A detox doesn't necessarily involve stopping eating through fasting or green juice cleanses. You can also stop eating foods that are bad for you. 1, 2, 3 Reset! You're off to a good start.
For a long time we considered fat to be the body's greatest enemy. Today we know this to be false. The food that we must limit as much as possible is, in reality, SUGAR. But how to detox from sugar easily?
Sugar, undoubtedly a danger to our health
Sugar is not only the main culprit in the obesity epidemic affecting the entire planet, but it is also involved in numerous diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, type 2 diabetes, overweight, not to mention acne, infertility and impotence. Sugar also has harmful consequences on our morale and energy.
Sugar, an incredible consumption
A “little” sugar in your coffee, “just” a sweet in the afternoon, a “touch” of sweetness to finish the meal… We tend to minimize our sugar consumption. And yet, the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year, or about 22 teaspoons of sugar per day . For children it is even worse. They consume an average of 34 teaspoons per day. Result ? Nearly a quarter of adolescents are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Sugar, an addiction stronger than cocaine
This excessive consumption of sugar is linked to its extremely addictive properties. It is said to be 8 times more addictive than cocaine. Eating sugar is therefore not only used to respond to an emotional eating disorder - because yes, we know that sugar is comforting - this excessive consumption is also linked to a biological disorder. Our hormones and neurotransmitters are at the origin of these sugar cravings and lead us to consume them in a completely uncontrolled way.
A study by Harvard researchers compared the effects of a high-sugar milkshake and a very low-sugar milkshake. The results are striking! In addition to increasing blood sugar and insulin levels, the sugary milkshake also triggered significant changes in the brain. In particular, it activates the part of the brain responding to dependencies and addictions. Sugar is therefore a drug!
10 tips for detoxing from sugar
Feeling tired during the day, irritability, trembling, cravings, irrepressible cravings for sweets? Here are the symptoms of a sugar addiction. Stopping sugar will allow you to fight against chronic fatigue, reduced vitality, digestive problems, concentration problems, headaches, flatulence... It can even promote healthy and lasting weight loss. So many benefits that can motivate your choice!
Stop sugary breakfasts
If there's ever a time when we love sweet treats, it's during breakfast. For good reason, the French breakfast traditionally consists of baguettes, pastries, fruit juice and a good hot chocolate with cereals. Unfortunately, the amount of sugar you ingest in the morning gives your body the sugar level it will need to reach during the day. So, if you eat a breakfast that is too sweet in the morning, you will crave sugar all day long to reach this quantity. Start your day off on the right foot with a savory breakfast based on eggs, wholemeal sourdough bread spread with oilseed puree or fresh butter. Remember, fruit juice (even freshly squeezed) is not a good idea. It contains more fiber and as much sugar as a glass of Coca-Cola. Conversely, whole fruits contain fiber and require chewing, slowing the rise in blood sugar levels.
Don't Drink Your Calories
Liquid food containing sugar should be avoided. Drinking sugary drinks is like sending a shot of sugar directly to your liver, which is responsible for metabolizing the sugar. Liquid drinks are empty calories, meaning they provide you with no nutrients but only calories. Result ? You will want to eat more during the day. Furthermore, since you are not chewing, you do not have the feeling of satiety and you are not sufficiently listening to your body.
Increase your protein
Consuming protein with every meal is the key to maintaining a low glycemic index and acceptable blood insulin levels. Furthermore, proteins are filling and a very good appetite suppressant.
Abuse “good” sugars
You don't need to quit all sugars, just the bad ones. As with fat, there are “good” and “bad” sugars. Sugar as the main fuel of our body is indispensable to us, you cannot do without it entirely. Among sugars we distinguish between “slow sugars” and “fast sugars”, thanks to their glycemic index.
Fast sugars are raw or refined sugars, such as fruits and dairy products, which will be absorbed without any transformation by our intestines.
Slow sugars mainly come from starch that we find in starchy foods such as cereals, tubers, legumes and starchy fruits such as chestnuts and chestnuts. During digestion, they all transform into glucose to allow energy production by cells and muscles.
But what is the glycemic index?
When we eat carbohydrates, the sugar enters the bloodstream and causes a rise in blood sugar levels called a blood sugar spike. The glycemic index (GI) will be used to measure the speed of absorption of a sugar and therefore makes it possible to classify foods according to the rise in blood sugar that they cause when consumed. The higher it is, the faster the sugar level rises in the blood and vice versa. The body strives to maintain a blood sugar level between 0.7 g/l and 1.2 g/l. Thus, an excessive increase in sugar levels will cause a strong secretion of insulin, the role of which is to reduce this sugar level by causing it to enter our cells. But the insulin will do its job so well that the blood sugar level will be too low. A feeling of hunger then appears in order to reintegrate sugar into the blood. High GI foods will therefore accentuate the feeling of hunger. It is therefore important to favor low or moderate GI carbohydrates . It will be more beneficial for the body if sugar is digested more gradually. The glycemic peak will be lower and insulin secretion less important. Too rapid secretion will have negative effects on our body because insulin promotes fat storage.
Note that certain factors can influence the glycemic index:
Cooking for example. The more the food is cooked, the more the glycemic index will increase. So prefer “al dente” pasta and gentle cooking!
Fibers and lipids : the more the food contains, the more its digestion will be slowed down and therefore the glycemic index will be low. This is why it is important to keep fat on your plate and eat complete meals.
During a complete meal, we talk about the glycemic load and no longer the glycemic index of a single ingredient. Certain foods help reduce the GI. It is therefore better to eat high GI foods by combining them with other foods.
So what sugar should we consume on a daily basis?
Fruits and vegetables : eat vegetables as much as you want and do not neglect fruits, their vitamin and antioxidant content is much more interesting than their sugar content if they are consumed without excess.
Cereals : as long as you choose them carefully! Avoid refined cereals which have a high GI and favor whole or semi-complete cereals which are much richer in fiber which will help with the absorption of sugar.
Basmati rice is a very interesting cereal because it is digested slowly and does not contain gluten, unlike other cereals which may be poorly tolerated by the body.
Legumes (peas, lentils, beans): Their consumption is very interesting because they have many virtues: they are rich in proteins (100 g of legumes provide as much protein as 100 g of meat but without the fats! Small downside: they lack certain important amino acids, so combine them with other cereals or green vegetables which contain them), they are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals (vitamin B, magnesium, iron, potassium, etc.), they are rich in fiber , and what's more, they don't contain gluten!
Tubers : quinoa, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, etc.: in addition to being very interesting nutritionally because they have a low GI, they also have the advantage of not containing gluten. Favor their consumption in their original form, transforming the potato into mash will increase its glycemic index and therefore rapid sugar levels.
Ready to quit? Some tips for preparing well before detoxification
Regarding stopping sugar, there are two schools: those who stop overnight and those who go little by little. Both schools are effective, the first is faster but also more difficult, the second longer but easier. No matter which school you choose, here are some tips to avoid temptation:
Start by cleaning out your cupboards and refrigerator to get rid of foods that are too sweet or processed. Industrial products, even salty ones, often hide a large quantity of sugar. Swap your cakes, sweets, pastries, sauces, prepared meals, dessert creams, sodas and even fruit juices with raw, natural or homemade products.
Plan your meals for the coming week and stick to them!
Be prepared to act in a crisis by preparing your healthy, unsweetened snacks in advance. Opt for a healthy snack made from nuts, almonds, blueberries, fresh fruit or dark chocolate over 70%.
Drink “as much as you like” . Don't confuse the desire to eat with thirst. Before eating, take the time to drink a large glass and see if the hunger passes.
Motivate your partner to support you in this sugar detox.
Replace sugar with fat . Fat doesn't make you gain weight. Sugar, on the other hand, yes! It is therefore essential to ingest good fats with each meal: nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, extra-virgin coconut oil, avocados, omega 3, from fatty fish. Most ? Fat lowers the glycemic index of your meal.
Fight inflammation . Inflammation causes blood sugar imbalances and increases insulin resistance leading to diabetes. Hidden food sensitivities, such as dairy and gluten, are a significant source of inflammation. Replace cow's milk with plant-based milks (almond, coconut, soy, hazelnut, rice) and white cereals rich in gluten with gluten-free whole grains (quinoa, chestnut, buckwheat, millet)
Get plenty of sleep . Sleeping 7 to 9 hours per night is essential to reduce sugar cravings. It has, in fact, been proven that lack of sleep considerably increases cravings and leads to more cravings for sugary foods. Promote good sleep by turning off the lights, removing screens before bed and focusing on relaxing activities like coloring or reading. If you have trouble falling asleep, take a look at our Peaceful & Serene Sleep Cure !
Be kind to yourself ! A sugar detox takes time, some weeks will be harder than others. But after a month, you will already feel the benefits: you will be less tired, your digestion will be lighter, certain inconveniences may even have already disappeared (acne, bloating), your tastes will have changed and your eating reflexes as well.