Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Have you ever wanted to do a sugar detox? Did you indulge over the holiday and are ready to shift into healthier habits again ? If you want to go off of sugar, you might try a week-long, 10-day, or month-long sugar detox first, instead of trying to quit cold turkey.
So, what are the benefits of a sugar detox? Depending on what types of sugar we consume in our regular diet, our #sugarintake can have a major impact on how we feel from day to day. So many foods and drinks contain added or hidden sugars we often don’t even realize how much sugar we are consuming. In addition to added sugars sneaking into some of our regular foods, we also have endless access to sugary candy, treats, desserts, and more. If we aren’t careful, we can get carried away and end up eating an unhealthy amount of sugar on a regular basis. Research has shown several negative effects of sugar consumption and reveals that too much sugar can have a serious impact on our health including general pain in the body, increased mood disorders or feelings of low energy or sluggishness, foggy thinking, and more.
Because of the impact sugar has on the whole person, mind and body, there are many sugar detox benefits that can help you to look and feel better.
Here are some benefits to going off sugar:
Healthier gut and less gas
Clear, younger-looking skin
It is easier to lose weight when you aren’t consuming empty sugar calories
Less cavities, more protection for your teeth
Improved energy. No spikes in blood sugar mean no sugar crash
Stronger immune system (sugar can weaken immunity)
Less sugar cravings over time
A sugar detox restores balance to the body, helping you feel better overall
Fewer mood swings
Decreased risk for various chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease and stroke, and diabetes
Less day-to-day aches and pains, decreased levels of chronic inflammation
What Does a Sugar Detox Do?
Change starts in the brain. Sugar is the most readily available source of energy for our bodies and our brain, so when we consume it, it actually triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin—telling us to eat more. This trigger also causes our memory centers in the brain to remember that consuming sugar provides energy and makes us feel good. If you find yourself constantly having sugar cravings, it is thanks to those “feel good” neurotransmitters in the brain.
Some people ask, “What are the side effects of a sugar detox?” Quitting sugar cold turkey may initially cause withdrawal-like symptoms: intense cravings, lethargy, brain fog, dizziness, nausea, general digestive discomfort, and even emotional despair. Eventually, the brain will adapt and no longer crave the “rush” that comes from consuming sugar. This process is progressive and may take several weeks before the cravings totally subside and you start experiencing the benefits above. You may find Adaptiv capsules helpful during this transition time to support mood or stress.
How to do a Sugar Detox with Essential Oils
To effectively remove sugar from your diet and complete a sugar detox, you’ll need a little help. Did you know that some essential oils can be used to add flavor to your food and drinks? And some essential oils can even help fight of sweet tooth cravings.* We’ve compiled some of the best essential oils for a sugar detox to help you stick to your goals and successfully go off sugar.
Here are a few ways that essential oils can help with your sugar detox:
Flavor your food with essential oils. People often ask, “What can I eat on a sugar detox?” When you are trying to flush sugar out of your body, it will be important to make sure you are cutting out sugary desserts, sugary drinks, and reading labels to help you avoid processed snacks or foods where sugars might be lurking. In addition to avoiding sugar-packed foods, you’ll want to make sure you are eating nutrient-rich foods like fruits and vegetables. If you find yourself craving your favorite sugary treats, consider adding an extra kick to your meals by using essential oils in your cooking. Here's a Cooking with Essential Oils ebook (audio and PDF) to inspire some flavorful meals and snacks using essential oils including my FAVORITE rosemary-lemon humus and pineapple-nectarine salsa that I like on salmon.
Plan your snacks. Eating foods that are rich in nutrients will help you to feel fuller and hopefully keep you from longing for sugar. However, one of the hardest parts of a sugar detox is finding sugar-free snacks. Even things like crackers, granola bars, and other packaged snacks that seem harmless they're often packed with added sugar. If you usually turn to sugary snacks throughout the day, you’ll need to plan ahead and make a few sugar-free snacks each day to stay on track with your detox. I LOVE these Wild Orange Power Balls which you can vary for your palate or food sensitivities.
Stay Hydrated. Whether you are a fan of juice, sports drinks, soda, or other sugary drinks, you might find yourself craving these beverages during your sugar detox. One of the best things you can do during a sugar detox, and in general, is to stay hydrated. Some "sports drinks / health waters" contain MORE sugar than a Snickers Bar. Make sure you are drinking plenty of pure water throughout the day.
You can save a LOT of money, reduce plastic consumption, reduce consumption of food colorings and other chemicals, and vary your workout beverage flavor easily by making your own electrolyte replacement drink for those sweatier workouts.
Hydration is key for a healthy body, plus drinking enough water everyday will help you to feel less hungry. If you are missing your sugary drinks, try infusing your water with essential oils. Oils like Grapefruit, Lemon, Wild Orange, and Green Mandarin make a great addition to water when you want a fruity blast of flavor. Adding a drop of Fennel oil to your water can help you fight cravings for sugar.* Smart and Sassy blend has become a personal favorite on the daily with the naturally sweet flavor of cinnamon bark essential oil to support healthy metabolism. You can even make these fun essential oil ice cubes to add some color, fun, and flavor to your water. I definitely feel and sleep better when I'm mindful of what I'm consuming. I started reducing my sugar consumption in June 2021 and have lost almost 50 lbs now and I'm beyond THRILLED!
Finding and consuming healthier alternatives doesn't have to be complicated. Do you need a little more help to get started? Join us for Nutrition, Supplements, and Immunity on January 11th at 8pm AST if you'd like to learn more about my journey and how I keep it simple when it comes to my approach to healthy, local eating in Nova Scotia.
Until next time, I hope you're having a deliciously beautiful day!