10 reasons why women are resistant to giving up sugar

I feel passionately that women should get sugar out of their diets for a multitude of reasons as you’ve seen in my recent blog series. But many women have complete resistance to doing the very thing that could enhance their life forever. Why?

  1. They are addicted to it – Let’s start with the serious stuff. Many people are so addicted to it that they are physically and emotionally dependent on it and simply can’t imagine a life without it. It has such a hold on them that even if a part of them knows it’s bad for them and they want to give it up, there is an internal dialogue going on where the ‘Eat Sugar!’ monster wins. It’s not just serious sugar addicts who start the day with sugar but those who ‘can’t get past 4pm without sugar’ and those that ‘must have something sweet after a meal’. You feel like there is something missing when you don’t have sugar and it makes you feel uneasy. That feeling is not pleasant to start with and so you are resistant to giving it up because of that. But you can beat the sugar monster and the only way is to give it up.
  2. They aren’t psychologically ready to give it up – When smokers give up, they are usually advised to get their mind behind them. They have to not just give up cigarettes, but be ready to stop being a smoker. If you have always associated sugar with feeling good, comfort, enjoyment and pleasure, you have to get prepared for not only finding other things to comfort you or make you feel good (preferably not food!) but also establishing that you won’t be having the 4pm Kit Kat or the pudding when you go out for lunch. That you will become a reformed sugar addict… and you know what happens to reformed smokers? They end up hating cigarettes just like you will sugar eventually!
  3. They have self-sabotage issues – This is the single biggest reason why women don’t achieve what they want in their lives. They start on the road to success and then they sabotage their efforts as they get closer to it. Either because they let the negative voices in their head override the positive ones or because in some deep-seated way, don’t think they are worthy of feeling and looking amazing. If you don’t believe you deserve to do this, where is the motivation to actually follow through?
  4. They are worried how they will feel good without sugar – Most women eat sugar to make them feel good. So the automatic default setting of fear when you give sugar up is ‘how will I feel good?!’ Many people eat sugar because they are stressed, anxious, depressed, bored or tired… Or is it in fact you are all of these things because of the sugar?
  5. They are hooked on a dieting system. that has told them sugar is okay and fat is not – If you’ve been told for 30 years that sugar is okay and fat is not, it is hardly surprising that women have resistance to making such big changes! But ask yourself this… If you are still trying to lose weight, you think about food all the time and you are stuck in the off diet- on diet cycle, surely something’s not right?! Many women are so stuck on the failure cycle that they actually find it hard to believe something could work permanently. After all the entire diet industry is built on failure! Trust me, success will come when the sugar is taken out and it will be long-lived.
  6. They are in denial – I hear this all the time; ‘It’s not like I start the day with a whole packet of chocolate biscuits!’ If you can’t get through the day without sugar, you need a sugar fix after a meal or mid morning or after lunch or HAVE to have a dessert in a restaurant, you think about sugar a lot and get a gooey feeling from the thought of sugar (not just from the middle of a pudding!), you might be resistant to giving up sugar because you don’t think it applies to you. For other women, they are in denial about the time frame. ‘Ah yes, I’ll give it up after X, Y, Z social functions or after the weekend, or in the New Year. Don’t brush these things under the carpet. Do it now, you won’t regret it!
  7. They think it is going to be hard – Giving up smoking is hard at the start, starting an exercise programme is hard at the start and giving up sugar IS hard at the start. The beginning is always the hardest but when you can get through the first couple of weeks, it becomes easy and eventually effortless. Most sugar cravings disappear after 4-6 weeks so long as there is NO sugar eaten. Drip feeding yourself small amounts of sugar is a sure way to stay addicted. Cutting it out will be hard for some, but only at the start. Get through that phase and see the magic happen!
  8. They have such strong associations with sugar – Can you imagine Christmas without a mince pie, your mid morning coffee without a biscuit, dinner out without a pudding, car journeys without boiled sweets, the cinema without a bag of minstrels, birthdays without cake? I used to do all these things and couldn’t imagine these events without sugar. But now I have created different associations. Christmas means decorations, candles, TV, seafood and good wine. Car journeys about the songs we sing along the way, the cinema a shared bag of savoury popcorn, birthday lunch out, blowing out candles on a small cake, but not eating it. Most people’s sugar thoughts, habits and addictions come from associations. But these can all be re-written effortlessly. When you get sugar out of your life, you can even watch other people enjoy these things without wanting them yourself. Sound impossible? I used to think the same, until I cut all sugar out. My body responds to sugar like it’s poison (which it is by the way!), so now if I see someone eating a big piece of chocolate cake, I’m filled with repulsion rather than food envy!
  9. They think they will never enjoy life – See above, I enjoy life more than most and there’s no sugar in it! If you think you can only have a good life with sugar in it, then sugar has more of a control on you than you ever thought possible. Sugar in my view stops women having a brilliant life. Most women’s lives would be enhanced substantially if they could get themselves off the yo-yo, eat crap-guilt-eat more crap-feel more guilt- and diet starts Monday regime. If you didn’t think about sugar and food so much, think about the other things you could think and do that would be about feeling fabulous, not rubbish!
  10. They don’t believe me – so I’m aware that many women still don’t believe health experts like me, or the articles that are out there on the dangers of sugar. They don’t believe that it’s more damaging to their brains than cocaine, they don’t believe that it causes cancer, they don’t believe that fructose suppresses your feel full hormone and causes fat storage, they don’t believe that cutting out sugar will stop their hair falling out and looking 10 years longer, they don’t believe that their children’s behaviour or health will increase 10 fold from getting the stuff out. Just for a second, ask yourself why? In my experience when you dig deep around this, it’s because people DO believe it, but don’t want to accept that they have made the choices they have and brush it all under the carpet.

I’m going to leave you with one of my favourite quotes…

Most of us have two lives. The life we live and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands resistance. Resistance is the most toxic force on the planet and is the root of more unhappiness than poverty and disease. To yield to resistance deforms our spirit. It stunts us and it makes us less than we were born to be.” Steven Pressfield

Will you wish you had beaten sugar now in 10 years time? I can pretty much guarantee it. Take the plunge, cross the line and let me help you!

Check out my Sugar HIIT programme here. You will not be disappointed.

Janey x

P.S – Our online bootcamps run all year round and up and coming dates include, Monday 6th June, Monday 4th July and Monday 12th September. For more info and to book your place visit HERE.

Hope this blog finds you happy and healthy!

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  • Rhiannon May 14, 2014   Reply →

    Hi Janey

    I’ve been following this with interest and have reasonably successfully cut out fruit (having already cut out other sugars previously) in these last few weeks and seen instant results on my eczema – so thanks for the encouragement. My next goal is to try and reduce how much my daughter eats. She’s only 15 months, and although when she started solids she was happy to try all fruit and veg, she’s recently opting much more for stodge and carbs and the only way I can get her to eat any vitamins at all really are through Ella’s fruit smoothie pouches, slices of mango, slices of apple, or dried fruit, especially dates. She’s obviously far too young to explain this stuff to but I’m worried I’m giving her a sweet tooth and a sugar addiction. How do you approach this with your boys? I want to give her a really solid foundation for healthy eating but I’m not sure how to approach it when she’s so young and just point blank refuses when I offer her vegetables. Thanks in advance!

  • Janey May 20, 2014   Reply →

    Hi there

    This is such a great question, thank you! I think I’d like to write a whole blog about children and sugar, but in the mean time, fruit is ok for children to have, they need the energy and can burn it off but it does need to be managed. And as you know fructose is addictive and smoothies have lots of sugar. One of my twins prefers veg to fruit and never has ketchup with his dinner and guess what, he’s the smaller one! So I do think it has an impact. However, my boys still have fruit at least twice a day but it’s not considered a free food in my house. I often do fruit platters but I also include nuts, seeds, olives and carrots etc. Let me get a blog together on my 10 top tips around kids and sugar (including fruit). I’ll post it next week! Don’t panic though, and it took me a year to get my boys to eat peas, I just kept putting it in a dish by the side of their plate until they eventually ate them, so no pressure on them :o) Re fruit and sugar addiction, there can be a link in my experience, but what you need to worry about more is added sugar, hidden sugar and sweeteners, using sweets and chocolates as rewards etc/ My boys are allowed sweets / chocolate (small portions typically) 3 x a week, but I make sure they are active as much as possible. More to follow on the blog! Thanks again, Janey x

  • Angela June 16, 2014   Reply →

    Hi Jenny you are 100% right about this so called “Sugar” I have been watching my weight for so many years but I don’t achieve my goals. But since I started following your posts on sugar and fruits. I have cut down on my fruits intake . I don’t take sugar any more for the past three months. With my exercise I can see a big difference in my weight. Thank you

  • Dalia August 18, 2014   Reply →

    LOVE this post. It really hits home. I’d also add that some women are loyal to sugar, not only because it makes them feel good–warm and comforted, but also because it makes them feel like they can be more nurturing or motherly. I feel like in order to treat and show love and caring for my family, i have to bake them sugary cakes and cookies. We need the house to smell like baked sweets in order to feel like the perfect homemaker etc…

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