By now, you’ve heard it everywhere—the long list of reasons to quit sugar.
A few of the most compelling are:
- Sugar creates an addictive cycle of hunger, fatigue and moodiness. It initially spikes blood sugar, causing us to feel energized and happy. But since it’s devoid of real nutrition, blood sugar quickly plummets, leaving us tired, hungry and moody. So we reach for more sugar …
- Sugar causes excess storage of fat: It triggers the body to produce insulin, which tells fat cells to store more. Yikes!
- Sugar causes inflammation. This causes pain and is seen as a precursor to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
The good news is that it takes only five days to dramatically reduce the body’s dependence on sugar, by eliminating refined sugar from your diet. That includes most processed foods (because they contain loads of added sugar), condiments, candy, baked goods and sweetened beverages, including those with artificial sweetners. Also watch out not to overindulge in fruit – aim for no more than 1 serving a day.
The downside is that sugar cravings can be intense in those 5 days, which is why you need ninja moves. Certain foods can reduce cravings and balance the body, getting you over the hump much easier.
Here’s what to eat to detox from sugar and stay satisfied & sane:
1. High protein, fat and fiber foods
Here’s why they’re great: These are highly satisfying and keep the body full for longer. Make sure every meal and snack contains them. Aim for about 25% of your meal to come from protein with good fats, like Omega 3s. Contrary to popular belief, real saturated fat actually reduces cholesterol.
Good options: eggs, nuts, avocados, olive oil, hummus, salmon or antibiotic free chicken.
2. Green leafy vegetables instead of bread, pasta and refined carbohydrates
Here’s why they’re great: Bread is quickly converted to sugar, creating the same cycle, but vegetables are complex carbohydrates, which keep you satiated for hours. They take longer to digest – expect to feel full 30 minutes after eating a salad.
Good options: Arugula and kale are great for detoxing.
3. Sour foods
Here’s why: They knock out a sugar craving.
Good options: Sauerkraut or kimchi.
4. Pure dark chocolate
Here’s why: It releases endorphins without spiking your sugar.
Good options: Bakers Cooking Chocolate, which is 100% cacao.
5. Drink more water
Here’s why: This makes you feel full and flushes excess sugar out of the body, thus reducing the craving. Bonus, it can help you lose weight.