Sugar is one of the most difficult ingredients to avoid when trying to maintain good health or weight loss. It seems that sugar is in more and more products, hidden under different names and becoming harder to detect and avoid. Sugar in most of its forms can not only lead to fat gain, but it can cause numerous health problems, too. There’s no question that high amounts of sugar on a consistent basis isn’t the healthiest diet, and worst yet, it’s addicting. So, what’s the best way to kick the habit of eating too much sugar?
A popular practice that removes sugar from your diet is the 40-day sugar fast. A sugar fast means eliminating the different ways sugar sneaks into our diets, such as with refined sugars and artificial sweeteners. Some of the benefits of eliminating sugar include better energy levels and control over cravings, as well as weight loss. For the best results follow these 40 day sugar fast rules to get the most from your sugar detox.
The 40-Day Sugar Fast: What to Avoid
Sugar fasting is a widely recognized practice of detoxing the body of processed sugars to receive numerous health benefits. This diet plan requires the abstinence from sweets for 40 days, rewiring the brain to no longer crave sugar. Forty days of no sugar helps break the sugar addiction cycle and allows your body to rest back to healthier functioning.
When starting your detox from sugar, it’s best to focus on a diet that consists of whole, unprocessed foods. Whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, are naturally low in sugar. The 40-day diet also requires staying hydrated–which means plenty of water but avoiding any sugary drinks. It’s hard to know where sugar is hidden in certain foods and what to avoid in a sugar fast. Here are some of the tricky products you should avoid during a 40-day sugar fast:
It’s sad, but true that some of our favorite snacks, such as chips and candies, are full of sugar. Crackers and snack bars often contain high fructose corn syrup, a heavily processed form of hidden sugar. Be sure to read all nutrition labels, but it’s best to ditch most prepackaged foods when starting the 40-day sugar fast.
Sauces and Condiments
Some more of our favorites that are also unfortunately filled with higher levels of sugar are many sauces and condiments. Food items such as ketchup, salad dressings, sauces, and marinades typically have added sugar. You can ditch the sugar in these products by making your own at home using sugar-free ingredients.
A food product that’s notorious for very high levels of added sugars is flavored yogurts. While they are a great source of protein and healthy fat, yogurts can completely sabotage your sugar-detoxing efforts. Swap flavored yogurts for plain and add fresh fruit instead.
Canned Fruit or Fruit Juices
While fruit is a good source of natural sugar that doesn’t disrupt the body like processed or refined sugars, there are fruit food products that contain hidden sugars. Canned fruit is often preserved in sweet syrups and fruit juices usually have additional sugars added to them. You can check nutrition labels, but it’s best to avoid and have fresh or frozen fruits instead.
Don’t be fooled by clever marketing, energy drinks and sports drinks are not as healthy as they’re made to appear. Not only do these drinks contain artificial ingredients, high levels of caffeine, and other stimulants, but they’re also loaded with processed sugars that wreak havoc on the body. While it’s hard to wean from a dependency on these energy boosters, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Natural Sugar Sources
You wouldn’t think natural sugar sources like honey, agave, and maple syrup would make the list of products to avoid on a 40-day sugar fast. The truth is, while these are the healthier sources of sugar when compared to processed sugars, they spike your glycemic levels and in large doses can still cause health issues.
The Benefits of the 40-Day Sugar Fast
While the rules of the 40-day sugar fast are simple, detoxing from sugar is easier said than done. The main rule is the elimination of all sugar, this means all added sugars and sweeteners, refined sugar, high fructose corn syrups, and even natural sweeteners. There’s absolutely no candy, sugar-filled drinks, or dessert when launching into a 40-day sugar fast.
If you can manage through 40 days, the benefits of sugar fasting are numerous. The number one benefit is weight loss as sugar is a source of empty calories that stimulate our body to store fat. Removing sugar from your diet also improves energy levels and reduces inflammation in the body, which can lead to more serious chronic issues like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Getting control of your sugar cravings can greatly benefit your health, so breaking the addiction cycle with a 40-day cleanse gives you better control over future sugar binges.
How to start a 40-day sugar fast?
It’s best to prepare yourself for a sugar fast before beginning the 40-day plan. The first few days can elicit sugar withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, and irritability. Be sure to drink plenty of water and maintain a balanced diet. Also, get plenty of sleep as an initial, temporary drop in energy levels may occur.
Here are a few tips to help you get started on the right foot with your 40-day sugar fast:
- Plan meals and snacks ahead of time; this will help prevent the temptation to grab a sugar-filled food item when you’re hungry.
- Read all nutrition and food labels; this will help you avoid any sneaky, added processed sugars that will ruin your fast.
- Find or establish a support group; having a group or accountability partner that can be supportive of your sugar elimination and help you stay on track can be beneficial in keeping you motivated through the entire 40 days.
The 40-day sugar fast is a powerful way to lose weight and improve overall health. By taking the challenge to omit sugars from your diet, you not only help break the cycle of addiction, but you also get to partake in all the additional health benefits.
Avoiding sugar is no easy mission, but by being mindful of avoiding the tricky products mentioned above as well as following our tips, you can successfully complete your 40-day sugar fast. Remember to read all labels and plan on consuming whole, unprocessed foods during your detox. Ensure you’re staying hydrated, getting plenty of sleep, and even exercising more often to help combat the side effects of sugar withdrawal.
If you want to lose weight, reduce inflammation, have better control over sugar cravings, and improve your energy levels, then the 40-day sugar fast may be right for you. Cut processed sugars for better health today!