Giving up sugar in tea

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?


  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Back in the days when I was too young to know better and believed Lent was a good idea image 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. 

  • BookyBooky ✭✭✭

    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 image

  • 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 nowimage
  • Hog-mouseHog-mouse ✭✭✭

    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. image I buy loose leaf tea from a shop that sells tea, not the supermarket.

  • 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 brewsimage

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

    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.

  • 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 image).  I wish I liked fruit teas as well but I think they are vile vile vile!!!

    Thanks - 3/4 or 1/2 teaspoons today!
  • 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.

  • Black with a slice of lemon is the only way.
  • 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.

  •  Mick Mick ✭✭✭

    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.

  • Another one sticking at half a teaspoon here. image

    Though I use the Candarel powder stuff in the office - with the amount of tea I drink even half a teaspoon mounts up. image
  • I use sweeteners too - as Jj says, it mounts up when you're a multicup person image
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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 image

    Might try having 1 for a while...

  • MrsK8MrsK8 ✭✭✭

    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.

  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    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.

  • 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 image
  • I drink redbush tea..seems to be sweeter then normal tea so does not need any caffine free so i don't get hyper active!!

    *bounce, bounce, bounce*

  • yes, redbush is nice, but it's not brown and it doesn't come in a pyramid bag so it's not REAL tea, is it.

    [jumps up on FF's bouncing shoulders in an energy-saving experiment]
  • Years ago my family gave up sugar in tea.  My brother and my Dad went cold turkey and my Mum and I gave up grain by grain.  We all succeeded.  Good luck

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭

    When hubby was diagnosed with Coeliac disease, the nutritionist told him that it takes between 4 and 8 weeks for your taste buds to adapt to a new flavour, so stick with it.

    If you think dropping sugar from your tea takes getting used to, try Gluten Free Bread,  <heave>image

    I used to take 1.5 spoons in tea and coffee, but can't drink it with any in now.

  • MrsK8MrsK8 ✭✭✭

    Sugar makes the world go round though anon!

    I'm saying this while I dribble over the pack of biscuits someone has thoughtfully left on my desk.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    <hides tin of Golden Syrup behind monitor>
  • I cut down from 8 sugars per cup (yes. seriously. I was young and foolish, still am really...)  I went on a school trip away and they only offered water or tea with our meals.  I couldnt cope with water (coming from a juice household - sugar free mind you) so I chose tea but found it gross without the sugar.

    I was a fairly chunky girl it must be said...

    Anyway, i reached my mid-teens and asking for 8 sugars in my tea got funny looks so embarrassment cut me right down to 2.  At uni I used "half spoon" and worked my way down, step by step, using that to none.

    Having said that Ive snuck some sweeteners in now im a bit older, though i am now working on cutting those  out too (because obviously they will kill/maim/destroy meimage)

    I second peppermint tea, fresh mint though, not crap twinings bags.  they still require sweetness.

  • Jj wrote (see)
    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 image

    I didn't get my information from t'Internet.

    Artifical sweeteners leave an unpleasant taste too ...

  • Now THAT I agree with you on. image
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