Sugar Detox Plan: How to do a Sugar Detox Safely & Effectively

Sugar Detox Plan: How to do a Sugar Detox Safely & Effectively

There's a right way to do a sugar detox and a wrong way. If you're curious about sugar detoxing and don't know where to start, read along to learn how to safely do a sugar detox and the benefits of sugar detoxing! We cover everything from the foods you can eat on a sugar-free diet to how the side effects of sugar detoxing and more!

 

Sugar is a person’s best friend…at first at least. Sugar reels us in with the promise of a satisfying result, but it fails to mention that satisfaction is only temporary. The betrayal felt after the reality of deception sinks in is heartbreaking. After all the heartbreak and betrayal, it leaves us with only one option…  

A break up. 

Ignore the sweet tears of sugar because we’re here to tell you about sugar detoxing. Before we get into what to expect when sugar detoxing, let’s cover some basic information you need first! 

Disclaimer: This article was created for informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care team prior to making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. 

How Much Sugar Is Too Much?

What happens if you eat too much sugar? Over time, consuming too much sugar can lead to medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, inflammation, heart disease, and can have effects on your dental health. Many of these conditions don’t happen right away, but over time it can catch up with you. Having too much sugar can also lead to you having low energy and leave you feeling lethargic.  

The sugar daily intake recommendation according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is no more than 10% of your total calories for the day. However, the average person consumes more than the recommended daily amount. 

It’s clear why our bodies rely on sugar as we, for the most part, exceed the daily sugar intake maximum. Our bodies rely so heavily on sugar because it has an effect on our brain’s reward system. Sugar activates the release of dopamine in the brain that has been reported to be associated with the area that causes addiction. The more sugar we consume, the more our body will long for it. This leads to a subconscious addiction to sugar. It’s clear as to why it’s time for a breakup right? 

So if consuming too much sugar isn’t good for you and your body may be addicted to it, then you’re probably wondering how to get rid of sugar cravings. However, we promise we’ll get into some tips and tricks on that a bit later.

Sugar…sweet sweet sugar, it’s time to expose you for who you really are!

…maybe we’re being a bit too harsh. We should’ve been more clear to outline that not all sugar is bad. Let’s not get too excited yet because we’re going to explain what we mean by this. 

Added Sugar vs Natural Sugar

Let’s get into the difference between added sugar and natural sugar and which foods they are typically found in. 

Added sugars are syrups and sugars that are placed in foods when they are being processed that weren’t already a part of the natural ingredients. Some added sugar examples are foods such as soda, cookies, chips, cereal, candy, and many more. 

When trying to see if the food you’re consuming contains any added sugars, you can look out for the more common names such as:

  • Corn syrup / corn sweetener / high fructose corn syrup
  • Syrup / honey / molasses
  • Sugar / raw sugar / brown sugar 
  • Glucose / fructose / lactose 

Natural sugar is what is found in foods such as fruits or vegetables. Foods such as cranberries, avocados, olives, and raspberries contain low amounts of natural sugars. 

Okay enough of sugar’s backstory. Let’s continue by exploring what a sugar detox even means! 

What Is A Sugar Detox? 

Sugar detoxification focuses on cutting out added sugars while still being able to consume a moderate level of natural sugars. It is a diet that aims to help you cut back on the amount of sugar you are consuming daily. The amount of time for this diet varies depending on your needs, and there’s no clear indication as to how long you should go for. Sources have identified 3 different timelines for how long you could do a sugar detox for; a short-term detox for 7 days, a mid-range detox for 21 days, or a more long term detox of 30 days. 

There have been recommendations to start off with the 7 day sugar detox diet, and use that time period to ease your body into it. The 21 day sugar detox and the 30 day sugar detox plan are where you get more serious about cutting back on your sugar intake. 

The goal is to have a conversation with sugar about your relationship. Discuss if this is going to be a temporary break where the goal is to give each other some space to reevaluate the status of your relationship. If it’s going to be a definitive end where you tell sugar to hit the road for good! Or, if it’s going to be a casual relationship, where you see each other on and off. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what your sugar detox timeline will be. There’s no pressure, it’s okay to take your time and learn how to reduce your sugar intake gradually. Let’s jump forward and explore some sugar detox benefits!

Detoxing From Sugar Benefits

The benefits of reducing sugar intake will have your body applauding you later. And let’s admit it, we all love a little bit of praise!

E is for Energy!

Our sweet friend sugar gives an amazing high to the brain when it is consumed. BUT, what goes up must come down. Let us tell you, sugar does NOT come down with grace, it’s more of a crash really. When you have too much sugar, it doesn’t give you the proper nutrients you need to properly sustain that boost of energy. Cutting back on sugar will give you more of a natural fuel in energy that won’t suddenly pull the rug from underneath your feet. 

C is for Cutting Those Calories!

When you eat too much sugar, you’re adding a ton of calories to your body that have no added nutrients. Since there are no added nutrients, the sugar enters your body and stores as fat over time. So, cutting back on your sugar intake can assist in managing your weight by cutting out those dead weighted calories! 

I is for an Improved Mood! 

Sugar, sugar, sugar, why must you be so glum? After coming down off of a sugar high, it can leave you feeling more tired and fatigued. This causes an on and off shift in your mood such as higher stress levels and tension. Therefore, reducing your sugar intake can help you see the world a bit brighter! 

Now that we’ve covered some benefits of a low sugar diet, we’ll unfortunately have to go into some side effects. 

Sugar Detoxing Symptoms 

There, there, we knew sugar was going to throw a tantrum. Because your body relies on sugar as a temporary energy source, detoxing from it may come with some side effects. The side effects that you encounter are dependent on how much your body relies on sugar. These symptoms can last days or sometimes even weeks. Everyone is different, so detoxing from sugar will affect each person differently. However, here are some of the side effects that are reported to be associated with sugar detoxification. 

Mood Shift

One of the withdrawal symptoms of cutting back on sugar is a change to your mood throughout the day. This can be a feeling of anxiety, depression, irritation, or lack of focus as your body goes without the short bursts of energy and dopamine that sugar gives you. If you find you’re in need of a chill pill, you can try out an organic relaxation tea to assist in regulating your emotions.  

Falling Asleep

You might find it more difficult to fall asleep while detoxing from sugar, or even staying asleep for that matter. The detoxification process may have effects on your sleep cycle/pattern, and make it a bit more difficult throughout the night. If you find yourself wide-eyed every night while detoxing, you can try melatonin gummies or a herbal night tea to assist you with falling asleep. 

Increased Cravings

We all have cravings for different things from time to time. However, while you’re going through the sugar detox process, you may find that these cravings have increased. These cravings are usually focused on more sugar, but sometimes it could be towards carbs as well. If you’re finding it hard to ignore those cravings, then you can try a sugar-free snack or a bowl of fruit

Physical Effects

You may also realize a feeling of fatigue, nausea, or even dizziness while cutting back on sugar. Again, this is a withdrawal effect of removing something from your diet that your body relies on. If you find this is the case, iron enriched foods are a great way to reduce the feeling of fatigue. If nausea is giving you a warm time, then ginger helps with diminishing that queasy feeling. 

To try and minimize some of these symptoms, it’s okay to gradually decrease your sugar intake over time as mentioned above. You don’t have to begin by cutting out sugar cold turkey; you can ease your body into sugar detoxing. 

Sugar Detox Tips and Tricks 

If you’re interested in starting the sugar detoxification process, then we have some tips for you on how you can start your journey!

Tip #1: Kick sugary foods to the curb! 

Try beginning by decreasing the amount of sugary drinks and food that you consume. Remove the amount of added sugar in your diet and replace it with more natural sugars. Fruits are a great source of natural sugars! A caveat is, sugar is sugar, so try not to eat too much fruit that’s high in sugar. 

Here are some great alternatives to your favourite sugar filled foods to start you off:

Snacks

If you’re craving some chocolatey goodness then Lily's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are for you! These creamy chocolate peanut butter cups contain less than 1g of sugar and are a quick and easy treat. Want a saltier treat? Try Quest's Protein Tortilla Nacho Chips, which contain 1g of sugar!  

Is chowing down on some crunchy cereal a part of your morning routine? Then have no fear, Nuco Cinnamon Coconut Cereal is here! This tasty delight has no added sugar and is a delicious substitute for other sugary cereals. As a bonus, you can pair it with some almond milk or munch on it for a quick snack in between meals!  

If you’re wanting some fruit without having to do the work, then That's It Apple Mango Fruit Bar should be in your pantry. This fruity bar contains only the natural sugars of apple and mango, and is a sweet but healthy snack! 

Drinks

If you appreciate a good fizzy drink, then Phat Nutrition's Sparkling Mango Iced Tea is your go-to. This sparkling drink contains 0g's of sugar and is a great substitute to soda!  

Need a drink with flavour? Then look no further, Remedy's Wild Berry Kombucha is a low-calorie thirst quencher that contains no added sugars!

There’s nothing like a cup of sweet joe right? Well we have this amazing substitute for you! Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee is a great alternative that has 0g’s of sugar. If you’re not a black coffee drinker, then pair it with Nutpods Caramel Unsweetened Creamer to lighten it up! 

Staples

Carbonaut Herb Garlic Bagel’s are a tasty option for breakfast and they only have 1g of sugar. You can pair this delicious substitute with a nice spread to make your morning routine delightful!

Fullgreen's Cauliflower Rice is a delicious addition to your meals which has no preservatives or added sugar! Pair it with the protein of your choice for a perfect lunch!  

Jovial Cassava Penne Pasta is a great substitute to other starchy pasta options and only contains 2g’s of sugar! You can toss it in a savoury sauce for a great dinner option! 

You can find a lot more sugar-free options here

Tip #2: Swap it out! 

When planning out your meals for the day, try swapping out some of your sides for more protein and fiber enriched foods. Eating more of these foods will help you feel more full, avoid a sugar rush and crash, and help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Include more micronutrients like kale to help your liver with its detoxification process. Throw in some healthy fats such as avocado to top it off to reduce any inflammation. 

Tip #3: Beware of…

Try to stay away from simple or processed carbs such as bread, pasta, and chips as they can increase and plunge your blood sugar levels. Instead, do more non-starchy vegetables and whole grains!

Tip #4: Keep it calm, cool and collected

Try to limit your stress while detoxing. When you’re stressed, your insulin levels drop and your stress hormones go up. Sugar has a calming effect on your stress hormones which makes you crave it as comfort food. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can try sipping on some warm chamomile tea to soothe your stress levels.  

Tip #5: Business as usual

Make sure that when you’re detoxing you continue to eat. You don’t have to starve yourself to detox from sugar, you’re just removing that ingredient from your lifestyle. The hungrier you are while cutting back on sugar, is the more likely you are to want to binge on sugar filled snacks. So make sure you’re having your meals for the day, with light snacks in between. 

Final Thoughts

Sugar has been the other half to a lot of us for a very long time. However, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You have the ability to say so long to sugar if you choose; it’ll get over it. We hope these sugar detox tips and tricks will help you in deciding if this journey is right for you. If you need some back up with saying sayonara to sugar, then check out another one of our articles on ways to side swipe your sugar cravings!

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