When Do You Notice a Trigger in Your Sugar Addiction— What To Do?



Do you know what sparks your sugar cravings? When you get that impulse to eat the whole bag of candy, can you identify when and what triggered that urge? Beginning a sugar-free diet is not a simple task. One key component of taking control over your sugar addiction is being aware of the emotions you experience.


We react to the world around us. Those reactions are positive or negative depending on what stimulated us in the first place. Sometimes we even feel our responses are out of our control. After all, most of us have yelled out at one point, “You made me mad!”

There is a gap of time between what stimulates you and your response. That gap is the time when you can choose how you react. When you open that gap and begin to explore the freedom you have to choose your response, you are empowered. This also helps you identify what triggers certain emotions within you.

As you try to make sugar-free diet choices, do you know what creates that overbearing compulsion to eat five candy bars in one sitting? Do the words “no-sugar diet” make you panic and stress? As you explore that gap – the space of time when you make a choice – you discover what your body is feeling in that moment. This is when you start being accountable, take control, and then manipulate the outcome of events. You choose your reaction.


Realizing what triggers you to act a particular way is the first step to being accountable. You will be in control once you recognize and then utilize that gap of freedom. A no-sugar diet is possible when you determine how sugar makes you feel. The Sugar-Zen program gives you the tools you need to be in charge of your diet decisions. With the support of Sugar-Zen, you can beat your sugar addiction.

My Sugar-Zen Story



What is your relationship with sugar? Have you tried quitting sugar before, but with little success? Is a sugar addiction controlling your life? Sugar takes a toll on your body in countless ways. From your physical and mental well-being to your self-esteem and personal development, sugar alters how you feel and act.

When stuck in a sugar addiction, it probably doesn’t feel like you have many choices. Your sugar cravings have you mindlessly eating a bag of candy. You are irritable and tired if you don’t eat an afternoon candy bar (or two). You simply don’t feel in control. But in all reality, you do have options. The Sugar-Zen program helps you gain control.


As many of you already know, excessive sugar intake has a significant impact on your mind and body. The Sugar-Zen program is based on the latest behavioral, psychological, and neurological research since all these aspects of your life are affected when eating sugar.

The program follows the acronym R.E.S.P.E.C.T. It teaches you how to track and observe your behaviors to identify how you react to sugar. Once you recognize how certain triggers make you feel, you discover you have the opportunity to choose your response. This program foundation guides you through your sugar detox journey.

The goal of the program is to permanently change your relationship with food and sugar. It teaches you how to develop habits that will stick long-term, not disappear at the next family birthday gathering or work BBQ. Many sugar addicts attempt a sugar detox but feel unsuccessful without the correct lifestyle changes in place.


The Sugar-Zen program is for those who feel they have a dysfunctional or toxic relationship with sugar. It’s for those that don’t like the way they feel around sugar. It’s for those who consider themselves addicted to sugar and have no control.

Sugar-Zen changes lives. Quitting sugar is difficult. Our program gives you support and guidance on your journey to a healthier and happier you. You will be a different person than before starting the program. Beat your sugar addiction. Be strong. Take control today.

Curbing Sugar Cravings through Baking

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Curbing Sugar Cravings through Baking

I live under the assumption that, at the end of the day, there’s no problem baking can’t solve. Friend having a hard time? Cookies. Don’t know what to do for a special occasion? Cake. Your bananas going bad? Banana bread. It might seem like, on a sugar-free diet, baking would turn into more of a problem-causer than a problem-solver.


Baking on a Sugar-Free Diet

So, here’s another problem to be solved by the magic of baking: Trying to avoid sugar but can’t kick the cravings? The solution – try baking without sugar. This idea might sound like a pointless exercise in frustration and futility, but there are lots of ways to whip up all those treats you miss that will satisfy not only your desire to bake but your sugar cravings as well.


Sugar Substitutes

Baking with stevia can be kind of tricky. It’s a little off from the texture and sweetness of sugar (stevia is actually much sweeter) so you’ll have to find special recipes that adjust for the differences. Another solution is xylitol – it’s also all-natural. You can use it to just straight-up replace sugar in pretty much any recipe (the only exception being that it doesn’t caramelize), so that makes life a little easier.



My favorite way of baking without added sugar is using fruit. Something about it just feels healthier to me than sugar substitutes and kicks the sugar cravings just as well. Of course, if your sugar-free diet includes a ban on sugar in any form, this is not for you – fruit has natural sugar. If you’re not being quite so strict, bananas and applesauce are my go-to sugar substitutes. Ripe bananas have lots of natural sugar (and taste awesome), and mashed up you can use them to substitute for not only sugar but also oil, too. The same goes for applesauce, though you want to check and make sure that the applesauce you’re buying isn’t loaded full of added sugar. Either of these fruit options are easy substitutions – one cup of pureed banana or applesauce for one cup of sugar. Cut down on the moisture (oil or milk) in the rest of recipe, though – there is such a thing as too moist.

The moral of the story here is that a sugar-free diet doesn’t have to be miserable, it doesn’t even have to be all that different than normal life. You don’t have to be constantly dogged by sugar cravings, sullenly eating celery in the corner. Just a little applesauce can make all the difference.


How to stay on a sugar-free diet



By Kailee Robertson


Quitting sugar is hard – very hard. Sugar is easily accessible and very addictive. From the checkout line at the grocery store to vending machines in the workplace, sugary treats surround us in this fast-paced world. After all, a quick stop at your favorite drive-thru is convenient and fills your belly fast.  

Sugar comes in all shapes and sizes. Most of us eat sugar in our daily meals, drinks, and snacks. It surrounds us. Which adds to the difficulty when trying to quit. But at times, eating sugar is more than a matter of convenience. It simply tastes better and satisfies that sweet tooth in ways that a stick of celery can’t. It’s a battle between spending the time, money, and energy to eat a healthier diet versus eating what you want, when you want, how you want.




Sugar cravings increase the more sugar you eat. It’s a classic snowball effect. So how do you put an end to that sweet tooth? To stop craving sweets, you need to completely stop eating those sweets. Yes, this is not the only approach to removing sugar from your diet. A Google search of “how to stop sugar cravings” brings up all kinds of results, but it is one way that gives effective results.  

Stopping cold turkey is easier said than done though. The cravings will increase before they decrease. You will experience withdrawal symptoms such as aches, pains, mood swings, and restlessness. It then becomes more than just a physical commitment. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared as well. And that’s the key – mind over matter.

You must be committed. When those cravings get tough, you have to be ready for them. Fight all your natural impulses and find a better alternative to sugar. Meditate. Start a new hobby. Exercise. Do anything to get your mind off those intense cravings.




There is no easy solution when it comes to how to stop sugar cravings. It requires hard work. But you can count on an amazing outcome. You will feel healthier, look different, and think more clearly. Your daily life will change for the better as you eliminate sugar from your diet.

So if you are searching for ideas on how to stop sugar cravings, you can find the power is yours with Sugar-Zen. You can! That checkout line or drive-thru won’t be your downfall. Your sweet tooth will no longer control your actions. Decide today to make the change.

The Way I Learned How to Stop Craving Sweets

How to stop craving sweets


The Way I Learned How to Stop Craving Sweets

By Elena Gillis

I grew up in a family where food was a big deal. Unlike a lot of my friends who ate cold cereal for breakfast, my mom would make us homemade waffles, or a fresh loaf of honey wheat bread with butter and jam. The minute we got home from school I could sense the aroma of freshly baked blueberry muffins before I saw them waiting for me on the counter. I grew up loving food, and my mom passed down to me a love of baking sweet breads, muffins, and desserts.


Out on my Own

When I moved out of the house and went to college, I had to learn how to fend for myself. As a college student, I didn’t have a lot of time to bake, but I missed my mom’s muffins! A lot of times between meals I would run to the vending machines before my next class started and grabbed an oatmeal crème cookie to give me a quick sugar fix that would last me a few hours. I wanted to figure out how to stop craving sweets! I wanted to adjust my focus during the day and stop worrying about food so much.


Enter the Water Bottle

To start changing my habits, I began carrying a water bottle with me everywhere I went. I have always been a water drinker, and I never much cared for soda or juice or any other kind of drink. I decided that if I was going to learn how to stop craving sweets, I needed to take a swig of water every time I felt the urge for sugar. I found that most of the time when I actually thought I was hungry, I was really thirsty. Drinking water helped fill up my stomach before I ate a meal so I wouldn’t binge on sweets. Plus, as a great side effect, it helped me get rid of headaches and allowed me to concentrate more in class. Without my stomach rumbling and my brain telling me to feed it sweets, I was able to focus more on what the professors were saying.


How to Stop Craving Sweets: Stop Making Them!

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I would find myself wanting sugar, and then I would feed that craving by making a huge batch of cookie dough and going to town. So I willed myself to eat an orange or some other kind of sweet-tasting fruit to curb my cravings for sweets. That helped a lot!

I still crave sweets from time to time, but the habits I developed in college have stuck with me as a stay-at-home mom. My kids and husband know I enjoy baking, and there are almost always homemade cookies readily available, but I don’t feel enslaved by my sweet cravings anymore.


About Sugar Zen

How to Quit Sugar Addiction Tips And Tricks

How to quit sugar addiction


How to Quit Sugar Addiction Tips And Tricks

By Catherine Michalk

Have you ever tried to stop eating sugar? Despite all your willpower, it can be incredibly difficult. As a mom of three kids under 5, I know this struggle all too well as I try to show good eating habits to my children. Learning how to quit sugar addiction is always easier said than done, though. It seems like just when I decide I’m going to eat healthier, my children will bring home candy from school or grandma’s house and I will think, one little fun-sized candy bar won’t hurt anything! It’s that one little decision sends me down a slippery slope.


The Science Behind Sugar Addiction

Unfortunately, sugar addiction is a real thing, much like a drug or alcohol addiction. Research shows that when rats are given a sugar solution as part of their daily diet, they exhibit behaviors similar to drug and alcohol abuse. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/). Sugar can change the chemicals in our brains; when we don’t have it, we crave it and can experience withdrawals. When we finally have sugar again, we tend to binge on it. That is what makes quitting your sugar addiction so difficult!


Tips and Tricks for Quitting Sugar Addiction


If you are struggling, like I was, wondering how to quit sugar addiction here are some helpful tips:

  1. Eat unprocessed foods: Sugar is hiding in almost all processed foods, so stick to fresh vegetables, meat, and dairy. And when your sweet tooth rears its ugly head, you can reach for fresh, in-season fruit to satisfy it.
  2. Try sparkling water instead of soda: A glass of sparkling water with a little lemon or lime can really hit the spot when you’re craving soda.
  3. Make a plan, keep healthy foods around: Having a plan for your meals and snacks makes you less likely to just grab something unhealthy on the go.

Learning how to quit sugar addiction is no easy task on your own. With so many temptations constantly surrounding us, it quickly becomes an uphill battle, but it isn’t impossible. Follow these tips and try to get a friend to help keep you accountable. A program like Sugar-Zen is especially helpful if you’re looking for an all-natural boost to your efforts. And remember, even when you slip up, keep trying! You CAN quit sugar addiction!

“I Quit, Sugar.”

I quit sugar, quitting sugar detox


“I Quit, Sugar.”


Dear Sugar,

It pains me to say this, but I must break up with you. It’s time to quit because our relationship has become unhealthy. I turn to you for relief. Or when I’m sad. Or depressed. Or anxious. Or stressed. Heck, even when I’m bored. Sure, you’re intoxicating at first. Then I get sick of you. Just plain sick. And then I get sick without you. The initial intoxication becomes detoxifying. I go through withdrawals. So, I’m quitting, Sugar. Sure, I’ll feel listless, and my head will ache, at first. But I know that in the long run, it’s best. I think we can be friends. You know, meet for an occasional fresh fruit salad. Or frozen fruit dessert. But the constant cravings, the clandestine meetings, the painful regret…. I’m tired of all that. It simply has to stop. I know I’ll thank me later.

Most sincerely, most of the time,



Taking a new approach to an old habit.

Perhaps writing an “I Quit, Sugar” letter personifying sugar seems odd. I prefer to call it a “creative approach” to an old problem. In this case, quitting sugar. Detox can be tough. That’s also how I know I’ve been eating too much sugar. After quitting, there are physical symptoms. I get listless. I get headaches. I get cranky.


I started thinking differently before I quit sugar.

As Einstein is supposed to have said, insanity is when we do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Most therapists agree that a change in behavior requires a change in thinking. When just the behavior changes, the change seldom lasts. I might say, “I quit sugar,” and even do it for a time. But, after quitting sugar, detox symptoms set in. Then I give in, feel bad about myself, and try quitting—all over again. I become convinced it’s my lack of willpower. However, willpower is a limited resource for all of us. So the cycle continues: indulging, shaming, stopping, craving, indulging, shaming, stopping, craving, and so on.


Willpower vs. the mesolimbic pathway, metabolism, hormones, peptides and plenty more.

Upon quitting sugar, detox symptoms are unavoidable. In a later blog I’ll summarize the biological shenanigans that wreak havoc when we declare “I quit sugar” and try to do so. Even when combined with all the determination of Joan of Arc, defeat happens. Willpower needs reinforcements.

Rather than beating oneself up for “not trying hard enough” or being “weak,” kindness should be the golden rule. When quitting sugar, detox and all the rest can be handled with new strategies. So, start by thinking differently. Don’t be mad at yourself for “not trying hard enough.” Be proud of yourself for trying in the first place.


Sugar-Zen offers a proven daily online support program that includes these strategies for quitting sugar, detoxing and helping you stop sugar cravings with a stimulant free, all-natural supplement

[Kim, I don’t know if there is somewhere to put this or even if we should add it, but here it be]

Laurie Campbell, M.S., received her Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling at UNLV, with an emphasis in addictions, and has been a volunteer counselor for years. She is a former drug, alcohol and nicotine addict with two decades of sobriety. She also deals with Bipolar II and PTSD. She considers herself to be “sugar-dependent,” a milder form of addiction, and tends to eat sweets when things aren’t going well (and, admittedly, sometimes when they’re going just fine).

A Sugar-Free Diet, And Why “Diet” Isn’t The Best Word

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A Sugar-Free Diet, And Why “Diet” Isn’t The Best Word


“I’m going on a diet.”
“I just blew my diet.”
“I have to start my diet again.”
“I’m swearing off sweets and starting a no-sugar diet.

When I say the word “diet,” I start to think of failure, restriction, suffering, failure, hunger pains, craving sweets, and failure. Did I mention failure?

We’re back to that word again. Failure. if you are early in your Sugar-zen journey, you may not necessarily be swearing off sweets yet. Just take notice of them. Try to “step outside yourself” a bit and observe. Do you tend to eat sweets when you’re depressed? Anxious? Happy? Sad? For dessert after every meal?

The “No-Sugar Diet” that’s not a diet at all.

Right now it’s best to continue working on changing the way we think about ourselves and a “sugar-free diet.” Rather than using the dreaded word “diet,” start thinking about a shift in eating habits to something that’s healthier. Some people continually fail when they try to “go cold turkey” with a no-sugar diet. Try starting with simply noticing when you’re absentmindedly reaching for some candy or a soda. Step one of a no-sugar diet may be as simple as grabbing something else to eat on those sugar-craving occasions. For some people, like me, it’s easier to cut out all of the white sugar at once rather than trying to do it gradually. I’m not good at “gradually.” I find that “cutting back” turns to “eating as many sweets as usual” and often on to “eating more sweets than usual.” You know yourself and what works best, or hasn’t worked. Try changing things up a bit.


What does a sugar-free diet mean to me?

Sugary sweets can be addictive and difficult to give up. One question I ask myself is… “Just how sugar-free should I be? Does a no-sugar diet really mean NO sugar, in any form?” Some foods are a no-brainer, like a candy bar or–my greatest vice, even after the holidays–holiday treats. But plenty of other foods, like fruits and dairy, contain natural sugar. Eating healthy doesn’t mean we have to swear off fruit and dairy.


Healthy eating can be your friend.

Healthy food is still healthy food, even if it comes with a bit of natural sugar. And, the fiber in fruit slows down the body’s digestion of sugar, and helps us feel full. Whereas the processed stuff floats right on through, loaded with empty, not-so-helpful calories. Remember, we aren’t calling this a “sugar-free diet.” We aren’t bracing for failure. We’re just going to eat better.

How Can I Stop Sugar Cravings, NOW!

How to stop sugar cravings


Here’s a familiar story for anyone who’s tried to cut back on sugar: One day you decide: no more sugar. For a couple of days, you’re on fire. You’re eating healthy; you’re feeling great. Then come the cravings. Maybe it’s chocolate, maybe ice cream, you crave some treat, and the need just won’t give up.


Why Sugar Cravings?

So why? When we have such good reasons and such firm determination to leave sugar behind, why do we just keep coming back? Figuring out how to stop sugar cravings means figuring out why they happen at all. The reaction we have to sugar is mostly chemical – as with many cravings and addictions, dopamine is the culprit here. When we eat sugary treats, our brain rewards us with a hit of dopamine. And since dopamine makes us feel good, sugar makes us feel good, for a short time, anyway.


Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Turns out, when we just see sweets, our brain starts to release dopamine. A glimpse of that ice cream you’ve got tucked away in the back of the freezer can get those chemicals going.  It might seem obvious, but it’s a simple little how-to: stop sugar cravings by avoiding even the sight of sweets. Even the anticipation of a sweet treat feels good when we’re trying to avoid sweets. We want to feel better, so we tend to eat whatever has triggered the craving in the first place.


Getting Your Fix

We crave that dopamine release for lots of reasons. When we’re depressed or feeling down, our brain wants that quick fix. Pause, and remember how to stop sugar cravings by doing other things that can lift our mood. Healthier foods—like fruit, milk, or yogurt—contain natural sugars that can give us a boost. Exercise releases endorphins that elevate mood. So does laughter. A hug or a cuddle (when available) can boost our mood as well. Getting the right amount of sleep can keep us from feeling like we need a boost in the first place.


There isn’t one simple, silver-bullet answer when it comes to quitting sugar. So, if you’re asking yourself how to stop sugar cravings, remember that there are a few steps you can take to accomplish your no-sugar goals.

  • Avoid seeing or thinking about sugary treats as much as you can.
  • Do something else to make yourself happy or content. Take a walk, talk to someone you love, watch a movie that makes you laugh.
  • Eat something healthier than a sugary treat.

Explore the possibilities for finding happiness outside junk food, and you just might find life is better without all that sugar.  

Sugar-Zen also offers an all-natural supplement to help you stop sugar cravings, as well proven daily online support program.