So you’re thinking about going sugar-free.
Just reading that can put chills up your spine! Sugar is a powerful carbohydrate with no nutritional benefit that has a firm hold on the American lifestyle. Once you’re dependent on it, you may feel addicted simply to get through the day!
We love talking about how to get your skin healthy — and cutting sugar can give you incredible skin benefits. But curbing a sweet tooth changes more than just your collagen production. You can feel younger, clear brain fog, and help maintain healthy weight, completely improving your life!
Why do a Sugar Detox or a 21 Day Detox
You may not think you're addicted to sugar, but doing the sugar detox diet cold turkey shows how dependent our bodies are on this substance!
When you are eating too much sugar, it enters your bloodstream and negatively affects your entire body. Lowering your high blood sugar levels can —
Boost Skin Health! You can reduce glycation (improving your skin’s collagen production), increase skin elasticity, and decrease premature wrinkles. All those negative signs of aging can be curbed simply by limiting or eliminating sugars.
Control Appetite and Improve Weight Management. Do you feel hungry right after eating or want to lose abdominal or visceral fat? Shrinking insulin levels helps your body curb hunger, keep digestion in check, and release more calories.
Lower Blood Pressure and Prevent Diabetes. A natural byproduct of reducing sugars and lowering your weight is keeping diabetes and high blood pressure at bay.
Increase Energy. Simple carbs will run you like the energizer bunny — helping you move until you just can’t go without your sugar fix. Get off the sugar highs and lows and find lasting energy with healthy fats and protein!
Enhance Mental Focus and Clarity and Put Yourself in a Better Mood! Eating too much sugar can impair your cognitive function, memory, and responsiveness. In one study, drinking artificially sweetened drinks is linked to a 30% higher risk of depression in adults! If you’re struggling with anxiety and depression, cutting sugar consumption can truly help you find freedom!
Reduce Inflammation. From reducing breakouts to helping you steer clear of cancer, your body will find itself in a better homeostatic state.
- Save Money. Coffees and baked goods from the local barista can add up over time. To help you accomplish your goals, keep track of all the money you’re saving by rearranging your weekly habits.
How to Stop Eating Sugar
From post-holiday resets to pre-summer prep, there are so many great catalysts to make you want to eliminate sugar from your diet.
To stay in it for the long haul, you must have your priorities and goals set to sustain the sugar habit changes. Some things you can do to prepare for your detox are —
Prepare mentally. Write down all your reasons for doing this and stick it somewhere you’ll see it. Don’t assume you’ll be ok or the sugar cravings won’t be complex — or worse, that you can even sneak in one cheat day! If you’re doing a reset, set your mind and follow through. Your body and mind will thank you!
Also, determine how far you are limiting your sugar. Decide early if you will restrict all sugar, including natural sugars, or just added sugars.
Pick a good time. Be sure you don’t have important holidays or times you’re going to be away from home. Often, when we’re traveling or with family, it's difficult to keep a stringent diet. Choose a realistic length for your season of life. You may want to start with a 5-7 day detox before going for a full 21-day reset.
Learn all the names of sugar. When you’re looking at your everyday foods, be sure you aren’t misled by added sugar or a sneaky alternative name! Look out for the -oses like fructose and sucrose, corn syrup, and maltodextrin!
Prep your kitchen and meal plan. Go through your kitchen a week before the detox, remove temptations, and create a shopping list and recipe guide to get you through the first few days.
Meal prepping will give you easy options when you’re curbing the craving. Some great foods to keep in stock are healthy fats and seasonal produce, like avocados, nuts, eggs, greens, and colorful veggies.
Stock Up on Swaps
- Eliminate cereals and fuel up on veggies and other savory flavors at breakfast.
- Find low-sugar protein bars for quick snacks.
- Replace marinara sauce for fresh tomatoes and basil and ketchup for salsa.
- Try a nitro brew coffee to cut back on the added sweetener and herbal or matcha teas to replace your hot drink fix.
- Stock up on fresh fruits.
- Use unsweetened applesauce for snacks and baking.
- Keep low-sugar desserts and dark chocolate in stock.
- Make your own dressings.
- Find low carb/low sugar breads and wraps.
Find a support system. We naturally need people to rally around us to help us succeed. Finding others who are doing it with you can help you stay the course.
Managing Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
In those first few days (5-7), be prepared to fight a detox headache, feel sleepy and slightly nauseous, and experience mood swings. To combat symptoms, you can do a few things to prepare your body! Eating more foods rich in magnesium can help you avoid feeling nauseated. Resting, staying hydrated, and fueling your body with healthy foods will help you feel satisfied and energized.
A sugar detox diet may not be easy, but it’s so worth it for the long and short-term benefits. From improved skin to lasting energy, you will feel and see a difference!