Sugar comes in many shapes and kinds. Apart from traditional white and somewhat rarer brown sugars, there are also many added sugars like agave nectar, maple syrup, honey, and others. And there are also many natural sugars contained in different types of products, such as fruits.
With so many sugar options around, tracking one’s intake of this sweetener can be somewhat tricky. Many people don’t even realize how much sugar they are eating until they start facing real health issues, such as obesity, heart disease, increased blood sugar, etc.
Eventually, after realizing that something’s wrong, people start looking for solutions, and a sugar-free diet seems to be the answer. So how do you get rid of sugar from your daily menu? What does it feel like? And how to do this the right way?
Of course, changing the way you eat is hard. It requires you to rethink your whole meal plan, opt for food and snack options that you are not used to, understand calories, do more cooking, etc. However, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Read on and we will give you the tips that will help you eat healthier food and avoid sugar with ease!
What Does Sugar Detox Feel Like?
If you know that you have a long-ingrained sugar habit, you must understand that cutting down your added sugar intake won’t go unnoticed. It’s a no-brainer that people who are regularly eating sugary foods and consume plenty of sugary drinks on a daily basis will feel like something’s lacking when they are on a sugar detox. And many will even experience real mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.
So what will it feel like? First of all, it’s important to note that the first body reaction to going sugar-free can be different for everyone. Both the symptoms and their severity will change from one person to another.
In terms of the severity of symptoms, a lot depends on your past added sugar intake. If you used to eat too much sugar, chances are that your symptoms will be worse than those in people who used to eat smaller amounts of added sugar.
As for the withdrawal symptoms, they can be both physical and mental as said earlier. Let’s look at the most common ones.
Lower energy levels;
Dizziness or light-headedness;
Changes in sleep patterns.
How long do these symptoms last? Since the symptoms and their severity vary, so does their duration. According to surveys, when reducing sugar intake some people may only feel mild symptoms that last a few days. Others, on the contrary, can suffer from severe sugar cravings and other issues, which may last for more than a week. Everything is very unique for every person.
Nevertheless, don’t let the possible challenges scare you off. Of course, if you go from eating too much sugar to not eating it at all (or very rarely), you will experience certain discomfort. But the good news is that this transition won’t last forever. Over some time, your body will adapt to the new diet. You will get used to receiving fewer calories and your sugar addiction will start fading away. Eventually, your sugar cravings and other symptoms will get less frequent and less severe, and you will feel amazing.
How to Start a Sugar Detox
So you’ve decided to cut on the amount of added sugar you eat. There might be many different reasons for that. But the main question is how to get started and stay on the right track throughout this entire journey.
Let us give you a few tips here.
First of all, before you get on your sugar detox diet, you need to define the root of your sweet tooth. It might be something that your body is lacking. Also, it can be a way to reward yourself for something or a way to handle difficult emotions or mental conditions. The reasons can be different and the easiest way to get started with your diet is to define the things that trigger your sugar cravings and eliminate them from your life.
Once you know the root of the problem and decide to do something about it, you need a goal. Without a clear and specific goal in mind, it can be very easy to get off the right track and ruin your challenge. So be sure to set a goal. Ideally, make it very specific and time-bound. This will help you stay motivated and stick to your objectives. And don’t hesitate to establish a specific reward that you will get when you complete your challenge and reach your goal.Finally, after you take the first two steps, you need to get organized. Ideally, you should prepare a detailed sugar detox meal plan that you can stick to through the entire challenge. You can look for suitable meal plans on the internet. There are plenty of them out there. Also, we will share with you a time-tested and effective sugar detox meal plan in this article. Finally, you can also make your own meal plan based on your likes and dislikes. In any case, you just need to have something you can stick to on this path. But, when planning your meals, pay special attention to calories and nutrients. In order to get through this challenge with ease, you want to ensure that your body receives enough elements and calories to function properly. Otherwise, your energy levels will go down and you won’t get all the benefits.
How to Detox From Sugar Quickly?
Just like any other habit, a sugar habit can be easy to acquire and very hard to get rid of. Thus, when you decide to cease eating sugary foods, you shouldn’t expect a positive change to happen overnight.
If you want to cleanse from sugar quickly, then a 7-day sugar detox is probably the shortest sugar detox meal plan you can try. It is a rather intense challenge that can be hard to accomplish. But it can be a great start for your future healthy life.
Here are a few tips that should come in handy on this path:
Reduce consumption of sugary drinks - One thing that not everyone realizes is that you can receive plenty of added sugar not only from eating sugary foods but also from drinking too many sweetened drinks, such as packaged juices, coke, energy drinks, etc. In order to get rid of your sugar addiction fast, you need to eliminate such beverages from your diet. Instead, drink lots of water and healthy beverages.
Start reading labels - Not many people do this naturally, but reading labels is essential for leading a healthy lifestyle. Even if you stop buying chocolate and other treats, you might be surprised to find lots of hidden added sugars in foods that you thought were healthy, such as oatmeal, sauces, salad dressings, etc. Such products have higher calories and might not be as good for you as it seems. To get through your challenge the right way, start reading the labels of the foods you buy to spot those hidden calories and added sugars before you eat or drink them.
Add a snack but opt for healthy snacks - Different kinds of snacks contain hidden and processed sugars, as well as many other harmful elements. In order to stick to your sugar detox meal plan with ease and cleanse your body faster, you need to refuse many traditional snacks and choose healthy snacks instead. Some types of food you can (and should) snack on include nuts, berries, fruits and veggies, healthy protein bars, etc.
Refuse from dessert - To detox your body faster, you also need to rethink dessert. Instead of grabbing a piece of chocolate or another treat, ask yourself if you are actually hungry and need it or if it’s just a habit that’s hard to break. In case the first one is true, reach for foods high in healthy fats and protein, such as protein nut butters, pumpkin seeds, unsweetened yogurt, etc.
Write shopping lists - When you have a well-defined sugar detox meal plan, the easiest way to stick to it is to have a daily shopping list. If you used to eat too much sugar then get on a sugar-free diet and go shopping without a shopping list, there is a big chance to grab something unhealthy. However, if you make it a rule to write a detailed shopping list, you will find it easier to stay on the right track.
Avoid stress - According to numerous studies, everyday stress can be among the reasons you crave added sugars. Thus, if you want to change this, you should try hard and avoid excessive stress as much as possible. Not only will this tip support you during this challenge, but it will also improve your mental health.
Sleep well - As was mentioned earlier, going sugar-free can lower your energy levels and cause fatigue at first. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to get enough sleep during your detox.
Make a complex change - Finally, if you want to cleanse from added sugars quickly, you need to rethink your entire diet. Simply cutting out chocolate and other sweets won’t make any real difference. However, if you optimize the nutrient density of every meal, learn to opt for healthy food, and otherwise improve the way you eat, this will help you improve your overall health, cut down calories, and feel better every day.
7-Day Sugar Detox Diet
So you’ve decided to get on a 7-day sugar detox to lose weight or just boost your overall health. Now you already know some tips that will help you switch to healthy food. Still, getting started with detox on your own can be rather challenging, especially if you are used to eating too much sugar and don’t know yet how to pick healthy and whole foods instead.
Below is an example of an optimal 7-day sugar detox meal plan that you can follow. This plan offers a good balance of calories and nutrients to help your body reduce the stress from eliminating sugar.
1st Day Sugar Detox: Sunday
Black coffee with no sugar
Avocado toasts with hard-boiled eggs
Pro tip: Most people can’t imagine drinking coffee without any sugar added to it. On the one hand, you could opt for artificial sweeteners to keep enjoying your favorite drink even during a healthy diet. But our advice is to go cold turkey on this one. Even though artificial sweeteners have fewer calories, they aren’t good for your body. So the best you can do is to stop drinking sweetened coffee. Eventually, your taste buds will get used to liking the taste of coffee without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to it. Just be patient.
Slow-cooker vegetable soup
Pro tip: If you feel hungry, first of all, try to drink lots of water. If this doesn’t help ease the hunger, feel free to pick up some snacks throughout the day so that you easily last until your next meal. Most importantly, always pick a healthy snack instead of something sweet and with tons of calories. And if you decide to snack on packaged foods, always read the labels.
Salad with mixed greens, crumbled feta cheese, pumpkin seeds, and olive oil
Pro tip: When you make salads during your diet, feel free to dress them with olive oil (or another oil of your choice) or homemade dressings. If you buy ready-made dressings, carefully read the ingredients because they often contain sugar and bad calories.
2nd Day Sugar Detox: Monday
Smoothie bowl with your favorite fruits and berries + chia seeds
Pro tip: Adding fruits and berries to your meals is good. However, you need to remember that all sweet fruits contain higher calories and natural sugars. Therefore, you have to eat them wisely.
Cannellini bean salad with olive oil
Greek salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, black olives, feta cheese, and olive oil
Pro tip: When you want to have a glass of juice or pop during your lunch or dinner, do never choose sweetened drinks. Instead, try making homemade juices and smoothies. Also, experiment with different combinations of berries, fruits, and greens added to simple water. You will be surprised by how delicious such water can be. On top of that, you can try making protein shakes to boost your consumption of protein. Just keep in mind that protein shakes are also quite high in calories, so be sure to fit them into your diet wisely, especially if weight loss is one of your goals.
3rd Day Sugar Detox: Tuesday
Homemade protein bars with whole grains
Healthy quick moussaka
4th Day Sugar Detox: Wednesday
Oats bowl with fruits, berries, and chia seeds (or other superfoods)
Salmon baked on top of veggies with cheese
Spiced carrot with natural yogurt dipping
5th Day Sugar Detox: Thursday
Whole-grain muesli with raspberries (or other berries of your choice) and chia seeds
Pro tip: To make your Thursday breakfast truly healthy, be very attentive when shopping for muesli. Look for brands that offer natural muesli with no sugar added. Otherwise, there will be almost no health benefits and too many calories in this meal.
Chicken zucchini noodles
Brown rice with roasted veggies
6th Day Sugar Detox: Friday
Tomato and watermelon salad
Pro tip: To make your Friday breakfast truly delicious, add some feta cheese to your salad. Not everyone does this, but feta cheese gives this meal an unforgettable taste.
Tacos with baked fish and avocado
Spiced cabbage slaw with olive oil
Pro tip: Since your lunch was just soup, add a healthy (either protein or fiber) pm snack before dinner. But be sure to keep an eye on calories, you don’t want to have a snack that’s too high in calories. Ideally, it should be quite light. Also, for this dinner, feel free to choose fatty red-meat fish. This kind of fish is full of healthy fats and other nutrients that make it not only delicious but also very good for your body.
7th Day Sugar Detox: Saturday
Banana yogurt pots
Chicken and veggie wraps
Mediterranean baked fish
Here you have an example of a clean, healthy, and delicious 7-day sugar detox meal plan that should help you get all the benefits of going sugar-free. Whether you want to lose weight, clean your body to prevent chronic diseases, boost your energy levels, or just improve your overall health, this sample meal plan should help.
Now, it’s worth noting that the meal plans for this kind of diet can vary significantly. You can replace any meals from this 7-day sugar detox meal plan with foods you like more. Or you can re-do it completely in accordance with your daily routine, cooking abilities, and food preferences. And there are plenty of great sugar-free recipes on the web that you can use in your detox.
Just remember these key rules when shaping your menu:
Consider the number of calories but don’t cut them down rigorously. Ideally, you should take some time to figure out how calories work, calculate the right amount of calories based on your age and body weight, and study which food and snack options contain healthy calories and learn to distinguish them;
Increase your protein and fiber intake;
Feel free to add a snack between your breakfast and lunch, as well as between your lunch and dinner, but, before reaching for a snack, ensure that you only pick healthy options;
Opt for nutritious, whole foods;
Add good fats and superfoods to get even more benefits;
Look for healthier versions of your favorite foods to stay happy and satisfied with your meals;
Always ensure that your menu has a good balance between different elements such as fats, fiber, protein, and others.
What Happens When You Detox From Sugar?
Without any doubt, getting on this meal plan and sticking to it will be hard. Deciding to cut down on sugar, you will have to cook your meals more sophisticatedly, shop wiser, make up for protein and fiber, and plan a detailed menu for every day. On top of that, eating meals that aren’t typical for you can make you feel worse at first. But once you start breaking your sugar habit, that’s when you’ll notice a real change.
According to experts, the longer you stick to a sugar-free diet, the more benefits you get. It helps you cut down on calories and aids in weight loss. As a result, your body gets fitter and more toned. On deeper levels, eliminating sugars from your daily meal can help you regulate your blood sugar and prevent a variety of issues, such as heart disease. Eventually, you improve your overall physical health.
On top of that, a sugar detox diet is great for beauty. Reducing the consumption of added sugar can significantly improve your skin health and make you look better in general. Moreover, such a diet can lower the risks of depression and other mental issues.
In the long run, starting from a detox, you can make a drastic change in your eating habits and overall lifestyle. You will intuitively opt for healthier foods and will learn to grab a healthy snack with you instead of eating whatever you can find in a store when you’re already hungry. And, maybe, you will even correct other lifestyle choices that might be affecting the quality of your life. Namely, you will pay more attention to your sleep patterns, hydration, routine, and other things that can help you achieve well-being. Nevertheless, despite all the benefits, adopting a prolonged no-sugar or low-sugar diet is not recommended without speaking to your healthcare provider first. Withdrawing sugar from your menu could also cause certain harm. After all, sugar provides extra calories that can be transformed into energy. So it’s crucial to do some screening before you commit to this diet in the long run.
Quick and Easy Sugar Detox With Eleviate
So now you have some tips for adjusting your eating habits and preventing issues like fatigue, high blood sugar, and others with the help of a wise no-sugar diet. Nevertheless, you must still have plenty of questions on how to get organized in your diet and achieve the greatest success with minimum stress.
That’s what Eleviate is there for. It is an ultimate mental and physical health tool that will help you ensure your well-being and get healthier. Eleviate offers personalized health treatment plans that align with your goals. Among depression, excessive stress, self-esteem, and other mental health issues, this app can also help you treat eating disorders and start a healthier diet.
With the help of this tool, you can get through your sugar detox faster and easier. Most importantly, you will be able to take good care of your mental health and reduce the negative symptoms you might feel at first. Also, there are many handy extras that you will find here, such as good sets of daily exercises and meditations to keep your mind and body healthy. Thus, if you were looking for a handy health assistant, Eleviate is definitely worth trying!
Pro tip: While the Eleviate app is very helpful, so is the company’s website. On the site, you can find lots of high-quality content on different wellness topics, including nutrition. Reading the articles written by experts, you will be able to learn more about calories, nutrients, proper dieting, and much more. Don’t neglect these additional materials to make your detox diet truly beneficial.