Cutting refined sugar out of your diet can be one of toughest things to do. It’s highly addictive so cravings can come on very strong and are often hard to ignore.

However, eliminating sugar from your diet can be done. If you do decide to go sugar free, the best way is to go cold-turkey. Cut out sugar completely with these simple steps and you could be craving-free in a week.

Eat less salt – When you eat a lot of salt, your body naturally craves sugar to balance out the flavors. For example, if you add salt to a dish that’s  already salty, like eggs with cheese, chances are you’ll be wishing you had a side of pancakes with syrup even though you’re not hungry anymore. If you’re trying to cut out sugar quickly, it’s best to avoid overly salty food for at least a week. Once you no longer crave sugar, you can gradually add saltier foods back into your diet.

Eat sweet vegetables – Sweet vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes are great replacements for refined sugar. If you’re really craving sugar, a beet salad or roasted, sweet root vegetables could be just what you need to get your fix.

Get more exercise – Working up a sweat helps take your mind off sugar. Exercise also helps balance out your body and brings it to a more alkaline state. By sweating out extra salt, your sugar craving is greatly reduced. Try to start your day off with a work out. If you do this, then you are more likely to make healthier choices when it comes to your food intake all day long.

Cut out processed food – Almost all processed foods are packed full of secret sugars that fuel your addiction. Just read the label of that cereal or yogurt in your kitchen! When you’re  trying to quit sugar, it’s best to go back to the basics and eat only fresh foods. To eliminate processed food, try shopping just the perimeter of the grocery store where you can pick up fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and grains that are 100% free of hidden sugars that can sabotage your diet.

Find a buddy – As with any health and wellness goal, achieving a sugar-free lifestyle is always much easier when you have a partner. Set up a daily text message exchange with this person so you can offer words of support and encouragement when one of you is feeling tempted by the doughnuts in the break room at work. You might even consider swapping healthy recipes or making time to go to the gym together.

Do you have experience with cutting sugar out of your diet fast? What steps did you take and how did it work for you?