There’s at least one in every group…You know who I mean…That person that seems to be able to just make a decision, jump in with their shoes on and still manage to float to the surface a winner.
But that’s not all of us. When it comes to successfully learning a new skill or adapting our way of thinking, most of us are more comfortable when we ease into the new habits. And when we’re talking about something big, like a sugar detox-baby steps to the finish line is what will guarantee our ultimate success.
Some people boast of doing great by quitting “cold turkey” when it comes to sugar. They cut all sugars from their diet, deal with the unpleasant side effects of sugar detoxing for a few days and move on.
But that’s not me, and chances are it’s not you either.
For one thing, for some of us, the side effects of ending this sugar addition are just too severe. In those cases, a more gradual approach may do the trick.
The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you cut all the sugar out at once or slowly wean yourself off the stuff.
➡ What matters is how you eat a few weeks from now.
➡ The most important step is making healthy changes to your diet that you can stick with for the long term.
If you’ve tried a sugar detox in the past and just couldn’t make it through those first days, or if the whole idea scares you, go with a more gradual approach.
1. Start by taking a good look at what you’re eating and drinking any given day. What foods are to blame for your high sugar intake?
2. If you’re drinking a lot of soda, start there.
➡ Cut back to no more than one serving of sugary soda a day and replace the rest with water, herbal tea, or black coffee.
3. If you’re drinking coffee with a lot of sugar and cream, gradually get used to using less and then not using sugar in your coffee at all.
4. Next, work on the foods you eat. Write down what you eat for a few days and you’ll see some patterns emerge.
Where do the sweet treats pop up? Is it the sugar filled breakfast cereal or muffin in the morning?
Is it the bag of cookies you use to get through your afternoon? Or is it the chocolate and ice cream late night snack?
Figure out and write down when and where you consume a lot of sugar. Then make a plan to break that habit.
➡ For example, you could fix cheese toast, eggs, or oatmeal instead of pancakes with syrup or sweet cereal for breakfast.
➡ If you need a little “pick-me-up” in the afternoon, grab a piece of fruit or makes up some trail mix with various nuts and a few dried cranberries.
➡ If evening snacking is your vice, eat a big dinner and then see if you can make it with just a cup of herbal tea until bedtime. If not, grab some raw veggies and dip or an apple as your evening snack. It will be a lot better for you than that bowl of ice cream.
Keep making gradual changes that you can live with until you’ve cut most of the added sugar from your diet.
We already know that all this sugar isn’t good for us. It’s rotting our teeth, giving us Type II Diabetes, and contributing to the obesity epidemic in the western world.
Unfortunately, this added sugar has found its way into all sorts of foods we consume daily, and it’s not just the sugary breakfast cereal or the ice cream that are to blame. There’s sugar in our salad dressings, frozen dinners, and pasta sauce to name just a few. And if you haven’t yet, make sure to read up on artificial sweeteners…they’re doing more harm than good. See the link at the bottom of this page.
We’re not powerless, however. Here are a few things we can do to cut back on the amount of sugar we consume on a daily basis. Start by cutting out some of the big offenders.
Cut The Soda and Other Sugary Drinks
➡ This step alone will have a huge impact. It includes seemingly innocent things like the sweet tea you enjoy or the fancy coffee drink, but it could also be as simple as skipping or substituting your favorite juice beverage.
Look at the labels and figure out how many teaspoons of sugar you’re drinking each day… Then cut them out.
Stick to water, black coffee, and herbal tea for a few days. It’s not an easy transition, but it will be worth it in the end.
Stop Indulging In Sugared Treats
➡ Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or scramble up some eggs instead of pouring a bowl of pre-sweetened cereal.
➡ Skip the muffin, cake, cookies, and candy. Instead, reach for a piece of fruit or cut up some fresh veggies.
➡ Find sugar-free or low-sugar replacements for your favorite treats.
➡ Fix a sandwich if you’re hungry in the afternoon instead of raiding the cookie jar. Or grab some cheese and crackers.
Do your best to train your brain and taste buds to not crave sweet treats all day long.
Stick To Real Food
Work on reducing the added sugars that sneak into your diet in all sorts of convenience foods.
➡ Anything that’s labeled low fat, fat-free or gluten-free is worth avoiding since the fat is usually replaced by lots of sugar and salt to make it palatable.
Your best bet is to stick to real food.
➡ Stick with single ingredients and cook your meals from scratch. This allows you to control what’s going into the food you eat – including the sugar.
So, Are You Ready For A Sugar Detox?
Are you ready to do this? It won’t be easy and there are no shortcuts. Keep reading, understand and accept what you’re in for, then you’ll be ready.
It Takes Willpower
It takes a lot of willpower to give up any bad habit or to learn a brand new one, and it’s going to take some guts to make it through this detox…You’re going to want that candy bar or donut.
➡ The key is reminding yourself that it will get easier as time goes by and that you’re doing this for an important reason – to improve your health, lose weight, look better, feel better and cut your risk of developing Type II Diabetes.
➡ Keep reminding yourself that you can do this and that it will be worth it in the end.
And, of course, keep all sugary treats out of the house to help cut down the temptations.
It’s Not Going To Be Pleasant
➡ As I mentioned in Part 3, in addition to craving your favorite sugary treats, you’ll likely experience headaches and possibly nausea, joint pain, and dizziness.
Knowing this in advance will keep you from being shocked and surprised when detox side effects start to pop up.
It helps to start your sugar detox on a Friday
➡ If you start on a Friday, you can get through your workday before the headaches start and then have all weekend to detox.
➡ By the time Monday rolls around you should be through the worst of it. Just keep yourself busy or spend a good amount of time sleeping as you make it through to the other side. And don’t forget to drink lots of water.
➡ Remind yourself that the side effects will be temporary and that you’ll get through them and start feeling better overall once you’ve detoxed.
Remember, you can do this if you follow the steps for eliminating sugar one hour at a time…you can tough it out that long.
➡ Go watch a movie, call a friend or go for a walk.
➡ Distract yourself and before you know it the hour will be over.
➡ Remember that this is only a temporary feeling.
You’ll feel better after a few hours. Promise.
The health benefits of freeing yourself from your sugar addiction are well worth making it through the unpleasant side effects.