What’s included in the 30 day No sugar Challenge
- Challenge rules
- How to curb your sugar cravings
- What to expect during the 30 days
- 30 day no sugar challenge calendar
- Tips for a successful challenge
The average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar per year. The World Health Organization recommends eating no more then 25 grams of sugar each day – which is less then what you’ll find in 1 soft drink.
We all know how terrible sugar is for our health. It consists of no vitamins, minerals, fats or proteins, and is made of pure carbohydrates that suddenly increases our sugar level, and then just as suddenly causes it to crash, leaving us craving more sugar.
Excess sugar leads to increased risk of heart diseases, diabetes, kidney problems and of course weight loss. And yet you’ll find sugar in almost all the food you eat. All of us expect to find it in junk food like cookies & cake, but you’ll also find it in otherwise healthy food like bread, frozen yoghurt and canned corn.
What sugar does to your brain
Research has found that consuming sugar triggers dopamine in the nucleus accumbens – which is the same area which is activated when you consume addictive drugs. It can also result in the release of endogenous opioids in your brain, which are what cause the rush you experience when you consume sugar, and cause sugar cravings.
Sugar can be as addictive as cocaine
A research study done on rats found that eating Oreo cookies were as addictive as consuming sugar. And just like cocaine, the more sugar you have, the more you need to have in order to maintain your dopamine levels, and avoid feeling depressed. That’s because sugar literally alters the structure of your brain
Have you ever consumed sugar because you’re feeling down? That’s because you’re addicted to sugar, and need it to maintain your normal happiness levels.
“Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure, leading to the seeking out of sugar.”
cardiovascular research scientist James J DiNicolantonio and cardiologist James H O’Keefe have stated that “In animals, it (sugar) is actually more addictive than even cocaine, so sugar is pretty much probably the most consumed addictive substance around the world and it is wreaking havoc on our health.”
Manufacturers have exploited the addictive nature of sugar
Howard Moskowitz was a market researcher and psychophysicist who worked to find the perfect combination of sugar, salt and fat, which would optimize the brains pleasure experience. He found that when we hi this “bliss point” we become addicted to junk food, and find it difficult to stop eating. That’s one of the reasons that reducing the amount of sugar rarely works – most of the food we are eating, has been specifically designed to keep us addicted it.
About our 30 day no sugar challenge
The only way to rid yourself of an addiction is to completely abstain from it – at least for a little while. This 30 day sugar challenge has been designed to change your palate and rewire your brain so that you are able to rid yourself of your sugar cravings.
The 30 day Challenge rules
You’ll notice that some 30 day sugar challenges are complicated. That makes it difficult to stick to the challenge and reduces your chances of completing it. That’s why we have designed our challenge to be easy to follow. Remember, the problem with sugar is not the sugar found in nature. It is the refined sugars that we consume in our everyday foods. They have been specifically designed to hijack our brain’s reward system.
We do however recommend limiting your fruit servings as a way to clean your palate. That means you start by cutting out fruits completely, and then gradually limit them to the 4 servings recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA.)
First three days – Go cold turkey
During the first three days of the sugar challenge you will be going cold turkey. That means having no added sugars, no fruits and no starchy vegetables. With vegetables we recommend avoiding corn, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Other than that feel free to eat whatever you want, including bread without any sugar added. Below are the foods which you are not allowed to eat.
- Added sugars
- Artificial sweeteners
- Corn, sweet potatoes and butternut squash
- No restrictions on how many carbs and dairy you eat.
Day 4 – Day 7
For the rest of the first week you can eat 1—2 servings of fruits a day. After not eating anything sweet for the first three days, fruit will taste like candy, and you will appreciate it. Eat the whole fruit, fibers and everything. This is because the fibers will help digest the natural sugars in the fruit better. If you are making a smoothie make sure that you use the whole fruit in the smoothie. A strawberry banana smoothie is allowed as you will be eating the whole fruit. Orange juice is not allowed as
- No added sugar
- No artificial sweeteners
- 1-2 servings of fruit & starchy vegetables (corn, sweet potatoes & butternut squash) per day
- Fruit must be eaten whole with all the fibers.
The rest of the challenge
For the rest of the challenge you can eat 2-4 servings of fruit daily. The American heart association recommends adults eat 4 servings of fruit a day. In addition to this you should consume no added sugar in your foods.
- No added sugar
- No artificial sweeteners
- 4 servings of fruit & starchy vegetables (corn, sweet potatoes & butternut squash) per day
Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
When you cut sugar out of your diet completely, you will probably experience some withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, mood swings and fatigue. Therefore we recommend starting the 30 day sugar detox when you don’t have any pressing deadlines or stressors coming up within the next week.
The withdrawal symptoms vary by person, but they usually last between 3-7 days, and are often the worst on the third day. On the 4th day you can eat 1-2 servings of fruit again, which will help curb your cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Tips for a successful 30 day sugar detox
Download our 30 day sugar challenge pintables
We have compiled printable resources that will make it easier for you to complete your 30 day sugar challenge. You can print them out by joining this free 30 day sugar challenge. Here is what you will get access to
- Printable 30-day sugar challenge calendar
Carefully select your start date
Before starting your 30 day sugar detox select a date where the upcoming week is more relaxing than normal. The first week is the hardest, and you may need some extra downtime to recuperate.
Before you start your 30 day sugar detox it is imperative to have the right mindset to enable you to beat your sugar cravings. Instead of saying that you will try and do a 30 day detox, tell yourself that you will complete this detox. Just by confidently, and continuously telling your brain that you are determined to complete this detox, you will start to rewire your brain to crave less sugar.
During the detox, when you feel a sugar craving do the following
- Focus on the feeling of the craving for 30 seconds
- Tell yourself that you are strong enough to overcome the craving.
- Distract yourself by doing some other task
- If that doesn’t work, eat one of the snacks that we recommend to reduce sugar cravings. (You can access this list once you join this 30 day sugar challenge.
Take it 1 day at a time. Don’t worry about how you will feel tomorrow and whether you will get through the complete 30 days. Focus on getting through the day. Remember the first 3-5 days are the hardest. You will get through this.
To deal with the withdrawal symptoms we recommend having lots of water to help your body flush out the toxins in your body faster. Drinking lots of water will also help you stay hydrated, and prevent headaches. You may also consider drinking a cup of tea or coffee (no added sugar) if you feel your energy depleting.
Eat food on time
We also recommend eating your meals on time, and a combination of proteins and fats to make sure that your blood sugar does not significantly fall. Take a look at our list of foods that will help reduce your sugar cravings. You can access them through the curriculum.
Get lots of rest
Sleep 7-8 hours at night, as your body will need rest, to compensate for your reduced sugar intake. If you feel your energy falling during the day, meditate for 5 minutes in order to recuperate. Do not feel bad if you need more rest than usual. Detoxing from sugar is difficult for everyone.
Sample meal plan
Breakfast: an egg with bread (check the ingredients to make sure that it does not have any added sugar)
Lunch: chicken salad with balsamic dressing
Dinner: Grilled chicken, avocado, and spinach wrap
Snack: Mediterranean Hummus Bowl
What to expect during the 30 day no sugar challenge?
During the first week of the 30 day sugar detox you may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the purpose of this 30 day sugar detox?
The purpose of this detox is to rid your body of all refined sugars and reset your palate so that your taste buds are able to appreciate and enjoy natural sugars again.
- What happens when you stop eating sugar for a month?
Cutting out sugar for a month will result in increased energy, weight loss and reduced blood sugar levels. It will also reset your taste buds, so that you enjoy eating natural sugars in fruits and vegetables again.
- Will a sugar detox help you lose weight?
The purpose of a sugar detox is not to lose weight. However it usually does result in weight loss, as it requires cutting out junk food which are high in calories like chocolate, sugary drinks and chips.
- Will cutting sugar reduce belly fat?
Research has found that fructose in added sugar increases belly fat, while fiber reduces belly fat. Cutting sugar therefore is a quick and surefire way to reduce your belly fat.
- Can I eat fruit on a sugar detox?
You should not eat fruits at all for the first 3 days of your sugar detox, and limit it to 2 servings from day 4 – day 7. After that you can eat up to 4 servings of fruits a day.
- How many days does it take to detox from sugar?
It takes between 3 – 7 days to detox from sugar. The side effect
- What can you eat on a sugar detox?
You can eat all foods that do not included added sugar. This includes unsweetened snacks like smoothies and protein bars. After the first 3 days you can also eat 2-4 servings of fruits and starchy vegetables.
- What can you not eat on a sugar detox?
You cannot eat any added sugar, sweeteners or sugar substitutes, including stevia. You should also limit your fruit servings to between 2-4 servings daily.
- How can I flush sugar out of my system fast?
Drink lots of water to help flush sugar out of your system. Studies have found drinking between 8 – 10 glasses helps flush glucose out of the blood.
- Can I eat fries during this 30 day no sugar challenge?
Yes you can eat fries during the 30 days, provided you do not use any sauces with added sugar.