Phase : Drastically Reduce Carbs
Time: 3 to 4 weeks
Why: When you reach this point, pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself! You have eliminated the sugar-rich, empty calories from your diet. At this point, you should start to see and feel a change: you have fewer withdrawal symptoms and more energy, and there is a noticeable difference in the way that you look and feel about yourself.
While you have already reduced your intake of simple carbohydrates, like sugars from beverages, you still have to tackle complex carbohydrates, like breads, pastas, and rice. Both simple and complex carbohydrates affect your blood sugar in ways that can detract from your weight loss. If you eat them in excess, you will soon be craving other foods, often those that are high in sugar or largely consist of other carbohydrates.
Eating too many carbohydrates is like putting yourself on a roller coaster your blood sugar zooms up shortly after you eat, then goes crashing down after a short time. Before you know it, youre hungry because your body quickly digested the food youre craving more, and so the ups and downs continue. There is a way to get off of the roller-coaster ride and take control: reduce your intake of any carbohydrates that you abuse, and by abuse, we mean eating them not necessarily because you need them due to hunger, but because you want them to feel normal and to avoid the awful feelings associated with the withdrawal syndrome.
Watch Your Intake Of Simple Carbs
Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta, can spike your blood sugar and cause cravings, just like sugar. Two good rules of thumb: avoid foods that are highly processed and replace refined grains with their whole-grain counterparts.
For example, choose brown rice instead of white rice, and swap your white bread and pasta for the whole-wheat versions. Whole grains take longer to digest than refined grains, so they dont cause such severe blood sugar swings. While you may eventually choose to go completely grain free, if you want to transition slowly, whole grains can be a good start.
How To Measure Added Sugars
Sugars are listed under the âTotal Carbohydratesâ heading on nutrition labels. Until recently, you might have had to guess if those were added sugars. But the FDA now requires labels to list exactly how much of that sugar is added. Some smaller companies have until 2021 to comply. Total calorie count is also important to good health. Too many calories are bad for you whether from sugar or anywhere else.
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Beware Of Dried Fruit
Though we’ve never met a raw fruit we didn’t love, dried and canned fruits are entirely different stories. Food manufacturers often add sugar, juice concentrates, vegetable oil, and syrups to extend their fruit’s shelf life and improve the flavor. Steer clear of these culprits to cut sugar and stay slim!
How To Sugar Detox: When An Apple Tastes Like Candy
Once the first three days of the sugar detox are completed, you can add an apple.
By the fourth day, an apple tastes like candy, Alpert said. The onions are sweet! Almonds are sweet! Once you take sugar away from your diet cold turkey, your palate recalibrates, and you start tasting natural sugars again.
Starting with day four, you can add one apple and one dairy food each day. Dairy, such as yogurt or cheese, should be full-fat and unsweetened. Fat, fiber and protein slow the absorption of sugar, so taking out fat from dairy will make you absorb sugar faster, Alpert said.
You can also add some higher-sugar vegetables such as carrots and snow peas, as well as a daily serving of high-fiber crackers. Three glasses of red wine in that first week can be added, too.
During week two, you can add a serving of antioxidant-rich berries and an extra serving of dairy. You can also add back starchy vegetables such as yams and winter squash.
For week three, you can add grains such as barley, quinoa and oatmeal, and even some more fruit including grapes and clementines. You can also have another glass of red wine during the week and an ounce of dark chocolate each day.
Week three should be quite livable, Alpert said.
Week four is the home stretch, when you can enjoy two starches per day, including bread and rice, in addition to high-fiber crackers. Wine goes up to five glasses per week.
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Identify The Main Culprit
We all have one type of food or drink that is probably the most major of all the culprits of our continued dependency on processed sugar. Maybe you are a sweet coffee drinker. Maybe you love your Dr. Pepper. Maybe you sneak a candy bar every day at 2:30pm to get you through the afternoon at work. Its likely this one culprit that scares you about letting go of processed sugar and quitting for good. Its also likely this one culprit that is holding you back from reaching your health-related goals.
Each change you make during this process of quitting processed sugars will help you with the next change. Attacking this main culprit head-on will certainly work to help you remove the need for sweets within the rest of your diet. Start looking at that treat as your ball and chain to sugar. Get rid of it and youll be soooo much better off I promise.
First Thing In The Morning
Remember, breakfast shouldn’t taste like dessert.
Breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day for sugar. Many breakfast foods that sound as if theyre healthy are in fact laden with sugar. In Chobani Strawberry Yogurt, for example, the second ingredient ahead of strawberries! is evaporated cane sugar. And many brands of granola have more sugar per serving than Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs. In the United States, as the science writer Gary Taubes says, breakfasts have become lower-fat versions of dessert.
There are two main strategies to ensure that breakfast doesnt become a morning dessert. The first is for people who cant imagine moving away from a grain-based breakfast, like cereal or toast. If you fall into this category, you have to be quite careful, because processed grains are often packed with sugar.
A few grain-based breakfasts with no or very low sugar:
- Cheerios. Theyre quite low in sugar.
- Plain oatmeal. Flavor it with fresh fruit and, if necessary, a small sprinkling of brown sugar.
- Bread. A few breads have no sugar . A longer list of brands have only one gram, or less, per slice . Authentic Middle Eastern breads, like pita and lavash, are particularly good options and a growing number of supermarkets sell them.
- Homemade granola. You can also make your own granola and play around with the sugar amounts.
- Scrambled or fried eggs
- A small portion of well-spiced vegetables, like spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes.
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How To Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet
1. Stop Buying Processed Foods
This is probably the hugest change you can make in your diet when it comes to cutting out sugar. Practically everything you buy that comes in a box, bag, or can has added sugars. Sometimes one food item has four or five different types of sugar added!
2. Make Your Own Spaghetti/Tomato Sauce
If you cant quite take the step to cut out all processed or ready-made foods, at least cut out store-bought tomato sauce. These often have really high amount of sugar and you just dont need it. Its easy to make your own: simmer some canned or fresh tomatoes in a pot with some fresh herbs. Even if you add a bit of sugar to taste, it will still be way less than what is in the store-bought stuff.
3. Choose Whole, Fresh Fruit Over Juice, Dehydrated, or Other Fruit Products
Juice, fruit roll-ups, and dehydrated fruit taste great, of course: theyre almost pure sugar! Added to this is the fact that all or most of the fiber is gone. Treat your body to the natural benefits of fruit and eat it fresh and whole. Choose berries, cherries, grapefruit, lemon, and limes over apples, bananas, and other fruit the former are higher in glucose and lower in fructose and tend to have a lower overall content.
Heres a recipe for a great Paleo Fruit Salad.
4. Avoid Flavored Yogurt
5. Make Your Own Salad Dressing
6. Give Yourself A Quota
7. Give Yourself Rules About Dessert
8. Dont Keep Treats In The House
9. Try Xylitol or Stevia
10. Try Dark Chocolate
12. Cut Out Soda
Simple Ways To Stop Eating Lots Of Sugar
Eating too much sugar may be devastating for your health.
Added sugar, which is the sugar found in sodas, sweets, and other processed foods, has been shown to contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and tooth decay .
Research suggests that most Americans eat anywhere from 5592 grams of added sugar daily, which is equivalent to 1322 teaspoons of table sugar each day representing about 1216% of daily calorie intake .
This is significantly more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of getting less than 10% of your daily calories from added sugars .
The World Health Organization goes a step further, recommending less than 5% of calories from added sugar for optimal health .
However, it can be challenging to slash added sugars from your diet. This article lists 13 simple ways to stop eating so much sugar.
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Treatment For Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
Sugar withdrawal doesnt really require long-term treatment, because it will pass relatively quickly. The main problem is sustaining a low-sugar diet. These restrictive diets are too much for most people, so dont feel guilty if this eating pattern doesn’t work for you.
The key to changing your eating pattern is to find something you can live with long-term. If going sugar-free for three weeks is going to make you binge next month, try a less drastic plan.
A diet rich in lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help you sustain a healthy weight while giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive. Try to avoid processed foods, as they tend to be packed with added sugars. Instead, get your sweet fix from something that contains fiber, like berries, oranges, or apples.
Day : Make Over Your Grains
Consider refined grains basically just sugar in the form of simple carbohydrates. In fact, you might not think you have a sweet tooth, but if youre eating bagels and pasta on a regular basis, youre probably fooling yourself, according to Brooke Albert, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., founder of B Nutritious. Foods like pizza can have a lot of hidden added sugars from the sauce and crust, she says
The fix: Eat carbs, but make them whole-grain. Brown rice, sprouted-grain bread, and quinoa are all your friends. Try eating up to three servings a day of 100% whole grains. People who do so are 76 times more likely to get the most fiberwhich has been linked with weight loss.
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Can You Quit Sugar Cold Turkey
Knowing how to quit sugar is one thing but should you go cold turkey or take it slowly? Cutting down can be tough and going cold turkey rarely gets long-lasting results, warns Rob. ‘Psychology plays a huge role as mood, boredom and habit can drive your desire for the sweet stuff. A lack of sleep, skipping meals, hormones and visual temptation can also contribute to sugar cravings, he says.
But there are ways to manage this challenging period. Some people suffer blood sugar imbalances making them feel rather jittery. But this can be avoided by eating sufficient protein, advises Suzie.
If you find the thought of going cold turkey too extreme weaning yourself off slowly may suit you better. A useful approach is to make small changes to your diet. Reduce the sugar you add to coffee or tea, choose lower-sugar food products and switch sweet treats for healthy alternatives such as fresh fruit, suggests Rob.
Make Your Own Salad Dressing
When food manufacturers strip the fat out of salad dressings they replace it with sugar and salt. The result? A waist expanding salad topper that doesn’t have the healthy fats you need to absorb the vital vitamins from the superfoods in your bowl. Keep calories and sugar in check by sticking to two tablespoons of an olive-oil based dressing like Bolthouse Farms Classic Balsamic Olive Oil Vinaigrette, and be sure to steer clear of varieties that use honey, sugar, concentrated fruit juice soybean or vegetable oils. They aren’t doing your body any favors. Or better yet, make a low-sugar dressing yourself!
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Start To Remove Sugar From Your Home
It all needs to go. Otherwise, it will be there for you when youre feeling week and just want to give up. If you dont have it, you wont eat it. Donate, give away, or throw away all processed sugar from your home. That means sugary cereals , candy, cookies, granulated sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc. You wont be needing those anymore.
A note on fruit juices. Yes, they are made from from fruit. NO, they arent good for you. Believe it or not, they actually contain the same amount of sugar as a can of soda. While the sugar is natural sugar, not added sugar, it still is a show to your system and is too much sugar to be combining at one time. Instead, opt for eating a piece of fruit instead of drinking what is essentially 3-4 pieces of fruit very rapidly.
Also check your condiments, pasta sauces, fruit juices, barbecue sauces, breads, and so on for lurking sugar. Youll be surprised with just how much hidden sugars youll find. There are so many ways to make the foods you love WITHOUT refined sugars and high fructose corn syrup.
Switch Up Your Morning Coffee
Speaking of coffee, there are lots of natural ways to make your morning cup of java taste great besides sugar. Herbs and spices can add a subtle flavor without overpowering the taste of your coffee itself.
Here are some ideas:
- Add some cinnamon powder to your coffee grounds or stir a quarter-teaspoon directly into your coffee for a spicy, sweet taste.
- Mix a couple of ground cardamom pods into your coffee grounds for a Middle Eastern twist.
- Stir cocoa powder into freshly brewed coffee for an extra dose of antioxidants.
- Add a few drops of pure vanilla extract for a slightly sweet, creamy fragrance.
- Spice up your coffee with your favorite chai tea blend.
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Gentle Ways To Slowly Remove Sugar In Your Diet
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
You say sugar to refer to your loved ones, but theres nothing affectionate about what too much of the sweet stuff will do to your body. You do well to cut back on this substance considering the rising rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
However, it isnt easy to remove this stuff from your diet. After all, humans have a sweet tooth of sorts in tastebud form, and manufacturers know this, adding more to sell their products. Here are eight gentle ways to slowly remove sugar from your diet.
Day : Cut Back On Sugary Drinks
You know soda has added sugar, and so does a vanilla-flavored coffee drink. But the sugar in other drinks might not be so obvious, like coconut water , bottled iced teas, flavored waters, and even artificially sweetened drinks. Chances are, you have firsthand experience with how hard it is to leave behind the caffeine high, the sweet jolt, and the comforting ritual of popping open a can.
Most people cant just drop a habit like soda they need to replace it. To help you stick to your commitment to ditch sugary drinks, make it a point to avoid sugar triggers in the first place. Think about it this way: If your soda jones is a caffeine thing, switch to unsweetened coffee, tea, sparkling water, or dark chocolate. If stepping out for an afternoon latte is all about boredom, make things less dreary. Call a friend for a chat instead.
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Does Sugar Detox Help
Its important first to understand why removing sugar from our diet is a good thing. You dont have to be a sugar addict to want a break from sugar. The reason for going on a sugar detox is to purge your system of sugar. Most recognize it as a way to lose weight, but there are many side effects of too much sugar which can lead to long-term health problems such as diabetes.
First, discover the root cause of your sweet or carb cravings. Backtrack your daily routine and start cutting out one sweet food from your diet every week. For instance, put less to no sugar in your morning coffee, no bread with dinner and no dessert post-dinner. You will be surprised to see how your body responds to these changes almost immediately.
Whether you choose to go cold turkey or opt for incremental method to cut down on your sugar intake, these six nutritional and lifestyle tips can help you remove sugar from your diet: