5 Effortless Ways to Ditch Sugar

Last Update: March 6, 2020

My client looked surprised when I circled a few less-than-obvious culprits that were holding her weight at a standstill.

She thought she had been doing everything correctly. One glance at her journal revealed she wasn’t making an 11 p.m. brownie raid. She wasn’t noshing on whatever high-sugar impact dessert her coworker brought in.

Instead, it was seemingly innocuous foods like balsamic vinaigrette that were adding about 100 grams of extra sugar to her otherwise-healthy diet.

Those sneaky sugars created a fat-loss roadblock. Worst of all, she didn’t even enjoy some of these foods. She dutifully ate them, believing they were healthy.

Like many people, my client’s weight loss resistance stemmed from sugar—much of which she didn’t even realize she was eating. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, the average American eats almost a pound of sugar every day.

Many sources aren’t immediately obvious. Sugar is a chameleon that hides under lots of different names and slips into foods you’d never expect. My friend Jonathan Bailor determined that sugar hides behind 57 sneaky terms!

In the Sugar Impact Diet, I’ve created a novel approach to gradually taper off of high-sugar impact foods without deprivation and other problems going cold turkey can create. In my book, I categorize foods as green, yellow, or red based on their sugar impact. My simple three-cycle plan will help you transition to a low-sugar impact diet, so you shift from being a sugar burner to a fat burner.

For many clients, uncovering sneaky sugars and transitioning into low-sugar impact foods becomes the ‘a-ha!’ needle-mover for fast, lasting fat loss.

These five principles are the core of my Sugar Impact Diet. Employing them will help break your addiction and finally achieve fast, lasting fat loss.

1. Taper, don’t eliminate.

You’ve probably tried completely eliminating sugar all at once. How did that work for you? There are a few things I can guarantee going cold turkey will do for you, and losing weight isn’t one of them. Instead, you’ll be shaky, irritable, lethargic, starving, and craving sugar— not the outcome we’re after. In the Sugar Impact Diet, I’ve provided a strategic three-cycle plan to gradually eliminate sugar without deprivation, withdrawal, and other miseries that an abrupt change can create.

2. Add before you take away.

Rather than tell you to avoid certain things, I show you fabulous low-sugar impact substitutions or lateral shifts for your favorite foods. Nothing is cut from your diet without being replaced, so you never feel deprived. Don’t be surprised if you like the swaps better anyway. Doesn’t a sauce made with fresh tomatoes, basil, and olive oil sound much better than a sugar-filled jar of boring marinara?

3. Watch those so-called healthy foods.

You already know sugar is bad for you! Hardly anyone is gobbling up straight sugar anymore—consumption of table sugar is at an all-time low. What become problematic are the hidden sugars that can hold your weight and health hostage. In the Sugar Impact Diet, I’ve pinpointed seven food groups where hidden sugars are a fat-loss obstacle. Some of these may surprise you. Like my client, you might be eating them believing they’re healthy.

4. Track and measure to improve.

One study at The Center for Health Research (CHR) found people who wrote down everything they ate lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t. Journaling food intake, measurements, and other accountability factors helped my client pinpoint hidden sugars, and it can help you when those skinny jeans feel a little too skinny. (Stop blaming the dryer!)

5. See the bigger picture.

Most plans look at a food’s glycemic impact, fructose load, or maybe its fiber amount. All these things are relevant, but only when you look at their cumulative impact can you really determine a food’s sugar impact. In the Sugar Impact Diet, I’ve looked at all these factors to determine a food’s true sugar impact.

As you transition from high-sugar to low-sugar impact foods on the Sugar Impact Diet, you’ll break free from your sugar addiction and finally attain fast, lasting fat loss and optimal health. Have you made the transition into low-sugar impact eating? Share your story below or on my Facebook fan page.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

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JJ Virgin

Celebrity Nutrition and Fitness Expert JJ Virgin helps clients lose weight fast by breaking free from food intolerances and crushing their sugar cravings. She is author of New York Times Bestsellers The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cookbook, and The Sugar Impact Diet.

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