People worldwide habitually dive into sugar based treats and use them as personal rewards, presents, or get lost in them during acts of over-indulgence. While there are the obvious enjoyable effects, there are more importantly disturbing health risks, and a sugar detox is clearly in order.
From diabetes to heart disease, sugar can have a negative impact on your health. In fact, sugar addiction is a common reality. The more sugar you eat the more your body will require insulin, which puts undue strain on the pancreas.
By starting a strict sugar detox you will cleanse your body, enhancing your metabolism, and this will translate into improved health and well-being, and better performance for athletes.
How to start your sugar detox
Start your sugar detox off by dramatically reducing your sugar intake all-round – that includes honey and artificial sweeteners – in fact, check all your foods for sugar based ingredients. Fruit intake should be reduced; fruit has naturally occurring sugar in it – fructose – and that means try avoiding fruit juice altogether as well.
It’s best practice to set a goal duration for your sugar detox; much like the popular 21-day sugar detox, setting a goal with anything over 21 days will allow you to break past the toughest phases and measurable changes in body composition and energy levels are easier to notice.
Steer clear from high glycaemic carbohydrates, such as breads, rice and pasta, which typically raise your energy levels temporarily, spiking your blood glucose, and then your energy drops soon after and you become hungry and your sugar craving intensifies.
Opt for a diet that places an emphasis on proteins, vegetables and even fats, not unlike the Paleo Diet. These diets are not only good for curbing your sugar cravings, but they are fantastic for fighting many ailments, and they will keep you energised.
Try to include foods high in vitamin B, vitamin C, and zinc in your diet. They will also help boost your energy and help curb those cravings and even assist you with your day-to-day occurrences.
Get more active and take up a sport or the type of training that is going to challenge you and make you break a sweat. High-intensity interval training, like CrossFit, is great because it not only encourages you to break through your barriers, but it also places a greater emphasis on a healthier lifestyle.
During a sugar detox drink lots of water, as it will help flush your system from toxins and it is the ultimate for keeping you hydrated – forget energy drinks and the like. If you are properly hydrated, it will also reduce your chances of succumbing to the urge of reaching for a soft drink. Also cut out alcohol as it will dehydrate you and it has a lot of sugar in it.
Draw up an eating plan for each week – it makes it easier for you to stick to your detox plan and it makes grocery shopping a lot easier too. It is not pleasant when you come home from a hard day of work or training and you are starving and you are not sure what to eat. In those instances, it is easy to give in to that temptation to eating junk; so make sure there is less or none of it available. Rather eat the same or similar food that we listed in our article on energy boosting foods you should be eating.
Opt for healthier diet choices; for example, swap the crisps for biltong or order your steak with a salad instead of a side of fries. Make use of the internet and research your eating options so that you are satisfied with your meal.
When you acknowledge the long-term damage that sugar can cause, reducing or cutting out sugar will not be a hassle but more of a lifestyle affirmation. Follow this outline for a sugar-free you…
How often do you have sugar? Can you go a day, week, month or more without eating any sugar?