Although your love for sugar may seem benign, you're probably eating a lot more of it than you need. The not-so-sweet truth is that most of us are eating tons of hidden sugars without even realizing it. Research has shown that having a sweet tooth could lead to some serious health issues including obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, diabetes, and poor oral health.
Getting a better handle on your diet will not only help you to lose weight, but it will also boost your energy levels and help you avoid doing damage to your health. In order to do this successfully you have to get rid of those debilitating sugar cravings, otherwise your whole diet will be put in jeopardy.
There is no value in cutting out sugar from your diet for a few days, and then going back to a diet full of it, but there is a lot of value in permanently leaving it out of your diet. This article isn't about some 7-day fad cleanse, but rather it's going to help you to seriously downplay sugar in your diet so that you can make it a permanent lifestyle change if you choose to do so. Your decision to detox from sugar for the next seven days will not only leave your skin glowing and your eyes sparkling, but it will also increase your energy levels, improve your digestion, and ultimately help you lose much of that unwanted fat that has been stubbornly clinging to your body until now. This is your ticket to feeling great and losing weight painlessly.
Why It's So Hard to Quit Sugar? (But Ultimately Worth It!)
Being addicted to sugar isn't a joke. According to some experts, sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine and once you're hooked, the cravings can be crippling and very hard to resist. Each day you continue to feed those cravings takes you on a slippery slope towards some major health problems which include obesity and diabetes. The reason it sometimes proves hard for some people to kick the sugar habit is that the brain reacts to sugar much like it does to drugs and alcohol. That's why when you cut sugar from your diet, you initially feel the deprivation for a few days. Whenever your body is overloaded with toxins, you feel the need to continue to eat that particular food, and you get uncomfortable when you don't.
Fortunately, no matter how hooked you have been to sugar up until this moment, there's hope for you By following this sugar detox diet plan, you will be able to substitute processed sugars like cookies, cakes and sweetened beverages for natural sugars like fresh fruit without feeling the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that come from quitting sugar. Although it may be a bit tough to quit sugar in the short term, your efforts will pay off as you start to notice your cravings diminishing and your energy levels rising. The long-term benefits of removing sugar from your diet are even more astounding and impossible to ignore. The long-term benefits of removing sugar from your diet are even more astounding and impossible to ignore. One of the reports in the journal circulation states that studies have shown that drinking sugary drinks is a direct cause of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, both of which kill over 180,000 people worldwide each year. That alone is reason enough to go on this cleansing program, which, incidentally is also a great 7 day anti bloat plan for diabetics.
Purpose of the 7 day Sugar Cleanse: What this detox is going to do for you?
Sugar has a way of sneaking itself into much of the foods that we eat daily. The scary thing is that it's even in a lot of the foods that we consider healthy and sugar-free! All the more reason to ensure that we help our body to get rid of toxins every once in a while. Now that you know just how bad sugar is for you, it's time to help you understand the purpose of undergoing the 7 day sugar cleanse and what exactly it's going to do for you. After undergoing this safe and easily do-able detox, you will lose weight, your taste buds will be re-sensitized and you will feel rejuvenated and energized. In fact, the purpose of this detox plan is to help you feel so good in your body at the end of the 7 days that you end up making this sugar-free diet a permanent part of your life.
This detox isn't a 'quick fix' for weight loss, but it can help you to shed some unwanted fat from your body while at the same time taking a lot of the load off of body's detoxifying organs like the kidneys, bowels, and liver. This means that while your body starts to look good on the outside as the fat is melting off, you're also fast-tracking your health on the inside and helping your organs to improve their performance by giving them a much-needed break.
So, before we get started on the 7-day program, here's a recap of all the benefits that you will get from a sugar detox diet:
– Lose Weight: Sugar is the new fat, and by cutting it out of your diet you will essentially lose weight as sugar (in all its forms) is the major cause of obesity.
– Boost Energy Levels: The facts are in, rather than giving you energy as most people mistakenly believe, sugar is actually responsible for sucking the life out of most people on a daily basis. Ridding your diet of it will leave you feeling brand new and rejuvenated.
– Prevent Chronic Diseases: The science is beyond question. Over time, sugar makes you sick and overweight leading to a host of medical problems. By cutting it out from your diet, you prevent your body from developing serious health issues like cancer, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, dementia, depression, and even impotence, acne, and infertility.
Getting Started on Your Sugar Detox:
A lot of us suffer from the effects of toxicity and we don't even realize that we're only a few days away from healthier, happier versions of ourselves. Right now what you need is a clear path to detox from sugar so that you can break the cycle of sugar cravings robbing you of your health and vitality. The good news is that it only takes a few days to rid your body of these toxins and to start enjoying some painless weight loss. This detox plan is going to help you get your body and your mind back at the end of these 7 days, and hopefully keep them in an optimal state for the rest of your life (should you choose to make this a permanent change). This detox plan will also help you learn a new way to eat and live that will bring you immense physical and mental health benefits.
Here are three simple steps to help you get started:
Step 1 – Clear Your Calendar Once you have made the decision to get started detoxing sugar from your body, it's time to give yourself the best chance of success by marking a week in your diary where you will have no important events or functions like birthdays, weddings, or special occasion meals which may cause you to derail your detox plans.
Step 2 – Get The Go-Ahead From Your Doctor Although this 7 day sugar cleanse is designed to help you lose weight and increase your overall health, it's still advisable to get the approval of your doctor first, especially if you're pregnant or breastfeeding. Other individuals who should consult with their doctor first are those who have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, those who are underweight, and those who intend to use this as a 7 day anti bloat plan for diabetics. Even if you don't suffer from any of these conditions, it's still a good idea to consult your doctor just to be on the safe side.
Step 3 – Prepare To Go Cold Turkey As previously stated, sugar addiction is a real thing, and the only way to handle such a physiological dependence is to stop it completely. Someone who is addicted to cocaine can't have just 'one line of cocaine', the same as someone addicted to alcohol can't have just one drink'. If you're going to kick the sugar habit, you can't have any sugar for these 7 days of detoxing. But don't worry, there are plenty of tips and tricks in this article to help you automatically reset the hormones and neurotransmitters in your body and help keep the withdrawal symptoms at bay so that you don't have to white-knuckle it through this whole process.
The Rules: Your Sugar Detox Diet Guidelines
The key to success with this 7 day sugar cleanse is to not try to 'wing it' but rather to have a full, detailed, step-by-step plan to ensure that you know what foods are allowed and which ones aren't. It's also important to plan your meals and snacks in advance so that you're certain about which ingredients have added sugars. This will help you to avoid eating sugar inadvertently (which will just leave you feeling confused as to why you didn't see any results from your detox). In an effort to help make it easy for you to identify the foods that are healthy and the ones that aren't going to help your detox plan, here is a list of foods to enjoy and foods to avoid.
Foods to Avoid While on Your 7 day Sugar Cleanse:
– Sugar in all forms: Raw, white, brown, honey, maple syrup, artificial sweeteners, data sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado sugar, confectioner's sugar, agave nectar, corn syrup, maple syrup, honey – You get the point, no sugar!
– Refined Flours: This includes white bread, bagels, pretzels, cookies, cakes, brownies, and so on.
– Condiments: A lot of added sugar is hiding inside balsamic vinegar, sauces, dressings, and marinades. Always check these for added sugars.
– Dried Fruit: A lot of people don't realize that dried fruits like raisins and dates actually have a lot more sugar than fresh fruit and that is detrimental to your diet. During your detox period, stick to fresh fruit only.
– Beverages: Stay away from alcohol, sodas, fruit juices, and sweetened tea or coffee. To sum it all up, stop eating all forms of sugar and flour products. These cause an increase in cravings and slow down the metabolism, which ultimately leads to fat storage. Stick to fresh whole foods during this week-long detox. To make it even easier to adhere to this list, try to avoid any foods that come in a box, package, can or that has a label, but if you must use them, than scrutinize the ingredients to ensure that there is nothing in it that will hurt your chances of success. Asa general rule, avoid foods with ingredients ending in 'ose. like fructose or dextrose. or 'syrup' like corn syrup or refiner's syrup.
Foods to enjoy:
– Fresh fruit: All fresh fruit is great for your detox, so have at it! It's the lowest sugar snack that you can have and it is packed full of fiber and antioxidants which help you lose weight and keep you feeling full.
– All Vegetables: As for the vegetables, make sure you pile lots of fresh ones on your plate at every meal.
They are not only good for your body but also help feel full faster while eating less overall
– Meat and Seafood: Lean red meat, skinless chicken, fish (fresh, canned in water or olive oil), shrimp, crab, beef, lamb, turkey, and bison are among the healthy choices you can make to create delicious, flavorful meals.
– Whole Grains: Opt for brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, oats and other healthy whole grains.
– Legumes and Beans: Include a lot of red, green and black lentils in your diet. Chickpeas, navy beans, kidney beans are also a great addition to your meals.
– Nuts and Seeds: Raw unsalted almonds, macadamias, Brazil, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, raw unsalted sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. You can also have nut butters with no added sugars.
– Beverages: Drink lots of water (2-3 liters per day is recommended), unsweetened white, black or green tea and unsweetened almond or nut milks.
– Condiments: Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, unprocessed coconut oil, and sesame cacao.
– Protein Powder: Sugar-free protein powders are fine to have while you're detoxing, as are eggs, butter and all spices (especially vanilla and cinnamon). All in all, there are a lot of foods that can reverse the effects of sugar addiction and help you rewire and reset your brain and body so that you don't get cravings during the transition period from a diet that's soaked in sugar to one that is healthy and delightful. Most people think 'no sugar = no fun' and they believe that a diet without sugar has to be bland and boring, but as our sample menu below will show, that couldn't be further from the truth.
7 Day Meal Plan – Your Sugar Detox Diet Simplified:
The secret to removing sugar from your diet and still being satisfied lies in modifying your favorite foods and making sure that you're not left feeling deprived. The trick is to make healthier and more substantial substitution that please your taste buds. For example, rather than having a big slice of chocolate cake for dessert, you can satisfy your longing for sweetness with a healthy fruit salad and still stay safely within the guidelines of your sugar detox diet. And as the toxins leave your body and your taste buds start to improve, you will marvel at just how scrumptious fresh fruit actually is!
Here is a Sample 7-day Menu:
Day 1 Breakfast: Eggs cooked fried with avocado or olive oil, avocado, handful of spinach
Snack: Raw vegetables and spicy Mediterranean dip
Lunch, Turkey lettuce cups, tossed green salad with tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers, dressed with vinegar and olive oil
Snack: Tomato, cucumber, and feta salad
Dinner Chicken, grilled with fresh herbs, light vegetable soup, cauliflower rice lightly sauteed
Day 2 Breakfast: Blueberry smoothie – 1 1/2 cups almond milk, a cup of frozen blueberries, 1 portion protein powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp coconut oil, handful spinach, and ice
Snack, 3 hard-boiled eggs, remove the yolks if you desire
Lunch, Light vegetable soup, green salad with tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumber dress with vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
Snack, Vegetables (celery, cucumber, bell pepper, or carrots), hummus
Dinner Italian green bean salad with low-carb cheesy bread sticks
Day 3 Breakfast: Eggs, scrambled, with sauteed spinach 8 mushrooms and salsa (check for added sugar)
Snack, Handful of Tamari almonds
Lunch, Light veggie soup, zucchini noodles
Snack, Raw Vegetables with spinach dip
Dinner Baked organic chicken breast, roasted asparagus with salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast
Day 4 Breakfast: Feta fritter with sun-dried tomatoes
Snack, Apple, 2 tbsp almond butter
Lunch, Avocado egg salad with mixed greens or have it over some seeded crackers
Snack, Low fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup) on cucumber slices
Dinner, Turkey lettuce wraps with sauteed peppers, mushrooms, spinach
Day 5 Breakfast: Peanut butter smoothie (2 cups almond milk, handful of spinach, 1/2 cup frozen zucchini, 2 tbsp cacao nibs, 2 tbsp peanut powder or peanut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp coconut oil
Snack: Tamari almonds Lunch, Cilantro Chicken Salad
Lunch, Low-carb sweet pepper poppers, green salad with lemon and olive oil dressing
Snack, 3 hard-boiled eggs, remove yolks if desired
Dinner: Lettuce-wrap beef burger with onion and tomatoes, sweet potato wedges (tossed lightly with olive oil and seasoned with chili powder, salt, and pepper), green salad dressed with olive oil and lemon
Day 6 Breakfast: Cheese and spinach omelet
Snack, 1/2 cup ricotta with 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, with vanilla stevia to taste
Lunch, Low-carb sweet pepper poppers, green salad with lemon and olive oil dressing
Snack, Peanut butter (or any other nut butter with no sugar added) on celery
Dinner Stuffed chicken, mushroom, and spinach (baked), with tomato, cucumber, feta salad
Day 7 Breakfast, Crust-less egg muffin, single serve
Snack, Small handful of blueberries
Lunch, Chicken broth (chopped green onion and cilantro, pink salt, turmeric, ground pepper, red chit flakes), organic chicken breast seared and diced
Snack, Small portion of raw nuts
Dinner, Chicken drumsticks with garlic and lemon, zucchini noodles
Remember that this is a sample menu and it is easily interchangeable and adaptable to suit your needs, so feel free to swap around a few of the options and customize the menu plan to make it work for you.
Tips and Tricks, Fast-track Your 7 Day Sugar Cleanse:
Results Tip #1 – Start an exercise plan that includes strength training. Strength training win not only benefit your body during this sugar detox period, but it win continue to help you keep your blood sugar levels steady even after your detox is done. The more you use your muscles, the more glucose they require and use from your bloodstream. Less glucose in your bloodstream means less elevation of your blood sugar (and also reduced cravings later when your blood sugar levels begin to go down). Having lean muscle on your body ensures that your body gets more blood glucose out of your bloodstream and into your muscles, therefore exercise is the way to go if you want to experience truly mind-blowing results with this 7 day sugar cleanse diet. Exercise also releases feel-good hormones called endorphins into your bloodstream. This is great because when you feel good, you're more likely to be able to resist mood eating. During this detox period, aim for at least an hour of strength training exercise like spin class or Tabata each day. You don't even need the gym or any equipment, but the type of exercise that you choose has to be vigorous enough to make you sweat, like going for a run or hot yoga. This helps increase your lymph flow and circulation which in turn helps you to sweat out toxins.
Tip #2 – Eat a high-protein meal first thing in the morning. The reason that so many people reach for sugary foods first thing in the morning is that when you wake up (after fasting an night), the Garb levels in your body are low and the insulin levels are high. During your sugar detox week, rather than reaching for something sweet, combat that temptation by eating a protein-rich meal instead. This will not only fill you up without spiking your blood sugar through the roof, but it will also start to re-condition your brain and your body to start using protein as the primary source of energy. Refer back to the list of foods to enjoy as well as the 7 day sugar cleanse sample meal plan to see what a breakfast high in protein looks like. A favorite among some people who have undertaken this detox plan is the protein shake. It's healthy, easy to make, and saves a lot of time. Although it's important to have protein at every meal, when you power up your day with a protein breakfast, you ensure that you balance your blood sugar and insulin, which significantly reduces the number of sugar cravings you get throughout the day.
Tip #3 – Lower your stress levels: Swap 'distress' for 'de-stress.. The reason why stressed-out people often reach for junk food is that stress raises your cortisol hormone levels, causing you to feel hunger while at the same time stimulating fat storage (especially bevy fat). This is also one of the causes of type-2 diabetes. Fortunately, recent scientific studies have discovered a way to de-stress and reverse that process. It has been shown beyond doubt that just taking a series of deep, relaxing breaths not only moves you out of the stress state but also triggers the vagus nerve which makes your metabolism burn fat instead of storing it It's hard to fathom that something as simple as deep breathing could actually make much of a difference in your results, but it's true. Try it for yourself. This is something that you can do anytime, anywhere, so there is really no excuse to let stress derail your efforts during your 7 day sugar cleanse. If you would rather try something different, by all means, go for it! Pet your cat, take a walk, tell jokes with your friends and family, watch a funny movie, read a good book, take a nice long soak in the tub – whatever it takes to help you de-stress and unwind even for just a few minutes at a time will produce amazing results.
Tip #4 – Be ready for emergencies; Keep healthy snacks with you always If you've ever been on any kind of diet, you've noticed that (as sure as Murphy's Law) the worst cravings always hit when there isn't a fruit stand, farmer's market, or a healthy restaurant in sight, but you can bet that there will always be at least three fast-food restaurants, two vending machines, and a doughnut shop just a stone's throw away! This is why you always need to be prepared with a healthy food pack so that you don't end up making bad choices when cravings hit and there isn't a healthy snack around. Keep an emergency food pack with you at all times. In fact, you could prepare a few and keep them in your car, laptop case, office, and anywhere else you can stash them. Fill your food packs with lots of protein-rich foods like nuts and seeds, (for example, Artisana nut butters), walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, turkey jerky, salmon jerky, coconut butter almonds, unsweetened wild berries, canned wild salmon or sardines, and other portable treats. Try to have a combination of carbs, good fats, and protein in every snack. This makes it really easy to make a good choice when your blood sugar is dropping and you need something to tide you over till the next meal.
Tip #5 – Fight Sugar With Fat, Eat lots of healthy fat Fat has been blamed for obesity for far too long, but now everyone is starting to understand that sugar (along with flour) is the real culprit behind weight gain. Fat makes you feel full for longer, helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady, and it's necessary for fueling the cells in your body. In addition to all that, fat also helps to transport essential vitamins and minerals in your body. Make sure that you have enough good fats like omega-3 fats from fish, nuts, seed, coconut butter, extra virgin olive oil, and avocados at every meal, along with lots of protein.
Tip #6 – Put out the fire (of inflammation). According to studies, inflammation triggers imbalances in the blood sugar, resistance to insulin, pre-diabetes, and type-2 diabetes, and the most common source of inflammatory foods is sugar (and flour, and trans fats). By staying away from sugar, you significantly reduce the possibility of inflammation, but there are also other foods that can trigger inflammation, and in order to rule out any hidden food sensitivities you may have, it's best to stay away from some of the more common culprits during your detox. For the duration of your sugar cleanse, stay away from gluten and dairy. It could be that if you go without them for a few days you'll find that you start to crave them, but remember that we usually crave foods that we're allergic to, and although getting off them may not be easy, if you are indeed sensitive to these foods, then after just a few days without them you will feel relief from the cravings and many of your symptoms will start to fade.
Tip #7 – Make Time for your Zzzzz, Get plenty or regular sleep When you don't get enough sleep your appetite hormones are affected, driving sugar cravings through the roof. In studies conducted on college students, they were deprived of just two of the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep, and this led to a marked rise in the hormones responsible for feelings of hunger, and a significant decrease in the hormones that suppress appetite. They had huge sugar and Garb cravings (and not the good kind of Garbs). Whenever you don't get enough sleep your body wants energy and will crave those sugars that can be quickly absorbed. The best way to fight against this urge to overeat is to get more sleep and 'sleep' those cravings away. But remember, it's not only lack of sleep, but also sleeping at erratic times that raises your cortisol levels and causes sugar cravings to intensify. When you don't have a regular schedule for sleeping it interferes with your ghrelin and leptin levels (the hormones responsible for controlling hunger and satiety). By getting at least seven hours or more sleep, at about the same time each night (within about an hour), you will help your body to be consistent in ramping up fat loss during this sugar detox.
In Conclusion This 7-day sugar cleanse is much easier to follow than you may think, and you've already taken the first step toward success by reading to the end of this article. Now you know everything you need to know about the 7 day sugar detox diet and how it can help you lose up to 10Ibs (in addition to other physical benefits). The meals are all designed to be quick and easy to make, which makes this the ideal 7 day sugar detox plan for students as well as anyone who is too busy to prepare complex meals. Although the first few days may prove to be a challenge, by following the steps outlined and staying true to your goal, you will start to feel amazing in no time at all!