No sugar!!!! What? Am I crazy? “SAY GOODBYE TO EVERY FOOD I’VE EVER LOVED!”
Since I got married a year ago, I have pretty much been living the “married life” and have gone back to my normal eating habits. No they are not terrible but they are not the best either. (As I sit here eating leftover Easter candy) I have noticed my body changing back to what I like to call “thicker” and I can start feeling the sluggishness and tiredness. I still do my normal, everyday workouts so I know it is not my exercise that is affecting my body. Being an athlete my whole life I know the basics of diet: 70% diet, 30% exercise. So now that I have given the issue at hand, I am going to “reset” my body for 30 days.
I am doing a 30-day sugar detox for the month of April.
I have come to the realization that temptation is everywhere I turn and I often find myself indulging. Then, the more I indulge, the more I crave. I’ve come to the point where every time I finish a meal, I crave something sweet. The craving is so strong, I always give in. Completing a 30 day sugar detox is my way of resetting my nutritional goals. I know that when I eat healthy, I sleep better, have more energy, and am better able to handle stress. My skin has been so out of control lately and I know sugar is one of the culprits. My goals for the sugar detox are simple: to cut sugar cravings, eliminate refined foods from my diet, and give myself a nutritional jump-start. Summer is around the corner and I am ready for the challenge.
There are several reasons why sugar free diets are great for a body reset. I have listed the main reasons why I want to do away with sugar for 30 days.
Sugar is EVERYWHERE
Before doing my research, I thought my family had a fairly “clean” diet. With the exception of cereal, bread, kid-snacks and juice, we have few processed foods in our pantry. As it turns out, almost every packaged food at the grocery store contains added sugar, from bread, to cereal, to “healthy” granola bars. Even things marked “sugar free” usually contain some form of artificial sweetener. Most salad dressings, crackers, nut butters, and condiments contain added sweeteners, as does any flavor of yogurt with the exception of plain. I had no idea just how much added sugar we are consuming until reading the ingredient labels. The worst part about it is all of the snacks/drinks we buy for Ridge. Yes, kids love sugar and should be able to have fun stuff every now and then but the affects sugar has on children is scary.
Sugar effects your emotional and mental health
Research has shown that sugar has a direct impact on the brain. It interrupts normal function and causes chemical reactions that may have a negative impact. These changes in brain function can then lead on to more serious emotional and mental conditions such as depression, panic attacks, anxiety, mood swings, anger issues, bi polar, ADD/ADHD, lack of mental clarity and all sorts of things. It really is quite astounding. I personally know that sugar affects my moods a lot. It definitely has a direct impact on my emotional states and it doesn’t take long for me to experience that when I reintroduce sugar. I’ve also seen the direct affects with my son, so these things really are real. Obesity in children has increased dramatically over the years and the health affects sugar can cause for children is astonishing.
Sugar really can hurt
Beyond the cravings and tummy aches, consuming too many added sugars is negatively linked to sleep, acne, belly fat, energy level, and more. When I was in college, I gave up sugar for 6 months to prepare for nationals for the dance team. I noticed that both my skin and my sleep improved. It also help to eliminate my afternoon energy crash. Belly fat was a HUGE change for me. I lost 5 inches off my waist in 6 months and felt amazing. If I can do it for 6 months, I know I can do 30 days.
Sugar has a direct affect on weight gain/loss
Sugar has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels and sends you on a roller coaster ride in energy levels as well. In order to ignite your fat burning furnace, you have to get your blood sugar levels to stabilize. So cutting out sugar is obviously the best place to start and sugar should be at the top of your elimination list for weight loss! Knowing that sugar derivatives such as high fructose corn syrup and glucose are often slipped into the most unsuspecting items, such as toast or canned soup, this is something I will be paying extra attention to during this process. This is something I strive to do anyway because of all the nasties that hide in processed foods.
Sugar messes with your hormones
Hormones are responsible for making our body tick. But if our hormones are all over the place how can our health possibly be any good? The answer is, it can’t. The state of our hormones has a direct impact on the development of disease in our body and for women it has everything to do with weight loss too. Sugar is one of the main hormone wreckers that affects every single hormonal process and function in the body.
On a chemical level, I want to feel more satisfied with smaller portions of healthy food. When you’re eating a meal, the brain triggers a release of hormones that tells the rest of your body you’re in fact full. More than that, your brain will also hold off on releasing the hormones that tell you you’re hungry again. Without sugar present to make the calls, your brain can function on its own.
When you have high blood sugar or spike it throughout the day, you’ll probably experience poor sleep. I tend to snack during the day and it is usually sweeter things in the afternoon. This causes me to become really tired and then I end up eating more because my body demands more energy. This cyclic process leads to restless nights. A steady blood sugar level will give you a deeper, peaceful sleep you experienced as a kid. If I could sleep like my child then I will be a happier person 🙂
HERE’S MY PLAN:
I will cut out all highly refined sugars (white sugar, brown sugar, artificial syrups, etc), fruit juices (except for lemon and lime juice to flavor my food), and try to make homemade sauces and condiments. As far as less refined sugars like honey and maple syrup, I am replacing these with agave syrup. If there is one gram of sugar on the label, I can not have it. I normally drink Gatorade for workouts and running but when I actually read the label, they are full of sugar. I have switched to Powerade Light which has zero sugar. As far as eating out, I have already warned my husband that this will be super tough so go easy. I plan on doing salads with sugar free dressing on the side. So basically lettuce and water! No Mexican food for a month will be super hard but I am up for the challenge. Now if you were wondering about alcohol? I did LOTS of research on this and have found that the driest white wine (Pinot Noir) has no sugar! WIN!!!!! This was one of the main reasons I stuck with this specific diet so I can still LIVE!
This will be me in 30 days!!
Stay tuned to how my diet is going and my first week results. April 1st is Friday (of course on the weekend) so I will be doing a follow up post for my sugar free journey in about a week.
Have you ever done a sugar free diet? Any tips, advice or pointers for getting through this?