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No Sugar Detox – The First 30 Days
Most of us have dieted, or at least tried. With all the latest trends out there, you might have considered juicing, fasting or cleansing in an effort to lose weight or improve your well-being. Of course, we all know that drastically cutting out foods is not effective as a long-term lifestyle approach to healthy eating. I believe the no sugar detox is a sustainable and worthwhile lifestyle change.
What Happens When You Go Without Sugar?
Reducing sugar in your diet can help you drop weight, improve your health and help you sleep better.
In one of my previous post, I share why it’s important to cut sugar out of your life.
Almost four weeks in and I have noticed A LOT of changes. After week one, my palate changed for the better. Apples taste like candy, bananas taste nutritious, even avocado is yummy!
Once you take sugar away from your diet cold turkey, your palate recalibrates, and you start tasting natural sugars again.
Common benefits of not eating sugar:
Weight Loss: Sugar has calories, but zero nutritional value; sugar causes us to crave even more sugar.
Reduced Bloating: Artificial sweeteners are notorious for causing bloating.
Mindful Eating: Consciously avoiding certain ingredients.
Sustained Energy: Experience stable energy levels all day long.
Getting Into My Sugar-Free Rhythm
After the first 4 or 5 days, the brain fog and fatigue started to lift. I was not feeling confused or asking myself why I had started this detox. I started sleeping better, had more energy, and my mind felt clearer.
The sugar detox gradually became easier to follow. As time went on, the more questions I asked and the more research I did, the simpler it became to pick the right foods and make better, more informed choices.
The point of the challenge is not to feel deprived or to beat yourself up. It is to eat healthily overall, gain consciousness of what you are putting into your body, and compare health on a high sugar diet to one with no sugar.
How I Have Done On A Week To Week Basis
Now I’d like to share my personal 30-day sugar detox experience week by week. Each week had highs and lows tied to energy, temptations, mood swings and cravings, too.
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Week One On The No Sugar Detox
During the first week, I felt energized but had to work hard to fight the post-lunch sugar cravings for a couple of days. I noticed when I drank enough water and ate a big, fresh salad for lunch, I didn’t experience cravings or hunger pangs. It seemed I only wanted something sweet because it tastes good, and it was simply a part of my daily habit.
I drank extra water and opted for green-forward juices and smoothies each day.
When grocery shopping, I had to restrain myself from gliding into the sweets snacks section where I usually go to first. Still, I was excited I was turning over a new leaf.
Week Two Without Sugar
The second week, I was surprised to find I was even more energized than the week before.
I woke up refreshed, felt energized in the afternoon.
Then my face broke out. I was stunned. Like what the hell? Isn’t the lack of sugar supposed to freshen up my face and leave it glowing? What was happening here was far from that. Good grief. I have been so good about not eating sugar, and this was my reward? Bummer!
I decided it was all the evil sugar toxins trying to find their way out of my body. After all, I had not been sugar-free in – well, never.
Sleep is fantastic. I would get into bed and fall asleep within minutes. Something I have not been able to do since I was little. It used to take me at least 3 hours after going to bed to fall asleep. Last year, I started trying out other methods to get me to sleep, which lessened that time to an hour. This lack of sugar stuff worked like magic.
Week Three Sugar-Free
As I made my way into week three, I was confident that I could easily make it to the end of Part 1 of this sugar detox. Day 30 is the halfway mark which no longer seems so far away. The hunger pangs are gone, and I am not missing sugar at all. I cooked lots of different dinners using my guide book and recipes I searched for on the internet. In times like these, Google is your friend.
One thing I did notice was that I was getting really sick and tired of eating salad for lunch every day. I mean, yes it is healthy and all, but our workplace has a little selection in the salad buffet so you can’t really switch it up.
No, I don’t have time to make a salad at home to schlepp to work, and nope, I wasn’t going to buy one, because all the store salads have all kind of sugary things in it.
The Toughest Days In Week Four
Last week, I was super tempted to eat Chicken Wings, but with the support of my work bestie, I was able to pass on it and have Maki instead.
I didn’t realise how hard it would be to eat at work. There’s no real way of knowing what forms of sugar are hiding in meals prepared by anyone other than yourself, so I was skipping most of the warm food and just having a salad. My enthusiasm began to dissipate.
The decision to give up kept running through my mind. I had made it this far right? I felt like I had been so good by not having any sugar, that I didn’t need to punish myself with cutting out meat and dairy; the other good stuff I could be enjoying. One thing I should explain is that this is an 8-week process for me. The first and last two weeks, I can eat meat, the four weeks in the middle, only seafood as protein.
This strategy follows the liver cleansing diet, which recommends foods and lifestyle choices that will tend to result in fewer toxins entering the body.
I decided to buy a scale. Hadn’t been on one in over three and a half years! I wanted to know how much weight I had actually lost to see if that would motivate me.
4.7 kilos (10.3 pounds) down in three and a half weeks! Ok, I am feeling motivated again. All of this was not for nothing. Even though I didn’t start this in order to lose weight, this definitely felt good.
Not sure if the weight loss will continue to drop as fast for Part II of the no sugar detox, but hey, this is enough to keep me going. To be honest, I really don’t feel or look slimmer. Maybe I just can’t see it yet.
How To Begin Your 7-Day Detox
If you’re interested in trying a 30-day sugar detox on your own, here’s how you should begin.
Day 1: Ask yourself why you are doing the no sugar detox and what you want to gain from this challenge.
Day 2: Rid your pantry and fridge of any sweet temptations and go shopping.
Day 3: Juices and sodas no more. Stick to drinking water, tea, and black coffee.
Day 4: Make conscious decisions about meals you prepare. Find sugar free desserts to bake.
Day 5: Make sure you stay active. If you walk only for 15 minutes, that’s a step in the right direction.
Day 6: Take notes of your symptoms, mood changes. Sleep habits. Better yet, start a journal.
Day 7: You’re one week into your detox. Are you feeling sugar withdrawals or cravings?
Decide whether or not you want to give yourself another full week of no added sugar. If you want to be really serious about this, don’t drink any alcohol.
Need a healthy dinner idea? Here is the recipe for my pan-seared halibut. Try it out!
Ideal Foods To Eat On A No Sugar Detox
During a no sugar detox, focus your meals around fresh fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, good sources of protein. whole grains, and unsweetened dairy (I am not having dairy at all). No need to count calories on this plan. You can lose weight with a high-fibre diet.
Fish and seafood (not breaded)
Lean meats (remove the skin from poultry, trim lean cuts of beef, pork, and lamb)
Nuts and flax seeds
Olive and canola oils.
Almond and/or coconut milk
Completing Part I and Ready For Part II
Today is DAY 26 and I am still going strong. If your goal is to lose weight, increase your energy, and adopt a healthier lifestyle; then I’d like to invite you to join me on a 30-Day Sugar Detox.
Are you currently detoxing or dieting? Share with me in the comments section below.