Weight loss and other benefits of sugar detox: Lose flab, get leaner, beat diabetes by quitting added sugar



  • Addiction to sugar (a product which is often called the white poison) is a matter of acquired habit like the taste for salt. If you’re one of the millions of Indians suffering from obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or even just plain feeling crummy as a result of an unplanned diet, you’ll want to seriously consider sugar detox.
  • Addiction to any food item or a compulsive relationship with food can interfere with one’s quality of life. To feel amazing and to begin thriving again, you need to detoxify your body and mind. More ahead in this piece on why sugar is addictive, why excess sugar hurts, and how to kick the addiction.
    Think of a detox as your “reset” button.
    Now that you have realised that sugar is one thing that is not helping you at all when it comes to sticking to a health regimen, make a plan to chuck it from your meal plan. Just imagine the health benefits. You can:
    1. Restore body’s blood sugar balance,
    2. Reduce insulin spikes,
    3. Balance hormones,
    4. Cool off inflammation,
    5. Drop pounds,
    6. Improve digestion,
    7. Boost your metabolism,
    8. Improve your health, and
    9. Give you more radiant skin.
    What are the sugar-loaded items you eat?
    Tea with sugar and milk, cake, biscuits, cookies, ice creams, cakes, pastries, jams, chocolates, mithai, Indian desserts like gulab jamun, etc… right?
    While all these are obvious sources of sugar, other foods that may not even taste sweet — such as salad dressings, tomato sauces and slices of bread — can be loaded with the white stuff, warn nutrition experts.
    “Sugar makes you fat, ugly and old,” Brooke Alpert, a registered dietitian and co-author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight — Look and Feel Great,” told CNN Health.
    Why is sugar addictive?
    Alpert also elaborated on why we can’t stop consuming sugar. “People have a real dependency — a real addiction to sugar. When we consume sugar, we feel good from it, we get a kind of high or rush of joy, and then we crash and need to reach for more.”
    Why is sugar bad for you?
    • Sugar isn’t poison, but it definitely isn’t good for you.
    • This readily available sugar interferes with the body’s ability to regulate itself.
    • Most non-processed foods like fibres, complex carbs etc that we eat force the body and metabolism to “work” for its sugar.
    • Most foods lead to gradual increases in blood sugar because they slowly release sugars.
    • In contrast, foods containing added refined sugars, on the other hand, release those sugars all at once.
    • Your body responds to this rapid increase in blood sugar by making and secreting insulin, asking cells to start hoarding and warehousing sugar while it’s around and turn it into fats.
    • Chronic high levels of insulin will eventually cause your cells to start ignoring it, which eventually leads to diabetes.
    How to sugar detox:
    Alpert spells out a plan.
    Week 1:
    Go cold turkey at least for the first three days of the sugar detox.
    Give up added sugar completely. Have green tea without sugar.
    Also no fruits, no starchy vegetables, no dairy, no grains and no alcohol.
    Eat foods that classify as protein, vegetables and healthy fats.
    On day 4, you can add an apple. (We promise you it will taste like candy!)
    Add one dairy food and one apple each day, like yoghurt, cheese etc. till day-7
    Add some higher-sugar vegetables such as carrots and snow peas till day-7.
    Week 2: 
    Add a serving of antioxidant-rich berries and an extra serving of dairy.
    Add back starchy vegetables.
    Week 3: 
    Add grains such as dalia, roti, sooji, barley, quinoa and oatmeal
    Add some more fruit
    Week 4:
    You are “permitted” two starches per day. Add bread and rice, high-fibre crackers.
    A sandwich on any one day of the week.
    Do you love wine? No wine for the first two weeks. You are permitted 3 glasses in all – in week 3; 4 in week 4. After sugar detox, “The onions are sweet! Almonds are sweet! Once you take sugar away from your diet cold turkey, your palate recalibrates, and you start tasting natural sugars,” says Alpert.
    How to maintain a sugar detox diet:
    1. Do not use artificial sweeteners though they add no calories.
    2. They make our palates dull and immune and less reactive to what sweetness really is.
    3. Occasional, intentional added sugar food item indulgences are allowed
    4. No fruit is off-limits once you’ve completed the 31 days.
    5. You can have an ice cream or a piece of cake at a birthday party.
    Alpert observes that 31 days of sugar detox leaves you healthier:
    • The addictive behaviour is gone
    • Having ice cream once or twice will not send you back to square one.
    • You have control and ownership of your diet and body.
    Quit sugar, lose unhealthy weight:
    Alpert tells CNN that detoxing from sugar can help you lose weight quickly. “We had over 80 testers from all over the country, and they lost anywhere between 5 to 20 pounds during the 31 days, depending on their weight or sugar addiction,” Alpert said. “Many also noticed that a lot of the weight was lost from their midsection. Belts got looser!”
    Why would you too not want to try sugar detox, provided your doctor is okay with it?
    Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a professional healthcare provider if you have any specific questions about any medical matter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here