Sugar Detox Diet for Beginners – Overview
Most of us don’t realize the toll regular sugar consumption has on our body, brain and even mental state.
Sugar increases the rate of heart attacks, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, tooth decay and so on.
As a 2018 Pubmed study states “In both animals and humans, the evidence in the literature shows substantial parallels and overlap between drugs of abuse and sugar, from the standpoint of brain neurochemistry as well as behavior”
Sugar addiction is a real thing. Especially nowadays sugar can be found anywhere, in almost all the products. Sugar consumption in the USA has been on the rise in the past decade.
According to DHHS statistics “Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year. This is equal to 3 pounds (or 6 cups) of sugar consumed in one week!”
Sugar is everywhere. That’s why a sugar detox diet can be very tricky at first, besides having sugar cravings and “withdrawal symptoms” from sugar abstinence, choosing appropriate meals, staying true to the diet and sticking to the sugar detox journey is quite difficult.
It’s like giving your body and brain a complete reset.
How do we break the addiction?
This article is for those who are new to the sugar detox diet and are exploring all the information and tips to effectively reduce sugar in the diet.
Remember – Consultation with your primary physician is advised before making any drastic changes to your diet.
First things first – Decide to cut off sugar and stick to it
It does sound like the easiest step in the journey but in reality, it is otherwise. Being psychologically ready to give up the product you are addicted to can be hard.
Evaluating the benefits of sugar detox helps you in decision-making. Whenever you feel like giving up just remember how a sugar-free diet can affect your health and quality of life.
Accept that it will not be easy at first
Suddenly cutting off sugar completely from your diet can affect your body in several ways, since sugar acts like a drug we can become addicted to and leaving the body without that cause stress.
You might experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches, irritability, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain, and weakness.
These symptoms are caused by blood sugar level fluctuations, they can be managed and minimized by having a regular eating schedule, consuming more fiber and proper hydration.
In case your symptoms do not alleviate after a couple of days or are disproportionally severe – make sure to contact your physician.
Even though symptoms can be discomforting and make you want to give up, According to Mark Hyman, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic for Functional Medicine, It’s still absolutely the best choice to go “Cold turkey” – which means you need to quit consuming all forms of sugar products, flour, artificial sweeteners, hydrogenated fats, etc abruptly.
You need just 10 days to feel free of the cravings and physiological symptoms of a detox diet and reboot your body.
Choosing correct meals
While abstaining from sugar you need to consume addiction-reversing foods that can rewire your brain and body.
Sugar detox diet meals mostly consist of meats, fish, vegetables, nuts, mushrooms, seeds and so on.
These products also contain some sugar but on minimal levels. Try to stick to non-starchy vegetables – cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus and so on.
Make sure to check out 10 sugar detox diet foods.
Avoid processed foods
Most processed foods have much more sugar content compared to whole foods – which have no added sugars and are a better alternative for detox diets. In case you still decide to buy processed foods make sure to check the ingredient list and choose products with the least carbohydrate content.
Healthy snacking Bad habits of snacking with high-sugar foods are mostly the main reason for sugar addiction.
It’s hard to resist candies and ice cream.
If your sugar cravings get bad, you can go for a healthier alternative snack with low-sugar fruits and vegetables.
Once you ditch the processed sugary foods, you will easily satisfy your sweet tooth by enjoying a good apple, berries, orange and banana.
Cut out sweetened beverages
When on a sugar detox diet you need to make sure you eliminate all the sugary drinks like Sodas, beer, juices, etc. It might not feel like it but these drinks are one of the biggest sources of added sugar. Drinking pure water and sugar-free tea or coffee should become your habit.