When kicking a sugar tooth, one of the first and most effective steps is getting rid of all highly processed and sugary foods ~ also known as a sugar detox. In fact, I recently shared this as one of the most important things I did for beating my sugar addiction (you can find the full video HERE or linked below).
But what does this actually look like? What foods should you be skipping and which foods should you be filling your plate with instead? Today, I'm sharing a complete list of foods you should *avoid* as well as foods you should *eat* when you're incorporating a sugar detox.
Foods To Avoid On A Sugar Detox
Before we dive into the foods you should be eating during a sugar detox, it's important to understand the foods you'll want to avoid. It might seem obvious at first glance (you just avoid "sugar", right?). But all carbohydrates break down into sugar, so we need to determine the sugars that won't serve our goals during the sugar detox vs. the "sugars" that will serve our goals.
The goal with a sugar detox is generally to help reset taste buds, stop sugar cravings and help achieve a weight loss or wellness goal. In fact, this is a similar goal with my 7 Day Detox where we not only address sugar, but also foods that clog up and slow down the liver. You can find the 7 Day Detox HERE. The sugars that work against all of these goals are those that are high glycemic and highly processed.
Highly processed or refined sugars include the obvious offenders, such as cane sugar, white flour and high fructose corn syrup. But the high glycemic sugars can be a little bit more sneaky, because often times these sugars are hidden in seemingly healthy food items.
High glycemic means that a food quickly raises our blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause a big spike in our storing hormone insulin, which shuts off fat burning and can result in weight gain. On top of that, high glycemic foods can also cause a blood sugar crash shortly after eating them, which then results in low energy levels and sugar cravings all day long. So when looking to best optimize your sugar detox, it's important to not just avoid the obvious offenders, such as soda and cookies, but also those less obvious high glycemic foods (like dates and dried fruit).
After your sugar detox, some of these higher glycemic whole foods can be added back into your diet (as long as you aren't carb sensitive) in small amounts. But it's important to remember that these foods still have a big impact on blood sugar levels and shouldn't be used in large amounts or frequently throughout the week.
See below for a complete list of high glycemic and/or refined/processed sugars to avoid during a sugar detox.
Foods To Eat On A Sugar Detox
The foods that you want to fill your plate with during a sugar detox are those that are medium to low glycemic load and don't contain any added sugars. These foods are naturally rich in high quality proteins and fats to help boost satiety and prevent sugar cravings.
One caveat: if you are carbohydrate sensitive, you'll want to also pay attention to the starches and higher sugar fruits (these are noted with an asterisk on the food list). Even though these foods aren't very high glycemic, they are very high in starches and/or sugars. If you're carb sensitive, this means that the body likely can't tolerate a higher carbohydrate intake, so these foods should also be limited or avoided.
Not sure if you're carb sensitive? Take my free quiz HERE.
See below for the foods to eat on a sugar detox.
Knowing what to eat is one important factor. But in order to truly tackle sugar cravings, it's also important to know how to combine these foods. If you aren't getting a proper balance of protein, fat and fiber rich foods, you'll still likely feel hungry and experience sugar cravings (even though you're eating the right type of food).
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Autumn Elle Nutrition