Giving up sugar in tea

How long to get used to it? Bleugggh!

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16/03/2011 at 22:38
I started logging what I eat in January - more as a healthy diet thing but also to get rid of a few stubborn pounds. Has been a bit of a revelation, and have improved many aspects of my diet as a result. The final frontier is giving up sugar in tea. I have at least 4/5 cups a day which is a lot of wasted calories. I've successfully cut down to 1tsp but just can't bear it with none. Everyone says I'll get used to it, but it still tastes grim without the sugar. Has anyone done this successfully - and how long did it take to get used to it?
16/03/2011 at 22:47

Back in the days when I was too young to know better and believed Lent was a good idea  I gave up sugar in tea, so I went from 2 spoons to none, and after six and a bit weeks I can honestly say I preferred it without, and never went back.  If you really don't like having none at all, I'm sure even a quarter/half spoon will make a significant difference to the taste, with the calorie count being rather less than significant. 

16/03/2011 at 22:51

Taste buds adapt, so with perseverance you would get used to it. Don't go from one sugar to none, cut down step wise - 3/4, 1/2, etc.

Have you tried artificial sweeteners? Or maybe use fructose - it's sweeter than sucrose, so you use can less

16/03/2011 at 22:54
I reduced my sugar in tea and coffee gradually over a couple of weeks, but also couldn't get used to none at all in my drinks ....stuck it out for about 2 weeks only though. In the end I've settled on half a tsp and they actually taste plenty sweet enough now
16/03/2011 at 23:08

I cut down from having 2 sugars in my tea to none when I was a kid and realised that I really didn't like sweet tea.

Other options are to filter your water - if you live in a hard water area the water tastes vile. Used to have a water softener when a youth - the water was the best thing you could ever drink. No need for squash or fizzy drinks. ho hum.

Change the variety of tea that you are drinking. Most tea bags are made from dust which tastes like - well dust, one grade up is fannings which isn't much better. I'm a tea snob. Ditch the pg tips.  I buy loose leaf tea from a shop that sells tea, not the supermarket.

Edited: 16/03/2011 at 23:09
16/03/2011 at 23:09

Almost since my first ever cup of tea, I've drunk it black & without sugar.

I also tend to have 2 'Yorkshire Tea' bags in a pint-mug for my brews

17/03/2011 at 07:12

Wot Philpub said. (only in my case it was coffee - I don't do tea ).

Although it might be easier to do it step wise. going to no sugar all at one go will be a shock to the system! And even if you settled at 1/2 tsp, that's still a reduction in the calorie intake. You've got to enjoy drinking it! Maybe leave iot for a few months, then try again. No need to do it all in a rush.

17/03/2011 at 07:32
Thanks all - very helpful.  Hadn't really thought of cutting down to half (doh!) so that's definitely the thing to try.  The 6 weeks is interesting - like Aydee have only really tried a couple of weeks at a time.  Sarah - I've probably read too many theories about why to avoid artificial sweeteners so have a bit of an aversion to them (no idea if there's any basis but you know how people's minds work sometimes when they get an idea stuck in there!).  I hadn't heard about fructose so will look out for that as well. 

Biker-mouse - I'm a reverse tea snob - tetley tetley tetley!  I'm in the North East and water isn't too bad - but you're right, tea is sooooo much better when I go back to my parents in Scotland where it is soft (or maybe it's just the bliss of having my cuppa made for me ).  I wish I liked fruit teas as well but I think they are vile vile vile!!!

Thanks - 3/4 or 1/2 teaspoons today!
17/03/2011 at 08:07

Hi B Team, 

I have found that over time I have become a "tea minimalist".

At home we all used to have 2 sugars in our tea. Then in the 70s (showing my age here!) there was a sugar shortage so we all cut down to 1. We didn't notice having less.

As I got older I would usually have sugar but sometimes not. Eventually I decided I preferred to taste the tea rather than the sugar so stopped havnig sugar. Then I switched from full fat milk to semi-skimmed.

Now, half the time I don't even have milk! 

It is possble to acquire a taste for lots of things we don't like initially so keep at it - as biker-mouse says the water quality can make quite a big difference too.

17/03/2011 at 08:22
Black with a slice of lemon is the only way.
17/03/2011 at 08:28
BRT wrote (see)
Black with a slice of lemon is the only way.


Spent some time in Holland or Belgium, BRT?
That's how we drink it there...
You get funny looks if you put milk in your tea.

17/03/2011 at 08:30

BT - I went from 2 spoons to none (also back in the late 70's) ... straight away, not a gradual withdrawal.

Probably took about a month, but since then, any drink with sugar in tastes disgusting.

I take milk with tea - except when travelling when I often have it black with lemon (either the milk, water or tea just isn't right). And I drink black coffee, also sugar free.

Keep trying - I think you'll actually taste the real tea (or coffee) better.

17/03/2011 at 09:17
Another one sticking at half a teaspoon here.

Though I use the Candarel powder stuff in the office - with the amount of tea I drink even half a teaspoon mounts up.
17/03/2011 at 09:19
I use sweeteners too - as Jj says, it mounts up when you're a multicup person
17/03/2011 at 09:40
Lady at work is cutting down on sugar, apparently. Yet she hasn't quite made the connection to the fact the three chocolate biscuits she has with her tea may be part of the problem.
17/03/2011 at 10:26

Don't deprive yourself B.  I couldn't bear my strong macciato in the morning without 2 brown sugars.  Coffee without sugar?  What's the point?

Must admit, I don't drink tea* but have Indian chai v occasionally and masala chai (home-made or local cafe) quite a bit.  I feel like you need less sugar in tea but I still have a 1/2 tsp at the v least.

EDIT: *Traditional tea, that is.

I wouldn't recommend artificial sweeteners.  Studies have shown them to be carcenogenic.

Edited: 17/03/2011 at 10:28
17/03/2011 at 10:32

I lost quite a lot of weight when I went from 4 sugars to 2 whilst in an office where we had LOTS of tea

Might try having 1 for a while...

17/03/2011 at 10:35

Have you thought about switching to a different tea? I haven't drunk 'normal' tea since I was a kid, I used to have about 4 or 5 sugars in it to make it drinkable. Not being able to keep that up for all my life I switched to herbal tea in my late teens and have never looked back.

There's such a wide variety of choices nowadays & they usually have their own health benefits too. I've been drinking nettle & mint for a few years now, the mint is good for the digestive system & the nettle is good for cleansing.

17/03/2011 at 10:38

Did it cold turkey.  It didn't take long, couple of weeks and now I can't stand the hint of sugar anywhere near tea.  Bleugh.

17/03/2011 at 10:46
Parklife - REAL studies have shown the 'studies' on the interweb to be rubbish. I'd rather trust the Lancet, the AJCN, the FDA etc than aspartamekills.com.
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