Stick to Your Sugar Free Diet with 5 Steps

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We all love to eat delicious, satisfying meals – even if we’re following a sugar free diet. Thankfully, there are a wealth of foods that don’t have sugar in them. Giving up sugar is not a prison sentence. You still have many, many options. Trust that as you work through this process you’ll find new foods or meals that you enjoy eating. Focus on the many foods you can enjoy rather than those foods you’re choosing not to eat. Gratitude tempers feelings of deprivation.

5 Ways to Make Healthy, Sugar Free Food Choices:

1. Enjoy your food while embracing sugar abstinence. Let yourself enjoy a wide variety of sugar free foods. Choose sugar free foods that you like to eat. Create satisfying meals. Enjoy your food. Taste it. Savor it.

Recognize that you can maintain your sugar abstinence while also finding healthy delight in food. It doesn’t have to be either/or. (This is where the abstinence/moderation debate gets stuck:  Do you abstain from your trigger foods, or do you eat everything in moderation? I say:  do both. Abstain from foods that make you crazy while enjoying other foods in moderation.)

2. Plan ahead. Geneen Roth said, “It takes a lot of effort to be effortless.”

Preparation is essential to become sugar free. Some preparation steps you may find helpful:

Take food with you when you go on errands.

Keep your home stocked with healthy food so that you always have quick, healthy options. Part of the reason we grab the sugar is because it’s easy: we don’t have to cook it.

Plan your meals the night before so you know you have all the ingredients you need.

Have a back up plan, a “healthy fast food meal” (like a roast chicken from the deli, steamed frozen veggies and baked potatoes) that you can whip up when you’re in a pinch.

3. Start your day with self-care. When you start your day by honoring your needs – even if it’s for just 20 minutes – it sets the tone for the entire day. The momentum propels you forward, making it easier to make healthier choices as the day goes on. You’ll feel inspired to continue to take care of yourself.

4. Use rituals and routines to help you stay off sugar. Rituals are an anchor to make you feel grounded through the turbulence of change. Give yourself rituals, cues, and routines to stay on course. For example, many people use the ritual of brushing their teeth to send a signal that says, “I’m done eating.”

You can also create a new ritual during your typical binge times. I had to physically leave my home after dinner (taking a short walk or bike ride) as being near the kitchen was a magnetic draw towards the food – even if it was just an extra serving of dinner. Tea is a great substitute for eating, as it’s warm and soothing. What rituals can you put into place to help you through the change process?

5. Make this easy. Cook once. I frequently made the mistake of cooking two dinners: one for myself and one for my family. What usually ended up happening? I’d eat the meal I made for my family because I was too tired to eat my healthy food. My exhaustion from doing too much triggered a desire to eat “junk” because I was looking for soothing, rest from the extra work. Or I felt deprived after looking at the meal my family was eating and would give in. Be kind to yourself:  cook once.

Wanting more hands on help?

  • I dive more into how to create a nourishing, sugar free lifestyle in the new, 3rd edition of Overcoming Sugar Addiction.
  • If you want help on healing the emotional roots of sugar addiction, I invite you to visit my companion site,

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About the Author:

Karly Randolph Pitman
Karly Randolph Pitman helps women understand and heal the emotional dynamics that feed eating disorders and food compulsions like overeating, sugar addiction, and night bingeing. Rather than learning strategies to manage or control the food compulsion itself, Karly's approach, growing human(kind)ness, heals the internal dynamics that drive it. Karly's work arises from her own 20 year struggle with multiple eating disorders. She's the author of the best selling Overcoming Sugar Addiction, When Food is Your Mother, Overcoming Sugar Addiction for Life, The 30 Day Lift, and Heal Overeating: Untangled and teaches classes throughout the year on Known for her compassion, insight, and gentleness, Karly's mission is to help women feel their belonging, know their goodness, and rest in love.


  1. Karly Randolph Pitma February 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm - Reply

    I think that's a great idea – to take photos of healthy meals and use them as a guide. Sometimes our minds just blank on what to eat – especially when we feel tired or overwhelmed. (At least mine does, and I resort to the same old, same old meals – when I would probably enjoy some variety.) I can see how helpful this tip is – thank you for sharing it with everyone here.

    I feel happy that you're joining us here and wish you many blessings on your journey.

    In love and care, Karly

  2. Karly Randolph Pitma February 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    You are so welcome – thank you for writing and joining us.

    In love and care, Karly

  3. lesssugarnaturally February 25, 2012 at 3:53 am - Reply

    I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your posts. I've been quietly lurking since day 1 and yours was the first website I encountered that really spoke to me. I am now 41 days sugar-sober. Step number one was crucial for me and made things so much easier. I focused on everything I could eat, took pictures of all my great healthy meals in an app and actually began a new love of cooking and baking again. Great Post.

  4. JSK November 12, 2010 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I truly love what you're creating here!

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