How to Make the Most of Your Sugar Detox
Do you want to give up sugar? Here’s what you need to know before your next sugar detox!
Sugar addiction has become a very real problem in our society and it’s not hard to see why. From easy to prepare, processed foods to sugary, caffeinated drinks to fast food on speed dial, our sugar consumption is off the charts. All that excess sugar can wreak havoc on your overall health so it’s a good idea to keep a sugar detox on your radar.
People often shy away from doing a detox because they don’t realize they even need one or think it’s much too difficult to complete. If it’s your first time detoxing, it can be a little overwhelming and you may be uncertain where to start.
Fortunately, doing a sugar detox is pretty straightforward.
These tips will help you through your sugar detox and put you on the path to better health.
Could you benefit from a sugar detox? Take the Sugar Quiz!
5 Tips to Help You Through Your Sugar Detox
Know Your Why
As you go through a sugar detox, it’s important to be really clear as to WHY you’re doing it. Your why may be so you can have more energy to play with your kids. It could be that you want to lose weight, feel better in your own skin, lower your blood pressure or get rid of the constant brain fog that rules your life. No matter what your reason is for jumping on board the detox train, make sure it’s very clear right from the start. Post it up on your fridge or your computer – anywhere you can see it and be reminded daily. This will be super helpful on those days when you want to give up and you can refer back to why you started it in the first place.
Avoid Detoxing During the Holidays
Part of completing a successful sugar detox, is knowing when NOT to do one. There are certain times of the year that tend to bring about more stress than normal. Christmas and back to school are two examples of times when you might want to avoid scheduling your detox. There’s too much going on and all the added busyness and stress may just have you falling off the wagon before you begin. Pick a time where you can focus solely on your sugar detox goals and not have to worry about much else, i.e. what you’re NOT supposed to eat at the next family gathering.
Don’t Skip Meals
You may be tempted to skip meals once in a while during your detox, but don’t do it. Not only will skipping meals be an added stressor on your body (something you don’t need in the middle of a lifestyle change), but it will also cause your blood sugar to drop and have you craving those carbs and sugary snacks even more. As you meal prep, make sure to include options for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as some healthy snacks in between meals to keep you feeling satisfied and full.
Get Enough Sleep
It’s important to make sure your body gets enough sleep each night, especially during a sugar detox. Lack of sleep not only affects your energy levels and your mood, but it can also affect your sweet tooth and cause you to crave higher calorie, unhealthy options. Make an effort to get to bed at the same time each night and give your body the chance to refresh and recharge. With less cravings and more energy, you’ll be ready to take on the day with focus and determination.
Move Your Body
Exercise is super beneficial during a sugar detox. Not only will you have more energy during the day, but it will also help you push through those intense cravings brought on by stress and lack of sugar. Start slow and make an effort to move your body for at least 30 minutes a day. Take a walk, try some yoga or go for an evening swim – anything to get your blood pumping. You’ll be surprised at how much better you feel, even in the midst of those withdrawal symptoms that are bound to happen.
If you’re feeling the weight of excess sugar in your diet, a sugar detox might be right up your alley. The great news is, with these simple tips you can easily kickstart (and complete) a detox that will benefit your health for years to come.
5 Ways That a Sugar Detox will Impact Your Life (and Improve Your Health)
Refined sugars can have a nasty impact on everything from your teeth, your joints, your liver, your skin and so much more. There are an abundance of health risks associated with excess sugar in your diet. Being aware of these risks is the first step in changing your health and your lifestyle for the better. In fact, cleansing your body of sugar may be one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
Here are 5 ways that a sugar detox will impact your life and your health in a big way.
You may think that consuming a lot of sugar will give you the energy boost you need to get through the day, however, nothing could be further from the truth. On the contrary, you’ll end up being much more tired and sluggish after you’ve consumed those sweet treats. Cleaning up your diet and eliminating refined sugars will boost your energy levels and keep you feeling focused, productive and ready to take on the world. Plus, you won’t have that mid-afternoon slump or brain fog to worry about as you go through the day. That’s a win-win.
According to the American Heart Association, an average adult consumes about 77 grams of sugar a day. With all that excess sugar, it’s no wonder losing weight is so hard. The problem lies in the hidden sugars – most people are completely unaware of how much sugar they eat and set themselves up for failure when they try to go on that “diet.” Cutting sugar out can greatly increase your chances to take off that extra few pounds because you lose your cravings (aka sweet tooth) and reclaim control over your diet. The first step is to be aware of what you’re putting into your body – start reading food labels, ditch the sugary drinks for water and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you start shedding the pounds.
If you’re looking for a way to clear up your complexion and have healthy, younger looking skin, look no further than a sugar detox. When you take sugar out of the equation, you remove the possibility of a hormonal imbalance often caused by foods high in sugar content. This can lead to acne problems, premature aging and uneven skin tone. Who doesn’t want to improve those little issues right? In a roundabout way, cleansing your body of sugar, means cleansing your skin as well, benefitting your health and physical appearance at the same time.
Better Dental Health
The more sugar you have in your diet, the better chance that your teeth and that beautiful white smile will suffer. You already have bacteria in your mouth and when you compound that with excess sugar for an extended period of time, the more acid is created that can rot out your teeth. Keeping the sugar away from those pearly whites is crucial when it comes to having a winning smile and a small dental bill. Your teeth will be much less prone to cavities and other issues caused by those sugar bugs, meaning less trips to the dentist.
When you cut sugar from your diet, you’ll notice that you’ll start sleeping better at night. Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for your mental health. When you get off that roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows, your blood sugars will become more balanced. This promotes a better sleep pattern, allowing all the toxins to be flushed from your brain and prep you for the day ahead. You’ll also wind up with so much more mental clarity and less fatigue throughout the day.
There’s no doubt that a sugar detox will benefit your physical and mental health. All it takes is a decision to cut out the sweets and start paving the way to a healthier lifestyle.
5 Ways to Prep for a Successful Sugar Detox
If you’ve never done a sugar detox before, it may seem overwhelming and almost impossible to cut sugar out of your life for good. That’s simply not true. A life without sugar doesn’t mean you have to flip your world upside down, however, it’s important to properly prep so that nothing can throw you off track – especially in those first few days. With a little time and effort, you can ensure that your detox will go off without a hitch.
Here are 5 super easy ways to prep and make the most of your sugar detox.
Wean yourself off
One of the best ways to prepare yourself for a detox is to wean yourself off of some sugar ahead of time. For example, try some flavored water in place of your normal soda. Opt out of fast food and make yourself a salad at home a few days a week or replace that bag of chips with carrots and hummus as a snack. By making these small changes ahead of time, you will be giving yourself a better shot at success during your actual detox.
Quit Buying Sugar
This may be a no brainer, but once you make the decision to do a sugar detox, stop buying it at the store. Become very familiar with reading labels on the products you buy and avoid those that have added/excess sugars. Instead, stock your fridge and pantry with fresh fruit, veggies, raw nuts, seeds, lean meats and other sources of protein. Buy some go-to healthy snacks that you can have on hand when the cravings hit. It will make your detox so much easier when your sweet tooth rages and don’t have anything sugary sweet to reach for in the pantry.
Be Aware of Side Effects
As with any addiction, there are going to be some withdrawals that come from cleansing your body of sugar. Do your research ahead of time and get a feel for what you may experience during those first few days. Of course, everyone is different, and you may not have the same issues that someone else did. Just be prepared for some fatigue, headaches, sneaky cravings and a slew of other possible withdrawal symptoms. The more you know, the better chance you have at pushing through anything that comes your way during your detox.
Before you even begin a detox, it’s a good idea to prep your mindset and get your head in the right place. What are your overall goals for your detox? How committed are you to finishing? Determine how long your detox will be and set an end goal that you make your mind up to hit no matter what. There is so much truth to the saying, mind over matter. If your mindset is in the right place when you start, it will make it that much easier to keep going, even when you want to quit.
Set aside some time before your detox to prep some food for the first 2 or 3 days. Hit up Pinterest and search out some recipes. There are a ton of sugar free meal plans, smoothie recipes and snack ideas that you can take advantage of ahead of time. You don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen when those crazy withdrawal symptoms hit, and you start feeling down and out. By prepping some food, you can ensure a smooth transition into your detox and set yourself up for success right from the start.
By prepping for your detox ahead of time, your chances of success are that much higher. Try a few of these tips and you’ll be ahead of the game on day one.
How to Fight Cravings and Survive the First 48 Hours
A sugar detox can be one of the most beneficial things you can do for your physical and mental health. However, those first couple days might have you struggling with some intense sugar cravings that make you want to give up before you even start. Not all hope is lost though. There are several things you can do to combat these cravings and stay on track for the duration of your detox. Here are a few tips to help you push past the first 48 hours and keep your sanity in the process.
Staying hydrated is important to your overall health, but even more so when you’re in the midst of a sugar detox. Drinking more water will help keep those cravings under control even when the urge to snack out hits you like a hammer. Thirst is often confused with hunger so the next time you feel like you’re starving, have a glass of water and see if it takes away the urge to eat. Adding more water to your diet also helps you stay more focused and alert throughout the day and will help push through the mid-afternoon slump. Try adding lemon or cucumber slices to your water for added flavor.
A great way to keep the cravings at bay is to increase the amount of protein in your diet. Foods like eggs, fish, chicken, almonds, avocados and tuna (to name a few) are packed with protein and will help keep you feeling full and satisfied. It’s especially good to have some protein at breakfast to kickstart your day and reduce the number of cravings you may have. Get in the habit of skipping the donuts and caramel frappe. Instead try some avocado slices with scrambled eggs or a protein packed smoothie. You’ll easily crush those cravings and make it through your detox with zero regrets.
When you’re in the middle of an intense craving, it may seem like it’s never going to end. However, the good news is, cravings typically only last 10-20 minutes at max so there is an end in sight. In those moments when you experience the need to reach for a sugary treat, try to distract yourself and get out of your own head for a bit. Take a walk out in nature, work in your garden or clean your car out. Simply do something that makes you temporarily forget that sugar exists until your craving passes. It will get easier over time so don’t be too discouraged, especially in the first few days.
Eat Some Fruit
When your sweet tooth starts acting up, it’s important to make sure you have plenty of fruit on hand. Fruit not only packs quite a punch of healthy nutrients and fiber, but you’ll still get a little bit of that sweetness you crave as well. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips or a piece of cake, slice up an apple, a piece of kiwi or a banana. You should also stock up on seeds and nuts as a healthy alternative to the sweet treats you used to consume.
Don’t let the possibility of sugar cravings keep you from trying out a sugar detox. With a few of these simple tips, it will be smooth sailing long past the first 48 hours.
The Best Foods to Have on Hand During a Sugar Detox
One of the hardest things about a sugar detox (besides actually doing it), is knowing the right foods to eat. These days it seems like almost everything has added sugar of some sort, even the foods you wouldn’t expect – salsa, yogurt, and those “healthy” granola bars. For this reason, beginning a sugar detox can be completely overwhelming if you don’t have a go-to list of foods in your arsenal. To get you started on the right path, here are some of the best foods to have on hand during your sugar detox to ensure you stay on track.
When you’re in the middle of a sugar detox, you’re going to experience those cravings that make you want to reach for the first sweet treat you can find. This is where fruit comes in handy and it can be a lifesaver during those tough moments. Fruit gives you that sweet taste you’re looking for but without all the refined, unhealthy sugar added to it. It’s impossible to get bored with the huge selection of fruit at your fingertips – oranges, apples, bananas, watermelon, kiwi, strawberries, and so many more. Be sure to stock your fridge ahead of time so you have something to feed your sweet tooth.
Packed full of protein, eggs are one of the best foods to have close by during your sugar detox. Starting your day with a high protein breakfast like eggs will help you feel full for a longer period of time and reduce those hunger pangs and pesky cravings. You can keep it simple and make scrambled or hard-boiled eggs. You can also chop up some spinach, peppers, and/or onion and mix it in to give your eggs some added flavor. There are a ton of recipes on Pinterest to keep you from getting bored.
You’ll also want to stock up on healthy fats during your sugar detox. Raw nuts and seeds like almonds, pecans, cashews, flax seeds, sunflower seeds and so many more are great for moments when you just need a snack. Instead of that big bowl of ice cream, opt for a handful of almonds or sunflower seeds to tide you over. Nut butters like cashew and almond butter are also good to have for dips, dressings, and extra flavor for your smoothie.
You can’t go wrong having a plethora of veggies on hand for meals and snacks during your detox. Carrots, zucchini, broccoli, onions, cucumber, sweet potatoes, spinach and asparagus are just a few of the yummy foods you’ll want to become very familiar with. You can add them to salads, sauté them on the stove, or simply have them as a snack with your favorite hummus. Incorporating more veggies into your diet is important during your sugar detox but also as a good rule of thumb for meal planning in general.
Another way to get your protein fix is to stock up on lean meat such as pork, fish such as salmon or tilapia and poultry. Like eggs, these foods suppress cravings and help reduce your hunger AND the temptation to reach for a sugary treat or two. Add some chicken to your salad or grill some salmon and veggies for a highly nutritious, sugar free meal.
These are just a few of the go-to foods you should have on hand when starting your sugar detox. As you begin incorporating these into your diet, you’ll start forming habits that will benefit your lifestyle and your health.
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