Sugar detox…where do I go from here?

I planned to write a full recap upon completing my Sugar Detox a couple of weeks ago.  It’s taken me some time to get my thoughts together  because 1) I wanted to see what would happen when I went back to normal eating and 2) I have been so incredibly busy.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about my sugar detox, you can see my daily eating here:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7 

My goal for the detox was not to completely eliminate sugar, but to restrict it to only naturally occurring sugar, like healthy whole wheat grains, vegetables, and some fruit.  I allowed myself two servings of fruit a day.

I did not eat anything with hidden or added sugars.  I used Stevia some but didn’t add sugar (honey, agave, or any form of granular sugar) to anything.  I didn’t eat dried fruit, which are particularly sugary.

How did I feel?

I felt great!

By eliminating all the extra sugar that I didn’t need from my diet, I stopped craving it.  Simple as that! I made sure that I was eating plenty of healthy fats and protein, which I also believe helped ward off the sugar cravings.  I also made sure I ate a variety of vegetables.

And after seven days of sugar detox, I went back to eating normally with no restrictions.

You might be wondering why.  If the sugar detox made me feel good, why would I go back to the way I was eating before?

Before the sugar detox I was literally craving something sweet…a cupcake, a cookie, ice cream, etc…after every meal, but especially in mid afternoon.  The detox was a way to push the re-set button on my cravings – to make myself go without to see if it would change what I craved.

And you know what? It worked!

Since I went back to eating normally, I haven’t craved sugar in the traditional sense.  I may have wanted a juicy piece of fruit, but I haven’t felt the urgency to eat a cookie.  I split a heavenly dark chocolate bar with a friend this weekend, but it didn’t send me into a tail spin of sugar eating.

Sugar isn’t off limits for me, but going through the detox and really observing how sugar affects me has taught me a few things:

1. If I get into the habit of eating sugary foods (i.e. traditional desserts, chocolate bars, and dried fruit) often, I’m going to crave them more often.

2. Sugar doesn’t affect my mood or my desire to eat more of it if I pair it with healthy fats or have a small bit of it after a well-rounded meal.

3. Sugar is more of a trigger at particular parts of the day: mainly mid to late afternoon and evening.

So, I’m not drastically changing my eating habits.  Although, I really admire the ladies who have overhauled their food choices and gave me awesome advice and encouragement during my sugar detox.  I think my sugar sensitivity is less severe and needs a less restrictive plan.

My plan is to listen to my body.

That’s why I did the detox.  I listened to my body which was not very happy with the way things were going.  I cut out the unnecessary sugar and now I can go back to enjoying it in moderation.  If I find myself needing a cookie twice a day, I’ll bring back the detox for a wake up call.

When I’m truly listening to my body, enjoying the foods that I love most and make me feel great, I’m in balance.  I don’t have cravings.  I know what I want to eat, but it’s not an urgency.

My food is colorful.  My food is simple.  My foods are whole. 

I truly believe that everyone’s dietary needs are unique to them.  There’s not a one size fits all solution.  That’s why I love trying new things (like eating raw food for three days).  Learning your body’s nutritional needs – what makes you feel your best – what makes you thrive – is all trial and error.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, learning what makes you feel your best is a science experiment with your body (the core of my food philosophy).

My sugar detox was one small part of my own little science experiment and one from which I learned a lot.

What’s one thing you’ve learned about your body through your eating habits?