If you have read about wellness trends, you may have entertained the idea of a diet detox. You may have considered fasting or cleansing to lose weight or improve your well-being. However, you may probably be aware that drastically cutting out foods won’t be an effective long-term lifestyle approach to healthy eating. Maybe, you should consider a sustainable detox that will help you lose weight and improve your health- a sugar detox.
We are addicted to sugar.
Sugar keeps us overweight. It has also become one of the leading causes of heart disease. Aside from that, sugar also negatively affects your skin as well as premature aging. The bad news is we can’t stop consuming sugar. We’re all practically addicted to it. When we consume sugar, we “feel good” because of it and then, we crash only to actually reach for more when we wake up.
Why should you do a sugar detox?
Detoxing from sugar will help you lose weight. You will get brighter eyes, clearer skin, and fewer dark circles. Aside from that, you will have more energy and fewer mood swings. With the elimination of sugar, including artificial sweeteners, it would feel incredible how sweet food actually tastes.
How to start the sugar detox?
If you’re not a true sugar “addict,” eliminating sugar from your diet can help you lose unwanted pounds quickly. It will also make you feel better and have a more radiant appearance. You will have to start this kind of detox in a cold turkey way- an abrupt and complete cessation. Here’s what registered dietitian and co-author of The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight- Look and Feel Great Brooke Alpert has to say about going on cold turkey:
“Early on in my practice, when I would notice that people had a real addiction to sugar, we’d start trying to wean them of sugar or limit their intake or eat in moderation … but the word ‘moderation’ is so clichéd and not effective. It was just ineffective to ask people to eat less of something when they’re struggling with this bad habit. You wouldn’t ask an alcoholic to just drink two beers.“
Why go on a cold turkey for the first three days?
Going on an abrupt start meant that it would recalibrate your palate. This way, you can now taste the natural sugars that you are used to feeling dulled to in fruits, vegetables, and dairy. For the first three days on a sugar detox, Alpert recommended that you shouldn’t consume any sugar or any artificial sweeteners. Of course, this includes fruits, starchy vegetables (like corn, peas, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash), dairy, grains, and alcohol. So, basically, all you will eat are protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
An example of a daily sugar detox diet.
Breakfast can include three eggs. Then, lunch can include up to six ounces of poultry, fish or tofu, and a green salad. Dinner can also serve as a larger version of lunch with steamed vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and spinach can be eaten in place of a salad. Snacks include an ounce of nuts and sliced peppers with hummus. Beverages should only include water, unsweetened tea, and black coffee.
After three days…
After those first three days, you can add an apple. That fourth day, everything will taste sweet. That apple will definitely taste like candy. This diet recalibrates your palate and you will start tasing natural sugars again. Starting with day four, aside from an apple, you can add a dairy item in your diet. It could be yogurt or cheese as long as it remains full-fat and unsweetened.
As time progresses, you can add higher-sugar vegetables like carrots and snow peas. During the first week, you can add three glasses of red wine in your weekly diet. On week two, you can have a serving of antioxidant-rich berries and an extra serving of dairy. Then, add starchy vegetables in your diet. Add grains, fruits, another glass of wine, and an ounce of dark chocolate on week three.
Maintaining the diet.
Week four would be your home stretch. You can now add two starches per day, including bread and rice. Aside from that, you can have five glasses of wine per week. After that, you should always live like you’re on week four. Although intentional indulgences can happen, week four will be like the maintenance part of the whole sugar detox. With the additive behavior gone, having since cream once or twice will get you back to square one.
NOTE: Sugar detox isn’t appropriate for diabetics, extreme athletes, and/or anyone taking medication to control blood sugar. It is also not recommended for pregnant women.
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Angela Grace P. Baltan is a Communication graduate from Colegio de San Juan de Letran. She doesn’t hesitate to be opinionated in analyzing movies and television series. As a writer, she uses her articles to advocate for feminism, gender equality, and mental health among others.