Ok, so I have maintained bloggy silence since the first week of my sugar detox.
It wasn’t intentional.
I was busy.
I also found that after the first week it became so natural to me that I didn’t have a whole lot to say.
As of yesterday I have successfully completed The 21 Day Sugar Detox.
Why give up sugar?
Sugar is not good for you. If affects your body in ways you can’t even imagine.
Naturally occurring sugars in fruit and sweeteners like raw honey and pure maple syrup do have some nutritional value but should be eaten in moderation. Fruit contains fiber, vitamins and minerals that help your body process the fruit sugars and raw honey & maple syrup do have some qualities that help boost the immune system.
Part of the problem is that we have gone from consuming natural sugars in moderation as a healthy treat to processed food products that are filled with sugar, artificial sweeteners and other chemicals that your body responds to as sugars.
Below are just 5 reasons why everyone should consider looking for the hidden sugars in their diet.
- Sugar has absolutely no nutritional value. Not a single vitamin or mineral that your body needs. Nothing. Nil.
- Your body doesn’t work right when you eat sugar. Because sugar doesn’t have nutritional value, your body isn’t designed to process it. The human body is really only interested in naturally, nutrient dense foods. Anything void of nutrients that are naturally derived just confuses it.
- Sugar fools your body into thinking you are still hungry when you have eaten enough. This is a huge contributor to weight gain because of the potential to overeat, but also because the fructose in sugar is not used by the body as energy. It gets converted to fat. So you are basically fighting a “gaining” battle if you are trying to lose weight while consuming sugar-filled products.
- Sugar can inhibit your immune system. You know that thing that is supposed to fight off germs & disease and hopefully keep you healthy? Yeah sugar screws it up.
- Sugar causes inflammation in your body and can lead to arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and a whole slew of other potentially life-threatening, medical conditions.
The only redeeming quality sugar has is that it tastes good. Much like alcohol and cigarettes, just because you like it, doesn’t mean it’s good for you, and it has addictive qualities that can be potentially fatal.
Effects of The 21 Day Sugar Detox
I started my sugar detox on November 1st and stayed completely within the plan the entire time. I followed level 2 most of the time because I did consume dairy, but there were 3 times where I ate some beans which pushed me down into level 1 of the plan. These were intentional decisions that allowed me to still be able to go out of town for a day and attend events that prevented me from being able to make food at home.
One of the biggest challenges to this plan is eating out. You have complete control at home but when eating out it is much more challenging. Thankfully many places post their menus online and others are completely open to accommodating dietary restrictions if you aren’t to shy to ask. A little bit of planning made all the difference for me.
Positive Observations During the Detox
- Fewer aches and pains – great reduction in arthritis symptoms.
- My body temperature increased significantly – no longer cold all the time.
- Less fatigue – I don’t get tired at all during the day and in fact noticed an increase in overall energy.
- Sleep patterns improved – I sleep more soundly and have a regular sleep schedule now.
- My blood sugar seems to have regulated – I don’t get shaky and weak when I get hungry.
- My appetite regulated – I am not hungry between meals or at odd times.
- I lost 5 lbs – I didn’t exercise during the detox, I actually chose not to on purpose.
Negative Observations During the Detox
- Snacking was difficult without planning ahead.
- It’s easy to over-indulge on protein.
- Internal plumbing might get messed up ranging from over-active to under-active. It should regulate eventually…
Today, the day after the detox ended I still do have some sugar cravings. I filled my cravings during the detox with full-fat milk (allowed on level 2) and although I did notice a decrease in the cravings, they have not completely disappeared, especially right after eating. I just am not sure if this was emotional or not and the cravings weren’t over-powering but they were still there.
To compliment the mild sugar cravings, however, I do notice aversions to processed foods. I gave myself permission today to enjoy something sweet and it’s too much. I don’t want it. A glass of milk would be enough. I also have a stronger aversion to processed foods (even organic) than I had before. I have been eating nutrient dense whole foods and my body is telling me to keep right on keeping on.
And I intend to.
I am sure over the course of the holidays there will be some sweets in my life, I plan on making them myself. The grains will likely remain a thing of the past, however, because I don’t miss those at all.