How I Managed to Cut My Sugar Intake in Half

How to Cut Your Sugar Intake

I’ve joked about my sweet tooth many times before. But, really, it’s no laughing matter. I’m a serious sugar junkie. Overall I have a very healthy diet – sticking to fresh, homemade meals with plenty of vegetables – but I simply cannot say no to chocolate. Leave me in a room with a bar of Green & Blacks and it will be gone within minutes. I’ve tried to eat less sugar before by going cold turkey, but have never lasted more than three days. So this year I decided to take a softer approach…

Seeing as sweet treats are my only vice (I don’t eat junk food or drink sodas, and limit both coffee and alcohol), I didn’t want to completely cut something out of my diet that brings me so much pleasure. So, since the beginning of the year, I’ve been working hard to form a new habit that allows me to enjoy sugar in moderation. I call it the 50/50 rule.

How does it work? Well, I simply alternate which days I’m allowed to have sugar and which days I go sugar free. So if Monday is a dessert day I’m strictly sugar-free on Tuesday. This doesn’t mean that I binge or go crazy on my treat days, however. I still take everything in moderation. And if I ever experience cravings on my sugar-free days it’s easy to manage, because I know it will be over within 24 hours.

How to Eat Less Sugar


WHAT I CUT OUT ON NO-SUGAR DAYS

Chocolate, cake, biscuits, candy
Sugary drinks (including fruit juices)
“Healthy” desserts (sweet potato brownies etc)
Processed foods that have high sugar levels (ready-made pasta sauces etc)

MY NO-SUGAR DAY ALTERNATIVES

Fruit* (but not juiced)
Herbal teas
Savoury snacks (nuts, hummus, cheese, oatcakes etc)


This method has been really effective because, although I don’t consume insane amounts of sugar, I find it really hard to stick to just one or two squares of chocolate per day. Once I’ve had that first bite I always want a little bit more.

I stuck to the 50/50 rule religiously throughout January, and after a week found the framework really easy to stick to. And now that I eat less sugar I’ve also noticed that I rarely crave a slice of cake or a bar of chocolate. It’s been so worthwhile.

Now, more than a month in, it’s a fully-formed habit. And I’ve been able to adjust the rules slightly when needed. For instance, if I’m going out for dinner on a sugar-free day and really want dessert I’ll just take an extra sugar-free day to restore balance. It couldn’t be easier!

Are you constantly trying to eat less sugar? Have you found a method that works well for you? And would you try the 50/50 rule I’ve adopted? Leave a comment below to let me know…

* For me this process hasn’t been about cutting out natural sugars, so I still allow fruit and and all vegetables.

P.S. 5 natural beauty secrets from a nutritional therapist 

  • Alice

    I LOVE this idea! I’m a complete chocolate/ biscuit FIEND, and was contemplating doing something to address this over Lent. I think this idea might be just what I’ve been looking for- thanks, Ella!

    • cocos_tea_party

      Glad I could help, Alice. I’ve found it SO easy to stick to, and have always struggled with stuff like this. Let me know how you get on if you try it!

  • Samantha Bessant

    Great idea – I always struggle with sugar cravings and suspect I’m on a path to diabetes if I don’t reduce my intake soon!

    • cocos_tea_party

      It’s so hard to control those cravings though, isn’t it? Sugar is just too delicious!

  • I have never really been one to intentionally ‘cut out’ sugar, but I have always considered myself to be a fairly healthy eater. I recently discovered a new tea company called “Honey & Tea” through some freelance work, and they were life changing! The tea blends were all carefully crafted for health purposes as well flavours and it’s amazing how they really curb my sweet tooth. I don’t put any sugar in my tea or coffee anymore and I find I’m using less dairy products too. Tea is so amazing!

    xo,Kait.
    http://www.teacupsandthings.com