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Test more, live more: The 3-day sugar detox
Is it really possible to go 3-days without sugar?
What do cookies, bread and bananas all have in common? Sugar. It’s hidden in sauces, snuck into our almond milk and even into our yogurt. We decided to embark on a 3-day sugar detox to see how feasible it really is in today’s world to reduce sugar in our diets – did we succeed?
How much sugar is actually in our food?
The French Instagram account @dealerdesucre (sugar dealer) was created in September 2015 to show us how much sugar can be found in foods that many of us eat on a regular basis. When we look at the account and notice that a can of soda can have up to 35g of sugar, it suddenly makes more sense why nutritionists and doctors often encourage us to cut it out of our diet.
A vacation from sugar can do the body good
The World Health Organization recommends an intake of 25g of added sugars per day, however most adults consume almost 4 times that amount in a given day alone, mainly due to a processed food diet. Over time our bodies become addicted to sugar, which can ultimately lead to overeating, cloudy thinking and a shortened attention span. A sugar detox can help rid your body of toxins and retrain your taste buds to begin to prefer wholesome foods again. One of the biggest benefits of removing sugar from your diet however, is that your complexion will start to improve and you’ll have fewer blemishes.
For three days all sugars, including honey, maple syrup, jams and even fruits must be eliminated from the diet so that your body won’t continue to crave sweet things. After the detox is over you can start to slowly reintroduce fruits and other natural sugars into your meals.
Before we started the detox we researched what foods we could eat and went grocery shopping. We were allowed lentils, brown rice, chicken, avocados, beans, quinoa, nuts, and eggs.
Due to our busy schedules we decided to prepare a large batch of everything to be able to put quick meals together during the detox. Despite our great planning, the first morning was difficult when we reached for our favorite cereal and remembered it was off limits and that our latte had to be replaced with straight black coffee – no milk or sugar added. We didn’t miss sugar too much the first day and we felt pretty good about ourselves. The second day, however, was hardest. Our body was begging for sugar and in the evening we had a holiday party where there was cake, candy and soda galore. It took a lot of willpower to limit ourselves to just sparkling water with a squeeze of lemon (well okay, we might have caved and had one or two pieces of candy but that doesn’t count does it?!…). On day three we started to get used to the detox, but we still found ourselves drinking lots of herbal caffeine-free teas and water to try to curb hunger and sugar cravings. We went to bed early that night, happy that the three days were almost up.
After the detox, we decided it wouldn’t be wise to start breaking the chocolate bars out again right away, so we turned to the book ''Sugar-free Cooking'' by Sue Quinn – it’s loaded with recipes that will satisfy a sweet tooth using only natural sweeteners like fruits. Though the 3 days were hard, it was a great learning experience and we were forced to pay closer attention to the foods we eat. It was also interesting to learn how much sugar is found in processed foods and remember that the best way to control what goes into our bodies is to go back to basics and prepare it ourselves.
Before starting any detox it’s important to speak with your doctor. We believe that a short detox is a good idea from time to time, but that it’s better to lead a balanced life and eat what you want and enjoy it, rather than deprive yourself.
You’ll be happier and your belly satisfied.