I truly believe sugar is the number 1 ‘food’, if you can call it that, to significantly decrease from your diet in order to benefit your health.
Food brings pleasure and I completely believe that. Food is my family’s love language. We love to eat (those of you who know my kids personally are probably laughing because that is all they do!)
I think in order to get a handle on your health and learn to be able to manage your sugar cravings, you have to detox it from your body.
I am not an expert but I am here to share what has worked for me and some additional resources I bookmarked away to eventually compile in an article such as this, from Functional Medicine and Health practitioners I trust.
I personally think cold turkey is best. Some people feel removing it for 2 weeks, some feel up to a month, others need even longer. I think you do it until you no longer crave it!
5+ Tips For Sugar Detoxing
- Make sure you are getting enough protein and fat with every meal and snack, especially breakfast to set yourself up for the day.
- Add in natural whole food produce that is sweeter such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and fresh fruit (berries being the best choice). I also am okay with dried fruit, in moderation, as long as there is no added sugar (read your labels!). You need to think about how much fresh fruit is needed to make dried fruit. Try a couple dates with almond butter for a snack when you are craving something sweet.
- Make sure you are getting enough exercise + sleep and make sure your sleep / awake cycle is regulated. If your body is producing too much cortisol (stress hormone) you are likely going to continue to crave sugar.
- Incorporate tea. I personally found any tea that was slightly sweet (fruit based) but had no sweetner in it helpful for me. Some experts recommend teas with calming nervines likes passionflower, linden, lemon bell and chamomile as well as adaptogenic herbs like holy basil (tulsi) and astragalus.
- Consider supplementation (in full disclosure, I have not personally tried all of these)
- Probiotic (an imbalance in your gut bacteria could make cravings worse + yeast and bad bugs feed on sugar, so tell your body to keep giving them more ) – our favorite is 15% off with code embrace
- Amino acids that reduce cravings glutamine, tyrosine, 5-HTP
- Chromium balances blood sugar and helps take the edge off cravings
- Gymnema helps regulate blood sugar
- Glucomannan fiber reduces the spikes in sugar and insulin that drive cravings and hunger
*Dr. Mark Hyman also recommends Vitamin D, Omega 3, B Vitamins and Magnesium as daily support.*
**Consult your health care team before beginning any supplements**
While you are doing this detox, it is best to avoid eating out and make sure you are reading labels at your home. As you have maybe seen in some previous articles (here and here), sugar is everywhere – not just desserts.
The ultimate goal is to get it out of your system so the cravings stop. Then when you do have it again, you will hopefully be able to have small amounts without your body going crazy again wanting it. A bonus is this will help you to learn to listen to your body. Then once you are ready to re-introduce, you can work on adding it back with some extra knowledge of where it is lurking and some better quality options.
Also, to keep in mind, I, always, always, always recommend choosing good quality supplement brands. The supplement market is saturated and most of what you can buy at stores are cheap, poorly absorbed, filled with additives and fillers and risk not actually being what is even promoted on the label. I prefer practitioner grade supplements, as they are often more regulated. I have an online dispensary I work with called Fullscript. You can sign up for free and get the supplements shipped directly to your house (often with free shipping).
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