Did anyone else read that title with Joey’s voice from Full House? Or maybe the sugar detox is making me quote ’90s shows…either way, today I want to talk to you about my latest challenge: the 7 Day Sugar Detox. If you’re just switching over to a healthy lifestyle and still rely on those nightly sweets to satisfy dessert cravings, this might sound like a horrifying idea. But if you’re like me, someone who lives a relatively healthy life already, you’re probably thinking this is a piece of cake (not literally, unfortunately). Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but no matter the lifestyle you live, this detox is HARD. Okay, so you don’t eat a post-lunch Snickers and a bowl of ice cream while watching your favorite show at night. But what about that vanilla pecan granola you eat with your blueberry yogurt in the morning? Or that protein bar you snack on before your workout? Or even that vegan chocolate protein powder you put in your post-weights smoothie?The point is, sugar sneaks in EVERYWHERE. And for this detox, I cut out ALL sugar–not just the basic processed stuff (which you should stay away from, detox or not), but even the natural sweeteners. Honey, maple syrup, dates, stevia, monk fruit extract, coconut palm sugar–all of these are a big NO on this detox. I promise the point is not to torture you, despite how it may feel in the beginning. Instead, this 7 Day Sugar Detox is meant to help you realize how sugar creeps in everywhere, even in products we deem “healthy.” Of course, there are sweeteners that are considered more healthy than others: dates, coconut palm sugar, stevia, honey and maple syrup are all great natural forms of sugar that can be enjoyed daily, in moderation. However, other products that list cane sugar as one of their top ingredients should be consumed sparingly, if that. The detox is meant for us to really grasp how much sugar has a hold in our daily diets, whether we realize it or not. It’s also meant for us to realize that those big-time sugar culprits–that fruity yogurt, cereal or granola bar–can be easily replaced with healthier, less-sugary options. Check out the end of this article for some of my favorite swaps!
Perhaps the coolest part of this detox is how you essentially reset your sugar-sensors, in a way, so you become much more sensitive to sugar post-detox. Fruits and other natural forms of sugar become much sweeter to you, and your body stops craving those post-meal treats. And when you do decide to indulge, a little goes a long way as your body is more sensitive to sweets and small amounts become more satisfying. I’m not going to lie–the beginning can be a bit difficult. The first couple days you will most likely experience some headaches and fatigue, as your body is going through sugar withdrawal. They don’t lie when they say sugar is truly a drug, and so your body not getting its normal dosage may result in some discomfort. However, once you get through the first 2 days, the side effects should subside and you will start to crave less sweets. By the end of the week, you’ll notice you feel much more alert, well-rested and have a brighter, clearer complexion! 7 days well spent in my book. Check out below for some of my favorite post-detox sugar swaps.
LAUREN’S FAVORITE SUGARY SWAPS:
- Traditional yogurt—>Plain yogurt (love Brown Cow and Organic Valley brand) with honey and fresh fruit.
- Traditional flavored granola–>Granolas with minimal, clean ingredients. I love Bakery on Main and Udi’s brands.
- Traditional cereal–>Cereals with minimal, clean ingredients with sugar low in the list. I love Peace Brand and Nature’s Path.
- Sodas and juices–>seltzer water and a squeeze of lemon (or any fruit works).
- Traditional granola bars–>Granola bars with CLEAN ingredients. My favorites are Raw Bite, Quest Bar and Lara Bar.
- Traditional protein powders–>CLEAN powders. Forever favorite is Dr. Axe Bone Broth Protein while Vega Protein is a close second.
- Traditional popsicles/ice creams–>Ruby Rocket’s popsicles (love their chocolate fudge!) and Halo Top ice creams.
- Low quality nut butters–>Ones that have no added sugars or chemicals. I love Once Again, Justin’s, and Nutzo brands.
- Notice a trend here? The best swap for any processed, chemical-filled food is one that has a short list of clean, simple ingredients. The shorter, cleaner the list the more whole the food will be–just the way we want it!
What are your favorite ways to cut down on sugar? Tag me @laurenandrew or @nutritionsmartofficial with your favorite low-sugar hacks and let me know how your 7 Day Detox is going!
Until next time,