If the sugar monkey is on your back, you know how hard it is to break that sweet addiction.

Luckily, Anne Alexander has written two books to serve as our personal sugar rehab: Sugar Smart Express, and the Sugar Smart Diet. Alexander shows us how to recognize the perils of sugar in the foods we eat, and effectively kick the wrong types of sugar out for good.

Here are a few of her best tips:

  1. If you want to lose weight, identify your triggers. When and where do these cravings hit? Keep a food log to show you where the food in your diet is hiding. Then take measures to eliminate the culprits and replace them with healthier options. Soon, you’ll find weight isn’t so stubborn, and the cravings will recede.
  1. Distinguish between sugars that are natural and those that are additives. Familiarize yourself with the sneaky ways manufacturers add sugar.
  1. Stay away from artificial sweeteners. They distort our sense of taste, and push a need for ever sweeter foods. When we continually eat foods with artificial sweeteners, we diminish our ability to enjoy natural sugars. It seems to us that they aren’t sweet at all. So, we prefer the pleasure of foods that are sweetened hundreds times more than anything found in nature.
  1. Fruit is your friend, don’t fear the sugars there. Just make sure you get your fill of fresh, whole fruit, not fruit in altered forms, like orange juice or dried cranberries. It’s too easy to over do the sugar content that way. Natural forms of fruits and vegetables are almost always most beneficial, and the way produce should be eaten. Your body will regulate intake best in those forms. For example, it’s unlikely that you will overeat oranges or beets in their natural state. How easy is it though, to have a glass or more of orange or beet juice, which may contain enough sugar for three or four fruits per glass?