Two-Week Sugar Detox | POPSUGAR Fitness


Let’s not sugarcoat this (really): millions of Americans have a weight problem. One study predicts that more than 85 percent of adults will be overweight or obese by the year 2030. The culprit? Sugar. Added sugars and refined carbohydrates both have the same negative impact on our bodies. Studies are finding that sugar consumption is linked to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, and depression.

As a society, we are addicted, literally. Sugar has been found to be as addictive as illicit drugs such as cocaine. Men, women, and children alike are consuming alarming amounts of sugar each year. It’s in almost every processed food that we find.

The Big Question

Do you have uncontrollable cravings for pizza, chocolate, chips, cookies, ice cream? In a study, Dr. Nicole Avena of the Icahn School of Medicine lists those as the “big offenders.” Avena attests that these foods “share pharmacokinetic properties (e.g. concentrated dose, rapid rate of absorption) with drugs of abuse.”

Other signs that you consume too much sugar:

  • You eat sugary, refined, processed foods even if you aren’t truly hungry.
  • You feel bloated and overly full due to overeating.
  • You are hungry for the same junk food in a short period of time after eating.

Are you experiencing any or all of these symptoms? If so, it’s time to take action. There are many experts, including Dr. Mark Hyman and Brooke Alpert, who will attest that you have to quit sugar completely. Doctors suggest that you treat unhealthy eating patterns just as you would any type of addiction and quit sugar cold turkey. You can help yourself by completing this two-week sugar detox that we put together with the help of Alpert.

Your 14-Day Sugar Detox Plan

It’s time to get clean. First, let’s address the truth: this won’t be easy. You may feel sugar withdrawal, but once you get through this sugar detox, you could change your life, your health, your physique, your mood, and your energy levels forever.

Week 1:

On Alpert’s plan, the first three days you will go without any added sugars including artificial sweeteners. The first four days will be the toughest. When cravings become brutal, stop and focus on why you started. Remember that fixing your diet is worth the struggle for long-term health.

Days 1-4 Meal Plan

For the first four days, you will cut fruit, dairy, and grains altogether. They can be slowly added back in after the initial portion of the detox.

Breakfast

  • 3 whole eggs (made any way you choose). If you scramble them or make an omelet, add spinach, bell peppers, or other green veggies for flavor. Just no cheese!
  • Turkey sausage
  • Coffee — black

Snack

  • 1 oz. raw nuts — almonds, cashews, or walnuts are excellent choices — OR celery sticks with almond butter or peanut butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Water

Lunch

  • 6-8 ounces any lean white meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
  • Veggies — Eat all you want. Just choose from the nonstarchy varieties such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or squash (no peas, potatoes, or carrots).
  • Unsweetened tea (no artificial sweeteners)

Snack

  • Celery sticks or cucumbers with hummus (1.5 ounces) OR 3 hard-boiled eggs with salt and pepper
  • Water

Dinner

  • 6-8 ounces any lean white meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
  • Veggies — Eat all you want. Just choose from the nonstarchy varieties such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or squash (no peas, potatoes, or carrots).
  • Water

On day 4, Alpert says it’s time to add an apple, one dairy product, and some starchy vegetables like corn or peas as sides to your lunch or dinner. You can do this each day throughout the first week.

Days 5-7 Meal Plan

Breakfast

  • Use the same breakfast from above, but you can add 1-1.5 oz. cheese OR a side of Greek yogurt (no reduced-fat yogurt, no fruit bottom or blends — just plain, Greek yogurt).

Snack

  • Celery sticks or cucumbers with hummus (1.5 ounces) OR 3 hard-boiled eggs with salt and pepper OR 1/2 cup berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • Water

Lunch

  • 6-8 oz. any lean white meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
  • Veggies — Eat all you want. Just choose from the nonstarchy varieties such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or squash (no peas, potatoes, or carrots).
  • Unsweetened tea (no artificial sweeteners)

Snack

  • Celery sticks or cucumbers with hummus (1.5 ounces) OR 3 hard-boiled eggs with salt and pepper
  • Water

Dinner

  • 6-8 oz. any lean white meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
  • Veggies — Eat all you want. Just choose from the nonstarchy varieties such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or squash (no peas, potatoes, or carrots).
  • Water

Week 2:

The second week, you get to add more to your plate. Alpert attests that it’s now time for one serving of berries and an extra dairy product. You may also add vegetables such as sweet potatoes or your favorite squash.

By now, changing your diet should be getting a bit easier. Stick with it! Mind over matter.

Days 8-14

Breakfast

  • 3 eggs and one serving of oatmeal with 1/2 cup berries
  • Black coffee

Snack

  • 1 oz. raw nuts — almonds, cashews, walnuts — OR celery sticks with almond butter or peanut butter (2 tablespoons)
  • Water

Lunch

  • 6-8 oz. any lean white meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
  • Veggies — Eat all you want. Just choose from the nonstarchy varieties such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or squash (no peas or potatoes).
  • Unsweetened tea (no artificial sweeteners)

Snack

  • Celery sticks, cucumbers, carrots, or whole-wheat crackers with 1.5 ounces hummus OR 3 hard-boiled eggs with salt and pepper
  • Water

Dinner

  • 6-8 oz. any lean white meat (turkey, chicken, fish)
  • Veggies — Eat all you want. Just choose from the nonstarchy varieties such as broccoli, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, or squash.
  • Add 1 cup quinoa or brown rice with a teaspoon of butter OR 4 oz. sweet potato with 1 teaspoon butter
  • Water

After week two, you can add starchy vegetables back in with your lunch and dinner. You may also add one serving of a clean carb to your lunches. Your lunch and dinner options would look the same after the two-week plan is over.

How to Stick With It

The way you eat must become a lifestyle. Think like an athlete. Sarah Chadwell, CPT and bodybuilder, told POPSUGAR that you should “always be conscious of what you’re eating, what mood you’re in when you’re eating, and whether or not you’re truly hungry. If you stick with a five-meal-per-day plan and eat every three hours, you should never feel deprived.”

Remember that food is to nourish your body, not harm it. It seems that in our culture we celebrate everything with food. Food should not be seen as a reward. That’s not how an athlete looks at food. For them, it’s simply fuel for our bodies. When you learn to view it as an energy source instead of a reward or way to celebrate, eating healthfully will become easier and then become habitual.

It takes time to adopt new habits, but it’s possible. How? Become the person who brings the healthy dish to every get-together. If you are struggling, hire a health or wellness coach. Join an online support group with others who are completing a sugar detox. Get your family and friends on board so that those around you are all eating the same things. There’s power in numbers. Remind yourself of how good you feel and how much your health is improving. If you let it, this sugar detox can help you make a permanent change and you will live a longer, healthier life.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim



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