Rules For The No Sugar Challenge

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No Sugar Challenge Rules

If you’re interested in doing the No Sugar Challenge, these are the guidelines to follow.

NOTE: This challenge is about avoiding ADDED sugar. Read ingredient lists, NOT the daily values (percentages). Plenty of perfectly healthy foods like fruits have sugar. But there is no ADDED sugar in fruit.


Regardless of how long you do this challenge for, you should follow these simple rules for the duration of the challenge.

This challenge should be done for at least 2 weeks as it can take up to a full week to get the cravings to subside after removing sugar from your diet.

  • Sugars – Avoid all added sugars for this challenge.
  • Substitute Sugars – Avoid all substitute sugars, including stevia. While it’s not a sugar, the idea of the challenge is not only to get sugar out of your diet, but also to get you away from the need for something sweet.
  • Fruits – You are allowed 3 pieces of fruit per day at most.
  • Alcohol – Avoid alcohol because it can make your cravings worse.

Be sure that you are truly cutting out all sugar from your eating plan. If your cravings persist beyond a week, you might want to consider taking a closer look at what you’re eating.

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  1. If we are only suppose to have 3 fruits a day, I am assuming this is also counted in the smoothies correct?

  2. Hi there!

    Would you include honey in your list of things not to eat on this challenge?

  3. What about bread? It turns into sugar in your body, right? I notice I crave bready foods when I give up sweets!

    1. Missy – Depends on the bread. But if it’s a trigger food for you, then you should definitely avoid it.

  4. What about sweet potato & pumpkin? They’ve got lots of sugar in them. Even veggies like carrots & capsicum have sugar, too. It all adds up. And milk! By the time I’ve had my morning smoothie & coffee, I’m over my limit before I even start on my veggies

    1. Rachel – Is this in relation to the no sugar challenge? In what context are you applying this?

  5. I use the myfitnesspal app to track my nutrition & it’s says I should have about 33g sugar/day.
    I eat no processed food, eat 3pieces of fruit, a couple of coffees with milk (lactose = sugar), 100g yogurt & by the time I log in my veggies as well (half a cup of sweet potato mash = 6.5g, for example), I always go way over the 33g. Am I being too pedantic?!!

    1. Rachel – I don’t think you can take that calculator too seriously. It’s a fantastic tool, but I use it more for ballpark figures. I suppose it all depends on how picky you really want to be. Also depends on what your goals are.

  6. Yep that’s what I thought – I’m being too pedantic! My goal is simply to keep clean, maximize nutrient intake and minimize sugar – as much as possible, anyway

    1. Rachel – Then keep things as simple as possible. Clean eating really and truly is a very simple concept. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. You’ll do great!

  7. Can I eat white bread? Is there a limit to how much grams of sugar I can eat? Does starchy foods such as potatoes, corn, rice count?

    1. Jacob – No, white bread is not clean. Sugar should always be eaten in the smallest amount possible and never the white, refined (or regular brown sugar) stuff. Opt for sweet potatoes and make sure the rice is brown rice. Hope that helps.

  8. Can I have ranch dressing?

    1. Jacob – Sure! If you make it. It’s pretty easy. I have a recipe here on my blog. Just check out salad dressing in the recipe index or do a quick search in the sidebar.

  9. Does peanut butter contain sugar? Is it good?

    1. find a peanut butter that contains peanuts only

  10. And waffles? Can I eat waffles w/ no syrup

  11. Is black coffee good or bad?

    1. James – That all depends. It’s fine in moderation on a clean eating plan, but if your body can’t handle the caffeine, then I would avoid it. If it can, just keep it moderate. 1 cup in the morning is just about right. I believe there is some processing that goes into making coffee. But you’d be hard pressed to get most clean eaters to give up their morning cup of joe.

  12. Dan Spence says:

    Hi Tiffany,

    Thanks for the fabulous website/blog.

    About to do no sugar challenge and had a question.

    Do you recommend cutting out dried fruit such as raisins and dates?

    I know some people class these as sugar substitutes.

    Thank you

  13. Reilly Johnson says:

    I see we can only consume 3 pieces of fruit per day, but I eat a fresh fruit salad with my baby every morning… Should I just make smaller salads or skip them all together… Its made up of berries, bananas, grapes, and oranges generally… What do you think?

    1. Reilly – I would guess that 1 serving would be about 1/2 a cup (ballpark). You don’t have to cut it out completely, just manage how much of it you eat.

  14. Is sugar free gum acceptable or is it bad?

    1. Ian – It’s not clean, so it would not be acceptable. Artificial sweeteners are not clean or part of this challenge. Sorry!

  15. I’m on day 9 of my challenge and discovered the most surprising development. I lost 5 pounds. I had no idea that would happen. I haven’t even been exercising. It was hard week one but it’s mellowed out for me. The cravings I mean. Never realized how many things I eat contains sugar.

  16. Is home brewed beer (on weekends) allowed on a no sugar challenge? We make ours whole grain (not via malt extract)

  17. I am excited to try this challenge! I use agave in my coffee each morning. Is this considered sugar? I’m thinking it is since you said honey was a sugar. Not sure what to use since I can’t stomach it black. And I looove my coffee!! Great blog!! Thanks for all the information on this.

    1. Karla – Yes, it’s a sugar. I have a recipe for evaporated milk here that may work for you. It’s sweetened with raisins instead of sugar. But aside from that, that’s why it’s called a challenge! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Brandy Mailloux says:

    I want to know about condensed milk to sweeten coffee or coconut sugar, which isn’t really sugar. Are these acceptable?

    1. Brandy – As far as I know, they add sugar to condensed milk. And I believe there are some stabilizers in there as well. If you’d like me to look more closely, please feel free to post the ingredient list here and I can tell you for sure.

  19. Do you have any recipes you could share for the no sugar challenge?

  20. Stephanie says:


    what is the goal for after the challenge (especially since I have a sweet tooth) Also, is there anything allowed to sweeten my coffee with?

    1. Stephanie – The idea of the challenge is to rid yourself of that sweet tooth. So no, nothing for your coffee other than plain milk or cream. After the challenge, the choice is yours. The idea is to hopefully stay off added sugars. But that’s a personal choice.

  21. What about a whole banana?

  22. Been clean eating with no added sugar for past couple of weeks but finding lots of products have moderate amounts of salt. I do cook evening meals from scratch but finding it had to find variety. My varied diet has reduced greatly. I’ve found I’m eating more bread and nuts to fill up. I would like to lose weight and reduce the salt. Any advise?

    1. Julie – To get away from the salt, you have to get away from the products. Cooking from scratch is the way to do that. As for variety, I have lots of recipes here to keep things interesting. Sounds like just a few minor adjustments will accomplish what you are trying to do. ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Hello,
    If I only have one piece of fruit a day and honey in my one cup of coffee, Iโ€™s this ok or coconut sugar?

    Sandy ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Sandy – Not for this challenge. The idea is to get all sweeteners (added sugar) out of your diet. So it would be no sweetener in your coffee unless you use something like date paste.

  24. Hi! I know Iโ€™m super (like years) late to jump on this challenge, but Iโ€™m wondering about cocoa and/or cacao. Would you consider it/them sugar containing?

    1. Adrienne – That’s why I leave the challenge information up. So people can do it any time they want! ๐Ÿ™‚ As long as your cocoa powder is unsweetened, it’s fine. Pure chocolate does not have sugar added. Hope that helps!

  25. If I make homemade guacamole are corn chips or maybe blue corn ships allowed during the no sugar challenge? Btw, all the of the QA was so helpful. Thank you!

    1. Chanda – Glad you found it helpful! As long as the chips have no added sugars in the ingredient list, it’s fine for the purposes of this challenge. Way to go on getting started! ๐Ÿ˜€