Let's be real: It's time for you and sugar to breakup.
Disclaimer: Consult your doctor before starting a new diet.
As a self-proclaimed sugar addict, I was the last person you'd believe could give up sugar. Yet, after watching the Fed Up documentary, a revealing film about the dangerous health effects of sugar, I decided it was time to for sugar and me to breakup.
After doing some research, I realized going cold turkey was my best option. It's commonly quoted that the effects of sugar withdrawal—headaches, cravings, crankiness—will start to subside as soon as 7 days after you stop eating sugar. So I figured I'd just stop, deal with the withdrawal symptoms, and wait for the cravings to subside.
To accomplish this plan, I put together a 7-Day Eating Blueprint. A carefully designed plan rich with whole foods, high in satiating natural fats, and full of enough protein to keep me from feeling hungry. The plan was to not just kick sugar but to kick refined carbohydrates as well. White flour, pasta, and potatoes are high in starch and calories and tend to spike blood sugar, which can kick off a cycle of hunger and cravings. So, I decided to stop all the white stuff all-together. Yes indeed, seven days of detox from refined white carbs.
A copy of my eating plan can be found in the graphic at the top of this post. I followed it for a week and found tremendous success.
After one day of intense hunger and two days of headaches, I started feeling less foggy and less obsessed about snacking. My energy levels stayed strong throughout the day and I ended up losing 4 pounds by the end of the week.
If you're thinking of trying a 7-Day Detox, the following tips may help get you through the week:
- Rest. During my week of detox, I would eat dinner, then start getting ready for bed immediately. My cravings for candy always spike just after dinner, so I found it easier to just get ready and go to bed. Allowing your body to rest also helps you reset your energy levels, so your body isn't begging for food to keep it from feeling fatigued. Not to mention, a week of habit change can be emotionally difficult! Get through the week by being gentle with yourself and allowing yourself plenty of rest.
- Keep snacks on hand. Raw nuts and almonds tucked inside your purse will keep you from raiding every vending machine you see. I found Larabars to be a great, portable snack because they are naturally sweet and simple to eat on the go.
- Drink. No drowning your sorrows in vodka. In fact, no alcohol for this week! But keeping yourself well-hydrated with water, kombucha, and unsweetened tea will keep your belly full. Carrying a water bottle full of detox water was my saving grace during many moments of weakness.
Kicking the sugar habit isn't easy, but it's amazing what 7-days can do for those sinister cravings. If your 7-day detox goes anything like mine, you're just 7 days away from feeling more energetic, more alert ... and 4 pounds thinner!