Hey, friends! Well, we made it through the holiday season and into the new year. I am not a fan of doing fad diets (or diets at all, really). I eat clean, whole foods, with the occasional serving of ice cream or pizza. Moderation is key, right? The problem with moderation and sugar is that it’s addicting. Like, reaaallllyyy addicting. It’s very easy for moderation to become excess, especially around the holidays.
For this reason, I like to reset myself after the holidays. In essence, I re-train my body to enjoy whole foods and not sugary junk.
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What is a Sugar Detox
A sugar detox is when you completely eliminate refined sugar from your diet for an extended period of time. I have chosen a 30 day sugar detox. There are a ton of benefits from eliminating sugar from your diet, and I will go into a few of them below. There are honestly so many that I could write a novel, but I’ll keep it to my personal top 5.
What Constitutes as Sugar?
Anything that has ADDED sugars or SUGAR SUBSTITUTES. I will still consume sugar in natural forms, such as fruits and vegetables. I will even eliminate natural sugars such as honey and maple syrup for the first week. I’ll see how I’m feeling after a week to decide if I want to add a small amount of honey back into my diet.
Benefits of Quitting Sugar
You will have more energy.
Sugar crash, anyone? One of the best benefits of stopping sugar is that you will stop having sugar crashes. Sugar is ingested into your system really fast because they’re simple carbohydrates. They are metabolized just as quickly, leaving you with no energy, aka, a sugar crash. Fueling your body with whole grains, healthy fats, and complete proteins will keep you energized for longer.
Younger Looking Skin
Many people don’t consider the fact that what you ingest into your body can reflect in your outward appearance. Have you heard the saying “you are what you eat?” Well, the amount of sugar you consume will affect the amount of sugar in your bloodstream. High blood sugar levels can cause glycation, which is when sugar molecules attach to collagen and elastin… two proteins that your body produces that are vital to keeping your skin looking younger and healthier. Basically, eating a ton of sugar can cause your skin to have reduced elasticity and premature wrinkles.
Sugar is empty calories! You don’t actually fill up from sugar, so you will be hungry again. If you quit or reduce your sugar intake and fill up on foods that are high in nutrients, you will lose weight.
No More Cravings
Sugar cravings are for real. Study after study after study tell us that sugar is highly addictive. If someone can’t go for a day or a week without alcohol, they are considered an alcoholic. Yet for some reason, we ignore the fact that people become addicted to sugar and suffer from severe negative health effects as a result.
However, once you effectively quit sugar, you will stop craving it. Real foods will begin to taste better and sweeter once your taste buds adjust to not having refined sugar. I’m day 2 into my detox and today without thinking, I liked the spoon that I used to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for my kids with. It tasted so overly sweet and awful to me!
Looking for a healthy recipe? Here is my recipe for sugar-free blender muffins that don’t taste sugar-free!
Better Immune System
Good gut health is very important to a good immune system. Do you know what destroys your gut health? Surely you’re not surprised that the answer is sugar. Your digestive tract is made up of both good and bad bacterias. The proper balance of the two helps to keep your immune system strong and fight off sicknesses. Consuming too much sugar destroys all of the good bacteria in your gut. There is also research that suggests that sugar feeds cancer cells.
My Plan to Quit Sugar with a One Month Sugar Detox
Now, there are actual legit sugar detox diets out there that are very specific about what you can and can’t eat. I know for sure there is a 21 day detox. You are only allowed a small amount of fruit and you can add more to your diet as time goes on. I, personally, feel that if I’m quitting sugar, then for crying out loud, I’m going to make it easy on myself. I’m not going to give myself a strict plan or a bunch of rigid rules… I’m simply going to stop eating sugar.
It’s also important to me that instead of simply focusing on what I can’t eat, I focus on what I can eat.
I’m making sure that I’m eating 5 servings of vegetables per day, and food that promotes good gut health, such as good quality, high-fat yogurt, kombucha, and probiotics. I’ve found that it’s much easier to stick to my plan if I have a plan for nutritious food to keep me full.
Things That Can Sabatoge Your Sugar Detox
Unfortunately, eliminating sugar from your diet is much more difficult than you would think. Here are some things to watch out for if you’re eliminating sugar so that you don’t accidently sabatoge your plan!
Something that states that it’s free of added sugars can still include artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are a problem all of their own! While they are usually calorie-free, they can still cause you to gain weight, and most importantly, for a sugar detox, they don’t help you curb your cravings because your taste buds are still tasting a sugar-like substance.
Sugar Called Something Other Than Sugar
There are FIFTY-SIX different names for sugar. I’ll let that sink in for a minute. This means that even if you check your ingredient label for sugar, you can still be tricked into eating sugary foods. Food companies are so sneaky. It’s almost as if they’re creating new names for sugar to keep us in the dark. So, you either have to learn what names to look for, or you eat zero processed foods.
HFCS (High fructose corn syrup), sucrose, corn syrup, corn syrup solids, dextrose, malt syrup, and rice syrup are all examples of commonly used names of sugar.
Related Link: The 56 Most Common Names of Sugar
Sugar is in Everything
Sugar is literally in everything. I’ll be doing a follow-up post of the foods that contain sugar that you never would think of. CHECK YOUR LABELS. The worst thing is to be several days into a detox and then accidentally eat sugar. If this happens, don’t quit completely! Start again the next day.
That about wraps it up! I’ll be detoxing from sugar and documenting it over on my insta stories if you want to follow along! I’d love if you quit sugar with me. Accountability is key!