I recently shared that I participated in two-week no sugar added challenge. The challenge came at the tail of a 12 week group fitness program that I was participating in. I had been pushing myself physically over the last 10 weeks. It only made sense that I challenge myself on the nutrition level. On top of that I had just finished celebrating my 30th birthday insert cake, pizza and wine emoji here. Needless to say I was excited to jump into a detox and reset my body.
The no sugar challenge consisted of the following guidelines, it is kind of modified version of The Whole 30.
- Increase your water intake, for tips check out our recent blog post here.
- Cut out all sugary beverages. Yes, this includes your beloved coffee creamers.
- Avoid all added sugars. Here is an alphabetical sugar list for your reference.
- Try to eat only whole foods and avoid processed food. Processed food is where you will find most of the sugars hidden.
- Avoid alcohol. Yes, wine!
After just a couple of days of following the above guidelines I started seeing positive changes. I noticed I was less bloated and more regular (just being honest), my skin was brighter and I was less dehydrated. Many people think that when you participate in a low sugar diet you are going to have withdrawals and headaches. I am not saying you won’t experience that, but I did not with this plan. I was still eating carbs sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa and black beans. I never felt deprived. As the two weeks went on I felt more energized and didn’t experience crashes in energy in the afternoon. My cravings for sugar went away as well. I am one that always needs a sweet treat after a meal. After about one week that urge was less intense. The physical changes were also quite pleasing. I lost five pounds. For the first time since having my son I started getting complements from others noticing my hard work that I had been putting in over the last couple months.
This wasn’t the easiest challenge because let’s be honest there is never a perfect time to partake in a detox. There is always an event or a reason to “cheat”. I had to make sure I set myself up for success to be able to complete the two weeks and I definitely was not perfect. If you slip up it’s ok! Jump back on the next meal. Here at B: we practice accepting the imperfections and realize if we are trying our best that is all that matters.
Here are a few tips to help you be successful on a no sugar added detox.
- Meal plan and meal prep. I planned out easy lunches and dinners that I could use for leftovers, so I didn’t live in the kitchen. Check out pan dinners on Pinterest! They are typically low carb and super simple.
- Plan yourself a reward. I had an apple with a little peanut butter and Lacroix water, as my afternoon snack everyday. This was a treat I looked forward too!
- Recognize your weak times in the day or week. Ask yourself what day or time of day do you usually cave into your cravings? Mine for some reason is Thursday nights all I want is pizza or comfort food. Thursday’s I planned myself a little more of a naturally carb filled dinner. Give me all the sweet potatoes!
- Read the food labels. You will be surprised where added sugar is hiding taco seasoning, lunch meat, peanut butter and even some cheeses!!
- Have no sugar added snacks at your disposal. Some of my favorites are RXBAR’S and Moon Cheese.
- If you’re used to having a night-cap find something to replace that with something fun to drink! Some of my favorites are a good tea or sparkling water in a wine glass.
After the two weeks were done I did start eating some added sugar. It was little hard to avoid after our most recent holiday. For the most part though I have continued to live a low sugar lifestyle because I love the energy it gives and how much better I feel overall. Yes, I even still have no sugar in my coffee! I do allow myself my glass of wine or two here and there. It’s all about moderation right!
If you have been looking for an easy and rewarding detox I challenge you to do try a no sugar added detox. It’s fairly simple and the rewards are worth it! What better time than to start two weeks before Thanksgiving?!?!