Detoxes and cleanses are in full swing right now. In January people are motivated and ready to get on a healthy track, so this is the perfect time for a sugar detox. The main aspect to focus on during a sugar detox is keeping the body well fed and hydrated.
Sugar imbalances your hormones, mood, energy and blood sugar. In addition it suppresses the immune system, causing your body to be an easy target for a virus. It is also well known that sugar feeds bad bacteria, cancer cells, and it has even been compared to cocaine because it is so addictive—that’s scary!
It’s now time to demolish that sugar habit and bring you into a healthy, vibrant and fresh New Year! Follow these steps and you will start feeling the effects immediately.
What to Focus On:
1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Keeping the body properly hydrated encourages oxygen to flow freely throughout the body. This allows you to be more attentive, alert and focused. Water itself is a powerful detoxifier because it assists the kidneys and colon to eliminate waste. Hydration means drinking water, NOT coffee, caffeinated teas or energy drinks. Although these drinks are incorporate water, they can also be dehydrating for the body.
- Drink 6-8 glasses (250mL) of water per day.
- Don’t drink water with meals because it dilutes stomach acid and leads to poor digestion.
- When your craving sweets, try having a glass of water. Sometimes cravings can be caused by dehydration.
- Add a squeeze of lemon into your water for added benefits for detox and some flavor.
2) Protein & Fat Are Your Friends
Eating tons of sugar creates a cycle of low blood sugar and intense “hanger” (hungry + anger). One way to break the cycle is to eat meals that contain tons of good protein and fat (nuts, seeds, beans, meat, wild caught fish, poultry, free range organic eggs, etc.). Protein and fat take more time to digest, thus, making you feel fuller much longer.
- Eat real meals containing protein, healthy fat and fiber – even if it doesn’t sound good.
- Don’t starve yourself.
- Try to prevent yourself from becoming too hungry between meals. You should not go longer than 4 hours between meals
- Get your first meal of the day in within an hour of waking up to kick-start your metabolism.
3) Eat All of The Colors!
Focus on eating colorful foods. When you eat vegetables and fruits with a rainbow of colors, you are getting a whole array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that all have specific jobs to keep the body healthy, skin vibrant and eyes strong. Detox is not about deprivation; so when you’re hungry, eat! Just make sure your vegetables are the star of the plate.
4) Prepare Yourself
The key to any good detox is to be prepared. Look over your weekly menu and see what ingredients you need to buy and what foods you need to prep ahead of time (especially cutting/ washing your veggies). Prepping lunches the night before is a great way to save time in the morning.
- Pick one day a week that you can dedicate about 2 hours for meal prep.
- Stay consistent with preparing your meals ahead of time; this will make the rest of the week a breeze for mealtime.
- Sleep well! Getting proper, refreshing sleep is important for overall health and can help prevent sugar cravings by 55%. Studies have shown that people who slept an average of 7-8 hrs per night were had significantly reduced cravings than those who only slept 6 hrs or less.
- Avoid excess stress. Same as with sleep, avoiding stress can help prevent sugar cravings and also keep cortisol hormones balanced and healthy, which will result in lower body fat, specifically in the abdominal area.
5) Distract and Distance Yourself
Avoid certain triggers. Try to avoid specific activities or places that give you cravings, such as walking past the bakery isle of your favorite grocery store, or carousing through your cupboards (or fridge) out of boredom when nobody is home (I know we’ve all done this one!).
- Take a hot shower for 10 min. This will create a feeling of wellbeing (kind of like after sitting in the sauna) and you will most likely forget about your craving.
- Talk to a friend and distance yourself from the craving. Call/ go meet someone who understands what you’re going through. Explain that you’re going through a craving and ask for a few words of encouragement.
- Better yet, encourage someone else going through a hard time, or just do something kind for someone for no reason. The serotonin that comes from making someone else’s day brighter will divert YOUR sugar craving, thus making it a win/ win situation for the both of you, try it!
6) Move Your Body
Go for a walk- distance yourself from the craving and get your heart rate up for at least 15min. You will notice that within 10 minutes of power walking/ jogging, especially if the sun is out (get that vitamin D for mood boost) you will feel happier, think clearer, and that craving will be long gone.
- Go to the gym and lift some weights, engage in a physically tasking hobby such as hiking, tennis, yoga, or if you’re not into sports, just vacuuming the house will be enough to shift that craving and burn it up with physical activity.
If you are like me and just cannot control yourself at all around such foods, then you should try to avoid them as much as possible. Giving in to a craving will just feed the addiction – use the tips listed above to resist. If you manage to resist, the cravings will get weaker over time and eventually disappear. Training your willpower is like training a muscle, it gets stronger in time and eventually the things that are so tempting to you now will no longer be a problem.
Visit http://www.meraswarriors.com to see more tips on beating the cravings and workouts and become your healthiest YOU!
I know you can do this!