Updated: Aug 28, 2019
Are you ready to complete a 7-Day Sugar Detox? I know I am. Sugar for me has been a crutch. A partner I look to, to fill some void, a pal. Recently, I have noticed that I use sugar and sugary foods to numb my feelings or just eat mindlessly because it is simply there. I remember doing this as a kid too. Food became a competition of how much I could eat. A perfect example of this is Halloween. I was the kid who ate all of the candy I got the same night. Remember the TV Show Man v. Food? Yeah, I am like the main guy. Instead of competing in challenges at a restaurant, I just throw a private competition subconsciously of how much sugar one person can eat in a day. Watch out cookie monster, I am the real cookie queen. It is a very unhealthy pattern that I am choosing to break or reduce to some extent by doing this challenge.
Maybe you relate, maybe you don't, but one thing I do know is that reducing your sugar intake can be beneficial. Why? Consuming too much sugar overtime can have negative effects on the body. For one, reducing sugar consumption allows the liver to take a break. It is constantly working to detoxify the body from what you eat, smell, and interact with on a daily basis. Not only that, a diet high in sugar and fat can impair hippocampal-dependent memory (basically hindering certain aspects of your memory) and increased inflammation in the hippocampal brain region (1).
More reasons to put sugar on hold:
1. Can lead to Weight Gain
3. Increase Risk of Diseases (2)
4. Increase Signs of Aging
5. Sugar can promote the growth of bad bacteria in the gut (3)
6. Can cause hormonal imbalances. (4)
So yeah, sugar isn't that great even though it tastes like a dream. It can lead to numerous health problems if you are consuming too much. Unfortunately for me and many others out there, this is the norm. From sugary drinks, processed foods, even baked homemade sweets can do damage if you are overdoing it. Let me tell you, I have over the years. My own unhealthy patterns with sugar and mindlessly consuming it has affected my own health by affecting my skin and gut. For me, this 7-Day Sugar Detox, even if it is short, signifies a breaking of an unhealthy pattern with food that dates back to my childhood years.
I know this 7-Day Sugar Detox can seem like a lot. It is like a break up, hard at first but overtime it is the new norm. That is why when doing this mini detox you can choose from these one of these two levels when completing this challenge.
Level 1. Bye Bye Refined
In this level, you are just going to eliminate all processed and refined sugars in your diet over the next seven days. This includes cane sugar, corn syrup, rice syrup, and the like. This is found in processed foods, sauces, and most baked goods. Make sure you read labels before you chow down on your favorite granola bar or snack. You can swap out any processed sugars with unrefined versions, like coconut sugar by making homemade versions of the processed or packaged foods you love. If you needing some guidance, you can find 3 Alternatives to Refined Sugar here to help.
Level 2 : So Long, Farewell
Level two is removing all processed, refined and unrefined sugars besides fruit. Luckily this means dates can still be your friend. This level is going cold turkey, meaning that it will be more challenging and you may feel more detox symptoms like cravings and headaches. If any of these things are coming on try incorporating more fruit in your diet or try out one of these naturally sweetened recipes, like these Coconut Cranberry Cookies.
Lastly, here are some tips that I want to provide with you to make it a little bit easier!
1. Replace all refined sugar with natural or unrefined ones. (This is if you are completing Level 1)
2. Replace any packaged or processed foods you’re eating with homemade versions. This includes condiments and dressings! You can try buying sugar-free versions, but again read the labels or make your own.
3. Cut back overall sugars for the day. (The most important)
So are you ready to press reset with this 7-Day Sugar Detox? Click here to download the guide that includes a sample meal plan for the day & sugar-free recipes and ideas. The challenge will begin on Monday, March 18. Keep up and share your progress on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #7DaySugarDetox and tag me @awillowsoul! Best of luck!