With the coronavirus crisis there have been lots of extra calories consumed from alcohol and chocolate! As our life gets back to normal now is a great time to get rid of those extra kilos and start a new healthy regime. A sugar and alcohol detox might be in order for some people. Sugar detoxes can be challenging but half the battle is a positive mindset – the other half is being organised. Have your meals roughly planned and alternative refined sugar free snacks ready for when you are craving sugar.
The first 3 days of a sugar detox are the most challenging because this is when withdrawals are at their peak – you might feel irritable and headaches may occur. The best way to cope is to eat every few hours and have fruit when craving sugar. Allow yourself one refined sugar free snack each day such as a bliss ball, sugar free muffin or muesli bar that contains only natural sugars. There is also a sugar free hot chocolate called Avalanche that can help with sugar cravings. Drinking lots of water and fruit herbal teas can also help. Chromium is a supplement that can help with sugar withdrawals.
Breakfast in some ways is the hardest meal to do sugar free especially if you’re used to supermarket breakfast cereals, as most of them contain a lot of sugar. A good rule of thumb is to make sure there are less than 5g of sugar per serving. The best breakfast that you can feed both children and adults is porridge. Other options are a smoothie sweetened with fruit or honey. Fruit and Greek yogurt is another choice or eggs on toast and toasted sandwiches. Watch that the ingredients in your bread don’t contain sugar – Alpine breads are a great choice.
Sugar in your coffee and tea can be hard to give up. If you’re finding it too hard to go cold turkey, swap it for honey or maple syrup in your tea. Surprisingly these go really well in coffee also or you can use Stevia or Natvia which are plant based sweeteners.
Lunches and dinners aren’t hard to do sugar free – sandwiches, soups, eggs on toast, leftovers or salads with protein to keep you full. If you’re a sushi fan the bought ones have a load of sugar added into the rice. Be aware of anything out of a jar like spaghetti and pasta sauces, stir fry sauces and tomato sauce.
Snacking with no sugar is the hardest part as so many snacks contain sugar. Go for snacks like nuts, fruit and bliss balls made with natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Dates generally have no added sugar, so these are always good for a sweet fix and taste a little bit like healthy toffy. Be really careful with yogurt as they normally have a whopping 3 teaspoons of sugar in them per serve. Activia is a good one or Yo Pro or Fits. Your best bet is plain Greek yogurt flavoured with honey. Another option is Jalna as these are flavoured with apple juice concentrate instead of the evil white stuff.
Depending on how addicted you are, withdrawing from sugar varies for everybody. Make sure to eat every few hours to keep your blood sugar levels up and drink lots of water and fruit herbal teas.
Cinnamon is also a good spice to help reduce sugar cravings. Day 3 is generally the hardest and from there on, it should be fairly smooth sailing! By Day 5 you should have more energy and be feeling the positive effects of removing all that sugar from your body.