Some people do great going cold turkey when it comes to sugar. They cut it all out of their diet, deal with the nasty side effects of sugar detoxing or a few days and move on. But that doesn’t work for everyone. For some of us the side effects are just too severe, or going cold turkey just doesn’t appeal to us. In those cases a more gradual approach may do the trick.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter if you cut all the sugar out at once or slowly wean yourself off the stuff. What matters is how you eat a few weeks from now. What matters is making healthy changes to your diet that you can stick with for the long term.
If you’ve tried a sugar detox and just couldn’t make it through those days of detoxing, or if the whole idea scares you, go with a more gradual approach. Start by taking a good look at what you’re eating and drinking any given day. Where do you consume the most sugar?
If you’re drinking a lot of soda, start there. Cut back to no more than one serving of sugary soda a day and replace the rest with water, herbal tea and black coffee. If you’re drinking coffee with a lot of sugar and cream, work on getting yourself used to less and then no sugar in your coffee.
Next, work on the food. Write down what you eat for a few days and you’ll see some patterns emerge. Where do the sweet treats pop up? Is it the sugar filled breakfast cereal or muffin in the morning? Is it the bag of cookies to get you through your afternoon? Or is it the chocolate and ice cream late night snack?
Find out when and where you consume a lot of sugar. Then make a plan to break that habit. For example you could fix cheese toast, eggs, or oatmeal with a little stevia instead of pancakes and syrup or sweet cereal for breakfast. If you need a little “pick-me-up” in the afternoon, grab a piece of fruit or makes up some trail mix with various nuts and a few dried cranberries. If evening snacking is your vice, eat a big dinner and then see if you can make it with just a cup of herbal tea until bedtime. If not, grab some raw veggies and dip or an apple as your evening snack. It will be a lot better for you than that bowl of ice cream.
Keep making gradual changes that you can live with until you’ve cut most of the added sugar from your diet.