Removing sugar from your diet can be more challenging than expected. If you’re struggling with eliminating sugar while on your weight loss journey, it might be time to take a deeper, honest look at your sugar intake.

It will be easier to reduce your sugar intake if you understand why you eat sweets. Yes, they taste good, but there’s more to it than that. 

Without judgment, examine the role that sweets currently play in your life. Here are two questions to ask yourself:

Are sweets truly just a source of pleasure, or do you use sweets to self-soothe or self-medicate? 

If you experience powerful cravings for sweets, what are your triggers?

  • Sight, taste, smell – This is when you crave sugar because you have learned they taste good. This is the relatively simplest one to deal with because you probably just need a break to build new habits. You can logic/think your way out of this one, for the most part.
  • Environmental – When you crave sweets at certain times of day, or in situations like nights out with friends or at the coffee shop. Again, these are mostly learned associations or habits.
  • Emotions – You crave sugar because it makes you feel better when you’re sad, lonely, scared, angry, confused, or even happy. If sweets help you cope with negative emotions, in particular, you might have to have a harder time breaking up with them unless you find other ways to deal with these feelings.
  • Restriction – Do you crave more sweets when you are also cutting out other foods, strictly tracking your macros, or eating in a caloric deficit? The science strongly suggests that food restriction can lead to overeating and bingeing behaviours, in some individuals more than others.

The “without judgment piece” is critical here. Get curious, and be honest with yourself. What is it about sweets that makes them so compelling? There’s a reason (or, more likely, several) you haven’t simply quit already.

Looking for more tips? Check out our blog post How To Detox from Sugar. 

Or, read the article: How to Quit Sweets, for Real This Time.

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