A gentle sugar detox – is it possible and how to do it without going crazy? 😀 Because let’s face it – sugar is everywhere and getting rid of it can be a quite challenging task. And by sugar I mean white processed sugar – stripped from all of its vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Not to mention the constant insulin rush and its harmful consequences. But I am not willing to go into details about why sugar is so dangerous, because the more we stress and panic about it, the more we add to the problem. I like focusing on the solutions, which attracts the beneficial results we are looking for.
The most common sugar detox method
When we try to get rid of something unhealthy we usually apply the common “cold turkey” method or as I call it the “from tomorrow” or the dreadful “from Monday” method (as if Mondays are not bad enough already 😀 ) A quick topic detour: if you hate Mondays, this usually means you hate your job. And that is a pure waste of your time and talents. Take a look at this article. 😉
This strategy may work for some people, but for most of us it is not very effective. We require way too much willpower to resist the temptations. And in a while we give up the fight and fall back to old habits. That is why I am a big fan of starting small and build it as a habit, so that it does not require much energy to sustain this lifestyle. More about the physiology of habits in this article.
My easy tricks for a gentle sugar detox
So I decided to take the slow incremental approach and install some small changes in my diet and lifestyle and I see many interesting positive outcomes. Here I will share them with you and hopefully they will work their magic for you, too. 😉 You can apply these tactics for sugar, unhealthy sugar substitutes, and white flour products.
- Abstain from sugar one day of the week for at least a month. I highly recommend you to make that day a detox day. Don’t worry; you don’t have to starve to death. The gentle rice&apple detox is the perfect option for beginners. It is a wonderful bowel movement stimulator and helps us reset our sweetness taste buds. After you get used to it, add one more sugar free day and repeat for another month or so. Get acquainted with the healthy white sugar substitutes or just add more fresh fruits. The goal is to slowly get used to the abstinence of sugar. Continue adding more sugar free days until you don’t feel the need to ingest this white killer.
- Resetting our taste buds – have you tried eating a fruit after a chocolate bar? Doesn’t taste very good, right? The problem is that we are constantly bombarded with strong tastes and flavors, which in time change our perception of tastiness. Sadly we have drifted away from our natural sources of vitamins, micro-elements, enzymes, etc. due to this fact. So, our goal is to reset our taste buds as much as we can. And we can do this easily, but we need patience and persistence. Remember this is a gentle sugar detox, not a 3-day wonder. 😉 Every time you have a sugar craving eat at least one fruit beforehand. In time the body starts to make the connection again – “I want fast sweet carbs => I want fruits!” instead of “I want chocolate!”.
When we combine 1. and 2. sugar starts to slowly loosen its grip and in time chocolate might even become unpleasant and “too sweet” for our taste. One more thing about fruits: if you have troubles with your bowel movement, definitely include an all-fruit breakfast (especially apples) or a green smoothie. Thank me later! 😉
- Mastering our psychology – psychology plays a big part in our eating habits. After all the food we eat can evoke feelings like happiness, satisfaction, or guilt, and shame. Think about how we have been programmed from an early age – you have a birthday -> have some cake; holiday family dinner -> overeat with various dishes, etc. We need to break these subconscious connections. This may not be “a piece of cake”, but it deserves the effort. A little trick I found helpful is to bring my physical sensations to a conscious level. For example, when I eat something unhealthy I really start paying attention to how I feel – do I feel happy and light, or sluggish and sleepy. Remember, all the things that we do in our lives is because we think they will make us feel good. If we start associating unhealthy foods with bad emotions, we may break from the addiction much easily. Try to really remember these sensations, lock them in your memory and reinforce them any chance you have. The same goes with healthy meals – pay attention to the lightness, vitality, and positivity you feel when you ingest them. In time you will get more and more healthy cravings, because deep down you want to evoke that positive emotion. 😉
- Yoga – yoga is the prefect tool for the purpose of reconnecting with our physical bodies. Many people who practice asanas for a long time report that they feel more repulsed from unhealthy junk food. The downside is that you need to practice it regularly and long-term to reap those benefits. But after all it is enjoyable and fun once you get used to it. You can start making your own yoga sessions at home, for example this one, which is designed for people with back pain and spine issues. If you are not fan of yoga, you can achieve this gentle sugar detox with any type of physical activity. The only condition is to be enjoyable for you. If you don’t like it and you do it forcefully on sheer willpower, you will most likely quit it soon after. Physical exercises are so beneficial, because they lower the blood sugar level and thus preventing us from unhealthy binging.
- Soothe that PMS, ladies!– we women have it really hard when it comes to cravings. That hellish time of the month causes us to suddenly turn into werewolves who can eat an elephant and still end up hungry! PMS is the ultimate healthy diet killer! Can I get an “Amen!”? The bad news is that it is a vicious cycle – sugar and white flour disrupt our hormones, which causes the cravings, and the cravings tempt us into devouring even more sugar… and the cycle continues. So, to speed up the process we need to work on both sides – slowly weaning off sugar and soothing the PMS. One thing I found very helpful is Night Primrose oil. I call it my “PMS silver bullet”. It has so many benefits that it deserves its own article. But one of its major positive effects is regulating our female hormone secretion, which subsequently lowers own urge to binge unhealthy stuff. You don’t need to take the oil all the time (follow the guidelines of your physician), and when the symptoms vanish, stop using it. For me, supplements are for temporal use only, not lifetime crutches.
I hope these easy sugar detox tricks will be helpful for you! Try them and see for yourself how they affect your cravings. Get back and tell me how you feel! I want to learn about your results!
How do you deal with sugar?
Additional reads: these articles may give you more valuable and useful information on the matter:
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