If you’re a sugar addict and you quit cold turkey, you will likely experience some truly unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. These might include headaches, sugar cravings, aches and pains, (though chances are you already have those), even shakes.

Do it gradually

The best way to avoid these nasty consequences is to begin cutting sugar from your diet in ways that I’ve already mentioned in Parts 1 and 2 of this series. Here is another way that you may be able to reduce your sugar load: Cut out soft drinks.

It’s no secret that many soft drinks contain as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar per can. Some contain even more, and fruit juices are not far behind. If you drink a lot of these beverages, begin by cutting back and replacing them with water.

Once you have made several sugar reduction changes to your daily diet, now is the time to quit entirely. Your withdrawal symptoms will be much less disturbing; in fact, you may not even notice anything.

Choose a different sweetener

Not all sweeteners are created equal—even if they claim to be harmless.

My favourite is stevia, which comes from the leaves of the stevia plant. It is up to 150 times as sweet a sugar. It is sometimes mixed with other sweeteners, so avoid that kind and go for the small bottle of fine white powder that comes with a miniscule spoon.

Some people have claimed that they find stevia bitter. This is because they’re trying to use it like sugar and use far too much. You need barely a pinch to sweeten your tea or plain yogurt.

Beware social situations

Once you quit sugar and have been off it for as little as 2 weeks, you will be amazed at how sweet anything with sugar in it really is. It will probably make you gag. Just don’t get in the sugar habit again once you’ve kicked it.

This can be the trickiest in social situations, especially with buffet tables laden with baked goods, cakes, pies, and frosted everything. These items are made to be appealing so you’ll have to be strong.

While a little nibble once in a while won’t hurt, if you’ve been off sugar and then indulge in a whopping, goopy dessert, you probably won’t feel great afterwards. You’ll wish you hadn’t eaten all that sugar.

These simple strategies will help you kick the sugar habit easily and painlessly. Your health and waistline are worth it.

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