What Skinny Women Know About Sugar

February 26, 2013
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

What Skinny Women Know about SugarIt’s time to take your kitchen to the cleaners!

This just in— straight from the pages of the Skinny Diaries! Here’s how to beat the odds in light of the new stats that suggest that the average diet lasts only about six weeks. Half of the dieters lose their momentum because of their lack of willpower while a full 25% give up because they become moody or depressed.

This is what smart women do to obtain and maintain that slimmer figure – all year round – and what you can do, too. Try these tips on for size:

1. Get rid of processed carbohydrates and sugar from your kitchen starting today. Refined carbohydrates in the form of white rice, white bread, and white pasta (the “wicked whites”) are rapidly converted to sugars in the body and upset the body’s blood sugar and fat-controlling systems. Keeping these products out of the house is a very simple yet most effective way to maintain a well-balanced blood sugar level for long-term energy and the avoidance of temptation that jumps off the cupboards.

If you need even more help waking up your metabolism, consider Weight Loss Formula which my Fat Flushers have depended upon for well over 15 years. Weight Loss Formula contains the study-backed dose of chromium (400 mcg) which is far and away the most sugar-regulating nutrient for metabolism. More than 90% of us are chromium-deficient.  It is the most effective trace mineral for knocking out cravings, overcoming insulin resistance, and turning around hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

The more sugar you eat, the more chromium you deplete!

L-Carnitine is another key Weight Loss Formula component. This non-essential amino acid (at a 500 mg dosage) is as essential as it gets for weight loss, however. L-Carnitine converts body fat into available fuel. I have often recommended to clients they double up on the Weight Loss Formula to maximize their weight burning efforts. In fact, an article in the Endocrine Journal discussed the dramatic effects of L-Carnitine in weight management when up to two grams were taken.

2. Stop adding sugar to foods such as cereal and fruits and to any of your drinks—even those herbal coffee substitutes or herbal teas you are now using. All forms of sugar, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners are out for this transitional phase. The noncaloric sugar alcohols (such as mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol) found in sugar-free chewing gums are often the cause of cramps, diarrhea, and bloating. Artificial sweeteners like Aspartame (also known as Equal or NutraSweet) can increase both sugar and carbohydrate cravings by blocking production of serotonin. Insufficient serotonin creates more sugar and carbohydrate cravings, which can then increase the likelihood of binging. Watch out for all the fancy names for any of the above, like dehydrated cane crystals, cane juice crystals, cane sugar, caramel, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrose, diastase, fructose, fruit juice and fruit juice concentrates, invert sugar, lactose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, sorghum syrup, regular sugar, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, and brown sugar. Even agave is a “no no” because of the high fructose connection.

3. Foodwise, just remember to go with unrefined and unprocessed as much as possible. This is the only way to ensure that you are really reducing your sugar intake, especially the hidden sugars in sauces, cereals, dressings, and such. Most vegetables and fruits as well as chicken, meat, fish, tofu, and eggs are as sugar free as you can get. The naturally occurring sugars present in legumes, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds are combined with fiber and other nutrients which help to balance your blood sugar by slowing down the body’s absorption and assimilation of the natural sugars present.

4. Dilute even the natural sweeteners or naturally sweetened foods whenever you can. If you are a health nut already and are using healthful sweeteners like barley malt or brown rice syrup, for example, then dilute these concentrated sweeteners with water. After a week or two, you are ready to transition into Flora-Key. Flora-Key is the probiotic sweetener that will not affect blood sugar nor trigger food cravings but will accelerate your weight loss efforts by balancing your colon flora to help the body extract more food energy from the calories you do ingest.

5. Avoid any food with the label “fat free,” the marketing trick that makes you think such foods may help you lose weight but have actually contributed to our increasing weight and health problems. When “fat free” is on the label, you can be sure to find lots of sugar in various disguises ending with “-ose” like sucrose, glucose, dextrose, and levulose to improve the taste factor. Excess amounts of sugar that are not balanced with protein and fat cause the pancreas to release insulin, the body’s main fat storage hormone.

6. The more natural, the better the food for you. So, load up on fresh veggies and fruits. The more processed a food may be (think potato chips and even orange juice), the more it will tend to raise your blood sugar because the fiber and nutrients are missing. Keep in mind, chromium is the best blood sugar leveler of all – especially when coupled with L-Carnitine.

7. Make a vow to ingest foods only with 0 to 4 grams of sugars per serving. Become a sugar sleuth. To cut the sugar out, you have to know where it is hiding first. There’s no way around it. If you are still buying packaged foods, you have to pay attention to what’s in them. Three quarters of the sugars Americans ingest are “hidden” in processed foods, so you have to become a health detective. Learn to read those labels and search for the various names for sugar itemized in number 5 above.

8. Now that we are on the topic of labels, note that the label “sugar free” means that the food contains fewer than 0.5 grams of sugar. The labels “no added sugar,” “without added sugar,” and “no sugar added” mean that no sugar or ingredients containing sugars were added during the processing or packing of the products and that the product has no ingredients that were made with added sugars, such as jams, jellies, or concentrated fruit juices. The term “reduced sugar” means that the product contains at least 25 percent less sugar than the original product.

9. Start eating for taste and good health. The human body requires only about 2 teaspoons of sugar in the bloodstream at any one time. You can easily meet this requirement with fresh fruits and veggies, protein, and fat.

10. Listen to your body. Think about what happens when you eat that decadently chocolaty dessert. You may feel an initial high, but an hour later the irritability, depression, and lethargy set in; what is your body telling you? It wants my Fat Flush Chocolate Whey – a whey better substitute that will satisfy your sweet tooth and enhance lean muscle mass which is your body’s innate calorie burner.

The bottom line: Skinny women choose foods that make them feel good for the long term—mentally, emotionally, and physically. And you, too, can become a slimmer, fitter “skinny woman” version of your very best self.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Suzanne

    I am a sugar-craver and I’m diabetic, not insulin dependent (yet). My goal is to be off of all diabetic medications. You have offered a Y-C product on your Unikey link to help stop sugar cravings. You also have a Colon Cleanse kit that sounds effective. My question is: If I were want to cleanse and to begin using Y-C for deterring my sugar cravings, should I do the colon cleanse first and then begin using Y-C? Or are these two products safe to use simultaneously? If they are not, how long do you recommend using the colon cleanse before beginning the Y-C?

    • Sierra

      Hi there!
      I would recommend that start first with the Colon Cleanse. After two weeks, you’ll take a 5 day break. When you resume the Colon Cleanse, you are welcome to start the Y-C Cleanse. Observing the dietary changes for both programs will be key to conquering the sugar cravings. Best wishes!

  2. Sue

    You don’t mention Stevia, is this now considered a sugar substitute or is this still allowed?

    • Sierra

      Stevia is great for the majority of people! In a very small population, however, it can spike blood sugar, but that is pretty uncommon.

  3. cristee

    Recently found out that my 11 yr. old daughter is type 1 diabetic.
    Do you find that kids mind the taste of the Flora-Key? We are trying to find a sweetener for such things as her hot cereal, smoothies etc.

    • Sierra

      Hi Cristee!
      The Flora-Key is very mild and pleasant 🙂 Stevia is another option, which is much sweeter than the Flora-Key, and can be used in hot drinks and hot recipes.

  4. Donna

    What about erythritol and oligofrutose from chircory root? Are these safe?

    • Sierra

      Hi Donna! Unfortunately, erythritol is one of those sugar alcohols that often cause bloating and digestive discomfort, and even headaches. Oligofructose will affect your blood sugar levels, so it would also not be recommended.

  5. Linda

    No mention of honey. It is a favorite and I feel like it probably isn’t really the best thing for me? The jury seems to still be out on that? My favorite kind is Tupelo…has such a nice flavor. Does that mean it is bad? And of course, there is Manuka honey from New Zealand (most expensive at $35 for a small 16 ounce by weight jar) that is reputed for its healing properties.

    • Sierra

      Honey definitely has its place in a healthy diet, though even with the numerous benefits it offers, honey still raises our blood sugar levels. If you are at a healthy weight and are not insulin resistant, honey could be a good option for you on occasion.

  6. Susan Stevens

    I have tried several brands of stevia, but all of them have had a bitter aftertaste. Is there a brand that does not? What about coconut palm suger? Is that a good substitute for sugar, especially in coffee?


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