July 4th Sale! 25% Off Storewide, This Weekend Only!

How To Defeat Your Sugar Addiction for Good

by Dr. Nancy Rahnama

Director of Health & Nurition

Do you feel like you can’t stop reaching for just a little more chocolate? Does healthy food just not taste all that great to you? If so, you may have a sugar addiction that makes healthy eating and weight loss almost impossible.

If you were to tell someone you have a sugar addiction, they may roll their eyes and tell you there’s no such thing, but there is! Eating sugar causes endorphins and dopamine to flow through our body, giving us an instant feel-good effect and a “reward” for eating the sugar. Those effects quickly wear off, and then we start to crave those great feelings again.

So, how do you break free of sugar addiction? How much sugar should we really be having?

How much sugar is it okay to eat a day?

As adults, most US citizens eat around 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, though doctors recommend that we don’t consume more than 5 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men. That’s a huge disparity and is even more concerning when we consider the sources of the sugar. We should only be eating sugar that occurs naturally within our food, yet most of our sugar intake is added sugar, which is nearly always worse for us.

To put it into perspective, just one can of full-sugar soda contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar – drink two of those, and you’ve already reached the US average and blown the recommended amount out of the water. If you think that’s not a lot, go to your pantry, grab the sugar and a teaspoon and pour 10 teaspoons into a dry glass – you’ll soon see just how much it is!

What benefits are there to cutting out sugar?

Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduced fatigue
  • Less anxiety and stress
  • Mood swings are more unlikely
  • You’re less likely to experience acid reflux
  • Reduced occurrences of irritable bowel
  • Less likely to experience migraines
  • Reduce inflammation which causes sore and painful joints
  • Reduced likelihood of developing life-ending and degenerative diseases

How to Break Free of Sugar Addiction

- Eat 3 Good Meals a Day

If you have a sugar addiction, there’s a good chance that you’ve snacked on so many sugary foods that you’ve not been hungry when your meal times roll around. That usually leads us to eat very little of our “real” meal or skip it entirely. To break your addiction, you’ve got to start eating 3 balanced meals a day.

Balanced means you need the right amount of protein, healthy fats, and fiber to keep you full and satisfied. This will tell your brain to pass the message on to the hormones that control your appetite to keep you full and satisfied. 

- Eat Healthy Sources of Carbohydrate

In an ideal world, we’d simply fill the carbohydrate portion of our plates with more vegetables, but most people need some carbs in at least one meal to stay sane or to fuel workouts. However, choosing healthy, unprocessed carbs with a low glycemic index will also help you break free of sugar. Here are some carbs to avoid and what to substitute them with:

  • White rice (opt for brown where possible)
  • White bread (whole wheat or a different carb is better)
  • White potatoes (opt for sweet potatoes)
  • Pasta and noodles (try pea protein noodles for a similar texture)

Other great carbohydrates to choose from are: quinoa, couscous, bulgur, and other ancient grains.

- Try Intermittent Fasting   

There are many ways to try intermittent fasting, and some are quite intimidating. However, one of the easiest ways to work it into your diet and defeat your sugar addiction is to delay your first meal and stop eating after your last meal.

Even simply delaying your first meal until you’re actually hungry (rather than when you think you’re hungry when you first wake up) will help you resist sugar. When you wake up, grab a glass of water or tea and start your day. When you finally get those hunger pangs, knowing you’re not thirsty, you can eat a good, healthy breakfast.

If you stop eating after your last meal, especially if it’s a little earlier in the evening, you can easily work intermittent fasting into your daily routine without noticing. Try to eat your last meal at least three hours before you go to sleep so your body digests your food before you go to sleep. If you stop eating at 7pm and don’t eat until 10am the next day, you’ve worked in a 15 hour fast without noticing. Even if you wake up and get hungry quickly, you’ll still have a 12 hour fast which is incredibly beneficial for the body.

Again, make sure your dinner is well balanced with plenty of fiber, and don’t snack after dinner.

- Stop Snacking

Okay, this one is tough, but if you can do it, you will break free from your sugar addiction. It’s time to stop snacking. The key to cutting out snacking is to make sure your meals are big and balanced, with plenty of fiber to keep you full. Some people find success by adding what they want to snack on into their mealtime, so they’ll finish their lunch off with a banana rather than waiting a few hours before having it.

If you really have to snack, opt for whole fruit and avoid chocolate, candy, or chips. If you get home from work and get hungry, consider moving your dinner to earlier in the day – no one says you have to eat at 7 instead of 5pm! 

Kicking your sugar addiction isn’t easy, and it’s something that you have to keep in mind for life. It’s all too easy to slip back into old eating habits, especially since that dopamine hit sugar gives us can be easily linked to emotional eating. If you eat sugar in times of stress or upset, make sure you keep that in mind when you’re trying to kick the habit. A great way to become more conscious of what you’re eating and why is to keep a journal where you note down what you eat and why you ate it. Simply knowing what you’re eating and why can help you choose a piece of fruit over a chocolate bar when you get the urge to eat, and help you break free of your sugar addiction.


Dr. Nancy Rahnama, MD, ABOM, ABIM, is a medical doctor board certified by both the American Board of Obesity Medicine and the American Board of Internal Medicine. Her specialty is Clinical Nutrition, that is, the use of nutrition by a medical doctor to diagnose and treat disease. Dr. Rahnama has helped thousands of people achieve their goals of weight loss, gut health, improved mood and sleep, and managing chronic disease. In addition to her private practice in Beverly Hills, she is also the co-founder and Director of Nutrition for Dr Nancy MD.

You may also like...

Our Guarantee

Try our products risk-free. If you are unhappy for any reason, simply return it within 60 days of receiving it and we’ll give you a full refund. It’s that simple.

Our Guarantee

Try our products risk-free. If you are unhappy for any reason, simply return it within 60 days of receiving it and we’ll give you a full refund. It’s that simple.