While preparing to run my group sugar detox program, I started to realize that most people don’t get excited about doing a sugar detox the way I do. After years of research as well as personal trial-and-error I deeply understand the dangers of sugar and can feel the difference when I’m following a low-sugar/sugar-free diet. I’ve also learned through several years of working with my clients that most people have no clue how much sugar they’re eating. Unless you write down everything you eat and calculate the grams of sugar, how would you know? I’ve met with people on a “low-sugar” diet that are still eating 70-90 grams of sugar a day! Keep in mind, you want to keep your sugar intake under 30 grams per day. Anyway, all of this thinking prompted me to write about why someone should do a sugar detox.
#1 – Health Concerns
I think it’s becoming well-known that sugar is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and other chronic illnesses. While I believe there are several reasons why these disease rates have skyrocketed the past 30 years, sugar is a big one. Once the food industry started creating low-fat and non-fat products, they began sneaking sugar into everything to make up for the lost flavor. Food products have also become more addictive due to their sugar content, artificial sweeteners, artificial flavoring and other preservatives. By reducing or eliminating sugar consumption, we can fight these chronic illnesses that are plaguing society today.
Just a side note… Did you know that cancer cells use sugar as their primary fuel? That’s just one more reason to avoid sugar.
#2 – Sugar Cravings
Sugar cravings and addiction are on the rise! The more sugar we eat, the more we crave it. Sugar doesn’t have the ability to turn off the signal to the brain that says “stop eating!” It’s much easier to overeat with a pint of ice cream than scrambled eggs with avocado. However, the good news is that you can reset your sweet taste buds so that slightly sweet foods begin to taste very sweet again. After my 21-day sugar detox, even strawberries will taste really sweet. And it’s possible that something like a cookie or ice cream will be disgustingly sweet.
#3 – Education
The more we know, the more power we have over our own health. The sugar detox is also an educational program where you learn about topics such as where sugar is hiding (like ketchup, BBQ sauce and balsamic vinegar), what names to watch out for on labels (including evaporated cane juice, carob syrup and maltodextrin) and how eating sugar affects your daily life (such as low energy, moodiness and poor sleep).
#4 – Support Your Gut
Our gut bacteria are extremely sensitive to what we eat. If you eat a high-sugar diet you can overfeed the “bad” bacteria causing a host of health issues. As these “bad” bacteria take over, they begin to signal to your brain that they want more and more sugar. So when you’re in the grocery store trying to use all your willpower to not eat ice cream, the bugs in your gut can actually take over and say “we need the ice cream!” Unfortunately, your gut will most often win over willpower.
#5 – Boost Metabolism and Support a Healthy Weight
Weight loss is very common goal and quite often the reason behind starting a sugar detox, which is totally understandable! We know that sugar has a high correlation with obesity so it makes sense that cutting out sugar can lead to weight loss. It can also prevent the development of Metabolic Syndrome, which is recognized by high blood pressure, large waist circumference and other factors.
#6 – Other Benefits of the 21-Day Sugar Detox
During this program all processed/refined foods, gluten-containing foods and alcohol are eliminated. There is also the option to eliminate dairy, but not mandatory. There are numerous health benefits from eliminating these foods, separate from eliminating sugar, that make the program even more valuable.
As you can see, a sugar detox is more than just a weight loss program or fad diet. The benefits are infinite!