KICKING SUGAR TO THE CURB (some myths busted + a giveaway spot on the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program)

**UPDATE** The competition is now closed and the winner was drawn fairly (live on Snapchat) and randomly using a random name picker tool. Congratulations @dromvittran and thanks so much for the interest everyone! I wish I could give you all a place on the program. For those who are interested in joining this round, it’s not too late to sign up. Click on the affiliate banner below for more info and I wish you all the best on your health journey. ❤ Marisa x
If you’ve been here for some time, you are certainly aware of my sugar quitting  journey. If you’re new here, then here’s a little recap, followed by details for your chance to win a spot on the upcoming I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program (IQS8WP); the program I first completed over 2 years ago and have done several times since.

As I am on holidays and you no doubt have weekend plans that you’re keen to get underway, I’ll keep it simple and speak to a few points (and hopefully dispel a few myths) about cutting back on the white stuff.

Responses to FAQs & sugar-quitting myths

Not everyone quits sugar for weight loss purposes. There are those wanting to hop off the sugar high/sugar crash roller coaster (me), those seeking sustained energy (me), those with thyroid issues (me also), those with hormonal skin conditions (me again!) or a myriad of other reasons as to why reducing sugar consumption is a valid lifestyle decision.

There is NO calorie counting, no essential nutritional restriction, and no snake oil products involved with the IQS8WP. It’s about adopting a sustainable, balanced, wholesome lifestyle based around the consumption of delicious, mostly home-cooked, nutrient-packed real food in amounts that are truly sustaining.

You do not have to be a low-carb-obsessed meat-loving type to do it. In fact I rediscovered my veggie roots partly as a result of the IQS8WP. And, more surprisingly, my hubby went vegan while I was doing veg version of the program and cooking many of the meals for both of us.

You can eat bread. And I love bread (especially sourdough!). But you also have the opportunity to try out some pretty awesome grain-free/gluten-free bread and muffin recipes too.

You can eat fruit. There are stages in the program during which sweeteners of all kinds are kept to an absolute minimum and, yes, the naturally occurring fructose found in fruit qualifies as a sweetener too. But setting sweetness to the side is done in order to recalibrate your tastebuds, not to make you swear off all fruit for life. I don’t personally believe that everyone has “issues” with sugar, but if you’re a hardcore sweet tooth with an ability to mindlessly wolf down two desserts after a main course (that’s me!), then teaching your body to be more finely attuned to sweetness in all forms really helps long-term.

Chocolate is ok too! I eat it almost everyday, actually! And on the program you get to experiment with adding sweet foods back into your life without going mad about it.

You can do the program while pregnant and breastfeeding. Of course, DO check in with your doctor, midwife or other medical support people and always listen to your body. I first did the program while breastfeeding my daughter, I also did it (with modifications) while pregnant with our newest family addition, Oliver. You may need to add more snacks to boost your calorie intake (just as you might when pregnant or breastfeeding regardless of your chosen diet!), but if in doubt, you have support from a variety of medical and dietary professionals directly in the online forums who will answer any questions you may have as they arise.

If you travel (and can’t access a kitchen) or fall off the proverbial wagon, you can get back on. I have been there too. No shame in it whatsoever. Life happens. The good thing is that you can download and keep your recipes, shopping lists and meal plans. When you’re good to go again, simply refer back to them and get started… and reach out for support on the forums if needed.

I am writing this post in our gorgeous seaside apartment in Croatia… and the pool is calling to me, so I’m off to catch a little much needed holiday sun now. But if you have any questions about my quitting sugar experiences, drop me a line or feel free to read some of my old IQS-related posts (with weekly reviews of the food and my findings), such as this one or this one.

For the record, I asked someone at IQS HQ if it would be possible to give away a spot on the next program as I’d genuinely love for someone else to give it a go and benefit from it as I have. Participation in the IQS8WP includes all meals plans, recipes, shopping lists, weekly agendas, peer/community support via forums that are accessible 24/7, and professional support from an expert panel including medical professionals such awesome Doctor Rupy Aujla, psychologists, nutritionists, personal trainers (including one of my personal faves, Diana of Body Be Well). The program is valued at $150 AUD.

Read on for entry details if you’re interested in the next program. And have a fabulous weekend, all!

❤ MM xx


If you would like the chance to win a spot on the upcoming round of the IQS8WP (beginning September 1), leave a comment below to express your interest, making sure to include your Instagram handle/name too if you have also entered via my Instagram post on the subject.

One comment on this blog post will count as 2 entries.

The winner will be picked randomly on August 29, 2016 at 8:00am GMT and this post will be updated accordingly.



54 thoughts on “KICKING SUGAR TO THE CURB (some myths busted + a giveaway spot on the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program)

  1. Thanks for this great post, I had a lot of these questions too 🙈🙋! So I’m also expressing my interest here too and hope you enjoy your remaining family holiday to the fullest lovely!

  2. Wow, what a generous gift! I’m definitly interested, the last time I did it I dropped out because of pregnancy nausea (even forgot to save the recipes). I would love to follow through with a second run but can’t afford it atm. Have a lovely holiday! ❤

  3. This was quite an informative read – thank you so much for sharing your experience with us! I am definitely interested in this program as I’ve been trying to quit sugar for a while now.

  4. H Marisa, I am so interested in the I quit sugar program. I am desperate to lose weight and become a much nicer/ better person without the white stuff especially to my kiddies! I have a gut infection and I know it’s all food related! Seen many professionals however IQS will help me! My Instagram post is ellikarakitsos
    Thank you for the opportunity. Love your posts!

    • Hi Elli! You are so welcome! Gut health is actually a HUGE point of focus in the program right now. When I did it the first time it was only the second time the program had be run and it has evolved a bit since then. There are certain recipes and guides given specific to gut health and even a gut health week during the program, which I know would benefit greatly. Thank you so much for the kind words xx

  5. After having my son just over 2 years ago I have found it more and more difficult to get back to consistent healthy eating, especially without using sugar for fuel and/or eating refined/processed foods. Before I had him, even during pregnancy, I was a very healthy eater and ate a vegetarian diet with almost no sugar. Now I’m getting back to it (finally!) but and finding I need some guidance, ideas and motivation! I’m cooking for three and sometimes five (my husband has two children from a former marriage) and I need recipes that are easy to make, quick, healthy, satisfying, and family-friendly. This plan sounds like just what I need!

    • Hi Nadia! I hear you- it’s not easy. I cook for all of us in our family of five (my 6 month-old has just started on solids). One of the best things about the program is the meal prep guides. I still prefer to do a weekly meal prep afternoon to set me up for the week. Having healthy meals partly prepped and ready to go makes it so easy to turn to healthier options. Although it doesn’t state this in the guides, I recommend doubling all the portions to have enough food to go around (or extra for yourself to heat and eat, if some meals are not to everyone’s taste). As a veggie lover, you will find LOADS of inspiration in the program, I promise you. It’s far from boring 🙂

  6. Lovely post Marisa and what a collection of healing colourful sugar free dishes! Glad you called out bread and chocolate too – I am also pretty much sugar free but enjoy very dark chocolate most days and sourdough bread a few times weekly 😊

    • A girl after my own heart, Laura! 😀 I think it’s important to state that a sustainable way of eating is about balance and what works for an individual. There are certain ways of eating that just wouldn’t work for me for many reasons (Atkis, for example). xx

  7. I would absolutely LOVE to win the opportunity to take part in the next IQS program… I’ve always loved the idea of seriously lowering my intake of bad sugars – but I also believe in balance and therefore have never quite been brave enough to take the plunge! What convinced to enter is your post today (and particularly your comment on chocolate 😂) Thanks for the opportunity, good luck to everyone and enjoy beautiful Croatia!!! (Have entered on IG too – @fit__b_)

    • Haha! Great! I am glad that the chocolate won you over! I seriously do eat it almost everyday, but both my kids and myself have adjusted our tastebuds to like 85%-90% dark chocolate, which is pretty hard to binge on and contains more of the good stuff (cocoa + antioxidants) and less of the filler (sugar, etc). Thank you so much! 🙂 xx

  8. I would love to win this opportunity. I wouldn’t be doing it for weight loss, but to curb this insane sweet tooth I developed while pregnant with my second child. During this year of sleep deprivation and being a stay at home Mum of two, I’ve found fuelling my body with sweet treats to be the “go to” far too easily. My daughter is nearly one and I’d love to get it under control so I can find energy from other sources and avoid the afternoon crash that sugar brings.

    • I totally, totally understand! This has been my situation too. You would love and benefit from IQS, I am sure. Energy post-baby 2 was my primary motivation for doing it in the first place. Then it was my hormonal/hypothyroid stuff. Best wishes!

  9. The program sounds intriguing. I do think I’ve eased off of my wild sweet tooth a little bit but I still totally prefer sweets to savory food and probably eat more than my necessary amount of fruit per day. I’m interested in trying out your meal plans and seeing if maybe it can help out my skin! Instagram: tiu.melanie

    • Fabulous, Melanie! I am not adhering strictly to the IQS way of eating these days (and especially while traveling), but when I did I noticed improvements to all areas of my life, from energy to skin. And I hope you will find the same is true for you! 🙂 x

  10. Dear Marisa
    Thank you very much for sharing your valuable experiences here! I would very much love to have a chance to take part in the program as well, that’s why I’m entering twice 😉 Already did it on IG as well with my IG handle @smoothie_swan ☺️
    Best wishes

    • Hello, dear one! So great to hear you are interested, lovely! Something that I know you would love about the program structure right now is that there is a HUGE focus on gut health, with recipes, information, etc… plus expert support if you want it. I only recommend things I have tried and liked and I have done this program several times myself. It’s great and very customisable if you have allergies or intolerances too 🙂 . Best wishes to you! ❤ Marisa x

  11. That sounds like a great idea! I quit sugar about 3-4 years ago and I would never go back! I love natural sweets aka fresh and dried fruits so much and I cannot even eat a ‘normal’ piece of cake without getting mad 😀 it doesn’t taste anymore and I alway feel like shocked by sugar.

  12. It sounds great. I have fibromyalgia and ME/CfS and it’s recomended to avoid meat (Im already vegetarian so tvats no problem!), no suger, no milk and no white flour. Would be amazing to get some support guotti g the suger! I’m @ania_lu on Instagram

    • Hi Ania! Someone very close to me suffers from fibro and I know it’s not easy to cope with a so-called invisible disease. This program is great for many reasons but one of them is all of the expert support people receive (if they want it). From the psychological stuff to the physical. And I have met many people via the forums and Instagram as a result of IQS who have similar issues to me (hormonal conditions, hypothyroidism, etc)- it’s nice to know you’re not alone. Wishing you all the best x

  13. I really like your post, it answered me to many questions. 🙂 I’m also interested in the challenge. Would it also be able to begin the programme a bit after September 1?

    • Hi! And thank you! The program officially kicks off on September 1, so that is when most people will begin in terms of receiving information, meal plans and having access to the forums, but usually the first meals are cooked 3 days later and the actual process of eating mindfully begins the next day. For those who can’t start immediately, you can kick-off when it works for you, following the plans you are sent and accessing the forums for support or to connect with people as suits you 🙂

  14. I have recently made the decision to quit sugar! I absolutely love Sarah Wilson and the IQS team! I alway follow their blogs and really enjoy cooking their recipes for my family! I have always loved to join the IQS8WP but I am only 16 and can’t afford it so this would be an amazing opportunity for me! I think most beneficial for me would be to have a plan set out as it would save me so much time which I need for my studies! I also think it will be beneficial for my whole family, especially my brother who worries me because he is an absolute sugar addict and despite all of my attempts won’t cut back! I have also recently found out that for medical reasons I have to start eating more fats and carbs to gain a bit of weight. I want to do this in the most healthy way possible which is why the 8 week program is so fantastic because it doesn’t cut any of them out but fully wipes out sugar! Thanks! I love your blog!❤️😊

    • Hi Cyonie! Thank you for your lovely comment! It’s such a great thing that you have discovered that cutting back on unnecessary unhealthy things (such as hidden excess sugar) does not mean depriving yourself of the essentials… on the contrary you can add more of the good stuff and stay fuller longer. Best wishes to you and your family! ❤

  15. I keep seeing info on the September IQS8WP over and over and just feel like it’s meant to be! Start-fresh-September or Sugarfree-September or maybe I’m just crazy! This is my entry (hwall2 on insta) and my fingers are crossed!
    I am very envious of your holiday sun too, August in Aus is just too cold for me, despite it being a sunny 19 degrees today!

  16. I’d love to try it, but currently on budget. So why not join this competition?! 😁
    Good share, Marissa! 😊

    Love, Icha.
    IG: @ichabeld

  17. This is such a generous gift for you to giveaway I would love to be considered! I have been following your Instagram for a while now, thank you for this blog post it is so important to share all of this information so people can become more aware of what they are putting into their bodies and how quitting sugar can benefit them!

  18. @nenapiki_healthymeals ✨💖 Fantastic post.! You couldn’t explain it better. Quitting sugar is the best thing anyone can do for themselves. Plus the community is amazing. The help and caring is so truthful and honest. I’m looking forward to it 🙂 Thanks for sharing lovely. xx

  19. @nenapiki_healthymeals ✨💖 Fantastic post.! You couldn’t explain it better. Quitting sugar is the best thing anyone can do for themselves. Plus the community is amazing. The help and caring is so truthful and honest. I’m looking forward to it🙂 Thanks for sharing lovely. xx

  20. Thank you for that great post about quitting sugar! I will give it another try! 😜 I feel now, while I breastfeeding it’s extra hard to abstain sugar. I want to eat sweet stuff all the time. And I actually do! 😬

    • Hi Isabella! It is possible to modify meals and although the veg version caters to a ovo-lacto vegetarian diet, they always include dairy/egg-free options or tell you which meals/dishes cannot be modified and to choose another option from the program. xx

  21. Always a pleasure to read your opinion on food experiments/change/lifestyle discoveries. I’d love to participate (duh:-)).
    I feel really fortunate to have met you 2 years ago and discovered that amazing universe you get to share via your blog or IG or Fb, I always feel better, wethere it’s because am inspired or just feeling genuinely happy to see therer are other ways/alternatives and eating better is not that far… thank you for that, you little Swede/Aussie unicorn mama ❤

    Love from Switzerland

  22. I don’t entirely agree with the principles of IQS, but I’m glad that this post has brought the truths to light because I feel as if people tend to jump to conclusions way too quickly!

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