on grains and starches. It’s not easy! It involves a strong commitment, diligence in reading labels, and detox symptoms such as headaches, irritability and fatigue. I remember my body having one last “fit” for sugar, during which I ate a bag of Pop Chips and almost an entire loaf of Udi’s gluten-free bread in the span of an hour. Since then, I haven’t wanted much in the way of sugar and simple carbohyrdates. I found that my taste buds changed and are much more sensitive to sugar. A little goes a long way.

    I like that you addressed the forms sugar takes — fruit, cereal, toppings, even milk. Re: agave, personaly avoid it because it’s concentrated (90%!!!) fructose and is processed by the liver, where much of it is converted to fat (particularly triglycerides). I’ve discussed fructose with my doctor, who advised me to avoid agave and tropical fruit (e.g., pineapple, mango, papaya, bananas). So I enjoy fresh (unsweeteend) berries and apples almost every day.

    I’m looking forward to reading about your journey. Best of luck!

    • I’ve read such conflicting things about agave. It’s difficult to figure out what are the actual facts. I’m avoiding it completely for now because I think sugar is sugar for me. I don’t typically drink glasses of milk but I do enjoy a splash in my coffee which I’m leaving in for now. Basically, I’m treating this week as a science experiment to see if the change does anything to affect my cravings. Thanks for your encouragement Maggie!

  2. Good luck with the battle with sugar, I am currently losing my battle!

    • Ah! I’ve felt that way for so long. I hope you figure out what works best for you. Each of us are all so different with our dietary needs. It can be overwhelming at times. I try to think of it as a science experiment with my own body to figure out foods what makes me feel my very best.

  3. I forgot to mention “nutrition”/”protein” bars, dates and dried fruit — all are off limits in my journey to quit sugar. Oh, and sugar alcohols are awful, awful, awful. (My digestive tract is recoiling in horror as I type this.)

    Will you be keeping stevia in your diet? I don’t use it because I can’t stand the taste, but I understand it’s as “bad” (maybe a better word is confusing?) as glucose, fructose and no-calorie sweeteners when trying to kick sugar addiction?

    • Oh yes definitely. No bars, dates, or dried fruit for me for the week. I use these as justifiable “healthy” sugar binges so there’s no denying they affect me too. I am keeping Stevia. I’ve read conflicting things about it, like that it actually promotes insulin production. I think the jury is still out on it. I might reconsider this in the future but for now, I’m hoping it helps ease me into eating less sugar. I’m not a huge Stevia user right now (maybe 1 serving per day) and I hope to keep it that way.

  4. I think it’s great that you’re trying this out. I can’t say I did a full detox because I still had small amounts, but when I did all of my food sensitivity blood tests, it showed a reaction to specifically to fructose and cane sugar, but only to some fruits. I agree with what you’ve read about the fact that fruit wasn’t in abundance back in the day. It’s not bad for us by any means, BUT most people have too much fruit and have it in addition to other sugars that weren’t around before. When I went gluten free and cut out the sugars, my cravings dropped significantly. I’m curious to see if how you do with cravings eliminating the processed bread. Best of luck!

    • Thanks Casey! That sounds kind of like my plan. Because I’m leaving in some fruit (can’t imagine life without it), I still be getting some sugars. My main point with the processed breads is to cut out those that have added sugar. I’ll still be eating Ezekiel bread, which does not contain sugar. It’s amazing to me when I buy wheat bread sometimes, how it has an underlying sweet taste and then when I check the label, there is sugar in there! It’s kind of surprising.

  5. I do love sweet things, but I don’t have bad reactions to them (except- like most people I’m sure- if I eat entirely too much). But I have noticed a huge change in my motivation to be active since cutting out a lot of processed grains and such.

    I’ve never hit the “reset” button for sugar, but I did for meat since I recently became vegetarian. You crave what you miss at first, but then it’s like it doesn’t matter anymore. After a week or so of cutting out meat I was like “Uh, why did I ever want it in the first place?”. But then again I wasn’t really ever a big meat person.

    Best of luck with your goals! You can do it 😀

  6. Mary Magiera

    That sounds like something i would love to also try! Sugar makes me irritable and gassy so I would love to follow along in this. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers try doing sugar detoxes but they never explain the foods that actually have sugar. I know that sounds stupid but could you do a post on maybe hidden sugars and foods that have it? I know it may seem easy but I feel like there a foods that secretly have a lot of sugar!

    • Sure Mary! From my experience, it’s really on a case-by-case basis. One product will have sugar, while a similar product will not have sugar, so it’s really all about reading labels. I can post about this. I’ll try to get to it sometime this week.

  7. I’ll be so interested to hear how this turns out! I also seem to have a strong reaction to sugar. I had to eliminate it * completely* (no fruit even or any other sugar containing food item) during an elimination diet for my stomach issues, and I noticed that my skin was glowing! So ever since then, I’ve tried to decrease sugar…can’t say I’ve been successful, but I try. I really wish you the best of luck, and I hope you keep us updated on how everything goes!

    • Thanks Kristen! That would be so hard for me! I love fruit so much and I know there is a place for them in my diet, especially berries. Thank goodness I don’t have any stomach issues and I hope you’ve been able to get yours under control. Best of luck trying to figure out what works best for you and your diet. 🙂

  8. I’m not a sugar junkie, but my best friend is and I KNOW how hard it is for her. Sometimes just a taste for sugar triggers something insatiable. Sugar does make my skin break out – so it’s a good thing it’s not on my top ten list. I DO need it in my coffee though.

    I DO think the detox will help. It’s amazing how your body will turn to something else though – so be on the lookout!

    Good luck!

    • Thanks Michelle! I know I will crave carbs if I don’t make sure I get enough fats in my meal. I learned when I tried eating raw for three days (just a fun experiment) that when I eat enough fat and protein that I feel completely satiated without over eating.

  9. Elizabeth

    I find it interesting when I quit sugar—I don’t crave it!! I substitute in my protein smoothies, and dark choc oats with pbutter and do pretty well. I almost get to a point where I don’t even crave it–I would rather have a smoothie–i don’t add much if any fruit to mine–versus ice cream. Sweet must be an acquired taste! Best Wishes–E

  10. As I mentioned I have the exact same thing! Will be writing about this further (and that book) on how some people are sugar sensitive. Generally people who are sugar sensitive are addicted to sugar, crave it even when they’re not hungry, and experience extreme highs and lows and dips in self confidence with sugar. For me, I even feel affected by sugary fruits like mangoes and bananas! And it sucks because I love them!

    We’ll get through it 🙂

    • Yes, that all sounds completely familiar. I don’t usually feel effects after eating mango and banana unless they’re dried. Then it’s like straight candy. Thanks for your encouragement, Gillian. I can’t wait to read your thoughts about what you’ve been going through. 🙂

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  13. Kelly Boggs

    Hi Kelly! It’s so interesting you posted this post now! I have been on a NO carb NO sugar diet the past few weeks. Mine was “prescribed” to me to help control borderline gestational diabetes. After finding out that a modified diet of low carb and sugar didn’t work I’m on a meat and veggie only diet for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. No beans or dairy!! It’s so hard to not have any sweets – I also am a sugar junkie. I have found that even wholesome things like oatmeal and bananas drastically increase my glucose levels (I am I insulin resistant; however)! One of the most shocking discoveries for me has been how a lot of “sugar free” items increase my glucose as much as regular candy!! Dang malitol!! Good luck with your detox – I look forward to eating vicariously through your upcoming posts!

    • Erin told me about your diet and I totally feel for you. I just learned about gestational diabetes last year and you’re already the second person I know to have it. I often wonder about my insulin levels since diabetes runs in my family and I can turn into a monster or a space cadet if I’m super hungry and my blood sugar drops too low. I can’t wait to see photos of your new little one. I hope you have a quick and easy delivery. Eric needs to go get you the dessert of your choice as soon as you’re able to eat normally again. 🙂

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