The Reality of Sugar
According to the American Heart Association, women should aim to consume no more than 25 grams or about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. For men, it’s 36 grams or 9 teaspoons.
However, the stark reality is, most of us consume our daily value in just ONE SERVING of food whether it be soda, coffee or even salad dressing. And when we load our bodies with excess sugar, it can lead to fatigue, weight gain, and even more serious ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.
Limiting our sugar intake is becoming more and more difficult since almost everything we consume contains some form of added sugar. But that’s still no excuse for not being proactive about our health. If you’ve been struggling to keep up with your daily activities due to fatigue and an overall low mood, take a step back and reevaluate the role sugar has on your life.
Like most people, I have an insatiable sweet tooth. It gets so extreme I find myself munching through everything from cakes to ice cream all in a couple hours. And afterward, you’ll likely find me sprawled on my bed – IF I’m lucky enough to grant myself a nap. Otherwise, I’m sluggish, beaten down and can’t seem to get any real work done.
So obviously, I fondly welcomed the idea of a sugar detox. A sugar detox can be anything from a brief 5-day detox to a full-blown lifestyle change.
Why You Need a Sugar Detox
5-days is just enough time to start to feel the effects of leading a mindful sugared life. Prior to undergoing a sugar detox, I was tired all the time. After I’d cut back on sugar, I felt energized for the first time in a very long time. I could actually do my daily workouts, which I’d always put off before because I was “too tired.”
Sugar had caused me to become this lazy person and that I was okay with it. I made excuses for not working out. I made excuses to continue with an unhealthy, unproductive lifestyle – all because of a little thing called sugar.
I highly recommend undergoing a sugar detox which focuses on eliminating added sugar in your diet for at least a 5 day period. After 5 days, you can mindfully reintroduce sugar. You may even decide to only consume natural sugars on fruits and vegetables after your detox and that’s really the goal!
So if you want to take the leap and make this highly beneficial lifestyle change, check out the 7 hacks below to help you survive a sugar detox and take back your health!
7 Hacks to Survive a Sugar Detox
Infuse Your Water
Flavor your water with cucumbers, berries, and a bit of lemon to ease your transition from sugary drinks. Herbs such as mint and tarragon are other good additions to your water.
Roast Your Veggies
Aside from fruits, vegetables also contain a good amount of natural energy-providing carbohydrates. Bake them in the oven with a bit of olive oil and seasoning to curb cravings.
Whip Up Your Own ‘No Added Sugar’ Snacks
Cereal and energy bars are full of added sugar. So instead of reaching for these quick on-the-go snacks, prep the classic “ants on a log” (celery, peanut butter, and raisins) or opt for sugar-free yogurt and fruit cups. You can also make your own smoothies or overnight oats for a midday protein pick-me-up.
Spice, Spice Baby
Instead of adding sugar to meals, scour your spice drawer for new flavor combinations. Spices are low in calorie and a great alternative to added sugar.
Skip the Artificial Sugar
Pass on the artificial sugar. A sugar detox helps rewire your brain to no longer crave sugar. Though most artificial sugar is noncaloric, their sweet taste is appealing to the brain. Skip the artificial stuff and go for an apple instead. The more you train your brain to enjoy only natural sugars, the easier it will be to stay away from any added sugar. You’ll find yourself craving fruits over that processed muffin in no time.
Add Fruit for Flavor
Like infused water, fruit can be a healthy source of sweetness. Add fresh fruit to stir-fry, salad, and oatmeal – but remember to enjoy fruits in moderation because you can end up consuming a ton of sugar if you’re not careful.
Be mindful of what you eat. Take a minute to consider if what you’re choosing to eat will provide real benefits to your body. Remember, your body is a temple. Treat it as such. Feed your soul with the goodness of real, natural food and eliminate anything else. It’s going to be a challenge at first, but a habit takes 21 days to either break or form. You decide.
Hold Yourself Accountable & Ask Friends and Family for Support
As kids, our parents taught us sweets weren’t good for us. It’s a bigger deal now to consistently remind ourselves of this as adults. As adults, we don’t have accountability outside of ourselves. We are our own main source accountability and that’s what makes it so difficult to make healthy choices. So hold yourself accountable. If you need support, ask friends and family to join you in your sugar detox journey. BUT understand your success is ultimately up to you.
I hope these hacks help you rock your sugar detox!