So-called ‘sugar junkies’ are being weaned off the sweet stuff at workshops offering healthy alternatives.

Company Scrummy Life was started by Susy Harrison after she read The 4-hour Body, a book about rapid weight loss by Tim Ferriss.

She has taken the principles of the book to warn about the dangers of a high-sugar diet to working mothers like herself.

Mrs Harrison offers advice on how to spot sugars in foods and healthy recipes during informal workshops in her Epping Upland farmhouse kitchen.

She said: “We've become a nation of sugar junkies. I was so surprised when I saw how much sugar there was even in low fat food.

“Women spend a lot of money on going to the gym, Botox and nails, but the weight and bloating problems can still persist because of what you eat.

Mrs Harrison sees her program as more of a lifestyle change than a short-term fix.

She added: “Diets often prevent you completely from eating a particular type of food, but I might have a piece of Easter egg and that doesn’t mean I have failed. It’s about making small changes to your lifestyle.”

“People on the course have learnt that they need sugar as an emotional crux, so we have helped with emotional problems, not just dietary ones. When I see women get down to a dress size and have more control over what they eat, it is really satisfying.”

To see workshop dates for May/June click here