Pretty much everyone agrees that sugar and sweets are a hard thing to live without. Wouldn’t you? As tasty as it is, sugar has also been linked to various health problems such as diabetes, obesity, higher blood pressure, inflammation, heart disease, and poor dental health.
Intaking too much sugar may also scale down your energy levels, leading to fatigue and reduced alertness during the day. With all these mentioned risks, don't you think you need to detox from sweets?
Well, you don't have to be a sugar addict to decide to break away. If you feel you're eating and drinking too much sugar and want to reduce it, doing a sugar detox makes sense.
Some people would say that only self-discipline and a strong mind will help you quit sugar. If you rely on that, you might be successful, or you may fail miserably. Sugar has an actual physiological effect on the brain and body, and there is strong evidence showing that our sugar craving is not all in our heads.
Sugar is a factor that stimulates the production of dopamine in the brain— a chemical that is part of the brain's reward system. Therefore, the production of dopamine makes one want to enjoy that taste over and over again.
You might be wondering why a sugar detox would be the solution to this problem. Detox sounds a little extreme, don’t you think? Why not just stop drinking sugary drinks and skimp on the dessert you crave after your dinner?
It might sound funny to hear that most of the food you eat contains sugar and that you're probably consuming more than what you think. Starting on a sugar detox diet might sound very difficult, but it's actually a great way to help you completely reset your system.
What Is a Sugar Detox?
A sugar detox is simply going without sugar. Is it just cutting out chocolates, sweets, muffins, and other delicious treats? Yes, that’s part of it. But as we discussed before, sugar is contained in most other foods we eat. Rather than trying to eliminate sugar completely (it’s almost impossible), try to eliminate added sugars.
You might be surprised that added sugars are even present in many foods that companies market as being safe, healthy options. From pasta sauce to sports drinks, added sugars are everywhere! Because of this, you must start reading the nutritional label of each product. Online grocery lists can help you select healthy food choices that exclude carbohydrates.
Is a Sugar Detox Necessary?
A sugar detox might not be very convenient, but the benefits supersede all the inconvenience you might experience during the period of your sugar detox plan.
Do you know that many of the sugary foods we eat are generally low sources of vitamins and minerals? Vitamins and minerals are necessary for proper metabolism and body function. You will incorporate foods that nourish your body during a sugar detox, which will help you use your energy efficiently without sugar crashes.
One of the most successful ways to accomplish weight reduction, not only in the short term but with long-lasting results, is to reduce sugar. This might be another reason for you to have a sugar detox. Reducing your sugar intake likewise decreases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and obesity.
Tips on How to Detox from Sugar
Cutting off sugar is not an easy task, but one effective way to go about it is by replacing sugar eating habits with something else. Here are some quick-hitting tips on how you can cut sugar from your diet.Eat when hungry and not when bored
You might have experienced some times when you feel there is nothing to do, and what else comes to your mind at that moment than to have some tasty chocolates or your favorite sweet? You are not eating because you are hungry; you are eating because you are bored.
It can be challenging to fight the cravings. The best thing to do is to find something else that will capture your attention and distract your mind. You may decide to pick a pen and paper to write or doodle. You may decide to read your favorite book. The main aim here is to keep your mind off the cravings. Don't feel bad if you miss the mark and grab a quick sweet snack. It's a gradual process. Persistence is key.Avoid being close to sugar.
An easy way to stay away from sugar is to put yourself in a position to not have access to it. Try to clear your kitchen of sugar sources as much as possible. Juices, sauces, salad dressings, frozen meals, and condiments are all common sugar source culprits that you should avoid.Read labels on groceries.
Even when you are determined to go on a sugar detox, some things you buy contain sugar. You can only know that when you read the label.
Reading labels will educate you about the nutritional components of what you are eating. Buy foods with more protein; it can keep your stomach full for a more extended period. Healthy fats, such as avocados and olive oils, can be included.Drink more water.
Drinking enough water is necessary for good health and can also help you manage sugar cravings. Instead of sugary drinks such as soda, energy drinks, and juices, drink water. Water can improve your digestion, especially when you increase your fiber in addition.Drink teas.
For a sugar detox diet, drinking things without artificial sweeteners is a healthy way to go. Luckily for you, there are various tea flavors you can explore. Teas come with minerals and vitamins that can improve your health. You just need to try out various tea combinations and choose an appropriate one for you. Imagine the difference it would make if you subbed an unsweetened tea every time you wanted to pop the top on your favorite soda. If tea just isn’t your thing, MUD is also a great choice!Have a fruit salad.
Sometimes, sugar cravings can be overwhelming. Making a fruit salad can give you the sweet taste you crave, in a natural way. You could make use of fresh fruits with some nut butter or plain yogurt. This gives you the minerals and vitamins that your chocolates cannot give.Try green leafy vegetables.
When you want to detox from sugar, some of your best friends should be green leafy vegetables. They help reduce inflammation, improve digestion, and provide vitamins and minerals your body needs.Reduce stress.
Managing stress is essential when you're detoxing from sugar. Too much stress can increase your sugar cravings because it depletes your body from energy and B-vitamins.
It’s a good idea to get help managing your stress while you detox. That doesn’t mean that your doctor or medication is your only hope.
Managing stress during detox can also be achieved with some exercise. You can decide to walk down the stairs rather than taking an elevator. Hot yoga and gym sessions can also help eliminate stress.Don't feel discouraged when you make mistakes.
When you make a mistake at one point or the other, you don't have to feel discouraged or punish yourself for that. It's just a little mistake, and you still have a long way to go. It might be a piece of chocolate from a friend or a cupcake for your coworker’s birthday. You don't need to be upset with yourself. Just move on and try not to make a mistake next time.Prepare yourself for a sugar detox plan.
The key to detoxing from sugar is being prepared. Check your kitchen and find out some recipes and ingredients you need to buy for your sugar detox plan.
Your Sugar Detox Eating Guide
For breakfast, focus on foods with high-quality protein and healthy fats, as these will keep you full for longer periods and reduce cravings.
Eating whole scrambled eggs cooked in coconut oil can provide the necessary proteins and healthy fats you need. Also, you could have a vegetable-filled omelet with cheese or unsweetened yogurt.
You can prepare a colorful salad topped with beans, lentils, and some olive oil. That will help you keep up your energy all through the afternoon. Drinking enough water during this period is essential to keep your metabolism firing on all cylinders.
For dinner, lots of veggies with protein and healthy fats are a great option. Try roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, or radishes drizzled with olive oil, topped with some avocado, and paired with freshly grilled salmon fillets.
Now that you know what a sugar detox means, and how to detox from sugar, why not give it a try? When you continue to eat foods with high sugar content, it negatively impacts your health and exposes you to life-threatening diseases. The benefits you eventually derive after completely resetting your system will outweigh all of the discomforts. Make the decision today and enjoy the long-lasting benefits of a sugar detox.
Link 1 - https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/sugar-detox.h22Z1592202.html
Link 2 - https://www.healthline.com/health/sugar-detox-symptoms
Link 3 - https://health.clevelandclinic.org/break-your-sugar-addiction-in-10-days-infographic/