Everywhere you look various people are giving advice about losing weight and kicking sugar addiction. Here’s the truth, I’m very suspicious of most of their advice. Are they really, or have they ever been, bonafide sugar addicts? If they aren’t, I don’t care who they, they have no business giving advice on how to beat sugar addiction.

Folks, if you can walk by a plate of warm, oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips, cinnamon and walnuts and say, “No,” you probably are not a sugar addict and you don’t know what makes a sugar addict feel like they HAVE to eat that even though they are smart adults. 

Overcoming Sugar Addiction

I am a sugar addict. I’ve only been able to overcome by God’s grace, strength and power. I know well what it feels like to be controlled by a cookie, brownie or even a hot roll and a big helping of cheesy potato casserole. I can walk away today because I have faced the truth. I need to walk away because if I take another bite, I will once again be controlled by that substance. I never want to go there again.

See, I once weighed 430 pounds. I’ve lost over 260 pounds and have kept it off. I did that mainly by not eating sugar and breads and pastas made with gluten. I know now how to face truth with God’s help. I need only look at my before and after pictures to understand one bite and I could be right back in the land of super morbid obesity. It is not a fun place to live.

An article I read a year or so ago let me know the author had no clue about what the word “addiction” means when coupled with the word, “sugar.” Among this doctor’s five suggestions was eating the type of sugary treats you love in small quantities. She was obviously never a real sugar addict or at least never had the level of sugar addiction I have. I say, “have” because I know the tendency is still there if I do not put good boundaries in place.

Are You Addicted?

To suggest that someone really addicted to sugar use the tactic of eating less is like suggesting an alcoholic just drink less alcohol or go for their favorite alcohol in small quantities.

The dictionary defines addiction as having “a strong and harmful need to regularly have something.” Having less sugar does not work unless you are not addicted.

Most giving advice about what they term sugar addiction are not really talking about sugar addiction. They are giving advice about cutting down the harmful effects of eating too much sugar. Not everyone who eats too much sugar is addicted. For some it’s simply a matter of education and behavior modification of how much they should eat. I was asked on a recent TV interview if it was depressing thinking of never eating sugar again.

I explained to the hostess that I was like an alcoholic only with sugar. She, her husband and my husband can eat sugar because it is not addictive to them, but I can’t because I can’t stop with one piece of anything I love to eat that has sugar or turns quickly into sugar in the bloodstream. Knowing that truth sets me free to understand that not eating those things is the best thing I can do for myself.

Is Sugar In Charge?

If sugar has become your life, your go-to source for entertainment, emotional security, comfort, protection and even, companionship, you cannot just modify the amount you eat. It is in charge of you. To break the cycle you must stop altogether. There is no in-between. You are like me, a REAL sugar addict.

Paul addressed this when he said, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me but I will not be mastered by anything.”1

To live I had to stop eating all refined and processed sugar. After years of doing this I can tell when something has added sugar. I’m rarely caught off guard because I am on the lookout for the substance that I can easily allow to overcome me.

Freedom Tastes Good

I’m finally free of the sugar I felt I couldn’t live without. When I cut out refined sugar, by God’s grace and by His power,2 I am no longer wallowing in lack of control and have lost over 260 pounds.

In the process of going on my journey, I had a mentor and an accountability group to pull me back on track when ever I was tempted to eat a gooey treat. I needed them because when I would do that, which I did a few times, I would become just like an alcoholic who takes another drink. Thank God they were there for me and reminded me that God is my true source on this journey. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them or without God’s grace strength.

Today, I coach a similar group, Sweet Change Weight Loss Coaching Group, because I know the near impossibility of walking this journey alone. I needed a mentor, others on the journey with me and God to guide my way. 

When one bite would trigger my cravings again, confession to the group would pull me back. Having a mentor to help me process a plan of action to not get caught again was vital.

Not everyone is like me. Some do not have the overwhelming desire to eat sugar constantly. Those individuals can follow the advice of doctors telling them to curtail their intake.

Five Ways

For those who are true sugar addicts, though, here are my five ways to kick sugar addiction.

  1. Eat regular meals with good protein and good fats. Sugar addicts have unstable blood sugar and we are usually the ones waiting until supper to eat a huge meal and then snacking all night. Eating regularly with protein snacks and adding good fats, such as avocados, nuts or coconut oil, in between helps regulate blood sugar.
  1. Cut out all refined and processed sugar. When you are really addicted, it is impossible to cut down. You must stop completely. When you stop and tell yourself you cannot go back, your cravings will eventually go away. For me it took a year. For others it will take less time depending on the level of addiction. I knew this was my last resort. I stayed with the plan and it became easier as I was consistent.
  1. Cut out diet sodas and diet foods. No artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners simply mimic sugar and make your brain want it all the more. It sets up the craving mechanism. This is why many times people will drink a diet soda while eating a candy bar. They are fueling their craving mechanism. Raw leaf stevia or raw monkfruit are not artificial sweeteners and can be used by most individuals. Test yourself to see. If you crave it, stop!
  1. Eat whole fruit instead of refined sugar. Fruit, not fruit juice, has fructose, but it also has fiber and water content. This type of fructose is released slower into your bloodstream and does not spike your blood sugar making you crave it again in a few minutes.
  1. Stop and think. When cravings for sugar begin, stop and ask yourself what is going on. Are you thirsty? Drink water. If that doesn’t satisfy and you are hungry, eat protein. If that doesn’t satisfy, ask yourself, “What am I really feeling?” Do something positive to deal with your emotions instead of eating sugar.

The #KickSugar 10-Video Course is still available at no cost. It includes recipes, inspirational thoughts and daily email reminders.

Feel free to check out our other resources, such as the Christian Weight Loss Video Short Courses or Sweet Change Group, which in additional to regular teachings and coaching includes a Video Vault with over $7,000 worth of the video courses and #KickWeight video teachings. 

It’s never too late to be intentional about getting in shape in 2017. Start now by kicking sugar to the curb! Your body will thank you for treating it better.  on’t wait, get started with #KickSugar today! Go HERE.

 

1 1 Cor. 6:12 NASB

2 2 Cor, 12:9 MSG

Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.