10 reasons why I quit sugar

What inspired me to quit sugar in the first place?

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I have mentioned this before, but here goes again! I quit sugar back in March 2013 after reading an article in the New York Times on the Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food and realising for the first time that sugar is actually addictive.  The article is really worth a read, but if you haven’t got time, a very basic overview, is that large companies spend millions researching how to create products with the perfect taste, texture and levels of sugar, salt and fat. When I say perfect, what I mean is perfectly addictive.  The products are deliberately kept fairly bland as too much flavour would trigger us to stop eating. Plus the article suggests that sugar, salt and fat are addictive substances in their own right.  This level of spending and research doesn’t just apply to what most people would consider to be junk food either, this applies to a vast range of foods some of which are usually thought of as being healthy options (read more about foods you might not expect to contain sugar, like stock cubes for example – here)

What people say to me…

I have found that some of the people around me don’t really get why/ how I have given up sugar and seem surprised each time they see me that I am still not eating any (well very little) practically 10 months later… Sometimes people ask me how I have lost so much weight and when I tell them I have given up sugar their responses have tended to fall into one of three categories:

  1. It can’t be just down to quitting sugar – you must have done something else as well
  2. Sugar is fine in moderation – you need a little treat now and again
  3. They say that they couldn’t possibly quit sugar themselves.
In answer to no. 1 my weight loss is largely down to quitting sugar (by this I mean processed sugar added as an ingredient), but I do also try to stick to whole grains as well. After several months I also quit bananas and raisins and then wheat. 
In answer to no.2 I think that anything is fine in moderation, but if you are addicted to something (and I believe that sugar is highly addictive), then even a little of it could trigger you to consume it to excess. So avoidance is probably best until you are genuinely able to consume it in moderation. 
In answer to no.3 I probably wasn’t directly suggesting that they should give it up.

10 reasons why I quit sugar

I suppose though, just by telling people that I have given it up, I am advocating that it is something to be given up and I do think it would be great if everyone quit sugar tomorrow and here’s why:
  1. Sugar has been claimed to be the root cause of the obesity epidemic.  I can’t speak for everyone else, but quitting sugar has allowed me to lose around 2 stone in weight – even consuming a little sugar can cause me to put on weight
  2. This article (and various others I have read) claim that eating sugar can make you look older.
  3. Eat too much sugar and you could end up being diabetic.
  4. High blood sugar levels can affect your memory according to this article.
  5. Sugar can rot your teeth.  Even after giving up sugar, eating raisins gave me a bit of a toothache. I haven’t had a toothache in months!
  6. From my experience cutting out sugar gives you your tastebuds back. Simple foods taste good again. 
  7. Sugar lows and sugar highs = mood swings.  I’m much happier and more consistent with my moods these days.
  8. If we all gave up eating sugar, they wouldn’t grow it anymore. We might not be able to reverse some of the damage already done by growing sugar, but we can stop or at least reduce more happening in future!
  9. Avoiding added sugar, means avoiding most processed foods and their subsequent packaging and other dodgy ingredients.
  10. I must have saved a fortune in the last 10 months on all the chocolate, biscuits, sweets, cakes and desserts I haven’t eaten.  Plus making food from scratch (avoiding the added sugar) is also likely to have saved me a bit of money.
So there are loads of good reasons to give up sugar and I’m really glad I’ve done it. I can’t tell anyone else to do it, because to be able to give something up it has to be an individual decision.  If however you were thinking of giving up sugar, I can highly recommend it!
I am currently undertaking a Year of Eco Challenges . If you have a moment I would really appreciate it if you would consider sponsoring me with an action on my DoNation page. Also if you liked this post please click like on Facebook and follow on Twitter – thanks so much!


  1. Enjoyed your blog. Can you give a feel gor what you did to replace sugar in your diet and why bananas were cut out.

  2. Zoe

    Thanks Jon – another blog post is in progress on that subject! I will publish it tomorrow…

  3. Zoe

    I quit bananas because they are quite a sugary fruit. Getting sidetracked writing a post about how I quit sugar today, so will write another one tomorrow about what I eat…

  4. Loving this series!
    Agree with all ten but especially know first hand 4, 5 and 7. I don't get the old "Brain fog" nearly as much after cutting down the sugar, am more focused at work, and my bleeding gums are a distant memory (thank God!)

    Why didn't I learn this stuff ten years ago! Its so obvious when you stop and think about it as well but most people are happily addicted and won't question the status quo as everyone else is gorging themselves on their sugary snacks 🙂

  5. Zoe

    Thanks theFIREstarter. I also wish I had learned this stuff 10 or more years ago!

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