weight loss

Should You Do a Sugar Detox?

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Whether you’ve already realized it and you’re aware of the problem, or you’ve never even thought about addressing it, the fact is a lot of people nowadays (even those trying to achieve weight loss) are addicted to sugar. And why wouldn’t they be – it’s everywhere!

Even though added sugars are in almost all the food we consume, this is still an unhealthy addiction, and that’s the reason why a lot of people have been jumping on the sugar detoxing trend as a way to start cutting back on their sugar intake.

Countless studies have explored the way sugar impacts the brain’s reward system. While this system is there to help us survive, it’s still highly involved in the development of addictive behaviors.

And let’s not forget – sugar by itself is pretty bad for us, especially in excess. It causes inflammation and damage to the heart and liver, impairs our cognitive function, and contains a lot of empty calories that easily stack up and make us pile on fat reserves. 

While your body does actually need glucose to function, excess amounts of sugar have long been known to have detrimental effects on your health. So how do we break free from the cycle of constantly spiking our blood sugar and experiencing cravings at the drops?

Sugar detox can be one way to do that – or at least gain some massive momentum on the path to drastically reducing your sugar intake.

Here are a few quick questions for you:

Do you find yourself experiencing cravings for simple carbs? Sweets, candy, chips, pasta, bread, or other simple carbs that are notorious for breaking down into sugar quickly inside your body are some of the more common foods people get cravings for.

And have you ever found yourself eating sweets even if you didn’t really want to, to stop eating sweets once you’ve started? 

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you might be a prime candidate for a sugar detox. 

But the good news is that, when you start cutting back on sugar, you’re going to open yourself up to healthier food options and you’re going to be consuming fewer empty calories which will give you the ability to add more substance to your diet.

When it comes to sugar detoxes, many people report a lot of cravings especially in the first few days after starting the detox. This is completely natural – if you’re used to consuming a certain amount of sugar and then drastically cut down your intake, your body is going to respond. 

Sugar detoxes, however, can be made to work when you know how to reduce your sugar cravings and keep your diet balanced while you’re doing the detox.

Doing things such as…

  • Increasing your protein intake
  • Increasing your fiber intake
  • Increasing your intake of healthy fats
  • Consuming more whole foods
  • Consuming more foods with a low GI index

Have been proven to help you maintain balanced blood sugar levels and reduce if not eliminate cravings.

That being said, you should still keep in mind that countless foods that would usually be healthy are secretly packed with sugar in disguise – these include sauces, salad dressings, bread, and a wide variety of grocery store staples.

If you’re still planning to do a sugar detox so you can cut back more drastically on sugar and gain momentum toward a long-term reduction in your intake of sugar, you should keep in mind that cravings will strike you at some point.

That’s why you should keep a variety of healthy snacks available – even if you do take steps to minimize cravings, you still have to be ready for the moments when they do strike. In those cases, keep healthy snacks at hand which you can use to replace the sugary snacks you used to consume.

Whether you want to do a sugar detox or not, we can all benefit from decreasing our sugar intake at least a little bit. That, or, at least find better sources of carbs instead of simple or processed carbs. 

The key you should always be striving for is balance – if you feel like you’re consuming a little too much sugar and this is affecting your weight and performance, a sugar detox can help you cut back drastically on your intake. That being said, sugar remains a vital part of our diet – but don’t let it drag you by your nose, manage your intake, and use it in the moments your body needs it.

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