The average adult eats about 20 teaspoons of added sugar per day — when, considering that sugar is an empty “nutrient,” this number should be close to zero. Sources like processed foods and refined carbohydrates can contain a lot of sugar — more than you might realize.
But we can’t blame anyone for overindulging in the sweet stuff. Sugar can be seriously addictive, causing cravings, dependence, and even withdrawal symptoms!
As will all addictive substances, the answer is to go cold turkey. If you can’t seem to curb your sweet tooth, then cutting sugar out can break the habit and offer a variety of health benefits.
That’s exactly where a sugar detox comes in. A sugar detox can completely change your relationship with sweets by helping you avoid sugar while replacing it with other habits to support your overall health.
Curious to find out more? This guide from Sweetkick explains everything you need to know about a sugar detox.
What Is a Sugar Detox?
At its core, a sugar detox is when you stop eating sugar. While this typically refers to refined sugar, you can also choose to cut out those so-called natural sugars.
A sugar detox can last anywhere from three days to months. It’s not really about how long you do it but how quickly you can break your sugar habit. Going cold turkey — even for just a few days — can help you quell sugar cravings.
Oh, and it’s pretty great for your health, too. After just a few sugar-free days, you may see your energy levels spike, your skin begins to glow, and your cravings for actually nourishing food begin to increase.
Over time, you’ll reduce inflammation and all the nasty health problems that come with it. This includes anything from acne to diabetes to heart disease. You might shed a few pounds, too.
There’s only one rule when doing a sugar detox diet: cut out all added sugar. This means checking all your food labels, finding another way to sweeten your coffee, and foregoing dessert in favor of Sweetkick’s ultra-nourishing Clusters.
It may seem like a sugar detox is a short-term dietary mission, but the results are meant to last forever. By doing a sugar detox, you can transform your relationship with sugar by realizing that you really don’t need it. You might even thrive without it!
What Are the Benefits of a Sugar Detox?
A sugar detox can have a wide variety of benefits for your health. Here are some of the most noteworthy:
- Decrease sugar cravings: Sugar affects the brain’s dopamine receptors, which is also known as a “reward” chemical. This is how some addictive substances work, which is why it’s so hard to quit sugar. Going cold turkey can help you quell those cravings until they’re virtually nonexistent.
- You might shed some pounds: When it comes to sweets, you can never have just one serving. After all, who’s ever eaten just a half-cup of ice cream or just one chocolate chip cookie? But when it comes to nourishing whole foods, we’re much less likely to overeat. When you quit sugar, weight loss may feel effortless.
- You may improve your dental health: You know the bacteria that give you cavities and make you sit through uncomfortable dentist appointments? They feed on sugar. Reducing sugar intake can substantially decrease your risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and even bad breath!
- You’ll age better: Did you know that sugar degrades collagen and elastin in your skin? These are proteins that make your skin smooth and supple. Cutting out sugar can save you hundreds on anti-aging creams in the future.
- You may reduce inflammation: High-sugar diets are directly linked to inflammation, which increases the risk of various diseases. Cutting out sugar can potentially save your health down the line.
What Is Sugar Withdrawal?
Of course, quitting sugar isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
While the benefits of this lifestyle change can’t be overstated, quitting sugar is hard. You may experience intense withdrawal symptoms during the first week of your sugar detox — these can be similar to the withdrawal symptoms in those quitting cigarettes! No easy feat, that’s for sure.
Because sugar affects dopamine in the brain, dopamine receptors will be begging for an extra hit of this chemical. This can produce tough withdrawal symptoms, like fatigue, headaches, irritability, and hunger. For some people, they last a day or two, while for others, they can be up to a week long.
But once the brain’s dopamine levels stabilize, the cravings will go away, and you will gain a whole new level of clarity about your relationship with sugar.
Fortunately, some tips can make sugar withdrawal symptoms virtually non-existent. Keep reading to find out how you can painlessly detox from sugar.
7 Tips To Detox From Sugar
1. Up Your Protein Game
Protein is one of the best nutrients for keeping you full while stabilizing your blood sugar levels. Compare how full you feel after eating a couple of hard-boiled eggs instead of a plate of pancakes for breakfast. Make sure to get at least 20 grams of protein at each meal. Try alternating between sources like fish, meat, eggs, dairy, and legumes.
2. Don’t Skimp on Healthy Fats
Avoiding fat does nothing good! We need fat to make hormones, keep our skin and hair healthy, and even lower inflammation in the body. Fat may stabilize your blood glucose levels, so you’re not getting hungry 15 minutes after eating.
The above doesn’t apply to damaged fats like ultra-processed canola oil. Instead, you need the healthiest of fats to support your wellness. That includes avocados, nut butter, olive oil, and fatty fish.
3. Try Intermittent Fasting
If it seems like downright torture to skip a meal, we promise it’s not as bad as it sounds. Plus, it can decrease your appetite, balance blood sugar, and make you forget about eating sweet stuff.
4. Choose the Right Snacks
We love snacks as a way to hold us over between meals. But eating the wrong thing can make you hungrier than before.
The ideal snack is high in protein and fat — although it can also contain some carbs.
Try carrots with almond butter, veggies with hummus, hard-boiled eggs with olive oil, or a smoothie made with Sweetkick’s Macro Shake.
5. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can feel like hunger, tricking our bodies into craving more sugar. Make sure to drink more than enough water during your detox. And here’s a bonus tip: Mineral water can provide essential electrolytes, upping your hydration levels.
6. Sleep More!
Sleep deprivation increases sugar cravings. If you don’t sleep, doing your sugar detox will be so much harder than it should be.
If you’re not waking up refreshed in the morning, try optimizing your sleep hygiene until you get out of bed with a true spring in your step.
When we’re stressed, we reach for sugary foods.
And we get it: Sugar is comforting.
But there are other ways to soothe yourself, like doing a short meditation, cuddling with your dog, or getting your nails done. When you’re calm and serene, sugar will be the last thing on your mind.
Detox From Sugar With Sweetkick
A sugar detox may be in order if your sugar consumption is getting out of hand. But it doesn’t have to be hard! A sugar detox can feel effortless by eating a nourishing diet, getting plenty of sleep, and keeping stress at bay.
And Sweetkick will be here to support you every step of the way. Our yummy products are designed to replace sugary snacks while nourishing your body and helping you to manage cravings.
Sugar, you don’t stand a chance!