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Get Healthy and Ditch the Sugar! 10 Tips to Do a Sugar Detox

Krysta Shannon
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The more sugar you ingest, the more your body craves. It is this never-ending cycle of eat more, need more that has created an epidemic of obesity and health complications such as Type 2 Diabetes. Sugar is not necessarily an evil villain, but it is the amount of sugar most of us consume – sometimes without even realizing it – that can wreak havoc on our bodies.

Four grams of sugar equals one teaspoon of sugar. The average man should have nine teaspoons of sugar (or less) each day, while a woman should have six teaspoons or less. To put it into perspective, the average flavored yogurt has between 15 and 20 grams of sugar, which equals 3.75 to 4.5 teaspoons of sugar per serving.
 
Sprinkle a quarter-cup of natural, seemingly healthy granola on top and you can be adding 2 – 4 teaspoons of sugar – and that is just breakfast! Dump a premade tomato sauce on your pasta (which contains a teaspoon or so of sugar) and you can add another 3.5 – 6 teaspoons of sugar, far exceeding both men’s and women’s recommended sugar intake, without even thinking about it. And this is before you indulge in a post-dinner dessert, or anything else that contains sugar throughout your day.

Even when you decide to make a “healthy choice,” if you read an ingredient label, you will find that sweeteners are hidden in many of the foods you consume on a regular basis, many of which are not even the obvious sweet treats.
 
 

Here are 10 tips to decrease your daily sugar intake or ditch it entirely:

 
1. Unsweetened Coffee and Tea. Think about the number of cups of coffee or tea that you consume in a day. Now, think about that tablespoon (or 2 or 3) of sugar and milk (which contains 2 teaspoons of sugar per half cup serving) that you add to your cups of joe.
 
Whether you have just one cup of coffee/tea or 10, this is a great opportunity to permanently replace sugars (including artificial ones) by eliminating any sweetener at all or adding a flavor substitute. For teas, you can add a splash of lemon or lime juice. For java, you can add some coconut milk (which contains almost no sugar) or coconut oil (which is naturally sugar free and super healthy for you).
 
Recommended read: 50 Amazing Uses for Coconut Oil
 
2. Reduce or eliminate packaged goods. When you eat pre-packaged, processed foods (cookies, cakes, breads, flavored yogurt, crackers, chips, peanut butter, frozen dinners, etc.), just flip the package over and read the nutrition label on the back. You’ll be surprised at the amount of added sugar. Also, sugar is oftentimes disguised in your food’s ingredients in the forms of high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, agave, maltose, sucrose, honey, dextrose, fruit juice, etc.
 
When you instead choose products that come in a pure state, such as rice, vegetables and chicken, you can season them to your preference and know exactly what you are eating. Remember: the best trick to keep yourself from reaching for these unhealthy food choices is not purchasing them in the first place.
 
3. Make healthy swaps. Is it 3pm and you need a pick-me-up? Don’t grab that snack bar with six teaspoons of sugar. Grab a handful of unadulterated, unsalted nuts. And don’t be fooled by dried fruit, which can pack in as much as six teaspoons of sugar in a third of a cup.
 
Choose an unflavored Greek yogurt instead of regular flavored yogurt and you can get a healthy dose of protein and significantly less sugar (if any). Want something sweet on the go? Eat a piece of fruit, which provides vitamins, minerals and fiber.
 
4. Stop drinking soda once and for all. Please tell me that you are not still drinking soda, especially diet soda that contains artificial sweeteners that are even worse for you than sugar. And no more energy drinks! Those babies can pack 20 teaspoons or more of sugar in a single serving.
 
Drink water with lemon or unsweetened iced tea instead, adding 0 grams of sugar to your daily scorecard. Staying hydrated gives you the natural energy you need to make it through the day without needing extra caffeine.
 

 
5. Avoid refined white foods. Avoid highly refined foods such as breads and pasta, which are stripped of nutrients and often loaded with extra sugar. White flour metabolizes (or breaks down in the body) as…you guessed it…sugar!
 
6. Take daily vitamins. Many times when your body is nutrient deficient, it can create intense cravings for something sweet or salty. Take a multivitamin that matches your lifestyle, and your chances of mid-day sugar cravings will be drastically reduced.
 
7. Don’t skip meals. When you skip a meal, your blood sugar drops, making you crave nutrition. This is when you reach for a quick and easy snack. Beware! This is when the extra dose of sugar creeps in. Instead, try to eat small meals every three to four hours. Your blood sugar levels will remain consistent, and you will be less likely to reach for that sugary meal replacement.
 
8. Get plenty of rest. Sometimes we reach for sugary foods when we are feeling sluggish and need an extra boost of energy. Instead, make sure that you listen to your body and get the amount of sleep it needs to function properly.
 
9. Exercise. Exercise gets your blood flowing and gives you an instant boost of endorphins and energy. Feeling sluggish? Drop and give me 20 (pushups, sun salutations, squats, jumping jacks, whatever)! Increased circulation keeps your energy levels up, and your need for sugar down.
 
10. Spice it up. Sometimes when you think your body wants a sweet snack, what it is really craving is a little flavor. Sprinkle a little spice on your next meal – cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, ginger, cilantro, parsley, basil, cayenne, etc. for extra flavor and/or sweetness, depending on what your body craves at the moment.
 
Once you are ready to detox your body of sugar, be prepared for some withdrawal symptoms, including headaches, while your body adjusts. Start slowly. First, cut out the obvious culprits like candy bars, soda, etc. Then for the next three days, eliminate go-to foods with preservatives and added sugar (tomato sauce, breads and pastas). Just make sure that you are not under eating or depriving your body of necessary nutrients. By the fourth or fifth day, your body should be well adjusted, and you can slowly begin to add more healthy sugars such as fruits.

In the end, your sugar detox is not a diet or a quick fix. Ditching the sugar is a lifestyle change that will make you healthier and happier in the long run, and there’s nothing more important than that!

This article has been read 10K+ times. Bada bing!

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Krysta Shannon

Krysta is a staff writer and product review guru at YogiApproved. She believes in the powers of healing crystals and essential oils, and never leaves home without them. Krysta is a true Jersey girl (in the best sort of way) who embraces a non-toxic and all-natural lifestyle.

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