One of the things I want to do with this blog is chronicle my attempts to improve myself. To do that, I’m planning to do one month “challenges” where I change something, take away, add, whatever, for a month. The goal is for that one month change to turn into a habit and to continue on even after the challenge is over. For the first challenge I’m going to do a sugar detox, and since I’m starting in the middle of the month, this one will last for six weeks.
Studies have shown that sugar can be eight times more addictive than cocaine. And I am a major addict… of sugar, just to be clear. Give me a donut for breakfast, cookies after lunch, and ice cream with dinner and I’m in heaven. I’ve noticed that even a lot of my “healthy” snacks are packed with sugar: granola bars, yogurt, etc. So, I’ve come up with a fool-proof plan to overcome my sugar addiction. And by fool-proof I mean it’s something I just came up with that I think will work, and I’ll keep you guys updated along the way. The plan is to completely cut sweets and then slowly add them back in, starting with the healthiest versions first.
Week 1: Nothing sweet whatsoever. Not even fruit. I know this seems extreme, but the point is to reset my taste buds to not crave sweet foods so much.
Week 2: Add back fruit and sweet gum. By having fruit as the only sweet thing allowed for a full week, I’m hoping that will help me start craving fruit when I’m in the mood for something sweet. Or sweet gum (I love me some Trident Layers) as opposed to cookies or ice cream.
Week 3: Add back yogurt and homemade granola. My go-to healthy snack is fruit, yogurt, and granola. There have been several times when I’ve been craving ice cream and was able to satisfy my sweet tooth with that snack instead. I would like to find a yogurt with little or no sugar, I’m thinking since I generally eat it with fruit and granola, I should be able to get away with a plain non-fat Greek yogurt. I do make my own granola, and have started using pure maple syrup as the only sweetener, but I would like to play around with other recipes, maybe one that uses apple sauce as the sweetener. I’ll let you guys know if I find a good low-sugar granola recipe.
Week 4: Add back Shakeology and Protein Powders. I thought about adding these back in week two because they provide really good nutrition, but since it’s more about re-training my taste buds, I think it will be good to just add back real, whole fruits the second week.
Week 5: Add back nut butters and natural sweeteners such as honey and pure maple syrup. There are many recipes that are healthy, supplying good fats, fiber, etc. that are sweetened with more natural, less refined ingredients. My hope is that by adding back those sweet treats first, I will start craving that more natural sweetness and regular sugary foods will be too sickly sweet for my taste buds. Again, I’ll probably try out several recipes and share my favorites with you!
Week 6: Add in the occasional regular sweet food. Hopefully I’ll be reconditioned to have fruit or something healthier to satisfy my cravings, but what is life without being able to enjoy birthday cupcakes at work or the occasional donut on food day? I will just work to only have one food like that per day, and only a couple days a week, instead of eating sugar unchecked the way I have been lately.
This plan definitely isn’t fool-proof on its own, but with a little motivation, and some iron clad willpower, I think this will set me up for success for the long run. Do you guys have a go to not sweet healthy snack? So far I’ve thought of carrots and hummus and hard boiled eggs, but I would love your suggestions. Let me know if you want to try this with me, I would love the company and it would definitely help with motivation!!
Follow me on Facebook for regular updates on how the detox is going, I will probably post here weekly or so with updates. Also follow me on Pinterest (links to both are at the top of the page). I’ll be pinning lots of things to do with the sugar detox, healthy recipes, etc.