The 'Towards a Sugar-Free Future' Challenge

I've been struggling with my sugar consumption for years and no matter how hard I try I don't seem to be able to just cut it out.  I've tried everything I can think of over the past five years but nothing's worked.  It's time to try an approach that has worked for something else.
Just over seven years ago I joined the Giving Up / Cutting Down Alcohol forum thread and posted every single day for two solid years.  The wonderful support on that thread helped me stop drinking altogether and I'm still absolutely certain that without that support I wouldn't have succeeded.  So, despite having been able to give up both smoking and drinking by going cold turkey I just can't hack giving up sugar on my own, and I wondered if anyone else has the same problem and would like to try this approach.   
I'm at least a stone (6.35kgs) overweight and that's entirely down to sugar, which I started over-eating when I gave up smoking, but when I stopped drinking it got totally out of hand.  One of the wise people on the Giving Up / Cutting Down thread said it was because the sugar content of alcohol is so high that when you cut out the booze, your consumption of sugar increases to balance it.  I don't know if that's true but it certainly seemed to be so for me because the weight was slowly piling on after I stopped smoking and the rate has certainly increased since going alcohol-free.
If I stopped craving sugar I'd stop buying the stuff in chocolate and biscuits and ice cream and desserts and .... all the rest of it, which is where the MSE thing comes in.  Of itself each £1 spent on a bar of chocolate isn't a massive amount, but I've been tracking my chocolate spend this year, and by the end of July I'd racked up £143 on chocolate alone - and I started the year with a big stash.   That's just chocolate.  I also had a sugar stash, and there are only four bags left - the rest went in puddings, biscuits, cakes, jam, marmalade and anything else I can think of making. 
It has to stop.
However, denial on it's own just doesn't work for me so dieting isn't my way forward.  I'm going to wean myself off this stuff and if anyone would like to join me that would be really, really helpful.
From tomorrow, Monday, I will be cutting out sugar on Mondays - for the rest of the month.
From September I will be cutting out sugar on Mondays and Tuesdays.
In October, no sugar on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
November - Monday to Thursday will be sugar-free.
December - sugar on weekends only.
There are exceptions.  I am not a sugar-nazi and I am only talking about added sugar, so fruit is fine, mayo and tomato ketchup stay on the edible list despite both containing sugar, and if there happens to be a birthday or a highday or holiday that falls during the week I intend to eat whatever happens to be on offer that day.  If we go out for a meal with friends and other people want dessert, I'll probably continue to share one with my Belovéd.  I am not a purist about this because having tried that approach I just know I'll fail.  I'm planning on being pragmatic because I believe I stand a better chance of succeeding by being so.
I'll post daily, whether I eat sugar or not.  When I don't I'll need to record those successes, and when I do eat sugar I need to hold myself accountable for whatever it is that I'm eating that I know I really shouldn't be eating but can't seem to help myself.
This is NOT a diet.  It's a change in the way I live my life, so it's about breaking old bad habits and setting up newer healthier ones.
Anyone else fancy having a go?

Better is good enough.


  • Narc0lepsy
    Narc0lepsy Forumite Posts: 2,553
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Sounds worth a try. I'm saying that but...excuse brother is here for a couple of days and I already have a chocolate roulade, after 8s in the house and have discussed blueberry friandes for dessert. But I'll try.
    Remember...a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.
  • Honey_Bear
    Honey_Bear Forumite Posts: 7,053
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    @leftatthetrafficlights I'm only starting today because I had the idea yesterday (Sunday) while reading an article that links obesity in children in the southern states of the USA with problems recovering from Covid-19, an extremely random link to cutting out sugar on Monday but that's apparently the link my mind made.  Overconsumption of sugar + easily transmittable lung infection = obesity + poor health outcomes has been known for some time.  The fact that some children are now at a higher risk in the USA while not apparently in the UK was interesting, but then made me realise I didn't need to carry on doing what I was doing and feeling helpless about my weight, and so came up with the idea.  Anyone and everyone who wants to join in is very, very welcome because if we can encourage each other to stay on a slightly straighter, slightly narrower path it will benefit us all. 
    Mondays suit me because I always feel I start a new week with a clean slate.
    It's such a shame that all the fun stuff like booze, mixers, sugary condiments (and I include tomato ketchup and mayonnaise in that, which if I made myself would not have sugar in, but I don't so they do) are all high in sugar.  I love MaccyDs, and allow myself one year but learned a couple of weeks ago one of the reason the fries are so moreish is that they're given a sugar bath as part of the precooking processing.  Seriously?  Sugar on potatoes?  When did that get classed as a food?  So, that once a year treat is now out for me and I'm cross about it!
    Anyone from the Cutting Down / Giving Up Alcohol thread is always especially welcome because that group of people were massively important in my being able to stop drinking when nothing else I tried had worked.  So, you're very welcome to knit your own version of 'Towards a sugar-free future' because only you know what's likely to work for you and success breeds more success in my experience.  (If we learned from our mistakes no-one would ever have a second hangover but we all know that's doesn't work!)


    Better is good enough.
  • Honey_Bear
    Honey_Bear Forumite Posts: 7,053
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    @Jazee Oh crisps!  The most moreish of foods until, as I discovered, they always give a person indigestion.  It took me a year to realise that two foods do, every time I eat them - crisps and liquorice allsorts.  It puts one off them I can tell you, which is an extremely good thing in my case.  I totally get that they're on your list of foods to resist resist resist - good luck with it.
    Better is good enough.
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