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How to do a 3-Day Sugar Detox to Reset Your Mind and Body

Sugar is everywhere you look. And if you’ve ever tried to cut sugar from your diet, you know how difficult it is. Even foods you wouldn’t expect, like carrots, have sugar. The reality is that minimizing sugar intake is vital for our health. This anti-nutrient can prevent you from losing weight (no matter how hard you try), deplete minerals in your body, stress out your liver, increase bad cholesterol levels, cause sleep problems, and lots more.

To help you quit sugar and improve your health, why not try a sugar detox?

What’s a Sugar Detox?

In the simplest terms, a sugar detox rids your body of sugar. There are different ways to cleanse your body from sugar, but probably the most effective one is to quit cold turkey for a few days. Then you can gradually introduce natural, “healthy” sugar (like from fruits), back into your diet.

But, before we go into more depth about how to do a sugar detox, let’s go over the different kinds of sugar and how they can affect your health.

What Is Sugar, Exactly?

Sugar comes in four different forms:

  • Fructose
  • Sucrose
  • High fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Glucose

Fructose is the kind of sugar that occurs naturally in fruit. But still, consuming too much fructose can indeed be bad for your health. The only organ in your body that can break down fructose is the liver. It turns fructose into triglycerides (which can damage liver function), free radicals (which can damage cells), and uric acid (which may cause damage to your arteries).

Sucrose is table sugar, the kind that is added to baked goods, candy, and most foods. Sucrose is composed of a mixture of glucose and fructose. The part that is glucose gets sent to your bloodstream, causing a spike in blood sugar. The part that is fructose gets sent to your liver to be metabolized.

High fructose corn syrup is made from cornstarch. Like sucrose, it’s about 50% fructose and 50% glucose. There’s debate whether it’s worse for you than sucrose, but there’s yet to be enough evidence to support any conclusion. Regardless, HFCS isn’t healthier than table sugar and isn’t a good substitute.

Glucose is your body’s primary source of energy. You don’t need to consume glucose; by eating the right foods, your body creates glucose for you. Having too much glucose in your system causes your blood sugar (otherwise known as blood glucose) to rise, possibly to unhealthy levels. Having too little in your blood can also be unhealthy.

How Much Sugar is Healthy?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there’s no nutritional reason to include added sugar, like the sugar in soda and sweets, in your diet. But if you do, the WHO suggests that a person with a healthy BMI consume no more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day. That’s 25 grams.

Even if you follow a healthy diet, it’s possible that you’re consuming way more sugar than this recommended amount.

Our sugar consumption has risen dramatically over the past 200 or so years. In 2005, Westerners consumed, on average, 152 pounds of sugar a year, compared to 6.3 pounds per year in 1822.

Image from Whole Health Source

Part of that increase is due to lifestyle. Part is due to the amount of sugar included in basically every processed food and drink. And part is because a lot of people don’t know how ubiquitous sugar is. It’s included in products you’d never imagine, like dressings and sauces. One brand of popular pasta sauce has more sugar in one serving than two Oreo cookies!

Best Sugar Substitutes

For a sugar detox, and for long-term health benefits, it’s really best that you take sugar out of your diet completely. It will help get rid of your cravings for good. But if you choose to replace some of your sugar intake with sugar substitutes, there are some that are worse than others.

Best sugar substitutes: natural sweeteners like stevia, pure maple syrup (but in small amounts), dates, and berries.

    • Stevia is derived from highly refined stevia leaf extract called rebaudioside A, has no calories and is 200 times sweeter than sugar (so you can use less and get the same sweet effect).
    • Fresh dates have high levels of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. There are about 20 calories per date, but this depends on the size of the date. The smaller the date, the fewer the calories.
    • If you opt for maple syrup, only pure maple syrup is acceptable. Pure maple syrup contains only natural ingredients, no added sugar, and no artificial color or preservatives. This sweetener contains different vitamins and minerals. It’s especially high in zinc and manganese. However, ⅓ cup of maple sugar contains about 60 grams of sucrose, which is higher than the recommended daily intake.
    • Fresh berries have a lower sugar content than other fruit and can be the best option to naturally sweeten foods like oatmeal and cereal, and drinks like water.

Worst sugar substitutes: artificial sweeteners like saccharin (sweet n low), aspartame (equal), and acesulfame K.

    • Saccharin is linked to inflammation, hormonal imbalance, and chronic illness.
    • Aspartame is linked to headaches in people and cancer in animal studies.
    • Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride, which can cause headaches, depression, nausea, confusion, and possibly cancer.

How Sugar Impacts Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is affected by how much sugar you eat. Seems kind of obvious, right? You eat a lot of sugar, your blood sugar goes up, and when you eat very little or none at all, it goes down

Turns out, blood sugar is a bit more complicated than that.

How does blood sugar work?

Blood sugar is the amount of glucose you have in your bloodstream. How does glucose get in there? From the food you eat. When your body digests foods, especially carbohydrates, it breaks down the different nutrients and sends them all into the bloodstream. One of those nutrients is glucose.

So, your blood sugar rises when you digest food.

What is high blood sugar?

High blood sugar occurs for a few different reasons.

Cause one is from eating a meal that’s high in carbohydrates. Sugar is a simple carb, which means the body is able to digest it quickly. This causes your blood sugar to spike.

Cause two is stress. When you feel stressed, your body releases glucose that your liver has been storing. If you’re constantly feeling stressed, your body will constantly be releasing glucose and raising your blood sugar.

Cause three is your sleep schedule. Cortisol, a hormone that signals your liver to release glucose into your bloodstream, is activated in the morning, when you wake up. In other words, your morning ritual may be accompanied by a shot of glucose.

When your blood sugar is high, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to lower it.

How to lower blood sugar?

High blood sugar signals insulin to get to work and lower the levels of glucose. Extra glucose can be stored as glycogen, which is found mainly in your muscles and liver. But when there’s no more room for glycogen, extra glucose is stored as fat.

There are other ways to keep your blood sugar low, so you don’t need to use as much insulin, and your glucose doesn’t get turned into fat.

One way to lower your blood sugar is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your food. Ideally you wouldn’t consume any added sugar at all. Stick with the fructose that comes in fruit, and only eat a small amount.

Another way to lower blood sugar is to eat complex carbs. Unlike simple carbs like sugar, complex carbohydrates take longer to digest. Glucose is released over a longer period of time, so your blood sugar doesn’t spike. Complex carbs can also give you more energy for a longer period of time.

Another way to lower your blood sugar is to lower your stress level. Reducing stress will reduce cortisol, which in turn lowers your blood sugar.

Why Healthy Blood Sugar is Important

When your blood sugar level is constantly high, it can cause a condition called insulin resistance. If your insulin is constantly at work, it can stop being effective. Instead, excess glucose stays in your bloodstream and your blood sugar is constantly elevated (called hyperglycemia). In the meantime, your body keeps releasing more insulin (called hyperinsulinemia), which ends up promoting fat storage instead.

High blood sugar can also lead to chronic disease, like type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and neurodegenerative disease.

Health Benefits of Reducing Sugar

A few health benefits of reducing your sugar intake have been mentioned throughout this article so far, but let’s do a quick round up of those benefits, and add a few more.

  • Mindful eating: When you pay attention to which foods have sugar, you will begin to notice other important nutritional facts. This can lead to more informed eating habits.
  • Improved dental health: Anyone with a life-long sweet tooth knows how negatively it can impact your teeth! Sugar can create an acidic, cavity-prone mouth.
  • Weight loss: If your diet consists of a lot of sugar, it will be difficult to lose weight, no matter how hard you try. Reducing sugar can help you lose that stubborn fat.
  • Improved energy: Highs and lows of a sugar-fueled diet become a thing of the past. Without sugar, your body can sustain a constant energy level throughout the day.
  • Lowered blood sugar: Having high blood sugar can put you at risk for chronic health problems. Reducing the amount of sugar you consume can help lower that risk.
  • Improved focus: Without sugar, you won’t deal with sugar crashes throughout the day, and your mind will be better able to concentrate on tasks.

11 Tips to Help You With a Sugar Detox

Cleansing your body of sugar can be a challenge, especially if it’s a staple of your diet. The following tips are intended to help you overcome any hurdles you encounter on your sugar detox.

Drink water

When you think you’re craving sugar, that feeling can often be satisfied with water. The liver needs water and glucose to produce glycogen. If you’re thirsty, you’ll also end up craving sugar (glucose). So stay hydrated to avoid that problem!

Get rid of processed and junk foods

Most processed foods contain sugar. Even the foods you least suspect, like potato chips. You could read each individual food label to determine whether the food is worth keeping or throwing out, or you could do much less work and switch completely to whole, unprocessed foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, nuts, and seeds.

Eat a high protein, nutrient-rich breakfast

Protein fills you up and gives you lasting energy. In the morning you’re more likely to crave something sweet, and the most convenient breakfast foods contain sugar. Eggs, protein shakes, and nuts are all high in protein and will train your body to use protein for energy first thing in the morning.

Sleep well

Lack of sleep, or an inconsistent sleep schedule, can raise your stress hormone, cortisol. Poor sleep habits can also interfere with the hormones that control hunger and satiety, leptin and ghrelin.

Lower your stress level

If you’ve heard of emotional eating, you’re familiar with the idea that when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to reach for unhealthy foods and eat more often than you need. By reducing your stress level, you’re more easily able to make smarter, healthier food choices.

Plan ahead

Know your schedule so you can plan your meals and snacks ahead of time. Plan your breakfasts ahead of time, bring your lunch to work, and look at the menu ahead of time if you’re eating out. All of these things can help you avoid sugary, unhealthy foods.

Reduce inflammation

This tip has more to do with your blood sugar levels than sugar in your diet. But removing sugar from your diet is one way to reduce inflammation. Other problem foods are gluten and dairy. People often don’t realize that they are sensitive to these foods until they’ve been removed. So, for best results during your sugar detox, limit or eliminate dairy and gluten from your diet, too.

Include strength training in your exercise routine

Strength training helps your blood sugar stay at a healthy, steady level. Using your muscles requires more glucose, which lowers the levels of glucose in your bloodstream. With lower blood sugar levels, you won’t have a sugar crash and won’t crave sugar later. On a slightly separate note: exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good. When you feel good, you’re less inclined to eat emotionally.

Eat healthy fat

Despite the belief that fat makes you fat, sugar and flour are the real culprits. Healthy fat is polyunsaturated and found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, pasture-raised meat and eggs, and wild-caught fish.

Eat healthy carbohydrates

Carbs are actually essential for our survival. But there’s a difference between the right carbs and wrong carbs. Some healthy carbs you should include during your detox are brown rice, oats, quinoa, and beans. Even low sugar fruit, like berries, apples, pears, and plums, are good healthy carbohydrates to include in your sugar detox.

Avoid starchy, sugary carbs like white and sweet potatoes, corn, beets, and squash during this detox period.

Avoid all sugary drinks

Sugar from beverages gets absorbed into your bloodstream almost immediately. That much sugar all at once is too much for your liver to handle, so it gets stored as belly fat instead. Since these drinks don’t fill you up and the energy boost is short lived, you drink another and another.

Stick to drinks like unsweetened fresh green juice, unsweetened tea, and water.

Is a sugar detox permanent?

A sugar detox is intended to clear your system of unhealthy sugars so that your body can start to function at its best.

Some people are able to incorporate small amounts of sugar back into their diet without going overboard. Others have a more difficult time doing so. Really, whether or not a sugar detox is permanent can be determined by your dependence on it. Some people are able to regulate their sugar intake to include fruits and sweets, but others aren’t able to control their cravings when sugar is introduced back into their diet.

Regardless, the less sugar, the better.

How to do a 3 Day Sugar Detox Diet

For anyone who considers sugar a staple of their diet, the first few days without it can feel impossible. You experience side effects like sugar cravings and headaches. You may feel tired and queasy. The easy thing to do is reach for something sugary–and those symptoms go away. But that’s only a short-term solution, and an unhealthy one at that.

To get rid of those sugar cravings and begin your journey to a healthier you, the 3 Day Sugar Detox might be just what you need.

A few things to consider when planning your own 3 Day Sugar Detox:

  • Breakfast should include about 35 grams of protein to help you feel full throughout the day.
  • Include protein in every meal.
  • Choose healthy proteins like eggs, poultry, fish, and beans.
  • Limit red meat.
  • Avoid processed meat like bacon and cold cuts.
  • For every meal, include about half a plate’s worth of leafy greens, like:
    • Spinach
    • Arugula
    • Kale
    • Collard greens
    • Chard
  • Include about 44 to 77 grams of healthy fats, like avocado, fresh tuna, salmon, and sardines, flaxseeds, olives, and olive oil, every day.

Here is an example of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a 3 Day Sugar Detox.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Breakfast Poached egg with avocado and greens Brussels sprouts hash with mushrooms Tofu scramble
Lunch Leafy green salad with heirloom tomatoes and chicken breast with a vinaigrette dressing Tri-color quinoa with pesto over a bed of spinach, tomatoes, and avocado Leafy green salad with roasted portobello mushroom, asparagus, and bean sprouts
Dinner Tri-color quinoa with pesto over a bed of spinach, tomatoes, and avocado Roasted portobello mushroom with wild rice Roasted sweet potato with grilled tofu and green beans

Is a Sugar Detox Diet Right for You?

Added sugar provides no health benefits and can contribute to high blood sugar and other chronic diseases. If you already deal with low blood sugar or diabetes, you shouldn’t try a sugar detox without discussing the benefits and risks with your doctor. Otherwise, if you’re wondering if you should try a sugar detox, the answer is yes. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Summary Article Name How to do a 3-Day Sugar Detox to Reset Your Mind and Body Description A high-sugar diet could be the culprit behind your health issues. Why not try a sugar detox to improve your health? Let this be your guide. Author Simon Cheng Publisher Name THE FLOW by PIQUE Publisher Logo Spread the Love

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  • Photo: Pond5

    If you eat dinner solely for the chance to chase it with dessert, we hate to break it to you, but it might be time to try a sugar detox. We’re not talking about a five-day fad cleanse, either. “The ultimate goal is to really downplay sugar in the diet and have that be a permanent lifestyle change,” says Bethany Doerfler, RD, LDN, and a clinical research dietician at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.

    RELATED: Detoxing for Beach Season? Here’s Your 5-Day Plan

    Your love for sugary stuff may seem benign, but the truth is that most people are eating way more of it than they need. “Americans currently consume 22 teaspoons of sugar per day,” Doerfler says. That’s more than three times as much as what’s recommended by the American Heart Association.

    Plus, research shows that not-so-innocent sweet tooth could be doing serious damage to your health, leading to weight gain, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and an increased risk for diabetes. In fact, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of The End of Dieting, says eating too much sugar should be considered just as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. “A diet with sugar and high glycemic index foods promotes all the leading causes of death in America,” he says. “I don’t see value in cutting out sugar for a few days and then going back to eating it, but I do see value in cutting it out permanently.”

    Why It’s Hard to Quit Sugar (But Worth It)

    Sugar addiction is no joke. Once you’re hooked, cravings can be hard to resist, leading you down a slippery slope towards obesity and other health problems. “Studies are showing that in some people and animals, the brain can react to sugar very much like it can to drugs and alcohol,” Doerfler says. That’s why when you initially cut added sugars from your diet, you might feel deprived for a few days. “When your body is overloaded with waste, you feel more uncomfortable when not eating that food,” Fuhrman says. “It’s like stopping coffee.”

    “Substitute processed sugars like cake, cookies and sweetened coffees for natural sugars, like fresh fruit.”

    RELATED: Are You Exceeding Your Daily Sugar Intake in Just One Meal?

    Your efforts to cut back on sugar will pay off though. “In the short term, people will notice their energy levels improve right away and after a short period of time they will notice cravings and fatigue diminishes,” Doerfler says.

    Plus, the long-term benefits of cutting back on added sugar in your diet are impossible to ignore. One study published in the journal Circulation showed that sugar-sweetened drinks directly cause the cardiovascular disease and diabetes that kill about 184,000 people worldwide every year.

    Your Sugar Detox Diet, Made Simple

    There’s more than one way to do a sugar detox. “Some patients feel that taking a moderate approach doesn’t really work for them and they need to go cold turkey,” Doerfler says. “But for most people, I recommend cleaning up one meal at a time and then progressing onto the next meal the following day.”

    RELATED: 12 Fast Food Drinks That Aren’t Worth the Calories

    Regardless of the route you go, your number one goal should be to cut added sugars from your diet. That includes most desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages and many processed foods or snacks. In general, men should consume no more than nine teaspoons, or about 36 grams of sugar per day, while women should eat no more than six teaspoons, or about 25 grams, of added sugars per day, according to the American Heart Association. In other words, it’s time to start reading nutrition labels.

    You should also be armed with a plan for when cravings hit. Expect to struggle the most in the afternoon and after dinner when you’re watching TV, Doerfler says. “Often when people are trying to avoid sugar, they go too far and try to take fruit out of their diet and there’s no reason to do that,” Doerfler says. “A better option is to substitute processed sugars like cake, cookies and sweetened coffees for natural sugars, like fresh fruit.”

    RELATED: Are You Eating Too Much Fruit?

    Ready to detox? Here’s a basic meal plan to get you started:

    Your Sugar Detox Diet Guidelines

    Photo: Pond5

    Breakfast: Cereal or oatmeal with fruit on top
    Your bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios might be a secret sugar bomb. Try picking unsweetened oatmeal, or shredded wheat cereal options, instead. “For sweetness, I like people to add their own fruit, rather than letting the cereal company add sugar,” Doerfler says.

    RELATED: 9 Easy Overnight Oats Recipes

    Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote

    Lunch: Grilled chicken, fish or tofu with a veggie salad
    Your goal at lunch is to fuel your body and fend off that inevitable afternoon crash for as long as possible. “I think having veggies and a protein at lunch is great way to give people a midday boost,” Doerfler says.

    RELATED: 7 Healthy Lunch Ideas Your Friends Will Want to Steal

    Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair

    3 p.m. snack: Nuts or veggies with hummus
    Welcome to the danger zone. “At about 3 p.m. our circadian rhythm starts to drop and that’s a time of fatigue for everybody,” Doerfler says. “Expect that you’re going to get the munchies and have a game plan in place.” For easy, portable ideas, check out this list of low-calorie foods that will actually fill you up.

    RELATED: 15 Quick and Portable High-Protein Snacks

    Photo and Recipe: Renee Blair

    Dinner: Whole-wheat pasta with chicken and vegetables
    You might be avoiding sugar, but whole-wheat carbs are still totally OK. “Dinner is when I like people to add another whole-grain in — whole-wheat pasta, couscous, or sweet potatoes,” Doerfler says. One cup of cooked pasta is considered a good serving size — take your pick and fill up.

    RELATED: 30-Minute Quick, Healthy Dinner Ideas

    Photo and Recipe: Perry Santanachote

    Dessert: Fresh fruit
    It’s time to redefine dessert. “Fruit is probably the lowest sugar snack option available and it’s loaded with antioxidants and fiber, which helps people lose weight and feel full,” Doerfler says. If you truly can’t live without a little dark chocolate before bed (we feel you), Doerfler says you can indulge — as long as you limit your treat to a single portion size.

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    What Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, Says:

    Does It Work?

    Giving up potatoes, corn, white rice, bread from refined flour, beets, carrots, beer, and refined sugars can certainly lead to weight loss, especially if your usual diet includes lots of these foods and beverages.

    Sugar Busters! works by cutting calories from added sugars and processed foods, and by adding foods that help you feel full. A diet rich in high-fiber vegetables, stone-ground whole grains, lean meats, fish, healthy fats, low-fat dairy, and fruits are the foundation of most healthy weight loss plans.

    Testimonials from people who have done the Sugar Busters! Diet are not backed up with scientific evidence, though.

    Is It Good for Certain Conditions?

    The diet promises to lower your cholesterol, help you achieve optimal wellness, increase your energy, and help treat diabetes and other diseases.

    Controlling blood sugars with low-glycemic foods and cutting out sugar and refined grains is a formula that should work for most people with diabetes or insulin resistance.

    With the restriction of most processed foods, anyone on a low-sodium diet will find this plan helpful.

    Check with your doctor before starting the diet.

    The Final Word

    Sugar Busters! is a template for healthy eating without counting calories or weighing or measuring portions. People who want to curb sugar cravings and clean up their diet will enjoy this adaptable and manageable diet plan. It’s ideal for anyone who wants a flexible approach to eating healthy that doesn’t include counting calories.

    It’s not for people who eat out often, because avoiding processed foods can be hard at restaurants.

    7-Day Sugar-Detox Meal Plan: 1,200 Calories

    Hit reset and get your healthy eating habits back on track with this simple 7-day sugar-detox meal plan. Slashing your sugar intake can help stabilize energy levels, curb an overactive appetite (which is especially helpful when trying to lose weight) and prevent chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.

    Related: I Gave Up Sugar for 30 Days-Here’s What Happened

    Our bodies are well-equipped to naturally “detox” (thanks to the gut, liver and kidneys, which work together to filter out impurities). If you’re an otherwise healthy person, you don’t need to “cleanse” or “detox” but if you’ve been eating too much sugar or refined or processed foods lately, you may feel like you need a break from those foods in particular. This detox diet plan does just that and fuels your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy while limiting foods, like added sugar, that can do harm when you have too much.

    1,200-Calorie Sugar Detox Meal Plan

    In this healthy meal plan, we cut out all forms of added sugar (think granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup and all of these other names for sugar you may see in packaged foods) and load up on delicious whole foods for a week of satisfying sugar-free meals and snacks. What you will find are lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, filling lean protein and healthy fats. This balanced week of clean eating will help you to feel refreshed, energized and good about what’s on your plate. Plus, at 1,200 calories, you’ll be on track to lose a healthy 1 to 2 pounds per week. Not sure if this is the right calorie level for you? Calculate your daily calorie goal and then choose between this 1,200 calorie plan or the 1,500- or 1,800-calorie versions.

    How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

    Read the Meal-Prep Tips throughout the meal plan for information on how you can prep-ahead and use leftovers during the week. And don’t miss the Clean-Eating Shopping Tips for pointers on how to find versions of packaged foods with the least amount of added sugars.

    1. Bake the Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato in the morning on Day 1. Individually wrap the remaining quiches in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. You’ll be having this again for breakfast on Days 3 and 6. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.
    2. Start the Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup in the morning on Day 1 so it’s ready in time for lunch. Refrigerate 2 servings to have for lunch on Day 2 and dinner on Day 6. Any leftover soup can be frozen for up to 6 months.
    3. Make the Peanut Butter-Oat Energy Balls to have for snacks on Days 2, 3 & 5. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.

    Day 1

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    Breakfast (299 calories)

    • 2 Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato
    • 1 medium orange
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    Lunch (343 calories)

    • 1 1/2 cups Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
    • 2 cups mixed greens dressed with 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette and topped with 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

    Meal-Prep Tip: Save leftover Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette for lunch on Day 4 and dinner on Day 6.

    P.M. Snack (108 calories)

    • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    • 1/4 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
    • 2 tsp. chia seeds

    Blend raspberries together with yogurt and chia seeds to create a quick smoothie.

    Dinner (447 calories)

    • 1 serving Roasted Salmon with Smoky Chickpeas & Greens

    Daily Totals: 1,197 calories, 97 g carbohydrates, 29 g fiber, 73 g protein, 61 g fat, 1,950 mg sodium.

    Day 2

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    Breakfast (287 calories)

    • 1 1/3 cups Muesli with Raspberries
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    Clean-Eating Shopping Tip: When buying muesli, look for a brand that doesn’t have added sugars, which take away from the healthy goodness of this whole-grain breakfast.

    A.M. Snack (78 calories)

    • 1 hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each of salt & pepper

    Lunch (346 calories)

    • 1 1/2 cups Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
    • 1 slice Everything Bagel Avocado Toast

    Clean-Eating Shopping Tip: Use sprouted-grain bread during your sugar detox; it’s made without added sugars, unlike many store-bought breads.

    P.M. Snack (73 calories)

    • 1 serving Peanut Butter-Oat Energy Balls

    Dinner (434 calories)

    • 2 cups No-Cook Black Bean Salad
    • 1/4 cup hummus
    • 1/2 cup cucumber slices for dipping into hummus

    Meal-Prep Tip: Refrigerate 1 serving of the No-Cook Black Bean Salad for lunch on Day 3.

    Daily Totals: 1,219 calories, 158 g carbohydrates, 45 g fiber, 53 g protein, 51 g fat, 1,937 mg sodium.

    Day 3

    Image zoom

    • 2 Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato
    • 1 medium orange
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (64 calories)

    • 1 cup raspberries

    Lunch (322 calories)

    • 2 cups No-Cook Black Bean Salad
    • 1 serving Peanut Butter-Oat Energy Balls

    Dinner (454 calories)

    • 2 1/2 cups Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl

    Meal-Prep Tip: When making the Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl for dinner, prepare the associated recipes linked to on the recipe page (Easy Brown Rice, Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Veggies, Soy-Lime Roasted Tofu and Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce). This way, you’ll have leftovers for lunch later in the week-you’ll use these same ingredients in the Edamame & Veggie Rice Bowl on Day 4 and the Roasted Veggie Mason Jar Salad on Day 6.

    Daily Totals: 1,213 calories, 133 g carbohydrates, 33 g fiber, 54 g protein, 59 g fat, 1,282 mg sodium.

    Day 4

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    Breakfast (250 calories)

    • 1 slice Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
    • 1 hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each salt & pepper
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    Lunch (394 calories)

    • 2 cups Edamame & Veggie Rice Bowl

    P.M. Snack (62 calories)

    • 1 medium orange

    Dinner (497 calories)

    • 1 serving Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto

    Meal-Prep Tip: Cook an extra 3 oz. of chicken to use in the lunch recipe on Day 5.

    Daily Totals: 1,202 calories, 104 g carbohydrates, 26 g fiber, 52 g protein, 69 g fat, 1,242 mg sodium.

    Day 5

    Image zoom

    • 1 1/3 cups Muesli with Raspberries
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (287 calories)

    • 2 Tbsp. hummus
    • 1/3 cup cucumber slices

    Lunch (370 calories)

    • 1 serving Chicken & Apple Kale Wraps
    • 1 serving Peanut Butter-Oat Energy Balls

    Dinner (423 calories)

    • 1 serving Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl
    • 2 cups mixed greens dressed with 2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce

    Meal-Prep Tip: Save a serving of the Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl to have for lunch on Day 7. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months for an easy ready-made lunch or dinner down the road.

    Daily Totals: 1,210 calories, 123 g carbohydrates, 30 g fiber, 55 g protein, 62 g fat, 1,167 mg sodium.

    Day 6

    Image zoom

    • 2 Muffin-Tin Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato
    • 1 cup herbal tea
    • 1 medium orange

    Lunch (400 calories)

    • 4 cups Roasted Veggie Mason Jar Salad

    P.M. Snack (162 calories)

    • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    • 1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

    Blend raspberries together with yogurt and chia seeds to create a quick smoothie.

    Dinner (343 calories)

    • 1 1/2 cups Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
    • 2 cups mixed greens dressed with 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette and topped with 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

    Daily Totals: 1,205 calories, 100 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 66 g protein, 69 g fat, 1,806 mg sodium.

    Day 7

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    Breakfast (352 calories)

    • 2 cups Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl
    • 1 cup herbal tea
    • 1 hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each salt & pepper

    Lunch (329 calories)

    • 1 serving Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl

    P.M. Snack (46 calories)

    • 1 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce
    • 1/2 cup cucumber slices for dipping

    Dinner (406 calories)

    • 1 serving Baked Fish Tacos with Avocado
    • 1 cup Spicy Cabbage Slaw

    Daily Totals: 1,210 calories, 101 g carbohydrates, 21 g fiber, 56 g protein, 67 g fat, 1,519 mg sodium.

    Watch: What Healthy Eating Looks Like: 1-Day Detox Meal Plan

    See More:

    3-Day Clean-Eating Kick-Start Meal Plan

    14-Day Clean-Eating Meal Plan: 1,200 Calories

    What Happens When You Consume Too Much Sugar

    Dr. Fuhrman Shares the Benefits of Quitting Sugar Cold Turkey (3:17)

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    Sugar addiction can be ubiquitous and dangerous. A high-glycemic diet, heavy in processed carbohydrates, does not only create weight gain and increase risk of diabetes and heart disease; it also is a powerful contributor to cancer, especially breast cancer. High sugar intake is also linked to depression and later-life dementia.

    From This Episode:

    New Health Rules You’ll Love

    This can be as dangerous as addiction to alcohol or drugs and what makes this a big problem is so many people are eating unhealthfully and oblivious to the risks.The overuse of sweets also weakens the taste buds, so the subtle flavor of naturally sweet fruits lose their flavor.

    Why You Need to Quit Sugar Cold Turkey

    It is usually more effective if all sugar and processed sweets are cut out completely. It’s not going to be easy, but within a few days, it will reset your body so you are not craving sweets. Right now the majority of people experience “toxic hunger.” Toxic hunger is actually withdrawal symptoms people misinterpret as being hungry. Just like a drug addict experiences withdrawal symptoms when they quit a drug, people experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop eating a food they are addicted to, like sugar. These symptoms come on quickly, as soon as digestion is finished, you can feel queasy, tired and headachy, so you assume you are hungry again, eat more, your digestion restarts and the bad feelings go away. Then the cycle repeats itself, keeping you sick and overweight. If you can let these mild uncomfortable sensations come and go over a few days, you will find it’s much easier to control your food cravings and desire to overeat and eat sweets. Plus, during this process we will be flooding the body with micronutrients and phytochemicals to help the brain cope and break this cycle.

    Give Up Sugar for 3 Days

    After three days of being off sweets, your headaches and fatigue will lift and you’ll have less intense needs for a sugar fix. Then we can really begin the work of retraining the taste buds, to enjoy food with a lower level of sugar intensity and in normal amounts.

    What You Should Get Rid Of

    When a sugar addict eats even a small amount of sugar, they want more and more. Their intention may be to have a few scoops of ice cream and before you know it, they’ve eaten the entire tub. We have to break the cycle that triggers the brain into a binge attack, and it gives us a window to allow significant withdrawal and detox to take place. Without this withdrawal period, you’ll continue to experience recurrent uncomfortable symptoms whenever not eating sweets. This means no honey, no maple syrup, no agave nectar, no artificial sweeteners and nothing sweet except for fresh fruit.

    Be Prepared for Toxic Hunger

    It may be a tough 72 hours, but you won’t be left without a life raft. We are going to be putting some great foods, in sugar’s place that will minimize the discomfort and arm you with what you need to make the transition easier. And, over time, your taste buds and food preferences change, and the old addictive drives and cravings fall away.

    What to Eat Instead

    Eat slow fats and slow carbs. Slow foods are foods that take a long time to digest, and these squash sugar cravings because they provide you with a steady stream of calories in your bloodstream, versus a flood all at once. Fast carbs, like white bread, fruit juice and pasta, turn to sugar, spiking a rise of glucose in your bloodstream. This causes an excessive spike in insulin, leading to wide swings in glucose and setting you up for fat storage and cravings. Your body also can’t burn this huge caloric load for energy, so they ramp up the fat storage hormones and store them as fat.

    These types of food also cause that “toxic hunger,” symptoms triggered when your glucose is at its lowest, which will send you in search of more sweets soon after you finish digesting those fast carbs and fats. The king and queen of slow foods are beans and nuts.

    How Much Slow Foods to Eat

    At least two ounces of nuts and seeds a day, with meals, not snacks.

    At least a half cup of beans, preferably a cup, and at least one serving of intact whole grains (such as steel-cut oats) and high-carb vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, lentils or peas.

    This can be done with dishes such as a vegetable bean soup or chili and a mixed vegetable dish with a roasted garlic and almond dressing. Eating white bread, oil and salt will also sabotage your efforts to reduce sweet cravings.

    When to Eat Slow Foods

    At every meal. Try a whole grain like steel-cut oats with seeds and berries for breakfast. A salad with a nut-based dressing for lunch and bowl of bean soup or chili. And a vegetable casserole and steamed green vegetable with a bean mushroom burger and fresh or frozen fruit desert for dinner. If using animal products, only use a small amount with dinner and try to stay mostly vegetarian.

    The Second Meal Effect

    Even though beans are high in protein, it is the special type of carbohydrates in beans that cause these effects. This is really interesting. You would never think beans would help you break your sugar addiction, but studies show that people who ate beans at one meal, were able to lessen their glycemic reaction at second meal. This means that if you had a bean burrito at dinner, not only would you have better glycemic control after that meal but, if you decided to have fruit or bread with breakfast the next morning, it would prevent that big sugar rush you would typically get from the bread. This happens because the good bacteria that proliferate in our gut as a result of eating beans produces a certain chemical that slows the rate in which food leaves our stomach and intestines. So those beans are still doing their work at your second meal and even the days that follow if you eat beans regularly, preventing that insulin spike associated with further cravings and fat storage. Eat steel-cut oats and coarsely ground whole-grain breads.

    How Many Beans to Eat

    This includes all beans, including lentils and chickpeas. I recommend people eat at least half a cup of beans every day. Make a big soup on the weekend with plenty of beans, make bean burgers and bean chili and stews, and add beans to desserts. We put beans in almost everything because they are so powerful at preventing heart disease and cancer and extending life span. And, since you eat all these greens, legumes and seeds and nuts, you effortlessly eat less of everything else. More vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds, less processed foods and animal products.

    When to Add Sugar Back In

    Sugar can be added back into your diet the right way, from real fruit. When you eat a piece of chocolate cake, your body breaks down the white flour into simple glucose in the stomach, which is then absorbed into bloodstream within minutes along with all the other sugar in there. We don’t want that, so what you should do is use only fruit and unsulfured dried fruit as a sweetener because it is combined with fiber and pectin. This causes it to be absorbed and digested slower than when you are just eating your typical cupcake. So, the result is that insulin rises slower, and this prevents sugar being stored as fat. It also reduces cravings.

    I replace all the sugar in recipes with dried fruits like dates and replace white flour with things like rolled oats and nuts. And then of course, add some beans to the recipes too. You get healthy desserts that taste great too.

    I also encourage people to eat dessert every day, but only after dinner. Have fruit with your lunch and then a fruit-sweetened dessert or frozen fruit dessert after dinner. When you eat something sweet after dinner, it satisfies sweet cravings and acts as the psychological mark to the end of eating for the rest of the day. You clean the kitchen, clean your teeth and get away from food for the rest of the night. But it is the type of sweets you’re having that matters. Swap out your usual recipes for cakes, cookies, pies and ice cream, and try healthier alternatives, like my healthy chocolate cake and apple crunch pie recipes.

    Dr. Fuhrman’s Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss

    (Please note the same foods that fight cancer fight fat storage)

    1. Eat a large green salad as your main dish at least once a day, with a healthy dressing.

    2. Eat two ounces of nuts and seeds a day. Include walnuts and flax seeds.

    3. Eat some beans every day, in a soup, chili or burger.

    4. Eat a large serving of cooked green vegetables every day.

    5. Eat one fresh fruit with each meal

    Remember, you need to flood your cells with micronutrients from lots of healthy foods if you are going to get rid of food addictions, cravings and chronic emotional overeating.

    This plan was originally created for Dr. Oz’s Truth Tube. See how Catarah and Shoneji did when they tried this sugar detox.

    What happens when you quit sugar? A lot of good stuff, but also a lot of, well, annoying stuff. 8fit recently ran a 21-day sugar detox challenge to help 8fitters break up with sugar for good and find new, healthier ways to satisfy cravings. As 8fit’s resident social media aficionado, I felt inspired to join in myself and share my story.

    Wondering who I am?

    My name is Emily. I work on the editorial team here at 8fit and also teach weekly yoga classes in the office. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve definitely seen me there. In addition to loving writing, yoga and all things nutrition and fitness-related, I also love sweets. I was very eager to start my detox journey and experience the benefits of quitting sugar.

    Full disclosure: I don’t normally eat foods with added or processed sugar or artificial sweeteners. They’re something I consciously cut out of my diet almost two years ago. Of course, I can’t always control added sugar when I’m eating out, but I definitely don’t add it to meals I cook at home. You might be thinking, “Sounds like you don’t have a sugar problem!” Well, I love honey, maple syrup, fruits and dried fruits. While these natural added sweeteners do contain slightly higher amounts of antioxidants and minerals, they’re still sugar and therefore have the same blood sugar-spiking, addictive properties.

    Start your transformation todayGet Your Meal Plan

    Understanding my sweet tooth

    My sweet tooth developed as a child. I loved sugary cereals, chocolate chip cookies, homemade brownies and ice cream. Ice cream was on the menu before bed every night. This kind of snacking got increasingly healthier as I got older, but the habits still stuck. I found myself always reaching for “sweet” snacks over savory ones, and while those snacks didn’t include processed sugar, they still contained high amounts of natural sugars.

    Recently, I started to notice my sweet tooth was a problem when I would pass by the 8fit snack kitchen after lunch and grab a square (or two) of dark chocolate out of habit, not because I was hungry. I also started to notice that I was enjoying a spoonful of honey after dinner because I like the sweetness to “cleanse the palate.” I’m also the queen of making desserts “healthy” by swapping processed sugar for natural stuff.

    Benefits of not eating sugar

    It was clear to me that sugar was becoming a problem, so when this 8fit Sugar Detox idea came about, I volunteered without hesitation. 🙋As someone who has worked in the fitness and nutrition industry for quite some time now, I’ve learned of — and studied — the addictive qualities of sugar so I know exactly why my sugar-eating habits haven’t died down.

    That said, I also know that cutting out sugar from my diet would produce some favorable results. Here are some common benefits of not eating sugar include:

    • Weight loss: Sugar has calories, but no nutritional value; eating sugar causes us to crave even more sugar

    • Reduced bloat: Artificial sweeteners are notorious for causing bloating

    • Mindful eating: Consciously avoiding certain ingredients (in this case: sugar) leads to more mindful eating habits

    • Better dental health: Sugary sodas, juices and candies create an acidic, cavity-promoting environment in the mouth

    • Sustained energy: Sugar crashes become a thing of the past; experience stable energy levels all day long

    What to eat on a no sugar diet

    Spend a few days — or a week — assessing your diet. Read every label, check the ingredient list on all the recipes you cook, and pay attention to how much fruit you consume. After a few days of this, you should be able to identify your problem areas and know what to add or eliminate.

    The best way to gain control and detox from sugar is by preparing and cooking your own foods. Cooking my own meals is already part of my routine but for some, this might be one of the biggest challenges. Buy as many fresh vegetables and fruits low on the glycemic index as you can and keep meals simple. If you must buy something like hummus, nut butter, yogurt or dairy alternatives, choose foods with a short ingredient list and zero added sugar.

    Ideal foods to eat

    During a sugar detox, we encourage you to focus your meals around things like fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, good sources of protein and unsweetened dairy because the natural sugars in these foods are paired with complementary nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber.

    If you must have something sweet, try:

    • 2-3 servings of fresh fruit per day paired with protein or fat (e.g. unsweetened yogurt, a handful of nuts, cheese, etc.)

    • Fresh jam or jelly without added sugar

    • Homemade flavored water

    • If you have alcohol, choose wine, light beer or spirits with soda water

    Foods to avoid

    There are a number of foods to avoid on a no sugar diet. We don’t encourage fruit juices or smoothies with juice added. Even if these juices don’t have added sugar, they have fiber removed leading to similar blood sugar-spiking effects on your body.

    Here are some foods to avoid:

    • Processed sugars (cane sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, maltose, liquid fructose)

    • Processed foods with real or artificial sugar added

    • Limit dried fruit and other fruits high on the glycemic index c(bananas, pineapples, carrots, watermelon)

    • Limit high-sugar vegetables (parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes)

    What happens when you quit sugar

    Now I’d like to share my personal 21-day sugar detox experience week by week. Each week had highs and lows tied to energy, temptations, mood swings and cravings, too.

    • Week 1: During the first week, I felt energized but had to work hard to fight the post-lunch sugar craving a couple of days. I noticed then when I drank enough water and ate a big, fresh salad for lunch, I didn’t experience those post-lunch cravings. I only wanted something sweet because it tastes good. Over the weekend, I was traveling and found it difficult to resist ice cream. To satisfy my sweet craving and beat the heat, I drank extra water and opted for green-forward juices and smoothies each day.

    • Week 2: The second week I was pleasantly surprised to find I was even more energized than the week before. I woke up refreshed, felt invigorated through the “afternoon slump” period of the day and had loads of energy to keep moving and grooving after work.

    • Week 3: The last week was a little tricky. My family came to visit and I had to balance eating out with the sugar detox challenge. I was able to cook some meals at home and avoid sugar at lunchtime, but dinner was out of my hands. I did my best to choose foods that didn’t have any added sugar, but couldn’t be sure about some of the sauces and dressings. I didn’t let this loss of control stress me out. Instead, I ate mindfully, I stopped when I was full, and I resisted dessert even though everyone else was having them.

    After the 21 days were up, I was proud of myself. It’s been two weeks since the challenge ended and I still haven’t gone back to adding honey, maple syrup or agave to my coffee, oatmeal or smoothies. I also haven’t indulged in many sweets — only a pastry. When I taste something sweet, it tastes extra sweet — which is a turn-off. This challenge helped me make a needed change and I’m so happy I gave it a go. I feel energized, my bloating has gone down and, while I wasn’t eating poorly, I’m definitely more veggie and protein-packed meal focused.

    Your sugar detox plan

    If you’re interested in trying the 8fit 21-day sugar detox on your own, you’ll find some useful resources here. The official challenge (with weekly rewards) has ended, but you can still give it a go on your own to help kick your sugar cravings and find that added support from the 8fit community on social media and follow our Sugar Detox Guide.

    Here’s the plan — remember to tag #8fitSugarDetox and #8fit in your photos for extra 8fit community support:

    Day 1: Why are you doing this challenge? Post a photo explaining your “why” on Instagram.

    Day 2: Time to rid your pantry and fridge of any sweet temptations and go shopping. Share a picture of the sugar temptations you’re getting rid of (or hiding).

    Day 3 : Juices and sodas are big sugar culprits. Share a photo of a healthy beverage you enjoy today.

    Day 4: Dehydration leads to false feelings of hunger and sugar cravings. Share a picture of your tall glass of water or photo showing how you’re keeping track of how many glasses you’ve had.

    Day 5: Fit Friday! Moving helps curb sugar cravings. Share the way you’re staying active today. Maybe it’s a walk, bike ride, dance class, squats while making dinner — whatever.

    Day 6: Share a picture of a healthy, no-sugar meal you’re enjoying today. Recipe ideas here!

    Day 7: You’re one week into your detox. Are your feeling sugar withdrawals or cravings? Share a selfie and explain how you’re feeling.

    Day 8: Going into the second week, you might be in need of some motivation. Post a photo and in the caption share your favorite motivational quote.

    Day 9: Did you do any meal prep this week? Share a photo of a meal you prepared ahead of time. No prep? No problem. Do some today and share a picture.

    Day 10: Time to brag about breakfast! What did you eat today?

    Day 11: Time for a mid-challenge fridge and pantry check-in! Share a picture of the healthy, sugar-free foods in your fridge or pantry.

    Day 12: Get out for a walk, take the stairs or make time for an 8fit HIIT workout. That last one is super easy because most workouts are 15-minutes or less. Post a sweaty selfie or a screenshot of the workout you just completed.

    Day 13: Need a healthy dinner idea? Here are some sugar-free recipes you’ll find in your 8fit app! Try one and post a photo.

    Day 14: Another week done and dusted. Do some meal prep to stay on track for the final week and share a photo of the process. Here are some yummy lunch ideas.

    Day 15: It’s always good to start the final week with some motivation. Post a photo of someone who inspires you to live your healthiest, happiest life.

    Day 16: Craving dessert but don’t want to give into sugar cravings? Here are some “no sugar sweet treats”from the 8fit app. Share a picture of the treat you’re enjoying today.

    Day 17: Read this article and then post a photo showing how you’re following through with tip #2.

    Day 18: The challenge is almost over! How’s it going? Post a photo and use the caption to describe how you’re doing.

    Day 19: It’s that time again — time for more movement! Kick any yearnings for sugar by going for a walk, run, or bike ride. Share a photo as proof.

    Day 20: You’ve eaten a lot of healthy things during this #8fitSugarDetox. Share a photo of your favorite sugar-free meal.

    Day 21: Can you believe you made it to day 21? Pat yourself on the back and post a final recap of how you feel at the end of this challenge.

    We can’t wait to see your progress through this #8fitSugarDetox journey. Remember, If you fall off the wagon, get back on. Use these 21-days as a learning experience.

    The right way to ‘sugar detox’

    In an age of free-from diets, it is imperative we try going sugar-free at least once. Find out if it helps you
    Amongst the many things that our modern ‘processed’ lifestyle has given us, one of the most vital is the sugar rush. No matter how many bland cups of green tea you down in a day, the fact remains that you are still consuming way more sugar than your ancestors did. Consultant therapeutic nutritionist Manjari Chandra says, “Sugar is addictive. You eat sugar and you have a feeling of euphoria and then suddenly you don’t feel good and crash out. Then you reach for more. The urban world’s sweet consumption has upped 20-30 per cent in a decade.”

    The American Heart Association recommends about 36 gm of sugar per day for men, and no more than six teaspoons (about 25 gm) for women. While, it may sound like a reasonable amount, what one needs to factor in is the ‘hidden sugar’ that goes into your system through almost everything you eat in a day — from breads, pastas, sauces to fat-free yogurts. So, weaning off sugar completely isn’t a realistic proposition. What, perhaps, is more feasible is an experimental sugar detox to reset sugar cravings and eating habits. When people go for a detox, it resets their appetite and often decreases sugar cravings. After the initial yearning, which can be overwhelming, our bodies adjust slowly till we can do without wanting the same amount of sugar.
    Instead of going into a sweet detox blindfolded, get a few basics in place…
    What’s a sugar detox?
    According to Chandra, “Sugar detox is abstinence from sugar of all categories. It begins with no consumption of direct sugars, such as table sugar, sweets, desserts, sweet beverages, colas, fruit juices with added sugar, even honey and jaggery. The second category of food removed from the diet is processed foods, such as packed cereal, tinned/ canned fruits, all spreads, jams, sauces and dressings and all bakery and confectionery such as bread, cookies, dinner rolls and buns. A sugar detox diet also bans starchy vegetables such as sweet potato and sugar-rich fruits such as mangoes, bananas and grapes.”
    Right way to do it…
    Sugar is an addiction. Many scientific studies have shown that the part of the brain which lights up or feels happy with sugar intake is the same area that’s affected when you consume cocaine. Hence, the withdrawal symptoms hit you once you go for a detox. “Giving up sugar is not easy, but it can be done if other sources of food that provide indirect glucose to the brain are had in reasonable quantities,” says Dr Anjali Hooda Sangwan, a clinical nutritionist. Your ultimate goal should be to downplay sugar in your diet and make that a permanent lifestyle change. Avoid carbohydrates and follow a regimen similar to the Atkins Diet – a high-protein diet. It is after all carbohydrates, not fat, that’s the real enemy. So, eat a lot of protein to curb sweet cravings since protein-rich food doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels like carbs do. Start by substituting processed sugar with natural sugar — like fresh fruit, not too much of it though. And be armed with a plan when cravings hit.
    Prep-up the body
    “There are no huge side-effects of going sugar-less since sugar is in everything we eat. As long as one is consuming carb-rich food like bread and cereals and even carb-low healthy soups, fruits and nuts, there won’t be a feeling of deprivation,” says Dr Sangwan. But this doesn’t rule out some obvious sugar withdrawal symptoms like a crash in mood, feelings of anger and anxiety, general fatigue, headache, depression, dizziness, and irritability. When you stop consuming sugar, your dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres) levels may temporarily drop, leading to various psychological symptoms. Although the symptoms vary from person to person, one must be prepared to face them for the initial phase of detox. Keep the cures handy. Consume lean protein, fruits like blueberries and apples, as well as nuts for additional nutrients.
    Healthy substitutes
    While some sugars — brown, honey to palm — are known to be healthy sweet alternatives, experts don’t agree with the view. “Sugar is sugar, no matter what colour. It is the amount of sugar consumed that really matters. If you end up eating heaps of brown sugar, it will affect the body the same way as refined table sugar,” says Dr Sangwan. Don’t pile on artificial sweeteners either. If anything, these lab-made, calorie-free powders can make you more of a slave to sweet foods. Because they are many times sweeter than sugar — they essentially dull your taste buds and make you crave things with similar levels of sweetness. Instead, try the powdered extract of the South American stevia plant, which is a zero-calorie sugar substitute that’s 100 per cent natural. Or something like cinnamon for a natural, subtle sweet taste. (Consult a doctor before changing your diet)

    Sugar Detox Diet

    The Sugar Detox Diet is created by nutritionist Brooke Alpert and dermatologist Dr. Patricia Farris. Together they have designed a plan to help you kick the sugar-habit for improved wellbeing and a more youthful appearance.

    The average American consumes around 150 pounds of sugar a year and this has a dramatic effect on health. Diabetes is not the only condition that is caused by an excessive consumption of sugar.

    It also can lead to a range of problems including:

    • Fatigue
    • Premature aging
    • Atherosclerosis
    • Heart disease
    • Alzheimer’s
    • Cataracts
    • Candida Overgrowth

    The Sugar Detox includes a 31-day plan to control your blood sugar, boost energy, release excess weight and improve your skin.

    Sugar Detox Diet Basics

    The 3-Day Sugar Fix

    The program starts with a three-day detox plan to get the sugar out of your system. You will stop consuming sugar cold turkey because this is the best way to break free of your dependence.

    During these three days you must strictly avoid all forms of sugar including fruit.

    You may experience fatigue, headaches, and cravings as you detox off sugar. These symptoms usually resolve as you continue the program.

    The 3-Day Skin Fix

    The 3-Day Sugar Fix can be challenging. So you are encouraged to pamper yourself with soothing spa-like treatments that can be done in your own home including:

    • Ancient Beauty Bath
    • Mud Mask
    • Antioxidant Mask

    These treatments contain natural ingredients and have therapeutic benefits to improve your skin health and beauty.

    The Weekly Sugar-Detox Plans

    Once you have completed the 3-Day Sugar Fix you will continue for another 28 days with a more flexible approach. Each week of the four-week plan is slightly different with more options gradually being added to your menu.

    Week 1: Adds a serving of dairy each day and a glass of wine three times a week.
    Week 2: Fruit is reintroduced to your diet and you can have an extra serving of dairy.
    Week 3: You can have whole grains and dark chocolate.
    Week 4: Allows for more starches and fruit.

    The Sugar Detox Foods

    Vegetables are the number one feature in the Sugar Detox meal plan. You are allowed to eat an unlimited amount of veggies as long as they are on the approved list. Vegetables are beneficial because they have virtually no impact on your blood sugar levels and rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

    Healthy fats are also highlighted because they benefit blood sugar control and prevent cardiovascular disease. Foods containing healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocado, olives and coconut.

    The eating plan also includes lean proteins, legumes, whole grains and fresh fruit (in moderation).

    Additional Acceptable Foods

    Meal Plan Example

    Breakfast

    Goat Cheese and Spinach 3-Egg Omelet

    Morning Snack

    Chia Seed Pudding

    Lunch

    Baked Chicken with Spices
    Asparagus and Mushroom Salad

    Afternoon Snack

    1 oz cashews sprinkled with cinnamon and cayenne
    1 medium apple

    Dinner

    Baked Shrimp with Spinach and Tomato

    Replace Sugar With Exercise

    You are encouraged to use exercise to replace the energy-boost that you used to get from sugar.

    During the 3-day sugar detox it is best to avoid strenuous activity and stick with walking or yoga.

    After that you will do a combination of cardio, resistance training and stretching exercises.

    Costs and Expenses

    The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger retails at $24.99.

    Buy this book from Amazon.

    Pros

    • Helps you overcome sugar addiction and cravings.
    • The Sugar Detox Diet was created by a clinical nutritionist.
    • Includes a 31-day meal plan with recipes.
    • Can be adapted for vegetarians and vegans.
    • Offers guidance for maintaining the benefits after the 31-day plan is completed.
    • Provides an exercise program for beginners to advanced exercisers.
    • Includes unique advice and protocols for skin care.

    Cons

    • Does not provide detailed information about the negative effects of sugar.
    • The first three days are very restrictive and require complete elimination of sugar, fruit, wheat, starch, dairy, and alcohol.
    • You may experience fatigue, headaches, and cravings in the beginning as you detox off sugar.
    • May not be appropriate for those who engage in extreme exercise programs such as long-distance running, cycling, or intense cardiovascular workouts.

    Perfect For Sugar Addicts

    The Sugar Detox is a plan to help you overcome sugar addictions and commence a path toward a healthier lifestyle.

    The first stages of the program may be challenging as elimination of sugar can cause withdrawal symptoms. However, these usually resolve quickly making way for improved clarity, a greater sense of wellbeing and better health.

    By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons) Comments now closed Last Reviewed: January 25, 2018

    Brooke Meets Blender

    FBP: When making their own smoothies, what are some typical ‘calorie crimes’ women commit? Personally, I think I might be dumping too much Greek yogurt into mine. I also worry about the calorie counts of the coconut oil and scoop of chocolate Spiru-Tein protein powder I typically add. Are any of those “bad”?

    ALPERT: While too much yogurt and protein powder may add a bit more protein than you need into your smoothie, that’s not the real culprit behind most people’s smoothie mistakes. My biggest complaint when it comes to smoothies is the SUGAR! I see people adding tons of fruit and then a sweetener! You might as well get a milkshake. One serving of fruit is all you need and no sweetener should be necessary at all.

    FBP: What are some good guidelines for adding fruit? I usually toss a banana into my smoothies, and those seem like the “carb-iest” fruit out there. But a lot of times I use frozen berries instead.

    ALPERT: While a banana is still a fruit and provides solid nutrition, I always recommend berries as a fruit of choice for smoothies. Lower in sugar, higher in fiber and loaded with antioxidants- can’t beat that!

    FBP: Is almond milk a good smoothie bet? It’s better, from a calorie standpoint, than regular cow’s milk, right?

    ALPERT: I’m fine with any milk that you prefer providing it’s unsweetened. If you tolerate cow’s milk dairy, then it’s a fine option. If dairy isn’t your thing, unsweetened nut milks that do not have carrageenan in them are the way to go!

    FBP: If you want to make a low-cal morning smoothie – but don’t want to be hungry an hour later – what are some great ingredients you swear by?

    ALPERT: You need protein and fat if you want to make your smoothie work for you best! Nut butters are a great two for one punch for this. I love adding almond butter into a smoothie – fills you up and keeps you satisfied. Half an avocado or a tablespoon of coconut oil are both great ways to add some fat. I love adding collagen powder for protein, as it keeps you full, helps heal your gut and is amazing for your skin. My pick is always Reserveage’s Collagen Replenish powder.

    FBP: I’m cutting out sweets and booze for Lent this year, so I have a few sugar-related Qs to ask. Besides the obvious sweets (i.e., stuff you know is packed with sugar), what are some good items to cut out of your diet if you’re trying to cut back on sugar? A lot of regular sandwich bread that we get at the supermarket is packed with sugar, right? And jar spaghetti sauce? What are some other “sneaky” sources of sugar we should watch out for?

    ALPERT: Sugar is in everything! That’s why I always recommend reading the ingredient label of anything you buy in a package. Be extra careful with things like bread, salad dressing, tomato sauce, cereals- all things you wouldn’t normally expect sugar to be in since they’re not necessarily sweet foods.

    FBP: Does alcohol have a lot of sugar in it? My husband is a total Carb Cop (and he looks amazing!), but he doesn’t want to believe that his nightly red wine is packed with carbs and sugar. Who’s right – Dana or Hubby?

    ALPERT: You’re both right! Yes, red wine has carbs and sugar, but if that’s his main carb of choice and he doesn’t feel restricted from how he’s eating, then I say enjoy that drink. BUT don’t fool yourself and pretend there’s no sugar in it.

    Healthy Eating

    Although some cleanses rely on fasting and calorie restriction as the primary focus, that often isn’t the healthiest approach. The main aspect to focus on during a sugar detox is keeping the body well fed and hydrated. Sugar imbalances hormones, mood, energy, blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. It’s well known that sugar feeds bad bacteria, and it has even been compared to cocaine because it’s so addictive—yikes!

    It’s now time to crush that sugar habit once and for all. Follow this 3-Day Sugar Detox and you will start feeling the effects immediately.

    What to Focus On:

    1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

    Keeping the body properly hydrated encourages oxygen to flow freely throughout the body. This allows you to be more attentive, alert and focused. Water itself is a powerful detoxifier because it assists the kidneys and colon to eliminate waste. Hydration means drinking water (not coffee, caffeinated teas or energy drinks). Although these drinks are comprised of water, they can also be dehydrating for the body. Drink 6-8 glasses (250mL) of water per day. Don’t drink water with meals because it dilutes stomach acid and leads to poor digestion. Add a squeeze of lemon into your water for added benefits and some flavour.

    2. Protein & Fat Are Your Friends

    Eating tons of sugar creates a cycle of low blood sugar and intense “hanger” (hungry + angry). One way to break the cycle, besides eliminating sugar, is to eat meals that contain tons of good protein and fat (nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, etc). Protein and fat are more difficult to digest, making you feel full for longer periods of time.

    3. Taste the Rainbow

    Focus on eating colourful foods. When you eat vegetables and fruits in a rainbow-bright assortment of colours, you are getting a whole array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that all have specific jobs to keep the body healthy, skin vibrant and eyes strong. Again, this detox is not about deprivation, so when you’re hungry, eat! Just make vegetables the star of the plate.

    4. Prepare Yourself

    The key to any good detox is to be prepared. Look over the menu below and see which ingredients you need to buy, and which foods you need to prep ahead of time. Prepping lunches the night before is a great way to save time in the morning. It’s only 3 days—you can do this!

    3-Day Sugar Detox Plan:

    Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
    Breakfast: Celery, Cucumber & Kale Smoothie
    *Add a scoop of protein powder or nut butter to increase fat and protein content
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Morning Snack: Chia Pudding Cup
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Lunch: Salmon and Greens with Cumin Dressing
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Afternoon Snack: Hummus with Sliced Carrots, Cucumbers & Celery
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Dinner: Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts with Wild Rice, Artichoke & Kale Salad
    Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

    Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
    Breakfast: Blueberry Ginger Kale Smoothie
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Morning Snack: Handful Roasted Spiced Almonds
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Lunch: Thai Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Afternoon Snack: Apple with 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Dinner: Oh My Chickpea Goodness Burger (no bun) with Gluten-Free Tabouli Salad
    Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

    Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
    Breakfast: Green Smoothie
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Morning Snack: Handful of Strawberries and ¼ cup Almonds
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Lunch: Citrus Roasted Tilapia with Greek Quinoa Salad
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Afternoon Snack: Guacamole with Sliced Veggies
    Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
    Dinner: Clean & Green Chicken Salad
    Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

    Looking for more healthy recipe inspiration? Here’s how a nutritionist meal preps every Sunday, plus 20 healthy meal prep ideas to get you through the week ahead.

    7-Day Sugar-Detox Meal Plan: 1,800 Calories

    Hit reset and get back on track with healthy eating habits with this simple 7-day sugar-detox meal plan. Slashing your sugar intake can help stabilize energy levels, curb over-active appetites (which is especially helpful when cutting calories to lose weight) and prevent chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers. Our bodies are well-equipped to naturally “detox” (thanks to the gut, liver and kidneys, which work together to filter out impurities). If you’re an otherwise healthy person, you don’t need to “cleanse” or “detox” but if you’ve been eating too much sugar or refined or processed foods lately, you may feel like you need a break from those foods in particular. This meal plan does just that and fuels your body with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy while limiting foods, like added sugar, that can do harm when you have too much.

    Related: I Gave Up Sugar for 30 Days-Here’s What Happened

    In this healthy sugar-detox meal plan, we cut out all forms of added sugar-think granulated sugar, honey, maple syrup and all of these other names for sugar you may find in packaged foods-and load up on delicious whole foods for a week of satisfying sugar-free meals and snacks. This balanced week of clean eating will help you to feel refreshed, energized and good about what’s on your plate. Looking for a different calorie level? See this meal plan at 1,200 and 1,800 calories.

    How to Meal Prep You Week of Meals:

    Read the Meal-Prep Tips throughout the meal plan for information on how you can prep-ahead and use leftovers during the week. And don’t miss the Clean-Eating Shopping Tips for pointers on how to find the “cleanest” sugar-free versions of packaged foods.

    1. Bake the Muffin-Tin Cheddar Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato in the morning of Day 1. Individually wrap the remaining quiches in plastic and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month. You’ll be having this again for breakfast on Days 3 and 6. To reheat, remove plastic, wrap in a paper towel and microwave on High for 30 to 60 seconds.
    2. Start the Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup in the morning of Day 1 so it’s ready in time for lunch. Refrigerate two servings to have for lunch on Day 2 and dinner on Day 6. Any leftover soup can be frozen for up to 6 months.
    3. Make the Peanut-Oat Energy Balls to have for snacks on Days 2, 3, 4 and 5. Refrigerate for up to 1 week.
    4. Make the Easy Brown Rice to use on Days 1, 3, 4 and 7.

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    Breakfast (404 calories)

    • 2 Muffin-Tin Cheddar Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato
    • 1 medium banana
    • 8 roasted, unsalted almonds
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (62 calories)

    • 1 medium orange

    Lunch (454 calories)

    • 1 1/2 cups Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
    • 8 seeded whole-wheat crackers
    • 2 cups mixed greens
    • 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette
    • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
    • 1 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

    Toss greens in the vinaigrette and top salad with pumpkin seeds and feta cheese.

    Meal-Prep Tip: Save leftover Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette for lunch and dinner on Day 4 and dinner on Day 6.

    P.M. Snack (137 calories)

    • 1/4 cup hummus
    • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into sticks

    Dinner (560 calories)

    • 1 serving Roasted Salmon with Smoky Chickpeas & Greens
    • 1/2 cup Easy Brown Rice

    Evening Snack (162 calories)

    • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    • 1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
    • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

    Blend raspberries together with yogurt and chia seeds to create a quick smoothie.

    Daily Totals: 1,779 calories, 184 g carbohydrates, 43 g fiber, 90 g protein, 82 g fat, 2,462 mg sodium.

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    Breakfast (383 calories)

    • 1 1/3 cup Muesli with Raspberries mixed with 2 tsp. chia seeds
    • 8 roasted, unsalted almonds
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    Clean-Eating Shopping Tip: When buying muesli, look for a brand that doesn’t have added sugars, which take away from the healthy goodness of this whole-grain breakfast.

    A.M. Snack (217 calories)

    • 2 hard-boiled eggs seasoned with a pinch each of salt & pepper.
    • 1 medium orange

    Lunch (404 calories)

    • 2 cups Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
    • 1 slice Everything Bagel Avocado Toast

    Clean-Eating Shopping Tip: Use sprouted grain bread during your sugar detox as it’s made without added sugars, unlike many store-bought breads.

    P.M. Snack (252 calories)

    • 2 servings Peanut-Oat Energy Balls
    • 1 medium banana

    Dinner (534 calories)

    • 2 cups No-Cook Black Bean Salad
    • 1/4 cup hummus
    • 10 seeded whole-wheat crackers

    Clean-Eating Shopping Tip: Look for packaged crackers made without added sugars with a high fiber content or try making your own Homemade Multi-Seed Crackers.

    Meal-Prep Tip: Save a serving of the No-Cook Black Bean Salad for lunch on Day 3.

    Daily Totals: 1,790 calories, 240 g carbohydrates, 61 g fiber, 72 g protein, 72 g fat, 2,398 mg sodium.

    Image zoom

    Breakfast (404 calories)

    • 2 Muffin-Tin Cheddar Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato
    • 1 medium banana
    • 8 roasted, unsalted almonds
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (241 calories)

    • 2 serving Peanut-Oat Energy Balls
    • 1 medium apple

    Lunch (433 calories)

    • 2 cups No-Cook Black Bean Salad
    • 1 slice sprouted-grain bread, toasted and drizzled with 1 tsp. olive oil

    P.M. Snack (137 calories)

    • 1/4 cup hummus
    • 1/2 cup cucumber slices
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into sticks

    Dinner (516 calories)

    • 2 1/2 cups Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl
    • 1 medium orange

    Evening Snack (64 calories)

    • 1 cup raspberries

    Meal-Prep Tip: When making the Roasted Veggie Brown Rice Buddha Bowl for dinner, prepare the associated recipes linked to on the recipe page-the Easy Brown Rice (if you didn’t already prep it on Day 1), the Colorful Roasted Sheet-Pan Vegetables, and the Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce. This way, you’ll have leftovers for lunch later in the week-you’ll use these same ingredients in the Edamame & Veggie Rice Bowl on Day 4 and the Roasted Veggie Mason Jar Salad on Day 6.

    Daily Totals: 1,795 calories, 226 g carbohydrates, 51 g fiber, 69 g protein, 80 g fat, 1,682 mg sodium.

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    Breakfast (328 calories)

    • 1 slice Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
    • 2 hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each salt & pepper.
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (173 calories)

    • 1 medium apple, sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon
    • 10 roasted, unsalted almonds

    Lunch (455 calories)

    • 2 cups Edamame & Veggie Rice Bowl
    • 1 medium orange

    P.M. Snack (252 calories)

    • 1 medium banana
    • 2 servings Peanut-Oat Energy Balls

    Dinner (581 calories)

    • 1 serving Spaghetti Squash & Chicken with Avocado Pesto
    • 2 cups mixed greens dressed with 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette

    Meal-Prep Tip: Cook an extra 3 oz. of chicken to use in the lunch recipe on Day 5.

    Daily Totals: 1,788 calories, 185 g carbohydrates, 41 g fiber, 68 g protein, 95 g fat, 1,443 mg sodium.

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    Breakfast (383 calories)

    • 1 1/3 cup Muesli with Raspberries mixed with 2 tsp. chia seeds
    • 8 roasted, unsalted almonds
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (176 calories)

    • 1/3 cup hummus
    • 1 cup cucumber slices
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into sticks

    Lunch (471 calories)

    • 1 serving Chicken & Apple Kale Wraps
    • 1 medium pear

    P.M. Snack (252 calories)

    • 2 servings Peanut-Oat Energy Balls
    • 1 medium banana

    Dinner (530 calories)

    • 1 serving Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl
    • 10 seeded whole-wheat crackers
    • 2 cups mixed greens dressed with 2 Tbsp. Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce

    Meal-Prep Tip: Save a serving of the Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl to have for lunch on Day 7. Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months for an easy ready-made lunch or dinner down the road.

    Daily Totals: 1,814 calories, 224 g carbohydrates, 51 g fiber, 69 g protein, 82 g fat, 1,515 mg sodium.

    Image zoom

    Breakfast (404 calories)

    • 2 Muffin-Tin Cheddar Quiches with Smoked Cheddar & Potato
    • 1 medium banana
    • 8 roasted, unsalted almonds
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (155 calories)

    • 2 hard-boiled eggs seasoned with a pinch of pepper

    Lunch (462 calories)

    • 4 cups Roasted Veggie Mason Jar Salad
    • 1 medium orange

    P.M. Snack (162 calories)

    • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
    • 1/2 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
    • 3 tsp. chia seeds

    Blend raspberries together with yogurt and chia seeds to create a quick smoothie.

    Dinner (603 calories)

    • 2 cups Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup
    • 1 slice sprouted-grain bread, toasted and drizzled with 2 tsp. olive oil
    • 2 cups mixed greens
    • 2 Tbsp. Citrus-Lime Vinaigrette
    • 2 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
    • 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese

    Toss greens in the vinaigrette and top salad with pumpkin seeds and feta cheese.

    Daily Totals: 1,787 calories, 151 g carbohydrates, 40 g fiber, 91 g protein, 101 g fat, 2,444 mg sodium.

    Image zoom

    Breakfast (352 calories)

    • 2 cups Raspberry-Peach-Mango Smoothie Bowl
    • 1 cup herbal tea

    A.M. Snack (155 calories)

    • 2 hard-boiled egg seasoned with a pinch each salt & pepper.

    Lunch (436 calories)

    • 2 cups Roasted Vegan Cauliflower Soup with Parsley-Chive Swirl
    • 6 seeded whole-wheat crackers

    P.M. Snack (193 calories)

    • 1/4 cup Creamy Vegan Cashew Sauce
    • 1 cup cucumber slices
    • 1 medium carrot, cut into sticks

    Dinner (575 calories)

    • 1 serving Baked Fish Tacos with Avocado
    • 1 cup Spicy Cabbage Slaw
    • 3/4 cup Easy Brown Rice

    Evening Snack (102 calories)

    • 1 serving Broiled Mango to enjoy after dinner

    Daily Totals: 1,814 calories, 192 g carbohydrates, 31 g fiber, 73 g protein, 88 g fat, 1,906 mg sodium.

    Watch: How to Make Spaghetti Squash with Chicken & Avocado Pesto

    Sugar Detox – Everything You Need to Know Before Detoxing From Sugar

    Replace Pasta and Bread with More Veggies and Legumes

    Filling your plate with more veggies not only adds more antioxidants and strengthens your immune system, but also helps you keep off the extra pounds and avoid eating too much sugar. Cutting back on processed grains can also be a positive change since they can have an inflammatory effect for many people. If you are suffering from acne and oily skin, quitting grains might benefit you since inflammation is typically the cause of these skin issues. There are no rules on what type of veggies and legumes you should eat. Just keep in mind that the fresher, the better.

    Sugar-Free Recipe Examples

    Successful sugar detox is all about making your journey as enjoyable as possible, as well as getting creative.

    To help you out, here are a few recipes that will keep you happy during your sugar-free diet.

    1. Curried Butternut Squash and Cauliflower Soup

    Butternut squash is naturally sweet, so you don’t need to include the brown sugar or other sweeteners that other recipes use.

    • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1½ tsp. curry powder
    • Salt and pepper
    • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1 butternut squash ( 2-3 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
    • One 2-pound head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock
    • Creme fraiche, for serving (optional)
    1. Melt butter in a large, heavy pot. Add onion and cook over moderately low heat until onion is softened about 10 minutes. Add curry powder and season with salt and pepper. Raise heat to high, add cinnamon, stir in squash and cauliflower until coated with the spices. Add chicken stock, cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are very tender, about 40 minutes.
    2. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Add heavy cream and return to a simmer. Season to taste. Ladle into bowls, dollop with creme fraiche (if using), and serve.

    2. Goat Cheese & Asparagus Omelette

    Prep your ingredients the night before, and it doesn’t take long to cook a delicious breakfast like this omelet.

    • 3 large eggs
    • Salt & pepper
    • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
    • 2 Tbsp. goat cheese
    • ¼ cup asparagus, cut in bite-size pieces
    • 1 Tbsp. oregano
    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs with salt and pepper. Set aside.
    2. In a small nonstick pan, melt butter over medium heat. Pour in eggs and cook until edges are partially cooked, then add goat cheese, asparagus, and oregano. Fold the omelet and cook another minute or two, then serve.

    3. Harvest Chicken Salad

    If you like salads with a little sweetness, this one’s for you: the balsamic vinegar is naturally sweet, and it’s so flavorful you only need a little bit, and the sweet potato and apple also have natural sugars.

    • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 cup shredded kale
    • 1 grilled chicken breast, sliced
    • ¼ cup of cooked wild rice
    • ¼ cup diced apple
    • ¼ cup diced roasted sweet potato
    • 2 Tbsp. goat cheese
    • 1 Tbsp. almonds, toasted and chopped
    1. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
    2. On a bed of shredded kale, arrange chicken, rice, apples, sweet potatoes, goat cheese, and almonds. Dress with balsamic vinaigrette.

    What to Expect During a Sugar Detox

    There are two things that scare people out of sticking to a sugar-free diet: intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, both can be easily fixed, but more about that in the next section. What causes intense cravings and withdrawal symptoms?

    First, let’s explain the relationship between food and dopamine, the main chemical that triggers the reward system in your brain. When you have a meal low in sugar, your dopamine levels go up initially; however, if you have the same foods over and over again, your dopamine levels go down and you no longer get the same pleasure from eating those foods. This isn’t the case with sugary foods.

    If we eat pudding every morning, our dopamine levels won’t stop rising over time. In a way, sugary foods are the only ones that keep our reward system stimulated with no need for variety. One of the first steps you should take when going on a diet is not to oversimplify your meals. Not only will you get bored with the same foods, but your brain won’t make you feel good about it either. But why does our brain crave variety? The answer is simple: we need a large variety of nutrients.

    Sugar Cravings

    Sugar cravings can be quite intense, especially if you have family and friends who aren’t on a sugar-free diet and eat sugary foods around you. Fortunately, there is a plant that will make you never want to grab a cookie on a sugar detox.

    Why? This plant makes the cookie taste disgusting to you.

    Gymnema Sylvestre

    Also called the sugar destroyer, this herb is found in central and western India, tropical Africa, and Australia. It might also be the answer to every dieter’s prayers. Studies show that this herb blocks the taste buds on our tongue from picking up the sweet taste. This means that if you have a mint that contains this herb and you grab a cookie after, you won’t taste its sweetness. Instead, it will actually taste disgusting to you.

    This herb will make it impossible for you to cheat on your diet as long as you take it, simply because the dopamine response is no longer there. But blocking the taste receptors on your tongue isn’t the only benefit that the herb brings. It also blocks the glucose receptors in your body. Your pancreas won’t have to work as hard since the sugars in your body aren’t absorbed properly.

    Unlike most treatments, this herb is completely natural and can be used over prolonged periods of time. Gymnema Sylvestre has been used in India for thousands of years as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory remedy. It was discovered by Western researchers just a few decades ago. If you want to find out more about where you can purchase a supplement containing Gymnema Sylvestre and how it works, read on.

    Sweet Defeat

    Sweet Defeat is a supplement that contains Gymnema Sylvestre, zinc, and mint. They work together to completely destroy your sugar cravings. The supplement was specifically made for health-conscious people like you who want to change their diets and break the cycle of sugar addiction for good.

    Most dieters go back and forth and find it hard to maintain the weight loss or health benefits acquired through dieting—and that’s where Sweet Defeat comes in. Sweet Defeat can help to stop your taste buds from recognizing the taste of sugar for up to an hour after taking it. All you have to do is let the lozenge dissolve on your tongue. This supplement is all natural and regulated by the FDA, and it can be used several times per day.

    Sugar Withdrawals

    Sugar withdrawal symptoms can be brutal. They usually include symptoms such as intense cravings, irritability, and a tendency to replace sugar addiction with something else. For some, that replacement is sugar-free drinks or foods.

    Dealing with Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms

    The best way to deal with the symptoms is to cook healthy, whole meals and avoid any artificial sweeteners in the process. A supplement like Sweet Defeat will help you to stop craving sweets each time you take it. Irritability can be fixed by creating a replacement for the dopamine rush that sugar used to give you. There is alternative (and healthy!) activities that stimulate the reward system in a more meaningful way, such as socializing, meditating, and exercising. Doing one or all of these activities will diminish the irritability left behind by the sugar addiction and leave you feeling more relaxed.

    What Should I Do Now?

    Now that you have all of this information, the decision is yours. Quitting sugar is easier than ever, and supplements such as Sweet Defeat can help you stop cravings and eat healthier more effortlessly. Continuing to eat a diet high in sugar not only negatively impacts your weight, skin, and hair, it can also lead to life-threatening diseases, such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Not only this, but there is a long list of other health conditions that may benefit from quitting sugar, including neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease.

    Now you have all the tools you need to overcome the pitfalls that many people often fall into when dieting. You can improve your health by cutting sugar, and enjoy the benefits from this one change for years to come.

    The sugar detox diet

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