2 effective ways to do a sugar detox
Before I started a low carb lifestyle, I had been diagnosed with PCOS and Endometriosis and kept being told to lose weight. The problem with this is PCOS makes in very hard to lose weight and incredibly easy to pick up so being told to lose weight all the time seemed completely mad. It was the reason I ended up weighing 124kgs.
But to be honest I always believed deep in the pit of my stomach that my diet actually caused the PCOS in the first place. There has been studies that actually prove that certain items in ones diet can trigger these illnesses. One was vegetable oils and the other being sugar.
Let me tell you getting my sugar addiction under control was no easy feat. Firstly everything seemed so overwhelming. Almost everything I was told since I was 12 about being healthy way of eating had to be challenged. It seemed like EVERYTHING I was used ti eating and had grown up eating was now BAD.
I had a problem with binge eating and could happily consume a packet of Romany creams and a family size packets of crisps in one sitting.
Have you ever experienced feeling much more relaxed and slightly euphoric and a general state of happiness after eating a huge piece of cake?
That is the effect that sugar and carbohydrates can have on my brain. Reportedly similar to people that take opiates.
Then it spikes my sugar and after 4 hours I need my "fix"
According to David Ludwig to the obesity prevention center, they have found that the nucleus accumbens, the area of our brain that has long been linked to addictive behaviors and sensations showing significant activity after eating carbohydrates.
It is also the part of the brain that is linked to substance abuse. In facts, there have been reports that the reaction is stronger than morphine.
Getting that under control was very, very difficult and there are two ways you could choose to go. Carbohydrates can be as addictive as illegal drugs and coming off them can be almost as tough.
Going Cold Turkey
This is like pulling off the bandaid and going full throttle.
You would eat only off the green list and remover everything that could spike your sugar. Even fruit and sweeterners.
Now there is something to say about going cold turkey, its more painful and also less painful.
Let me explain. Imagine you could just cut all sugar from your diet like a total rockstar today.
So what do you think happens would happen when you stop eating carbohydrates, withdrawal symptoms start to happen.
This is known as a sugar detox and it can be nasty, but the nastiness starts to lesson after a week.
Your body is accustomed to the simple routine of breaking down carbohydrates and using them as energy. Over time, the body has built up an arsenal of enzymes ready for this process and has far fewer enzymes for dealing with fats – mostly to store them. All of a sudden your body has to deal with the lack of glucose and increase in fats, which means building up a new supply of enzymes.
A Low Carb Sugar Detox AKA "Keto-Flu or Carb-Flu" Dizziness and Irritation
Most of the time, this is the result of your electrolytes being flushed out, as ketosis has a diuretic effect.
As your body becomes induced into a ketogenic state, your body will naturally use what’s left of your glucose. This means your body will be depleted of all glycogen in the muscles – which can cause a lack of energy and a general lethargy.
Some symptoms reported are headaches, mental fatigue, flu symptoms which have been dubbed
Make sure you drink plenty of water and increase your sodium intake to alleviate symptoms.
You may notice that if you’re an active person, you lost some strength and endurance. This is normal. Once your body adapts to fully utilize the fats as its primary source of energy, your energy will soar. Many studies done have shown that there is no long-term drop in performance for professional athletes.
If you manage to resist the temptation to freebase the sugar, to shut the demon up, you could be smiling in just 7-10 days.
At this stage, most people start to have a surge in energy and concentration. For me, I felt like a fog was lifting off my brain and it is AWESOME. You feel clear headed and my eating stopped being so compulsive. My craving also got less by week 3 I didn't crave it all.
When I do fall of the wagon I have to start all over again and the detox is just as hard.
So the reason I say its more painful is the lifestyle adjustment is steep and you will need a huge dose off will power and be discipline and remind yourself that the detox is temporary.
The tapering off method
You could slowly reduce sugar from your diet by using my extraction method that I use for some of my clients on my 12 weeks to a sugar-free life plan.
Week by week you remove items from your diet and swap them for better alternatives, until you are sugar free.
This process is slower and less steep and if you are impatient and want results NOW then this may cause you to quit. On the other hand for some the drastic step of removing every single thing from their diet is overwhelming and they quit.
How you do it is to keep complex carbs and fruit and then start removing the fruit then the complex carbs.
Some strategies to dealing with sugar detox "flu"
Here are some strategies to combat that YUCKY feeling.
- Increase you salt. Trust me sounds weird but this will help with water retention, and help replenish the electrolytes.
- Load up on the fat and add some fibre like flax seed.
- DO NOT go hungry. Hunger can trip you up fast. EAT!
- Plan some decadent breakfasts and get creative in the kitchen
- Drink Water. Think you had enough. Too bad have another glass.
- Get some support. Join us over at low carb besties, a female only group where we get the struggle and support each other
- Have some Coffee & cream and if it's really that bad have some paracetamol and keep it moving.
- Perhaps hold off the workouts until week 2
Maybe try both methods and see which one have a lasting effect. Its a marathon not a sprint and this is part of the training for the marathon.
I hope this clears up any questions you may have about a low carb sugar detox.