Is a sugar detox just another diet fad? Does a sugar detox actually work? I am tempted to say that a sugar detox is a fad, but it is not. And yes, the sugar detox process works, if you know how to do it correctly. Here is a hint for you; going cold turkey does not usually work.
What is a sugar detox? In simple terms, the goal of a typical sugar detox is to significantly reduce your daily consumption of simple carbohydrates. Some plans call for a complete elimination of sugar from a diet, which basically means you need to go on the ketogenic diet. This is not a good idea, in my opinion, because the ketogenic diet is extreme and cannot be easily sustained long term. Just how extreme is it? It is a long story which is outside the scope of this post, but trust me, most people can only last a few days on it.
The potential benefits of a sugar detox One of the most important benefits is weight loss. And I am not talking about just losing 5 pounds in 5 days. I am talking about losing weight fast and in some cases, a lot of weight in a fairly short time period. If you do not need to lose weight, there are a number of other potential benefits that are worth the trouble such as more stable energy levels, reduction of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood sugar levels, and better mood.
How not to do a sugar detox A lot of experts say that the best way to do a sugar detox is to go cold turkey. I disagree. In my experience, most people who have tried to suddenly stop consuming sugar do not last very long. Why? Because they start feeling miserable in just a few days, and go back to their old eating habits in less than a week or sooner, which is hardly surprising since those who take the same approach to, say, losing 20 pounds in 1 month, usually end up with the same results. They fail, miserably.
How to do a sugar detox right If you want to successfully quit eating sugar for good, you have to take it easy, take small steps, do not rush things – gradually reduce your sugar intake over the course of about four weeks. If you cannot do it in four weeks, do not worry about it, it does not really matter how long it takes. Set a realistic schedule that you are comfortable with.
Take baby steps. Start small. For example, during the first week, commit to not eating whatever it is you usually eat that contains the most sugar. It does not matter what it is. If you eat ice cream every day, start by eating ice cream only every other day. If you have been eating donuts five times a week, start by eating donuts only three times a week, then two times a week, etc until you stop completely.
Sugar detox is very similar to other detoxes, the idea here is to work with your body, not against it. As you reduce your sugar intake, if you start feeling strong sugar cravings, it is a sign that you are going too fast. Give your body enough time to adjust; if you do that, your sugar detox effort will be successful.