What to expect

You made it! Most of you might think that right now is the easiest part because you’ve just started and haven’t had to face many obstacles. Here is the one big question we begin with: Are you in this?

The hardest part of “quitting sugar” is the decision to actually quit sugar. So make the commitment to say “yes,” to mean it and to stick to it for 10 days.

Added sugars can be found in regular soft drinks, candy, cakes, cookies, pies, fruit drinks and more.

The ultimate goal of this experience is to increase your awareness of how prevalent added sugars are in the meals we consume. On Day 10, you will be presented with guidelines for a plan that is more sustainable long-term. Now that you know how many foods contain added sugars, you can decide which foods containing added sugars are important to you and which foods you can easily give up.

What to eat

Here is a suggested meal plan to follow for day 1 of the Sugar Shutdown. Please note you can make changes to fit your tastes and dietary needs.

Important reminders on day 1:

  • Do not skip any meals. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Listen to your hunger cues. Eat until you’re satisfied, but give yourself a break before you start to snack to see if you’re actually hungry. (If you’re hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re probably hungry.)
  • Remember to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
  • Eat snacks that have a protein and a carbohydrate together (nuts and fruit, hummus and vegetables, string cheese and grapes). This will keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and help you stay full and keep cravings at bay.
  • If you mix and match any meals, remember you want: A maximum of 2-3 servings of fruit daily. Watch your serving sizes and your snacks! 4-6 servings of nonstarchy vegetables every day. Half of your plate at lunch and dinner should be nonstarchy vegetables. If you can get them in at breakfast too, the more the merrier. Snack time is an easy spot to get another serving in as well! We encourage using leftovers, especially at lunchtime!

1 piece of 100% whole-wheat toast
2-3 scrambled eggs
Sautéed mushrooms, peppers, onions and spinach
Optional: 1 slice or ¼ cup shredded cheese

Morning snack
Carrots and hummus

1 cup of chopped melon slices
Mixed greens salad with lots of vegetables (carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, broccoli)
Top with Greek yogurt chicken salad:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup apple, diced
1/3 cup grapes, halved
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Optional: Can sprinkle ranch seasoning packet to Greek yogurt to give the chicken salad a ranch flavor. By having this creamy chicken salad topping your mixed greens there shouldn’t be a need for added dressing!

1. Dice poached chicken breasts into small pieces.
2. In a large bowl, mix yogurt to coat chicken evenly (Ranch seasoning optional).
2. Add celery, apple, grapes and almonds to the bowl and mix in.
3. Enjoy immediately; store remaining chicken salad in fridge.
Makes 6 servings.

Afternoon snack
Celery and almond or peanut butter

Steak kabobs: lean cut of meat (sirloin, round or tenderloin) with grape tomatoes, zucchini, squash and mushrooms on the grill
Sweet potato (with butter and cinnamon – no sugar)

How you should be feeling today

Today is the first day so you are really motivated and excited. This day should be easy in the first half but expect to start craving sugar as the day goes on. You may feel a little tired or achy by the end of the day, so be prepared and maybe go to bed a little earlier tonight. Sleep is very important to good health and weight control.


Variety is important, so why not try a new exercise today? Maybe walk a different route, listen to different music, try biking or watch an exercise video.

“The best way to get things done is to simply begin.” – Unknown

Novant Health is here to help with lifestyle and nutrition services, sports medicine, and primary care physicians and clinics backed by caring support teams ready to help you live your best life.