Sugar Detox Diet
When you crave sweets, some call it, “Having a sweet tooth.” For many, the love affair with sugar began in childhood with Grandma’s homemade chocolate chip cookies and signifies comfort and satisfaction.
Now, cookies and cakes aren’t the only foods that contain sugar. It’s also present in canned goods, bread, milk, juices and more – and it can be deadly. If you suspect that your weight and health are being ruined by too much sugar, it might be time to consider a sugar detox diet.
Basic Principles of a Sugar Detox Diet
Cravings for sugar are stronger than for other types of foods – and there are good reasons why. Our tongues contain up to 5,000 taste buds and up to 25 receptors that tell us when something is bitter – but there is only one receptor for sugar.
That one receptor can differentiate between different types of sugar and causes certain responses in the body. The type of sweetness that comes from processed sugars causes a powerful outpouring of opiates (endorphins) and instantly makes us feel content and relaxed.
It’s easy to see how addictive sugar can become. The sugar detox diet is a sugar withdrawal plan that helps you stop sugar cravings cold turkey (without stress) and learn how to live a sugar-free life.
Breaking the addiction to sugar without the stress it usually causes is the ultimate goal of this diet plan. If you adhere to the plan, you’ll notice that your metabolism will heal almost immediately and other diseases – such as diabetes – will markedly improve.
The pros of the sugar detox plan are many. You’ll lose weight, improve digestive problems, counteract depression symptoms, lower your risk of cancer, thyroid disorders, chronic pain and much more.
The only cons of the sugar detox diet are in the learning and preparation processes. You need to take time to learn how sugar affects you and know which foods contain hidden sugars so you can avoid them.
Removing items in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator that contain harmful sugars and replacing them with fresh and organic items may take some time and getting used to, but the benefits of the sugar detox diet are so plentiful that you’ll soon be glad you did.
Who a Sugar Detox Diet Works Best For
Anyone can benefit from the sugar detox diet. Not only is sugar bad for all of us, but it’s also addictive and can cause many health and lifestyle problems. If you have frequent cravings for sweets, bread, pasta and fruit juice and snack between meals, you may be living a sugar-dependent life.
An addiction to sugar may cause mood swings, low energy, sleeplessness and anxiety. You may also find it difficult to concentrate after a meal. Weight gain is another serious problem for those who crave sweets.
Obesity can be directly linked with the amount of sugar we consume and eliminating it from your diet will cause immediate weight loss that you can keep off. When you effectively eliminate sugar from your diet, you’ll notice much improvement in many of the health problems you may have and begin to see definite weight loss.
Those who are suffering from severe health problems such as Metabolic Syndrome (insulin malfunction), hypoglycemia symptoms (low blood sugar), chronic pain, skin problems, hair loss and dental problems will also notice significant and positive differences by giving up sugar.
When you realize that some form of sugar is in everything we consume, it seems daunting to enter into the sugar detox diet plan. You have to spend some time getting to know what the good and bad types of sugars are and how they make your body react before you can choose food based on knowledge of the diet.
You’ll also need to know foods that contain hidden sugars – and they may be hidden where you would least expect it. The sugar detox diet is planned so that there are very little (if any) withdrawal symptoms, so you don’t have to worry about nervousness, anxiety or severe cravings.
Unfortunately, there are millions of Americans who suffer from high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and just feeling crummy. In fact, those problems have become the new normal. The sugar detox diet can turn your life around and help you feel good again.
How to Get Prepared for a Sugar Detox Diet
After you decide you’re going to detoxify yourself from the harmful effects of sugar, you should take some time to analyze your diet at the present time. Are you eating a great deal of foods with high sugar content?
While you’re analyzing the foods you now eat, be thinking about which food changes you could make that would help eliminate sugary snacks and sugar content in your main meals.
Identify where your sugar intake is coming from. Sugar is in so many foods that it’s imperative that you know where in your diet you can make changes for the better. For example, ketchup has a lot of sugar – so you can make the swap to low sugar or sugar-free ketchup.
It’s important when preparing to undertake the sugar detox diet for you to keep a food diary. A food diary can help you see where you might be overlooking a candy bar, soft drink or other snacks that you might mindlessly eat while dealing with a stressful day.
It’s best to jot the food down in the diary just after you eat it so you can plainly see where sugar might be creeping in to your day. The food diary should include details such as nutrients, spices and all ingredients.
Also, take note of what you drink – even water. Include how you’re feeling when you eat or snack. There may be a pattern in your habits. Also note your sleep patterns. See if your quality of sleep coincides with what you ate before bed and how hungry you are the next morning.
Activity patterns are good to note as well. See where your bursts of energy occur and where you have the best mental acuity. Before you’re ready to shop for food items you’ll need for the sugar detox diet, it’s important that you rid your kitchen of sugar traps such as sweets and other foods that may have hidden sugars.
When shopping for sugar-free foods, concentrate on purchasing high-quality ingredients and food such as meat, eggs and dairy. Vegetables should be a focal point of your food shopping list – and change your present carb intake to pasta, flour and rice that are whole grain.
Set reasonable and achievable goals for your sugar detox diet plan. It may look easy, but in the day-to-day hectic pace we live, it may be difficult to adhere to 24/7. Try to keep on track, but if you falter sometimes, don’t be too hard on yourself.
As you progress on the sugar detox diet, you’ll quickly realize that ingesting snacks or a meal containing high sugar content can make you feel sluggish. You’ll be happy to get back on track to feel good again.
Sample Meal Plan for a Sugar Detox Diet
There are many delicious recipes and foods available to help you reduce your sugar intake. Some are convenient and make great snacks and others take a bit more time to put together because they are natural and not processed.
One meal that you can have for breakfast, lunch or dinner is in the form of a smoothie (or juice). There are many ways to juice and create smoothies without adding sugar and some premixed smoothies containing sugar-free ingredients are available on the market today.
For smoothies, use fresh ingredients when possible. Tomato juice (sugar-free) is a good liquid to use with other vegetables such as cucumbers, peppers, onions and garlic. Fruits such as papaya, pears and kiwi contain good sugars and can be used to make delicious smoothies.
Choosing cheese on a sugar-free diet can be confusing. With some, it depends on the process used to make the cheese – such as using a culture that will consume the lactose.
Goat and sheep’s milk typically contain lower levels of lactose. Making a cheese omelet for breakfast and adding some avocado, spinach and some herbs such as chives or parsley is a sugar-free and healthy choice for your first meal of the day.
When you’re eliminating or reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, turn to comforting soups that contain carbohydrates that help your metabolism. Vegetable soup containing carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and whatever other vegetables you enjoy is a good choice for lunch or dinner.
Branch out from typical vegetable soups to creamy and delicious soups by using spinach and carrots. If you’re a bread junkie, you don’t have to do without it on the sugar detox diet.
Sugar-free and gluten-free breads are now readily available in your supermarket – or make your own. There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked bread. Sugar-free crackers are also available and make a good substitute for creating sandwiches.
Snacks that are sugar-free can revive you when you experience afternoon slumps. Veggies are always good snacks and you can make great dips from sour cream, onion, garlic and other herbs and seasonings.
Dinner can be exciting when you create dishes that are both fillings, delightful to look at and sugar free. Lamb, chicken breasts and fish recipes that are sugar-free can be found online or in books.
You can even have dessert on your sugar-free diet. Fruit tarts using a sugar-free pastry and lactose-free milk and cream – plus berries you enjoy is a low-calorie and excellent way to end a meal.
Be creative on the sugar-free detox plan so you don’t get bored. By following some general rules about which food items to use and which to avoid, you can create some dishes that will delight your entire family.
Tips to Increase Success on a Sugar Detox Diet
You may become acutely aware that you’re addicted to sugar when you attempt to eliminate it from your diet. Researchers now know that withdrawal from soft drinks, sweeteners and processed foods can be alarmingly similar to withdrawal symptoms from cocaine and heroin.
The sugar detox diet addresses some of these symptoms by offering solutions through food choices, vitamin supplements and exercise. If you’ve become dependent on highly processed foods, you may feel some of these symptoms, but adhering to the diet plan can help reduce the symptoms.
If you’re experiencing especially strong withdrawal symptoms from your break with sugar, you may want to try some natural methods such as acupuncture and meditation. Exercise is one of the key ways you can lessen the impact of sugar withdrawal.
The sugar substitute, galactose, can also help you overcome strong cravings. It’s a healthy type of sugar that doesn’t have an effect on your metabolism. You can also help your cravings by reducing the carbohydrates found in many foods and consume foods that are fresh and high in essential vitamins and nutrients instead.
After you’ve been on the sugar detox diet and withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, your muscle cells once again become sensitive to insulin. Your body will begin to function at its optimal level once again.
Avoid consuming carbohydrates in the evening when your body begins to slow down and get ready for sleep. You’ll have much better results on the sugar detox diet when you stay away from the high-carb foods.
You may want to take an antioxidant supplement such as vitamins E, C and B or an alpha-lipoic acid supplement that you can purchase over-the-counter. Anything you can do to restore your metabolic balance will be helpful in reducing withdrawal symptoms.
Make sure you learn about the foods you’re consuming. The success of this diet plan depends on adhering to a balanced diet of the main food groups. The sugar detox diet is the same over a 12-week period of time and you should be aware of your sugar intake at all times.
In the first two weeks, it’s important to strictly adhere to the plan. It takes willpower – especially if you’ve become highly addicted to sugar. Listen to your body and don’t give in to sugar cravings.
Also suggested on the sugar detox diet is to wake up about 45 minutes before your normal breakfast time when it’s easier to recognize real feelings of hunger. As your body is reacting to this new diet regimen, you’ll notice that you pay attention more to the signals from your body.
Your cravings for sweets will gradually subside and you’ll notice a change in your skin and other areas of the body. Most people who have gone through the sugar detox diet plan remark about glowing skin, thicker hair and other positive changes.
Enlist the help of plants, roots and herbs in your desire to break the addiction to sugar. Some of these additions to your diet can help restore the metabolic process. Experiment with recipes and adhere to the sugar detox diet plan to learn how they can help.
Sugar has become the nemesis of the modern world. Learn how you can resist the addiction of sugar and help your body return to health and vibrancy. But be careful not to switch your addiction to sugar substitutes because some of those are dangerous in their own way.