The Challenge

Going Sugar Free for 30 days is a challenge. Living with Muscular Dystrophy is much harder!

What Sugar Free September

When 1 - 30 September

How Cut the sweet stuff from your diet by removing the worst foods high in added or free-sugars such as soft drinks and other sweetened drinks, fruit juices, sugars we add to tea/coffee/cereal or use in cooking, desserts, lollies, dressings, sauces, cereal bars and more.

Why To provide vital support services for kids and adults living with muscular dystrophy to help them reach their potential and take control of their own lives

The rules of Sugar Free September

We recommend that you cut out all added sugars for the month of September, but ultimately it is up to you how much sugar you want to remove during the challenge.

Think sugar added to tea/coffee/cereal or used in cooking, as well as those used in soft drinks, jam/spreads, biscuits, cakes, muffins, lollies, chocolate, ice cream, desserts, and seemingly healthy products such as flavoured yoghurt, breakfast cereals and snack bars. Also exclude artificial or intense sweeteners, used in 'diet' and many 'sugar-free' products, like Coke Zero.

Think added sugars that haven’t required much processing, like honey, maple syrup, and fruit juice, and the more natural intense sweetener products, like stevia, xylitol, and monk fruit. Keep intake of these to a minimum: limit added sugars to 6 teaspoons (25g) per day and use the intense sweeteners mentioned only sparingly. Dried fruit, while not an added sugar, should also be limited as it is a concentrated source of sugars. You can also choose to omit all in this category if you want. If you do, your palate will adjust more quickly, becoming more sensitive to subtle sweetness in whole foods, like fruit, sweet potato, or cinnamon.

Think fresh fruit and veggies including carrots, beetroot, and sweet potato for natural veggie sweetness. Also consider products like plain yoghurt, cacao powder and nibs, nuts, seeds, 100% nut butters, coconut flakes, and spices. Grab for these whole or minimally processed foods – they offer a subtle sweetness which will be enough to satisfy once the palate has adjusted after a few weeks without added sugars or sweeteners.

Resources, tips and guides

You're not alone! We've got resources and perks galore to help you through your Sugar Free September challenge.

Fitness videos available & chance to win a month of free online yoga class + discount coupouns from our Yoga partner 

Chance to win a month of home-delivered healthy ready-made meals from our partner Able Foods

Expert advise, resources and tips from our partner That Sugar Movement

Facebook Community Group for tips, inspo and connection to other challengers

Weekly motivation emails to keep you on track

Daily inspiration posts on Instagram & Facebook

E-cookbook, meal planning and challenge guides

Fundraising tips and resources + downloadable templates

In case you we're wondering...


Not all beverages are created equal, but some alcohol is low in sugar and is allowed during your challenge, if you choose. For example, dry white and red wine, gin, vodka and beer are all low in sugar. We'll have lots of resources to help you make informed and healthier choices during the challenge.

Remember though, alcohol can make it harder to resist temptations, and should be consumed in moderation, if at all. It is up to you whether you include low-sugar alcohol in your challenge or go alcohol free.

Need a break?

We encourage everyone to go the whole month sugar free, but understand that there may be an event you need to attend, or just need a short break.

That's why we offer a Sweet Release Pass that allows you to take a short break from your challenge and enjoy a sweet treat (or two). Just ask a friend to donate the $37 pass, or buy one for yourself!

The truth about sugar

Most of us are unaware of how much “hidden” sugar we are consuming on a daily basis. According to the Australian health survey, we consume 22kg of free sugars each year, equating to around 14 teaspoons of sugar each day. We may not add a lot of sugar to our foods and drinks, but that doesn’t mean we’re not over-consuming the sweet stuff, as it is present in over 70% of packaged food and drink.

By drawing attention to our sugar intake, Sugar Free September's goal is to educate and inspire everyone to make healthier food choices that last all year.

What is the link between neuromuscular conditions and sugar?

Apart from advocating healthy lifestyle choices for people living with a neuromuscular condition, there is no medical link between sugar and muscle wasting conditions.

Try cutting sugar from your day and you’ll soon realise that it’s really tough...but not as tough as living with a neuromuscular condition!

Here at Muscular Dystrophy NSW, we love people who challenge themselves and use their strengths to empower and support others. By offering a challenge that promotes a healthy lifestyle, we aim to empower you too.

Thank you for making a difference!

So what are you waiting for? Go Sugar Free For MD! Sign up here!