If you are struggling with weight gain, difficulty losing weight, lack of energy, and digestive issues, it might be due to how much sugar you consume. Sugar is in almost everything you buy in a package or box, from your bacon to your milk.
The following information is going to guide you through the process of cutting out sugar with a simple detox diet.
1. Why You Should Do a Sugar Detox
While it is a standard joke among people to refer to themselves as a sugar junky, the reality is that it is not funny at all. Refined sugars are responsible for many medical ills.
The average person in the United States eats between 22 to 30 teaspoons of the stuff each day. It would be much better for them to drop the sugar. The truth is that it would not be so difficult either. The only obstacle is sugar addiction.
The answer to the problem is to do a sugar detox. A sugar detox means that you drop all types of sugar from your diet for a specified length of time.
You will need to cut every kind of sugar, though. This will include things like honey, alcohol, and white bread. The payoff is that you will feel much healthier when you cut the substance.
You need to understand that there is a difference between natural sugar and added sugar. Natural sugar, which is permitted, is contained in fruits and vegetables. Since they are linked to other substances, they decompose slowly and give you healthy energy.
Added sugar is bare. it is not bound to other substances. This will leave you with some empty calories. Many times, refined sugar is added to other foods. Refined sugar may make you feel good in the short run, but this short burst of energy can be followed by a dip in energy.
The way that this works is that this kind of sugar is released into the bloodstream rapidly. This will cause a spike in blood sugar. As a result, there is an increase in insulin in the body. Then, the insulin knocks down the sugar level. This low sugar level stimulates appetite. The cycle then repeats itself.
If you lead a sedentary existence, then these added sugars will cause you to put up weight and may even eventuate in diabetes or heart disease.
2. Sugar Is a Problem Addiction
While some people will claim that sugar addiction is not a true addiction, research indicates that it is. After you consume sugar, your body releases opioids and dopamine.
Those substances stimulate you in a way similar to addictive drugs. Research also indicates that you can go through sugar withdrawal. While the withdrawal is not as severe as it is with a substance like heroin, still there is a real effect.
Many researchers hold that, while sugar isn’t outright poison, it is a rather toxic substance for your body. As stated before, sugar can be responsible for various ailments. The fact is that one-third of our country is clinically obese. That is a serious problem. Diabetes is rampant, and even young children now are falling prey to the illness.
Other research also indicates that sugar is responsible for a myriad of health problems. It is implicated in more rapid aging and certain types of cognitive issues. Sugar has even been linked to some kinds of cancer. For all of these reasons, it is certainly rational for a person to be concerned about the sugar in their diet.
3. The Advantages of a Sugar Detox
You will be surprised at how much benefit you will receive from doing a sugar detox. You will be able to lower your weight, drop those headaches, gain surplus energy, and basically feel healthier.
A 2015 study showed that even cutting sugar for 10 days aided the metabolic health of obese children. Another benefit of a detox is that you will become more sensitive to the natural sweetness of produce. If you have lost this sensitivity by eating added sugar, then you will be pleasantly surprised at your newfound experience.
The truth is that many people who go off of sugar find that refined sugar is just too sweet for them. You may find that you will no longer crave cookies and cake like you once did.
4. The Basics of Cutting Out Sugar
The problem with having a sugar dependency is that the more that you indulge, the worse the problem becomes. Your cravings are bound to get worse. By taking on a sugar detox, you can begin to halt the cycle.
To do your detox, you need to make a plan. There are various lengths of time that you can do the detox for. Some say that the full scope of benefits will emerge after a detox of four weeks. If that seems too hard for you, you can try an abbreviated program first of a week-long detox. You won’t get the full set of benefits, but this may be all that you can handle at first.
One thing to watch out for is restaurant food. Restaurant food tends to be packed with added sugars. Also, for the most part, restaurants do not provide nutritional information concerning their offerings. For this reason, you will need to make your own dishes during your detox.
To do it right, you will need to plan your meals out ahead of time. You don’t want to be caught in a pinch with only processed food in the cupboard. The best thing to do is to plan things out on the Sunday at the beginning of the week. To keep things palatable for you, you will need to add some spice and variety to the foods on your list.
5. What to Avoid on Your Sugar Detox
Obviously, your detox will be more focused on the avoidance of certain foods than on the consumption of certain foods. However, you want to make sure that you are sticking to a healthy eating plan.
So, what foods do you need to avoid? The key is that you should avoid foods that have a high glycemic index. Obviously, you will need to avoid sweets that are made with refined sugars. You need to remember that most processed foods contain a lot of added sugar.
The most common source of sugar in the American diet is found in soft drinks and energy drinks. You basically should dump these drinks down the drain. They are totally worthless. You also need to remember that the term “energy drink” can be very deceptive. Energy drinks can be an even worse source of added sugars than soda.
You must realize that both kinds of drinks are harmful. The American Heart Association blames the deaths of many people on these types of drinks.
6. Know The Food Where Sugar Hides
Many people are actually shocked when they learn about some of the hidden sources of added sugar in their diet. This is probably because these people are so used to really sweet things that they don’t think that some added sugars are present.
Some hidden sources of added sugar are the following:
– Salad dressing – Sauces
– Granola bars
– Canned fruit
You really need to look out for condiments. Most people don’t know that ketchup is loaded with sugar. A sugary salad dressing can turn a healthy salad into a no-no on your detox.
Also, people are not really aware of the fact that refined carbohydrates are no different than sugar. Anything that is made from bleached white flour is to be avoided on the detox.
Also, there are certain foods that you should not consume on the detox because they are too starchy. These include starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes.
It is recommended that you avoid fruits with a high glycemic index during the first half of your detox. These include bananas, pineapple, and watermelon. Make sure not to eat dried fruits. They contain lots of concentrated sugar, and they may be prepared with added sugars.
So, why should you avoid artificial sweeteners? Outside of the fact that they just are not healthy for you, there are other issues as well. Artificial sweeteners are many times sweeter than sugar. This can desensitize your taste buds to sweetness. This can end up in sugar cravings.
Also, artificial sweeteners are known to actually increase your appetite. This may lead to a counterproductive situation.
7. Foods That Are Encouraged on a Sugar Detox
You should emphasize vegetables that have a low glycemic index. Particularly good are dark leafy greens and cruciferous types. You can prepare them roasted or raw.
You should emphasize plant-based proteins on your detox. Lentils are a wise choice, and seeds and nuts are a great snack.
Healthy fats include olives, avocados, and seeds and nuts. Fat is important to your diet, and it aids in slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
You need to emphasize whole grains on your diet plan. Focus on varieties like quinoa, buckwheat, and millet.
After the Detox
You need to understand that a detox is what kicks off a future of healthy behavior. You shouldn’t end your detox with a celebration of a big sugar soda. You should look for alternatives to sugary sweetener. You should emphasize fruits and perhaps something like a little molasses to add sweetness to your diet.
While the effects of a detox are great for your health, if you are strongly dependent on sugar, you might even experience some headaches or other symptoms during a detox.
If you cut your supply of sugar, your energy levels may be affected. Experts recommend that you should nourish yourself with high-quality foods that can help fight that moodiness. One tip is to keep yourself satisfied. You should particularly emphasize foods that are rich in healthy fats.
You should also be drinking a lot of water. This can aid in staving off fatigue and headaches. You should consume a lot of vegetables and organic protein. This will help you feel satiated and keep your appetite under control.
An important thing to remember is that a lot of the withdrawal that you may feel can be psychological. To counteract this feeling, you should treat yourself to foods that you appreciate and that satiate you.
A sugar detox is a great way to reset your body to a healthier state that will ward off illness and keep you trim. While there are arguments among researchers about just how toxic added sugar can be, everyone agrees that added sugar is just empty calories. It is definitely an improvement to your diet to dump the sugar and emphasize nutritious foods.
More information about sugar detox diets is available on the internet, and there are books written by experts that go into more details of the whole process.