Oh man. It’s coming up, people. In 4 days, I’m going 100% sugar free for the following 10.
(Is that pathetic that it feels like such a monumental thing?)
Since I’m an organizational freak, I have to pre-plan everything in my life to have any prayer of being successful. And so, I’m going into this challenge with guns fully loaded.
Read on for all the dirty details, strategies, and meal planning ideas, plus the SECRET WEAPON that’s going to get me through this thing!
***If you want to JOIN ME (please please please!), I set up a little Facebook group that I’ll be running just for the 10-day duration of the challenge (next Monday, Nov. 10, through the following Wednesday, Nov. 19). I’ll be on there daily to check in, share whatever motivational treasures I can find online (haha), and hopefully connect with a few of you for some much-needed support!
You can follow along even if you’re doing your own version of a sugar challenge—something like “just one sweet a day.” So go join now!
–No sweeteners of any kind, natural or otherwise (including honey, maple syrup, agave, stevia, and artificial sweeteners).
–No liquid sweets (juice, soda, energy drinks, wine, beer, shakes involving protein powder with sugar in it).
–No sugary sauces/dressings (ketchup, BBQ sauce), no packaged foods with added sugar, etc.
The one exception to this challenge is FRUIT. It technically contains fructose, of course, and some no-sugar challenges are so hard core that they cut it out, but I’m not going there (partially because I was originally inspired by the Fed Up 10-day challenge, which allows fruit).
Dairy is another grey area—it technically contains lactose (sugarrrr), but I’m not cutting it because dairy is also a great source of protein and fat, and I don’t have much of it in my diet anyway. The most I’ll probably do is butter on my veggies (because it’s one thing to eat veggies, and a totally different thing to eat VEGGIES WITH BUTTER) and some cheese.
Remember that sugar has a bunch of secret spy names that show up on labels, like dextrin/dextrose, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, saccharose, sucrose, and xylose. Watch out for those bad boys. Sugar alcohols like maltitol and sorbitol are also no-no’s.
Of course, you can totally bypass any of that tricky label reading business by just getting simple, whole foods—things that don’t even have labels (meat, veggies, healthy fats like olive oil, fruit).
If this all sounds super depressing, just remember all the foods that are still YES foods, like: Cheese! Steak! Cocoa! Berries! (Sugar free) nut butter! BACON!
Is it weird that I need a strategy to not eat sugar? I can’t just not eat it? Haha…
So I was trying to think of things that might sabotage me, by making me crave sugar even more than I normally would. I think my biggest threats are:
—Coffee. Coffee messes with blood sugar and causes sugar cravings. I’m not interested in going cold turkey on it, but I’ll definitely be limiting myself to one small cup a day.
—Stress. I’m the queen of overcommitting and under-relaxing. I’m going to keep an extra close eye on this during the challenge, because stress is also a well-know sugar craving spiker.
When I feel it coming on (which it will), the plan is: deep breathing. Someone recently taught me the 4-7-8 “Relaxing Breath” exercise (4 counts in, hold for 7 counts, 8 counts out – repeat x 4).
—Poor sleep. With a 2-month-old, I don’t have TOTAL control of this. But what I can control is the time I go to bed—I have a bad habit of being a naughty night owl. Not next week!
The secret weapon
Ok, here’s the REAL way I’m going to get through this. Are you ready?
I’m going to keep eating dessert.
Remember that chocolate, in its original pure form (cocoa), is sugar free. And I’ve been wanting to try Chocolate Covered Katie’s sugar free fudge for a long time now:
I’m also eyeing up these Bitter Bounty Chocolates:
I know they’re not going to taste as sweet as what I might be used to, but that’s one of the big benefits of the challenge—training my taste buds to recognize less sweet things as sweet enough.
And, really, treats are mostly just a ritual to me anyway. It’s not that I’m craving sugar, it’s that I want something sweet, and I can do that without sugar.
Now, don’t worry, I’m not trying to game the system here. I’m not going to go to town on these sugar free treats, either. Part of the idea here is to break that mindset that I “need” something sweet after meals at all. But if I can learn to satisfy myself on a little sugarless treat here and there, I think that’s a pretty big win.
The 21 Day Sugar Detox Pinterest board is a gold mine.
Here are just a few of the gems I found there and around the interwebs:
Mini bacon egg cups (LOVE this idea!)
In reality, this will mostly be leftovers from dinner, but I also found a bunch of other good options…
Here’s my final strategy: instead of going into this weekend with the “LAST CHANCE” mindset, I’m going to try and taper my sugar intake so it’s not such a jolt on Monday. Our house is already pretty de-sugarfied right now, so all I have to do is make sure to not introduce anything new between then and now.
Except that sugar free fudge. That’s happening.
SO. Who’s with me? (Doesn’t it sound easier than you thought??)
Here’s that Facebook group again. <—Please don’t make me post stuff to myself for 10 days!!
(And to my husband, who was forced to join because Facebook made me pick at least one other person to start the group, haha.)
Have you ever done a sugar detox? If so, tips??
Have you done another kind of detox? How did it go?