No Sugar Challenge For Clean Eaters

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It seems like everywhere you look, there is new information out about how bad sugar really is for you. And yet it’s in EVERYTHING these days. Even clean eaters must watch their intake of natural sugars. Something I personally struggle with all the time. *Blasted sweet tooth!* But I have found that this no sugar challenge for clean eaters helps me in ways I never imagined.

No Sugar Challenge

Sugar really is incredible stuff when you think about it. Few things can addict us in such a way and still allow us to function for years on end before showing any real, ill health effects. It’s sweet, it’s comforting, and it’s widely accepted as a normal part of life. Even for clean eaters, it’s easy to slide down that slippery slope sometimes. An extra bit of honey in your coffee, a little extra maple syrup on your protein waffles or just one extra clean cookie because they taste sooo yummy, can really put you in just as bad a place as if you were eating the refined garbage. I know, it’s happened to me numerous times and I don’t even realize it’s happened until I notice I’m seeking out something sweet because I’m craving it. Not good.

So in an effort to clean up my clean eating plan, I’m hosting another No Sugar Challenge. Will you join me?


NOTE: If you want to join the challenge, bookmark THIS page now!


This challenge starts now! (Or on whatever day you want to start.)
You can choose to do this challenge for either 2 weeks or a full month. Just keep in mind that anything less than 2 weeks won’t do you much good. So you really need to commit to at least 2 weeks.



This is everything you will need to participate in the No Sugar Challenge.

PLEASE NOTE: While stevia is not sugar, it is also not allowed on this challenge as is the case with any sugar substitutes, including things like Xylitol. The idea here is to get you past the NEED for something sweet.

Challenge originally posted 4/21/12.

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  1. Is this just on the honor system or is there somewhere to sign up?

    1. Anonymous says:

      BrandyS – It’s the honor system. I think most people realize that if they say they will do it and don’t, they are the only ones losing out.

        1. Anonymous says:

          BrandyS – Yay!!!

          1. Bridgett Williams says:

            This is Bridgett I am going to start Monday, I am IN:)

            1. The Gracious Pantry says:

              Bridgett – Yay!! Welcome aboard!! πŸ˜€

  2. I’m in! I’ve slipped down that slope lately too so this is just what I need to get back on track πŸ™‚

    1. Anonymous says:

      Tracy – Fantastic! Happy to have you on board!

  3. Wow, you and Gale are amazing!! Is there a way that I can subscribe to Gale’s Blog and have it send to my email the way I can with your blog? I am new to this whole blogging thing!! I absolutely love what you are doing here!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Melanie – I’m not sure, but I just emailed her to find out.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Just heard back, as of right now, you can subscribe to her RSS feed. Hope that helps!

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  5. I’ve started today the first two weeks of the South Beach diet that are intended just for that purpose – breaking the sugar addiction. In the first 2 weeks of the SBD one is not allowed grains or fruits of any kinds nor root and some oter vegetables. One mainly eats non starchy vegetables, legumes and lower fat meat, poultry and dairy products.
    It is very hard but does the job! I myself of course make sure to eat only “clean eating” foods during these two weeks as well.
    Good luck with kicking the sugar habit for all of us!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Elle – Yes!! I actually do love the South Beach diet. The only thing I don’t care for is the use of artificial stuff. But outside of that, it’s a great way to eat and actually pretty close to clean eating in many ways. Let’s do this!

  6. Christanqk says:

    Wouldn’t you know, I was just thinking this morning that I needed to do a no sugar challenge before the holidays, and then I came upon this post just now. I’ll definitely join in. Thanks for breaking it all down and making it so easy!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Christanqk – Wonderful! Happy to have you along for the ride!

  7. Debbie Mathes-Fehr says:

    I am totally on board with this idea!! I started this morning. It is a great idea- it’s so easy to fall of the wagon with cleaning eating. A great way to get back on. Thanks for all the yummy recipes. I’m looking forward to trying all the different smoothies πŸ™‚

    1. Anonymous says:

      Debbie – Fantastic! You’ve definitely got the right attitude about it! Go girl!

  8. Elizabeth McCammon says:

    What a great idea

    1. Anonymous says:

      Elizabeth – I hope you’ll join us!

  9. Elizabeth McCammon says:

    What a great idea! I am totally in. I had just been thinking that I needed to get to a healthy place before the feasting starts. It’s easier to really enjoy a “once in a while” treat when I know that it is actually once in a while…not every day! Also, love all the yummy smoothie ideas! I may keep doing that once the challenge is over!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Elizabeth – Fabulous!! You’ll be all the healthier for it! Go girl!

  10. Stacey Kinnick says:

    I’m IN! This is really going to be hard for me, and I already know it. But I just feel SO much better eating WHOLE foods and the less sugar, the better!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Stacey – Fabulous!!! Just keep thinking about how much better you’ll feel when it’s done. You can do it!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Tori – Wow! Nothing like testing your willpower!! But I know you can do it. Go girl!

    1. Right? It’s even harder when my boss insists we taste test something for her. Usually, if I can avoid that sampler in the morning, I’m good for the rest of the day.

      Thanks for the support, can’t wait to start this sugar detox!

      1. Anonymous says:

        Tori – Now you have a good excuse to avoid that!

  12. Tameka Daymon-Cathey says:

    I just started following your blog and love it. This challenge is definitely what I need.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Tameka – Wonderful! Happy to have you join us!

  13. Stephanie says:

    I am in! I have been eating wayyyyy too much sugar lately. I will have trouble giving up my coffee for two weeks (I use fat free half and half and flavored liquid stevia), especially since my son broke my pot about 2 weeks ago and I had to order a new one. Drinking warm lemon water right now. I can do this. I need to lose the 10-15 pounds I have gained this year so far, not exactly on my to do list!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Stephanie – Yes! You CAN do this! And lemon water is a fantastic way to start the day!

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Lori – Not for this challenge, sorry. Part of the challenge is weaning yourself off the sweet flavors, not just the cravings. It’s amazing how sweet fruit tastes when you do that!

    1. That is what I was thinking. Thanks for clarifying!

  16. I’m in! Day one done…and easy….let’s keep it rolling!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Sabrina – Fantastic!!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Tori – Yay! I’m glad it’s working so well for you. That’s fantastic! Be careful with the Truvia. Stevia is the real stuff and is made from the Stevia plant. Truvia is made by the Coca Cola company and is not good for you. Definitely not clean, and probably the reason for your tummy ache. I will host these challenges about 4 times per year, give or take. So feel free to join in again as a refresher!

  18. landmsmommy says:

    I am excited, and a little scared about this no sugar challenge!

    1. Anonymous says:

      You can do it! You are stronger than you know.

  19. Jennifer A Boggs says:

    I am in. I can do it!! It may be hard but I can try

    1. Anonymous says:

      Yes you can!!! yay!!

  20. Ruby Slippers says:

    Count me in, I’m addictied to sugar so I imagine it will be very difficult

    1. Anonymous says:

      Ruby – You can do anything you set your mind to!

  21. When is this challenge starting?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Sophie – Good for you! You can do this!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Happy to have you on board!

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Jackie – Thank you so much! Happy to have you on board!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Deanna – Wonderful!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Bri – Happy to have you on board!

  28. Anonymous says:

    C2 – It’s very high in fat, so it’s not included in a clean eating diet. But I do know people following this challenge who are not clean eaters, and that is what they us. Also try my recipe for condensed milk. Makes a yummy creamer!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Andrea – Hahha! Ya, I get that feeling too sometimes. But if enough of us “crazies” come out of the wood works, people won’t think we’re so crazy anymore. Stay strong!

  30. Diana Albright says:

    I need to do this! I’ve already cut out so much sugar due to diabetes, but I still fall face first into the temptation trap… Maybe having some virtual support would helpp get me over those rough spots.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Diana – You can do this!!

  31. Im in! Sugar is my weakness. I go to it for all the wrong reasons, and when I do, I cant stop! I keep trying to go without for a week or so, but then once I give in and have a little, I dont stop. Especially during my cycle seems to be the hardest time to not give in!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Fosterk8 – You’ll do great!

  32. graciouspantry says:

    Haylz – Your best bet is to talk to your doctor or registered dietitian. I can’t advise you on that. Sorry.

  33. graciouspantry says:

    Shaila – Fantastic!

  34. Rebecca Anne says:

    I’m in!!! I’ve started Pilates and have so much more energy, I can’t imagine how much more I’ll have with no sugar πŸ™‚

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Rebecca – Fantastic!!!

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  36. graciouspantry says:

    Momsworld – Try my recipe for condensed milk. I really like it in coffee.

  37. graciouspantry says:

    EE – It is, but we can do it!!

  38. graciouspantry says:

    Vibeke – Fabulous! Let’s do it!

  39. graciouspantry says:

    Hollyc – I’m sorry, I really don’t know anything about that.

  40. melanie higgins says:

    I’m on board. I so need this and my body feels so much better without the sugar!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Melanie – I agree. Mine does too. Let’s do this!!

  41. Deb Kelley says:

    Looking forward to joining you on this ride. I am rather new to the whole Clean Eating diet. This will be an interesting challenge. I also need to watch my carb intake…I love bread more than dessert ! Question for you…if I were to have a glass of wine, how does that count towards my sugar count ? Thank you.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Deb – While I don’t really address it in this challenge, I encourage people to avoid alcohol during this challenge. It will only prolong the cravings.

  42. I am in…my first healthy challenge ever!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Bigcluff – You can do it!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Phumme – Fantastic!

  43. Becky Senn says:

    I’m all for joining the challenge. However, I have one problem. No sugar OR sweetener in my coffee? That’s like almost unthinkable. Is Stevia okay? (Even though I don’t like it.)

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Becky – It’s called a Challenge for a reason! But I do have a recipe for condensed milk on here in the beverage section that you might enjoy.

  44. eila @ full plate/swellmom says:

    I got to go hear Dr. Robert Lustig speak up at Yale a few week back, and wow. The 60 Minutes piece was eye-opening, but his lengthy discussion really hit home. I am starting a whole foods detox this Monday, which is vegan, and gluten and sugar-free. Looking forward to seeing how I feel afterwards….

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Eila – That’s wonderful! Let me know how it turns out for you!

  45. graciouspantry says:

    Darla – I have several oatmeal options for this challenge. But fruit is always a good option sweetening without sugar.

  46. graciouspantry says:

    Annalise – Fantastic!

  47. graciouspantry says:

    Gary – Why thank you!

  48. I’m in. Chocolate is my downfall and I really need to give it up. It’s going to be hard but I think the challenge will be great! Your timing is perfect!!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Rachel – Fabulous! You are stronger than that bar of chocolate!

  49. I love a challenge … and I can’t think of a better challenge to improve my overall health! πŸ™‚

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Debby – Fantastic! Welcome!

  50. I decided to commit to the sugar free challenge. My cravings for sugar are out of control at this point. Overall I am a fit person, exercising regularly and getting in most of my food groups each day…except for sugar. It is time for a change for the better. So looking forward to Monday and starting this new chapter in my eating habits. I even have my best friend joining me. Thanks Tiffany for starting the ball rolling on this for me!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Tammy – My pleasure! You can do this!

  51. graciouspantry says:

    Cec – Definitely!

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  55. Amy Jeannette says:

    Started 2 weeks ago and I feel SO good!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Amy – Fantastic!

    2. graciouspantry says:

      Amy – Fantastic!

  56. Amy Jeannette says:

    Started 2 weeks ago and I feel SO good!

  57. Do you ever look at the chemistry of sugars? I read an article with scientific explanations and all of the one kind (glucose, lactose and something else) were bad but you could have a little maple syrup or molasses. Then I read another article with scientific reasons saying no maple syrup or molasses only a little honey.
    One says no sweeteners with -tol at the end. One says aspartame is okay now.
    It is all so confusing!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Kathy – While I’m no scientist, I will say that I seriously doubt that aspartame is okay. There are too many studies linking it to cancer. Nice PR on the company’s parts though. They like to create this sort of confusion. But this is how I break it down for myself:

      Fake sugar = Bad for you
      Refined sugar = Bad for you
      Natural sugar = Okay in small amounts, but the body will treat all sugars the same. So moderation is key.

    2. graciouspantry says:

      Kathy – While I’m no scientist, I will say that I seriously doubt that aspartame is okay. There are too many studies linking it to cancer. Nice PR on the company’s parts though. They like to create this sort of confusion. But this is how I break it down for myself:

      Fake sugar = Bad for you
      Refined sugar = Bad for you
      Natural sugar = Okay in small amounts, but the body will treat all sugars the same. So moderation is key.

  58. Do you ever look at the chemistry of sugars? I read an article with scientific explanations and all of the one kind (glucose, lactose and something else) were bad but you could have a little maple syrup or molasses. Then I read another article with scientific reasons saying no maple syrup or molasses only a little honey.
    One says no sweeteners with -tol at the end. One says aspartame is okay now.
    It is all so confusing!

  59. graciouspantry says:

    Bunny – Me either. But we can do it!

  60. graciouspantry says:

    Haley – Fantastic!

  61. graciouspantry says:

    Paula – Well said!

  62. graciouspantry says:

    Sophie – I find that motivation comes when we ask ourselves, “why?”. Ask yourself why you want to do this. Write down those reasons and tape them up where you can see them every day. It does help. Motivation doesn’t just happen spontaneously, we have to find it and/or create it.

  63. graciouspantry says:

    Arlene – If it’s just you drinking them, I would cut them in half. Freshly made smoothies do not generally keep well.

  64. graciouspantry says:

    Starlight – Fantastic! Sounds like a good plan!

  65. Sbroverman says:

    I went to Whole Foods today to stock up on fruits and veggies for the challenge. I must say that I was very surprised and disappointed when I realized that nearly every item (expect for perishables) has sugar in it…ham, BBQ sauce, tortillas, etc. When I gave up sugar a few months ago, I didn’t even think to exclude those items or see if they had sugar in them. It was a very eye opening experience for me. I’m hoping that this will be a lifestyle change.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Sbroverman – Yes!! Sugar is in EVERYTHING!!! Good to find out now though, before the challenge starts!

  66. graciouspantry says:

    Cswalla – Wonderful! You can totally do this!

  67. graciouspantry says:

    Ekonersmann – Don’t guess, DECIDE to do it!

  68. I’m in for the challenge! Sweets are my weak spot and nemesis.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Erin – Me too lately. We can do this!

  69. graciouspantry says:

    Raindancer – That’s wonderful!!! I’m impressed!

  70. graciouspantry says:

    Erin – Sorry, but no xylitol on this challenge.

  71. graciouspantry says:

    Sally – You can do anything you set your mind to. You are stronger than sugar!

  72. graciouspantry says:

    CJ – Fantastic!

  73. graciouspantry says:

    Mimi – Just jump in and do it! It works on the honor system.

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  75. I have gained 25 pounds in one year and it has been discouraging for me. I used to be on a yeast-free diet and felt so great! Not thirsty all the time, not hungry constantly, my health issues went away… but now I am eating carbs and sugars again and I feel awful! Definitely not comfortable in my own skin and tired all the time. I want to feel good again!! I am going to do this!!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Hiotte – Wonderful!! You deserve to feel good again!

  76. graciouspantry says:

    Kim – I know the feeling. Let’s do this!

  77. graciouspantry says:

    Sally – Proud of you!!

  78. Beth Tuecke says:

    I know I am a few days late, but I am taking the challenge and am extremely excited about it!!!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Beth – Fantastic! Jump right in!

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  80. graciouspantry says:

    Audrey – You can do it!

  81. So, I actually started doing this with a friend on March 25th with a plan to do it for 40 days. We had to put money down on it or I would have cheated by the second day (I am such a sugar addict!) This Saturday is our last day and now we are working out a plan to maintain! I had to give up carbs too so I could cut the cravings-but all the pain from the arthritis in my hand has totally gone away!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Darcy – That’s amazing! You should be very proud of yourself! Good for you!

  82. graciouspantry says:

    Tammy – That’s fantastic!! Keep up the great work!

  83. graciouspantry says:

    Erin – Fantastic! Any time you decide to cut sugar is a good time. You’ll do great!

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  85. Are you doing this challenge again sometime soon?

    1. graciouspantry says:

      I wanted to do it this August, but didn’t get very much enthusiasm. Will test the waters again for September.

  86. graciouspantry says:

    You’ll do great!

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  88. Really want to give this a go! I eat clean but still binge on sugar every now and then and I think it may because I keep stevia in my diet for my ‘sweet tooth’ daily fix. Like to give this “nothing at all sweet” a go. πŸ™‚

    1. graciouspantry says:

      It’s worth it! Also, double check your stevia. Not all brands are the pure stuff.

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  91. graciouspantry says:

    It’s fine, thanks. πŸ™‚ Welcome!

  92. chamroonster says:

    Hiya! Wow, what amazing support here. I am so scared. I love sugar and have a major sweet tooth. I’ve not have very good habits recently. I feel like I’m almost there… meaning, mentally preparing myself and telling myself that I can make a healthy change. Maybe I can do it here, with this amazing support system! I sent a request through the FB page. Thank you!!

    1. graciouspantry says:

      Of course you can do it! You are stronger than a spoonful of sugar! Just brace yourself mentally for the first few days. Get all temptation out of your house and be sure to drink plenty of water to flush things through. You’ll do great!

  93. Do squash, corn, and cucumber count towards the fruit allowance? They’re all technically fruit, and they can be sweet.

    1. graciouspantry says:

      No, they do not count.

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  95. Brianna Roehrborn says:

    Doing this for a whole month starting Jan 2! Actually looking forward to it πŸ™‚

  96. starting the no sugar challenge this morning. good luck to everyone doing the challenge. it’s going to be tuff but we can do it!

  97. Hello, I see that this article/comments are several months old but the group on FB seems active so I sent a request. Thank you.

  98. Kristen Lee says:

    Just now discovering your site and clean eating, for that matter. I’m extremely addicted to sugar and just the thought of giving it up gives me anxiety. I really want to do this!

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  100. This challenge has changed my life. Thank you, Tiffany!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      My pleasure! πŸ™‚

  101. How about monk fruit sweetener? I was using Stevia in the raw but switched when I saw this product.
    Would I need to eliminate the monk fruit sweetener to fully detox?

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Shannon – Yes. There are no added sweeteners allowed on the challenge. Sorry.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Lora – Wonderful! πŸ˜€

  102. Kathy Izzo says:

    Ate a lot of black jelly beans yesterday …… Feeling very bloated today! Back on the wagon again!!!!!

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Kathy – Yup! You just have to dust yourself off and keep going!

  103. When having coffee, does adding milk to it add sugar? Whether it’s whole milk or skim milk? i know milk is technically not part of clean eating, but i am mostly doing this challenge for the no sugar.

    1. The Gracious Pantry says:

      Laura – It does add sugar, but this particular challenge is about added sugar. The sugar in milk is naturally occurring, so it’s fine. Don’t read the percentages (unless you have to for medical reasons), stick to the ingredient list. If you don’t see sugar listed, it’s fine! Just remember that sugar has many names…

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