Effective strategies for breaking sugar addiction include quitting sugar consumption cold turkey, avoiding sugar substitutes, and finding other, non-sugary foods to enjoy. The process of sugar abstinence usually requires planning and forethought, including the willingness to eliminate most processed foods from the diet. In some cases, individuals may need professional help in breaking this addiction and may wish to work with a licensed counselor or therapist during the process. It may also be helpful for the sugar addict to seek assistance from a dietitian who can help him or her select tasty foods that do not contribute to the kinds of health problems caused by the over-consumption of sugar.
For many people, breaking any type of addiction requires complete abstinence from the substance on which they are dependent. Unfortunately, many foods, both natural and processed, contain some sugar, which can make total abstinence from sugar difficult if not impossible. Individuals intent on breaking this addiction should take the time to read nutrition labels on all processed foods in their home and on grocery store shelves so that they can become acquainted with the sugar levels in many of the foods they eat each day. They should also learn about the sugar content in non-processed foods, which they can do by looking for this information online or in nutritional reference books. After identifying foods that contain significant amounts of sugar, these individuals can avoid consuming these foods and remove them from their home if they already have them in their pantry.
Although some people will use sugar substitutes as a way of avoiding sugar, some experts on breaking sugar addiction believe that this can be a counterproductive practice. By consuming sugar substitutes, an addict is not taking steps toward retuning her palate toward less sweet foods. In some cases, individuals may actually eat more of a sugar-free food because they feel that they are sticking to their sugarless regimen. If the food is otherwise high in calories or carbohydrates, some of the goals of breaking sugar addiction, such as reducing body weight, may be compromised.
In cases where an individual has significant health problems, breaking sugar addiction may not be possible without outside assistance. Consulting with a nutritionist or dietitian about ways of cutting down on sugar and developing new dietary habits can be helpful for many people. Some people may also benefit from counseling or psychotherapy or participating in a support group.