If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution to boost your health and overhaul your lifestyle, why not try going sugar-free? Unlike other plans that rely on decreased food intake and can leave you feeling sick, weak, and dizzy, giving up sugar is actually a recommended way to detox and can actually make you feel better.
Reducing or eliminating sugar in your diet, even for 30 days, has a variety of benefits including better skin, weight loss, and overall improved health. It makes sense that ditching sugar would improve your health and appearance when you consider that excess sugar has been linked to weight gain, signs of premature aging, obesity, and even cardiovascular disease.
You may not realize it but sugar can actually be addictive and have a similar effect on the brain as illegal drugs that induce pleasure. Around 10 percent of people may be sugar addicts. One major issue facing both sugar addicts and people who are trying to eliminate sugar is the amount of hidden sugar in foods. Some foods, especially desserts and sweets like candy, cakes, cookies, and ice cream, are obvious sugar bombs. But items that aren’t considered “sweet,” like sauces and dressings, are often loaded with sugar, so you may be consuming more sugar than you calculate as your daily intake.
Specialists have found that the secret to eliminating sugar from your diet is to go “cold turkey.” Gradually cutting back on sugar or trying to consume it in moderate amounts hasn’t been found to be an effective way to detox from the sweet stuff. For the first three days, eliminate excess sugar as well as starchy fruits, veggies, dairy, grains, and alcohol. In the meantime, you can load up on lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. On day four, slowly begin to add select foods back into your diet, including berries. Next, reintroduce dairy and grains into your diet.
Once you decide to go sugar-free, even for 30 days, you can find a variety of websites and online support groups designed to help you through your transition.