1 Day Sugar Detox Diet
Written By: Michelle MacLean
I know for many of you, the holidays were filled with shortbread cookies, rich dark chocolate truffles and ooey gooey desserts after every meal. And afterwards, there may have been further temptation with syrupy, creamy, special coffees and liquors. Believe me, you’re not alone.
If you overdid it on the sugar, you’re likely paying the price. Maybe you are in a nasty cycle of needing sweet treats to get you through the day. Or, maybe your cravings are on overdrive and you’re tempted to reach for everything in site. And maybe you just feel like crap!
But don’t worry! You can reverse this sugar cycle you’re caught up in and I’m going to show you how.
The truth is, I can totally relate to what you are going through. I’ve gave up sugar about a year ago and I’m finally free from my digestive issues, those insidious cravings and the constant thoughts about my next sweet fix. My energy is back; my brain fog has lifted; my taste buds have changed. I truly believe that I altered the trajectory of my health with this one step, which if I’d continued as I was, I would have been headed straight for diabetes.
Today, my life is filled with a lot of other sweetness. Food freedom. Lightness. Energy. Balanced emotions. No cravings. Pure, whole, real foods.
How did I do it? I took it one day at a time, small baby steps. And that’s how I recommend people start breaking the sugar cycle. Try one day with no sugar. Start there. See what happens and if it all goes well, you can continue on. Think about it as a trial run. If you can do it for one day, you can do it for longer. I didn’t say it would be easy, but it’s possible. And I’m proof that it works.
Are you up for the challenge?
If you’re ready to start feeling better in your own life, I recommend going both low carb and sugar-free for 24 hours. Science is showing that limiting your intake of carbohydrates, especially the refined, processed kind (also called “simple carbs”); sugars; cereal grains; and starches, will improve your overall health, help you lose and maintain your weight, minimize the risk of disease, improve your gut health and balance your blood sugar.
Here are 10 steps for a 1 Day Sugar Detox Diet:
1. Decide on timing. Pick a day that is relatively free from responsibilities, where you can focus on food prep and self care.
2. Prep and stock. Preparing for your no-sugar day is extremely important to your success. Clean out your cupboards of all those leftover holiday treats. Then stock up on some of the food items listed below. Make sure you have good healthy food on hand.
3. Eliminate processed, refined carbs. Ditch the soda, candy, desserts, pasta, breads, cereals, cookies, granola bars, french fries, muffins, pretzels and rice cakes. Avoid anything with added sugar.
4. Replace the sugars and starches with real whole foods. These include good quality animal protein sources, such as eggs, fish, vegetables, low glycemic fruits (see step 7), seeds, nuts and healthy oils, like olive and coconut. Don’t be afraid of fat and animal protein. Fat does not make you fat, sugar does.
5. Minimize grains. From an ancestral perspective, our bodies don’t really know how to process grains and most of them are very carbohydrate-dense. As a start, move away from wheat, corn, rice and oats (and their flours) and swap for quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice and millet.
6. Boost your veggie intake. Your body prefers the carbs in vegetables, rather than grains because all the healthy fiber slows the intake of glucose into the bloodstream and keeps insulin more balanced. The majority of what you eat should come from veggies that are grown above ground. These include all the leafy greens, broccoli and cauliflower, peppers, cabbage, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, etc. If you do eat root veggies, try them raw to avoid all the simple sugars that come out when cooked. Eaten raw, root veggies maintain the resistant starch and fiber that is good for your gut, which aids in proper elimination.
7. Go for low glycemic fruits. All fruit is high in fructose, so if you are trying to lose weight, you’ll want to minimize fruit. Your best low-glycemic options are: apples, pears, kiwi, watermelon, citrus fruits and berries. Eat the peel when you can to get the good fiber and have a handful of nuts to slow any blood sugar spikes and keep your body balanced, without crashing.
8. Avoid anything that says “low-fat”, “low-cal”, “sugar-free”, or any diet products. These items have the good stuff taken out of them and all kinds of artificial chemicals, sugar and sweeteners added in to make them taste good. These are not healthy products, nor are they healthy alternatives to their full fat, etc. counter-parts.
9. Be aware of detoxing symptoms. If you’ve really been indulging lately, chances are you will experience some detoxing symptoms, which may include headaches, low energy and moodiness. Drink lots of water and rest if you can. Be gentle with yourself. These symptoms are temporary and are your body’s signal that it needs to get the junk out.
10. Evaluate and decide on next steps. During the day, keep track of your moods, digestion, sleep and energy levels. Journal about your relationship with sugar and sweets. Why do you turn to them? When do your cravings strike? What void might those sweets be filling up in your life? If the day went well, maybe you’ll want to stick with this approach to eating for a few more days to really get some traction toward breaking those sugar cravings once and for all. If I did it, so can you!
Michelle MacLean is a Wellness Coach and Nutrition Consultant who works primarily with women who are struggling with the negative effects of sugar. She helps her clients reclaim their inner sweetness and let go of refined sugar for good in her 8-week Sugar Shift Intensive. She also offers individual coaching. Michelle doesn’t focus on diets, but instead helps create a total transformation, focusing on the relationship with food and self-love.
Download Michelle’s Sugar-Free Breakfast E-book with nine healthy recipes to rev your metabolism and energize you for the day.
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