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Life Before a Sugar Detox Diet Plan
As a child I was very thin. Every doctor I saw would tell my mother to let me eat anything I wanted to help me gain weight. As an adolescent this meant I was eating fast food burritos, French fries and soda for lunch. Occassionally I would even have oreos and milk for dinner.
By the time I was in college these early eating habits continued. Donuts for breakfast and a snickers for a between class snack were common. Since I was a science major in college I was learning about all sorts of health conditions in my courses. I started to get curious about how “eating whatever I wanted” was impacting the aspects of my health that I couldn’t see.
To find out I went to a free blood sugar check day at Rite Aid. I stood out in the line of elderly men and women, since I was in my late teens. I stood out so much that the technician doing the tests even commented when I sat down. He mentioned that since I was young, appeared to be in good health and was not overweight I was at low risk for high blood sugar.
He was amazed when my blood sugar was high. His amazement turned into astonishment when he asked what I ate for breakfast and told him I was fasting. He briefly spoke to his supervisor and asked me to go eat a typical lunch and come back in two hours to re-test. I headed to Subway for a 6 inch sandwich, soda and a cookie. Remember – I can eat whatever I want!
Needless to say the re-test was no bueno. I left Rite-Aid with the caution that I was most likely pre-diabetic. I needed to start paying attention to what I was eating. I needed a sugar detox diet plan.
That moment was a turning point. I stopped drinking soda and eating candy and literally started feeling better immediately. This was super encouraging. I wondered what other changes I could make to improve my diet.
Starting a Sugar Detox
There are a whole variety of reasons why you might want to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. Not only can it reduce your chance of developing diabetes, but it can also help you lose weight, help stabilize your mood and assist in recovering from a range of other ailments such as eczema.
Starting a sugar detox diet plan can seem like a really daunting prospect. Especially when you start looking at your current diet more closely. Seriously – food manufacturers put sugar in EVERYTHING! The thought of not being able to eat all of those things can really put you off the idea.
Fortunately, it’s actually not as bad as it seems.
First, remember that you don’t necessarily have to cut out every sugary bit of food from your diet at once. This is a diet plan…and your plan should be created to help you be successful. We created Simply-Well-Balanced because we know that EXTREMES DO NOT WORK for the average person. We know they never worked for us.
It is very possible to eat a healthy diet that includes some sugar. If you want to completely cut out sugar then totally go for it! We just want to encourage you to start by reducing the sugar in your diet. This will be the easiest way to start and you will be much more likely to stick with it for the long haul.
Second, it’s possible to replace your sugar cravings by using simple tips and tricks. Below are a few simple suggestions for alternatives to eating your usual sugary foods. After those, we’ll take a look at ways to help you overcome the initial challenge of changing your diet, and how to stick with your personal sugar detox diet plan once you’ve started.
Sugar Detox Solutions
Dried fruit: Most of us have probably tried dried fruit at some point in our lives. The most common dried fruit is probably the raisin. However, there are loads of other dried fruits available too. Apricots, mangos, prunes and many more dried fruits can be found in supermarkets and health food stores. Just make sure that they are natural, rather than sweetened dried fruits.
Although fruits are sweet, they contain a different kind of sugar to that found in normal cakes etc. The great thing about dried fruits is that they are really sweet, so you usually don’t want to eat a ton of them. The intense sweetness makes them great replacements for chocolate, cookies and candy.
Fresh fruit: Fresh fruit isn’t usually as sweet as dried fruit, but it’s still enough to calm your cravings. I usually don’t feel satisfied at lunch time without finishing my meal with something sweet. Start eating fruit at the end of your meal to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Savory Treats: Savory treats can give the same feeling of satisfaction as sweet treats. Things like crackers and chips are good for this. Especially during the initial few days when you first start reducing sugar in your diet. Also wonderful are cheese, plain yogurt and various types of nuts.
Check out our SNACKS board on Pinterest for some more ideas
Fill Up: When you’re full you will not crave sweets. A simple solution to reducing the craving for sweet things is therefore to eat larger portions of other foods. Eat bunch of extra salad, pasta or protein (think cheese, jerky and avocado) Just try to make sure you get your fill from the other foods you eat.
Drinks: This is my favorite trick to help you cut back on sugar if you love soda. Find a spot that has self-serve fountain drinks with a separate tab for “soda” – which is just soda water. Not all places have this option, but many do. Then you fill up your cup with the plain soda water and add just a splash of your favorite soda at the end. It still gives you the flavor and carbonation you crave, but with much less sugar.
Starbucks anyone? Yep….me too! But the amount of sweetener they put in their drinks is total over kill. When you order a drink ask them how many pumps of sweetener they usually put in. Now ask them to use fewer pumps. When you first start your sugar detox you might just ask for one less pump. Over time keep cutting back. I currently only order my drinks with only one pump of sweetener.
A really good way to kill the desire for sweet things is to drink something that cleanses your taste buds. A good example of this is chamomile tea, which is very mild tasting and washes flavors out of your mouth. Drinking beverages like this helps quiet the urge for sweet taste sensations.
You can also try drinking things like ginger tea, or liquorice tea. A unique feature of liquorice tea is that, despite containing no sugar, it leaves a sweet aftertaste at the back of your throat. This can help satisfy cravings for sweet flavors.
Increase your intake of Glutamine
There is some research that has been presented by Dr. Julia Ross that shows that supplementing with L-Glutamine is a great way to stop sugar cravings. She recommends 500mg 3-4 times per day when your cravings are there strongest. I haven’t tried this because I am able to use the other tips listed above. However if you have a serious sugar addiction then this is worth trying.
A by-product of practicing yoga is becoming much more aware of how your body feels. If you do yoga regularly you will begin to notice that you don’t feel very well after you eat a ton of sugar. Also, a yoga practice encourages you to be mindful about what you eat. When you are thinking about the foods you put in your body you will be much more likely to plan ahead. Prepare your meals ahead of time and include snacks that help you beat your cravings. If you are interested in learning more about yoga be sure to check out our FREE Intro to Yoga eCourse.
A Sugar Detox Diet Plan is Possible
Gradually cutting back on sugar is the best way to sustain your motivation. You don’t have to drop all sugary foods at once. Start by eliminating one or two particular foods – say soda or cookies – and get used to not having them. After a while you can cut out another thing, and another. Take your time. This is YOUR sugar detox diet plan. Make it work for you!
Your tastes WILL change over time. After reducing sugar, you start to taste the sugar in foods much more. I noticed this big time when I cut out soda and candy bars. Nowadays I can’t even handle the extreme sweetness of what was once my favorite…Snickers! Last Halloween I stole a mini one from my daughter and I actually spit it out – it just taste awful. My younger, sugar addicted self would never do that!
Like I mentioned earlier, we are all about balance. You should eat foods you enjoy and that nourish your body. We don’t believe that extremes work for most people. Yes, I used to be pre-diabetic. Yes, I cut back on the sugar in my diet. Yes, I still eat sugar in moderation and I am no longer pre-diabetic. That is MY sugar detox diet plan. And it feels great to make healthier choices and to be healthier – without the feelings of deprivation and guilt.
Cutting sugar from your diet isn’t the toughest thing in the world. With the right attitude and knowledge, it’s not only possible but pretty easy to make this change. Just set your mind to it, and remember why you’re doing it in the first place. With the tips and tricks in this post I am sure you will be successful and designing and starting your own sugar detox diet plan.
We would love to hear from you! Have you tried a sugar detox diet plan before? What is your favorite trick to reduce sugar in your diet?
Medical and General Disclaimer
Simply-Well-Balanced.com is committed to providing information on natural and alternative health, but is not written by health care professionals. All material provided at Simply-Well-Balanced.com is for informational purposes only, and is not to be taken as medical advice or recommendation. Any health concern or condition should be addressed by a doctor or other appropriate health care professional. The information and opinions found on this website are written based on the best data available at the time of writing, and are believed to be accurate according to the best discernment of the authors. Those who do not seek council from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Additionally, the opinions expressed at Simply-Well-Balanced.com do not represent the views of each and every author or contributor to Simply-Well-Balanced.com. The publisher of this site is not responsible for any errors or omissions in any content herein.