Stock Up On Substitute Snacks
Its easier to resist cravings if you have substitutes to hand. Line up a jar of nuts next to the kettle and make sure you have plenty of go-to healthy snacks to stop you from reaching for the biscuit tin.
Experiment with new flavors. Not everything has to be sweet! There are so many wonderful spices to discover. Roast chickpeas and sprinkle with turmeric and ginger for a tasty treat.
I Created A Plan To Quit Sugar
Day one started out fine. I had my usual breakfast, snack, lunch, and didnt even notice the fact that I had given up sugar until mid afternoon.
The afternoon is the time when I usually bounce down the stairs, find our candy dish, and take out a few pieces to tide me over. Then Id have an apple to compensate and tell myself that I was eating a healthy snack.
On this day though, all I could have was the apple. I was a bit bummed to miss out on my mid-day sugar kick, but was able to avoid any major pitfalls and frustrations. After dinner, I had popcorn instead of ice cream and rolled my eyes at the fact that it wasnt nearly as satisfying.
Why You Should Cut Sugar Cold Turkey According To The Whole30 Founder
Labor Day is the new New Year. The kids go back to school, routine is reestablished, and the only thing left of summer vacation is the photos. And, well, a few extra pounds. And sluggish energy, restless sleep, and a fire-breathing sugar dragon dragging you to the pantry every night around 9 p.m.
Now is the perfect time to reset your metabolism, energy, and cravings, but how, exactly, do you #cutthesugar? Itll come as no surprise that this girl is going to encourage you to cut 100 percent of the added sugar in your diet for 30 straight days and theres plenty of habit research and science to back me up.
I know, I know, it sounds more like fraternity hazing than a healthy reset, but heres why I think going all in and abstaining may actually prove easier than baby steps or moderation.
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Why You Should Quit Sugar Cold Turkey
While some experts favor gradual sugar withdrawal, it is usually more effective to cut out all forms of sugary foods at once.
Quitting sugar gradually doesnt work for most people because eating small amounts of sugar usually triggers more sugar cravings. When you eat sugary foods, your blood sugar spikes. Then after a few minutes or hours, blood sugar levels drop, causing a slump, which makes you crave more sugar.
This blood sugar-effect can make it impossible for most people to quit sugar gradually no matter how much willpower they have.
Another benefit of quitting sugar cold turkey is that your goal is clearer. You understand that youre not gradually avoiding but totally avoiding every sugary food.
You wont be tempted to eat a square of chocolate and say theres only a little sugar in it. Rather than saying Ill only have a little of this, you know that youre not supposed to eat sugar at all, no ifs, no buts.
Furthermore, quitting sugar cold turkey will help you to make a rapid reset to your system and teach you other ways to find comfort outside sugar.
With that said, the first 72 hours after adopting a sugar-free diet will be all but sweet. You can expect many symptoms that may range from headaches to nausea, fatigue, hunger, anxiety, muscle aches, cravings, and even mood swings.
All of these symptoms will pass after 2-3 days and your body will start adjusting to the lack of excess sugar in its system.
Reward Yourself With Non
Instead of thinking about sugar as a treat, remind yourself its something to avoid and think of alternative treats. These could be experiences such as walking along the beach, watching a good film, or buying a new top.
Write a list of alternative treats to reward yourself at the end of a hard day or when youve hit a health and fitness goal. Sometimes just getting together with a good friend is the only treat you need!
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Want To Eat Less Sugar Try This Instead Of Quitting Cold Turkey
Nutrition pros share their top tips for cutting back on sugar the healthy way — without leaving you craving the sweet stuff.
Sugar is quite addictive, but reducing the amount of it in your diet can improve your health.
Eating more fresh foods, drinking more water and getting more exercise — these are all common goals when it comes to getting healthy. But one of the hardest habits to kick? Eating too much sugar.
Cutting down your sugar intake is a simple way to improve your diet and health overall — but it’s certainly not easy. Consuming too much sugar, especially added sugar, is linked to health risks like heart disease, fatty liver disease, high blood pressure and chronic inflammation. If you think that you’re consuming more sugar than you need and want to cut back, doing so is a smart move for your long-term health.
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Health authorities like the US Office of Disease Prevention and the World Health Organization recommend that you should get no more than 10% of your daily calories from added sugar each day . Another way to look at that amount is to limit your sugar intake to no more than 6 teaspoons, or 25 grams total. You’ll want to keep track of how much sugar you actually add to your food and drinks, but also what’s in prepackaged food or food from restaurants.
Quitting sugar cold turkey can seem like the best option, but it may not work in the long run.
When To Add Sugar Back In
Sugar can be added back into your diet the right way, from real fruit. When you eat a piece of chocolate cake, your body breaks down the white flour into simple glucose in the stomach, which is then absorbed into bloodstream within minutes along with all the other sugar in there. We dont want that, so what you should do is use only fruit and unsulfured dried fruit as a sweetener because it is combined with fiber and pectin. This causes it to be absorbed and digested slower than when you are just eating your typical cupcake. So, the result is that insulin rises slower, and this prevents sugar being stored as fat. It also reduces cravings.
I replace all the sugar in recipes with dried fruits like dates and replace white flour with things like rolled oats and nuts. And then of course, add some beans to the recipes too. You get healthy desserts that taste great too.
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Sugar Withdrawal: Cold Turkey Vs Cutting Back
The hard truth is that sugar withdrawal will happen when you stop eating sugar, but having that knowledge can work in your favor.
The most severe sugar withdrawal symptoms only last a few days. So, if you decide to go cold turkey, meaning you go from eating sugar one day to not eating it the next, you can choose a time when you dont have any significant events to attend.
In other words, dont go cold turkey the day before a major presentation at work thats going to determine the trajectory of your career. Instead, pick a time when you can afford a little downtime to allow your body to adjust.
What about cutting back on sugar slowly? If you gradually reduce your sugar intake over time, can you avoid withdrawal symptoms? You can make an argument for that method producing less intense symptoms, but it has been my experience in coaching people to a sugar-free life that you dont do yourself any favors by prolonging the shift.
Your body and brain need separation from the intense sweetness of sugar to reset. This is also why I dont recommend relying on sugar substitutes to get off of sugar.
You wouldnt advise a heroin addict just to reduce how much of the drug they were using or switch to cocaine to get past their addiction because neither of those options is going to solve their problem. What those options will do, however, is keep the addicts biochemical addiction active.
My Sugar Detox Was Underway
Days two through the end of the first week were HARD. Not the most challenging time of the 40 days, but without a doubt still hard. Day two was when the reality of the commitment really sunk it. This is when I realized how long 40 days actually would be.
I heard that McDonalds was bringing their Shamrock Shakes back out and told myself that I would thoroughly enjoy one once this whole experiment of quitting sugar was complete only to realize that by the time the 40 days were over, Shamrock Shakes would be gone. Noooo.
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Giving Up Sugar Was Quite Challenging
I am so happy that I finally decided to face my addiction head on. By quitting sugar cold turkey 40 days ago, my body went through quite a dramatic sugar detox.
Whether or not everything I experienced was due to giving up sugar, Ill never know for sure. But I have seen immense changes in my body and mind these past 40 days, and today Id like to tell you what happened.
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If a sugar detox seems overwhelming, Im breaking down how to detox from sugar easily with some simple steps!
We live in a day and age where companies are adding sugar to literally EVERYTHING. Its pretty clear that whether America knows it or not, we have a sugar addiction!
Just start reading your labels, even on things you wouldnt expect to have sugar like salsa or peanut butter or whole wheat bread. So many of the healthy foods even have a lot of sugar in themyogurt, granola, meal bars. So, chances are your sugar intake is higher than you might think. Its wild!
But, sugar is addicting, and if a customer gets addicted to your product, its good for their bottom line. But, whats its really caused is an epidemic. Eating too much sugar has led to obesity, type 2 diabetes, brain fog, fatigue, cancer, heart disease and chronic illness and other health issues.
Back when the big fat-free craze happened in the 90s, companies started adding more sugar to make their products palatable after the fat was taken out of them.
After doing one sugar detox, I think its a good thing to do from time to time. It allows our bodies to reset by getting your blood sugar level balanced, and curbs cravings for sugar and for other unhealthy foods too.
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Benefits And Cautions With Slashing Sugar
Detoxing from sugar can help you lose weight quickly. We had over 80 testers from all over the country, and they lost anywhere between 5 to 20 pounds during the 31 days, depending on their weight or sugar addiction, Alpert said. Many also noticed that a lot of the weight was lost from their midsection. Belts got looser!
Participants also reported brighter eyes, clearer skin and fewer dark circles. They also had more energy and fewer mood swings.
I have lost approximately 40 pounds following the sugar detox, said Diane, who preferred not to share her last name. She has been on the plan for approximately two years.
I thought I was educated on weight loss, but like many, I was miseducated, and by reducing fat, I was really just adding sugar. With the elimination of sugar, including artificial sweeteners, it is incredible how sweet foods tastes.
Diane added back some healthy fats into her diet, which keeps her feeling satisfied. And her sugar cravings disappeared. This is probably the longest I have remained on a plan, and I dont feel like this will change. It just feels natural and normal.
There are challenges and medical considerations before starting, though. Since the first few days of a sugar detox can be challenging, its important to pick three days during which your schedule will be supportive.
How Long Does It Take To Withdraw From Sugar
Youve decided its time to learn how to give up sugar, so what can you expect? Sugar is known to be addictive and to have similar effects on the brain as some recreational drugs, says Adrienne. When you cut it from your diet, youre likely to crave it more. Youll possibly also experience low mood and anxiety as dopamine levels reduce, as well as disrupted sleep, headaches and fatigue, she explains.
These feelings should only last a few days, she adds reassuringly. But they may last longer depending upon how much sugar you currently consume.
Although withdrawing from sugar does not provoke the same unpleasant symptoms as stopping caffeine says Suzie, if you eat a lot of the white stuff youre likely to feel its absence. Certainly for the first few days, people may suffer from very strong sugar cravings. Plus, they may notice energy levels flagging as the body adjusts, explains Suzie. However, tastebuds may change within one to two weeks and sugar cravings can disappear.
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How To Quit Sugar
You know in your heart when youre eating too much sugar. You want to cut down but you dont know how to go about it without further fuelling cravings. But you can do it. Heres how to quit sugar.
First, remove all sugary treats from your home. Replace them with healthier sugary options, such as fruit and low-sugar alternatives. Fill your biscuit tin with nuts and swap the sugar in your porridge for a teaspoon of honey.
Next, think about your diet. The key is to plan ahead, advises Adrienne. Start reducing the amount of processed and packaged foods that you eat, including snack bars, chocolate and bread. Buy in lots of one ingredient foods, such as meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, veg and fruit and start to cook from scratch, she says.
Eat three balanced meals around 4-5 hours apart throughout the day to support healthy digestion and reduce insulin spikes, she continues. This may be difficult when you first quit sugar so eating a small snack in between meals can be helpful. This can include fruit to satisfy sugar cravings, but eat it with some protein or fat, such as a few nuts and/or seeds, nut butter, yoghurt or hummus. Many of these healthy snacks are suitable. This sugar-free diet plan can also make a difference
Walking is a great way to distract yourself from cravings.
Its also important to relax as anxiety is often a trigger. Stress can have a major impact on cravings as we seek out comfort foods, says Rob.
Pile Protein And Healthy Fats Onto Your Plate
Cutting out sugar is the perfect excuse to indulge in more healthy fats and lean protein . Both keep you feeling satiated and energized, preventing the blood sugar rise and fall that can lead to hard-to-resist sugar cravings.A protein-fat breakfast will help you start the day off right. “Have a breakfast with protein and fat as the stars, like eggs and avocado, instead of the traditional starch and sugar combo, like a muffin or sweetened cereal,” suggests Kohn.
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How Much Slow Foods To Eat
At least two ounces of nuts and seeds a day, with meals, not snacks.
At least a half cup of beans, preferably a cup, and at least one serving of intact whole grains and high-carb vegetables such as butternut squash, carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips, lentils or peas.
This can be done with dishes such as a vegetable bean soup or chili and a mixed vegetable dish with a roasted garlic and almond dressing. Eating white bread, oil and salt will also sabotage your efforts to reduce sweet cravings.
My Plan To Quit Sugar Needed Some Updates
With over 600 calories suddenly lacking from my diet, it was really challenging trying to replace them.
All of my runs and workouts felt sluggish, waking up early felt impossible, I was tired all the time, and I never felt full. Quitting sugar started to feel like a lofty goal, one that was silly for me to believe I could accomplish in the first place.
Id read about all of the withdrawal symptoms addicts experience, but never truly expected to experience them myself. Boy, was I wrong.
My sugar addiction was bigger than I realized.
My second week of giving up sugar when all of the moodiness and crankiness hit in full force. I felt annoyed by everything, and so lethargic all day long. My face started to break out in random bumps, different from any sort of acne I had ever experienced. Week two was a struggle.
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Should You Ever Quit Sugar Cold Turkey
There’s no sugar-coating it: most of us eat too much sugar.
A 2016 study found a third of Australians eat too much junk food, and the Australian Health Survey revealed that adults consume 60g or 14 teaspoons of added sugar per day, while in teenagers that figure is as high as 22 teaspoons each day.
Little wonder that diets based around giving up sugar are the latest healthy eating trend.
Coming to SBS, season two of Sugar Free Farm sees seven British celebrities with terrible diets quit sugar cold turkey for 15 days.
Former Doctor Who actor Peter Davison comedian Joe Pasquale showbiz reporter Alison Hammond The Only Way is Essex star Gemma Collins former UK Conservative Party MP Ann Widdecombe and Britain’s Got Talent finalists, father and son Demi and Michalakis ‘Lagi’ Demetriou, live off the land on a farm in the English countryside.
Made to give up the unhealthy eating habits of a lifetime overnight, the celebs are faced with a list of rules for their new diet that fills them with dread: no honey, no syrup, no sweets, no chocolate, no fruit, no refined carbohydrates, no biscuits, no cakes, no low fat products, no fizzy drinks, no caffeine, no cordial, no alcohol, no fruit juice.
Demi and Michalakis Demetriou, Alison Hammond, Ann Widdecombe, Peter Davison, Gemma Collins and Joe Pasquale go healthy on Sugar Free Farm. Source: Sugar Free Farm
So is it wise to give up sugar cold turkey? Or are you better to ease yourself off sugar more gradually?