Combating Sugar Addiction

I grew up on junk food. Sugar, starches, unhealthy fats, processed foods.

It was the 90s and no one seemed to care about nutrition, especially my parents who let us kids eat whatever we wanted…

I’m not trying to talk bad about my parents, but I do think that they didn’t give much thought about what we ate because growing up they were expected to eat what was given or they would go without. They didn’t want my brother and me to grow up that way.

So it was a free for all. Breakfast consisted of a sugary cereal or pop tarts. Lunch was usually spaghetti O’s or Mac n’ Cheese.
Dinner was usually pizza or a meal at a restaurant which was better because we would usually have some sort of veggie with dinner.
Dessert foods were available as a snack throughout the day and we did eat them to our heart’s content.

sugar addiction

This seemed great when I was a kid, but now that I’m an adult I wish they would have given more thought to what we ate and that our bodies needed real food.

We did eat salads and canned veggies and I thought that my love for asparagus made me seem healthy, but I didn’t understand at the time that canned veggies have no nutritional value and asparagus alone is not enough to make you healthy.

My eating habits as a child left me with a severe addiction to sugar and other health issues that I didn’t realize until my late teens.


Making a change

When my husband and I started dating I was starting down the path of eating for nutrition rather than eating junk all of the time. I had given up soda and was eating something with protein and fresh veggies for lunch and supper. This was a huge advancement for me, but I still had a long way to go.

His mom is an incredible cook. When my husband was growing up she tried to provide nutritious foods at every meal, which I found very admirable and while we were dating I got to experience what real food is. I still love her cooking and I’ve learned so much from her.

Not long after we started dating, I found out that my husband is allergic to sugar. He can’t eat fruits or anything that has over 2 grams of sugar in it. This was a new thought for me. I’d never met anyone who was allergic to sugar and although he didn’t expect me to give up sugar, I wanted to. It didn’t seem fair for me to sit and enjoy a dessert while he can’t have any.

I thought “I can give up sugar, it’ll be easy, I don’t eat that much anyway.” Boy was I wrong! When I started realizing how much sugar I actually ate every day and I was shocked! I tried so hard to give up sugar while we were dating, but I was so addicted.
Sugar is in everything!

It’s said that sugar is as addictive as cocaine. Sugar releases dopamine in the brain which gives you a high. Insulin is secreted to drop blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels drop your body craves the sugar high and so the process starts all over again.

I would buy sugary snacks at the store telling myself that this was the last time, but that was a lie. I couldn’t stop no matter how much I wanted to.
The cravings were so strong. It was madness!

It wasn’t until a few years after we were married that I was finally able to kick the addiction.

Changing my view of sugar

One day I realized that my sugar cravings were controlling me and something needed to change. I decided to limit how much I ate, which is harder than it sounds, but as I did that, I started realizing how terrible sugar made me feel.

I started eating sugary foods that weren’t processed, but I was just replacing sugar with sugar. I realized I needed to replace sugar with something that tasted good but wouldn’t give me that sugar high. In doing research I found out that magnesium-rich foods and magnesium supplements help with sugar cravings. Magnesium deficiency can manifest itself as intense sugar cravings. So I gave it a try.

Also Read: The Importance of Balanced Nutrition

I started taking a magnesium supplement along with eating real foods that would provide me with a healthy dose of vitamins. My cravings started to diminish and I stopped eating sugary foods.

I know that sounds like it was easy, just start taking magnesium, and bam! I’m done with sugar, but believe me, it was a struggle! I was able to overcome it though. I realized that I was deficient in more than just magnesium. It was only through eating less processed food and more real food that I was able to combat the cravings and become balanced nutritionally.

Apple fritter with sugar glaze

New cravings

I think back on how much my diet has changed in the last few years and I’m so proud that I was able to kick sugar out of my diet. I’ve gone from eating something sweet for breakfast with a flavored latte to eating eggs and toast with coffee to now eating eggs, toast, oat bran, and a delicious blend of adaptogens and superfoods in place of coffee.

I now crave veggies, proteins, and real foods. Instead of eating sugar, I enjoy dark chocolate that doesn’t have sugar in it.

I rarely eat sugar, but when I do it doesn’t make me feel well.

It’s foreign to my body now, so instead of giving me a feel-good high I start getting jittery, brain fog sets in, I get a terrible headache, my whole body aches, and I feel like I’m sweating from deep inside, out. It’s not a fun experience.

I honestly don’t miss sugar and I don’t crave it anymore. It makes people look at you like you’re nuts for not wanting a doughnut at work breaks, but they don’t even look good anymore, because I know how I’ll feel if I eat it.
I didn’t realize I could feel so good without it! My anxiety has become so much more manageable. I came to realize that sugar causes my anxiety to flare up, so not eating it helps keep me calm.

I’ve said it many times before but I believe that there is balance with everything. I now have a balanced view and a healthy relationship with sugar. I still eat fruit occasionally, but sugary foods are not welcome in our home.

If you’re trying to say goodbye to sugar, don’t quit. It’s tough, but if you have the willpower you can do it! Your experience will most likely be different than mine and cutting sugar out completely may not work for everyone, but reducing how much you eat can have positive effects on the body.

Sugar can cause so much harm. Sometimes we may not realize that some of the ailments we experience can be reduced and sometimes cured with a change of diet.

This content is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Read my full disclaimer to learn more.

Do you struggle with sugar addiction?

Whitney Stokes

Whitney is a naturalist who started in 2018 to encourage natural and sustainable living.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Great tip about using magnesium, and even magnesium rich foods & protein to help get over a sugar addiction. I appreciate how you describe this effort as a long process, but it is possible! Eventually, our ideas of what is good tasting and what we want to include in our diets change. It’s never too late to make a positive change, either!

  2. Isabel

    Nutrition is so important – although I have to admit that giving up sugar would be difficult. It is ultimately about the balance… But maybe a sugar detox is something to try as a first step 🙂

  3. dani

    Wow! You are doing an amazing thing. I have been practicing Veganism for nearly two weeks now and I need to find a way to be able to kick my sugar addiction too. I am inspired and I will take baby steps soon too. =)

  4. Iris

    Such an inspiration! I should definitely follow your example!

  5. Steph Dawson

    It really is amazing how many foods have sugar in them. As a type 1 diabetic, I know all too well.
    Year’s ago I went on a low-carb, high-protein diet and wow, was that hard to cut out carbs, so I can understand how hard it is to cut out sugar. It sounds like you’ve got a pretty good grasp on it now, though. Keep on it, it sounds like you’re doing wonderful!

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