Three days into the 21-Day Sugar Detox and I’m feeling pretty good. It’s possible that the detox is making me delusional in thinking it is more manageable than I initially thought it might be. But so far, I’ve found that with a few key tips, it is not difficult to follow the guidelines. While you may not be interested in or ready for an intensive program, I’ve outlined a few tips for easily reducing daily sugar intake,which you can begin incorporating today.
- Read labels. Seriously, I can’t stress this one enough! Sugar comes in many forms and often times, companies will attempt to mask its presence by labeling it as something you may never have even have heard of. Check for words and phrases such as: high-fructose corn syrup, dehydrated cane juice, fruit juice concentrate, and agave nectar. (See here for a more complete list.)
- Plan meals and snacks in advance. While time consuming, it is definitely worthwhile to prepare meals and snacks ahead of time when possible. Having snacks handy when you get a mid-afternoon craving and bringing lunch to work will ultimately lead to a greater chance of success and less opportunities to give in to the 3 p.m. vending machine desperation. In need of assistance with this one? Visit The Foodee Project for free meal planning tools and delicious recipes.
- Aim for a majority of unprocessed foods. When in doubt, trust things that don’t come in packages such as produce, fresh meat from the deli, and raw nuts. At the very least, you’ll know that there are no processed or refined sugars in these products.
- Drink herbal tea. Aside from its many health benefits, herbal teas can often have a sweeter taste which might curb cravings. Personal favorites include: Teavana Wild Orange Blossom, Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice, and Teavana Pineapple Kona Pop.
- Enlist support from family or friends. Consider cooking-in rather than going out for a meal, offer to bring a dish to the next family gathering, and share your new attitude with others. While it may seem awkward or uncomfortable at times to decline food (particularly at family gatherings, it always seems to be a scene rather than an unnoticed action), remember that you will ultimately feel better being in control of what you put in your body.
In the meantime, check out the Top 10 Foods with High-Fructose Corn Syrup. You might be surprised (I was shocked!) to find that frozen pizza and yogurt are among the top five on the list.
Any other tips or advice you have found useful when trying to reduce sugar intake?