Of all the things you can do to improve your health, cutting back on sugar tops the list. But that’s easier said than done. Sugar is highly addictive and lights up the reward centers of your brain. Once you eat it, your body craves more, which can make it hard to break free of sugar’s spell. Unless that is, you have the right game plan. Enter the 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge.
Taking a timeout from sugar helps you break free of the sugar cycle.
This helps you hit the reset button on your metabolic response to sugar... and your cravings.
And yes, even avoiding sugar for 7 short days can help it lose its pull over you. In this challenge, you’ll cut out all sugary foods for 7 days and focus on nourishing, nutrient-dense foods instead. Here are a few benefits you may or may not notice:
Reduced pain & inflammation
Decreased cravings & hunger
Improved mental focus
Sugar 101: How Sugar Affects Your Body and Health
Sugar may be sweet. But what it does to your health is anything but. Here’s what we mean...
Insulin Resistance: Sweetened foods like soda, cookies, and candy spike your blood sugar (also known as blood glucose). As your blood sugar rises, your pancreas pumps out insulin to help get glucose into your cells. But if you eat a high-sugar diet for too long, your body can become less sensitive to insulin. This is known as insulin resistance, and it can lead to diabetes.
Weight: Sugary foods are low in nutrients and fiber, but high in calories. That’s why high-sugar diets are linked with weight gain. Also, people who eat more sugar tend to have more visceral fat (aka belly fat), a risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers.
Liver: Your liver uses a form of sugar (fructose) to make fat. Eating too much sugar can cause fatty buildup in the liver and over time, put you at risk of liver disease.
Heart: High sugar diets increase the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and high LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Skin: Diets high in added sugars are linked with acne and premature aging.
Mood: Depression and anxiety are more common in people who eat high-sugar diets. Research shows cutting back on sugar may ease these symptoms.
Energy: Sugar provides an instant source of energy. But soon after, your blood sugar crashes, along with your energy levels.
7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge
Now that you understand what sugar does to your body, let’s get into the rules for this challenge. For 7 days, you’ll be avoiding sugar in all forms, including all of the following:
Sugary sweets. That means no cookies, cakes, donuts, candy, muffins, pastries, and ice cream.
Sweetened drinks. This includes sodas, energy drinks, or sweeteners in coffee.
“Sugar free” or artificial sweeteners. This includes Splenda, stevia, monk fruit, xylitol, & erythritol. These can trick your brain into thinking you’re eating sugar, and still cause cravings.
Fruit. Let me be clear, fruit is NOT bad! It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. But fruit does have some natural sugars. And since the purpose of this challenge is to reset your metabolic response, you’ll avoid it for 7 days.
Natural sweeteners. That means no honey, maple syrup, agave, dates, or coconut sugar. While these are better options than table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, they still spike insulin and cause cravings.
Foods with added sugars: These hide everywhere, including in healthy foods like yogurt, granola, and salad dressing. So check your labels.
What Should You Expect From Your Sugar Detox?
Since sugar is addictive, when you stop eating it, you may go through withdrawal. Knowing what to expect can make it easier to navigate this when it hits. Here are symptoms that may be experienced during a sugar detox:
If and when withdrawal hits, stay strong! It will pass. Be gentle on yourself and get plenty of rest. When cravings strike, eat a high fat or high protein snack from the meal plan. Once the withdrawal passes, you’ll feel better than ever. So hang in there!
After the 7 days are up, how to proceed is up to you. If you feel amazing and don’t want it to end, you can extend the challenge for another week or even a full 30 days! When you feel ready to add some sugar back in, start with low glycemic fruit like berries. Be sure to use the printable below to note any changes you experience from the challenge. Whether it’s less sugar cravings, balanced energy, or better sleep, this will fuel your motivation keep sugar in check going forward.
12 Sugar Detox Meal Ideas with Recipes
Here are some recipes to keep you true to the no sugar challenge. For downloadable and printable recipes, click HERE.
1. Sugar Detox Egg, Greens & Beans 2. Eggless Breakfast Hash
3. Turkey, Egg & Cheese Muffins4. Turkey & Veggie Skillet
5. Sugar Detox Smoke Salmon Salad 6. Turkey Bacon Lettuce Wraps
7. Roasted Veggie Quinoa Salad 8. Greek Inspired Turkey Patties
9. Sugar Detox Grilled Chicken Kabobs. 10. Bison Greek Skillet
11. Spaghetti Squash & Scallops 12. Crockpot Pulled Pork w/ Brussels
Healthy Meals & Recipes From Our Food Plans
Benefits of no sugar are: Improved sleep, Balanced energy, Reduced pain & inflammation, Better mood, Decreased cravings & hunger, Improved mental focus, Weight loss
Sugar withdrawal symptoms include: Low sugar, mood swings, headaches, trouble sleeping, brain fog, carbohydrate and sugar cravings.