And because sugar is by far my biggest trip-up in my clean-eating journey, I’ve had to do a sugar detox multiple times.
That said, it’s taught me a trick or two about surviving a sugar detox and how to deal with carb cravings when they hit.
The idea of doing another sugar detox has been brewing for some time. I’ve sort of been strategically avoiding it, despite the fact that ‘tis the season for such things. But, there’s no denying it anymore; it’s definitely needed. So, today is day one of my 21 day sugar detox, and I have decided to do a few sugar-detox related posts in order to help other people that are going through the same thing. Today’s post is about how to know if you should do a sugar detox!
[Confession time: I knew that my sugar detox was starting today, so yesterday I ate an ice cream bar and a whole bar of dark chocolate. And today I’m craving it so badly. Why do I do this to myself?!]
There are different ways to do a sugar detox, but here are my parameters: no sugar, no fruit, no sweeteners. The reason I don’t do any sweeteners at all, even natural, is because a huge part of the sugar detox for me is breaking my mental addiction to sugar. (It’s been shown that refined sugar is even more addictive than cocaine!) I need to break that mental addiction as well as the physical one. As for the natural sugars like fruit: I know full well that if I allow myself fruit, I will be gorging myself on fruit by day five, and that just defeats the purpose. Sugar is sugar, natural or otherwise, and the body reacts the same to it. In the past, I was in denial of my sugar addiction because I was eating ‘healthy’ sugars like dark chocolate, honey, molasses and fruit, but sure enough, all the signs were there. And they have been coming back recently, which tells me it’s time.
Here are signs of blood sugar disregulation that help me to know when it’s time to do another sugar detox:
- Eating and then getting hungry again 2-3 hours later
- Craving something sweet around 3 PM and in the evenings after dinner
- Energy crashes after not having eaten for a while
- Finishing a meal and still feel like something is ‘missing’, and the sensation only goes away after eating something sweet
- Getting fatigued, shaky and moody if I haven’t eaten anything for a while
- Stomach is bloated and clothes are fitting a little more tightly than I’d like
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, a sugar detox will help you regulate your blood sugar, eliminating these symptoms and giving you your energy back.
Someone on Facebook asked about what a 21 day sugar detox was like. Here is how I summed it up:
‘At first it’s like the worst PMS of your life. But then the clouds part, your head clears up, your pants fit better, and you have energy like whoa.’ 😀
So, feel free to join in! If you’re not quite ready, that’s okay too! My next post will be about some tips to manage the sugar cravings. Feel free to just read and observe!
Whether you do decide to join or not, please feel free to ask any questions you may have. I’m more than happy to help. I know sugar detoxes are rough at first and I’m here to give you a hand.
Here are some other resources that have helped me with my sugar addiction:
- The number one thing I would recommend everybody watch: A talk by Dr. Robert Lustig called Sugar: The Bitter Truth. It’s long, but worth it. It completely opened up my eyes to what sugar actually does to our bodies and why it’s so addictive.
- The I Quit Sugar website and I Quit Sugar e-book.
- The Balanced Bites website and Chowstalker for 21 Day Sugar Detox-friendly recipes
- I haven’t personally bought these yet, but the official 21 Day Sugar Detox book and 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, written by Diane Sanfilippo, the creator of the 21 Day Sugar Detox program
Stay tuned for my next post of how I manage the sugar cravings, and for progress updates!
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