It's time. You're going to start a sugar detox. You know it's good for you, but not exactly sure how. Alas, the benefits of a sugar detox are well worth it, including these 5!
Are you addicted to sugar? If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, there's a strong chance you could be addicted to the sweet stuff.
Instead of telling you about the foods you should avoid, I'm here to deliver a little good news instead. When we avoid sugar, life gets a lot easier. Excessive sugar consumption breeds a flurry of complications from A to Z.
If you're wondering what excessive sugar consumption is, the American Heart Association gave us some guidelines to follow:
- Children: 3 teaspoons or less a day (about 12 grams or less)
- Women: 6 teaspoons or less a day (about 24 grams or less)
- Men: 9 teaspoons or less a day (about 36 grams or less)
Cutting back on sugar can have some pretty great side effects. Not always easy to eliminate, once you're over the hump and cravings begin to pass, you'll feel a lot better.
1) Weight Loss
When you cut out sugar, the focus is on the sweet stuff, not calories. Steer clear of sugar and there is a good chance that your weight loss will be permanent.
2) Better Gut Health
Take a good probiotic first thing in the morning. And NO, I don't mean a sugary yogurt with probiotic qualities added to it. I mean a probiotic in tablet, pill, powder or liquid form. If you want to get good bacteria (probiotics) from the foods you eat, you can make your own yogurt or your own pickled vegetables. It's really easy to do either.
As always, stay away from sugar. If your gut is a house on fire, sugar will only fan the flames.
3) Improved Mood
Sugar can be as addictive as cocaine. Feeling good, almost high, when you eat something sugary is a sign that you need to hit the brakes. Sugar ignites our brain's pleasure center, which is activated again when we indulge in something sugary. This vicious cycle continues until the pattern is finally broken.
It's easier said than done, but if you know you'll have a problem easing off sugar, have healthier alternatives around and ready to go. Keep chopped up carrots or apples on-hand. Make sure you pair them with something with a little protein and fat, like almond butter or hummus, to control your blood sugar levels. If that doesn't sound appetizing, stay away from the kitchen when you know cravings set in. If you fall prey to fast food or quick and easy grocery store pick-me-ups, focus hard and keep your eye on the prize. Think of will power as a muscle. It only gets stronger if you use it.
4) Fewer Wrinkles
5) Less Inflammation
Traci D Mitchell is a nationally-recognized health and fitness coach, and author of the Belly Burn Plan. Featured on numerous news programs, publications, and radio shows, such as the TODAY Show, Steve Harvey, Dr. Oz, Oprah.com, and SHAPE magazine, Traci specializes in weight loss through clean eating and high intensity interval training. Traci is also a speaker, and has a natural ability to engage and motivate large groups. You can learn more about Traci on her website, Facebook or Twitter.
Get 3 recipes from her forthcoming book, The Belly Burn Plan, right now.