Mark Sainsbury: I need your help to quit sugar

Sugar-free diet
Is cutting out sugar the best way to weight loss? (File)

OPINION: I had the hard word from my doctor the other week – I need to lose 5 or 6 kg.

Why? Apart from the obvious - I'm too porky - my blood sugar and blood pressure are creeping up.

But now starts the dilemma.

My friends and colleagues have no end of suggestions and options.

So what's the right answer? Cut the bread? Cut all carbs? Don't eat carbs after midday? Cut the alcohol?

Really, I need to get rid of sugar - that wonder product whose manufacturers have for years pulled the wool over our eyes by demonising fat, as the sugar giants roamed free through our groceries.

But the big question is: can you actually eliminate sugar from your diet?

Pick up any product and check the ingredients. The smart money says you'll find sugar in there.

For most of us it's the giving up that's the triumph and before we know it, we're back on the sugar regime.

I wonder if this "cut stuff out" theory is a bit wonky in any case. You only have one life, surely we can have a treat every now and then, rather than the drama of going cold turkey.

It's true that the more you ease off the sugar your craving for it dissipates. But the transition period is tricky and I do wonder how practical or affordable a sugar-free life is.

One of my team has made a conscious effort to deal to his extra weight, shedding 56 kg over eight months. He's done it slowly and consistently, which of course didn't stop us christening him Friar Tuck in the faint hope it was surgically achieved.

But having witnessed his diet rituals throughout that time it's clear his weight loss was long, determined, hard work.

Let's face it - we all wish there was some magic pill where we could wake up and it was all done, but it isn't going to happen.

Mark Sainsbury hosts Morning Talk from 9am-midday on RadioLIVE.