11 Steps to cut out sugar in 30 days
Congratulations on taking the initiative to improve your health by cutting out sugar! Here’s a plan to successfully complete a sugar detox in 30 days:
Set clear goals
Define your objectives for the sugar detox. Write down specific and measurable goals, such as reducing sugar intake to a certain level or replacing certain sugary foods with a no-added-sugar swap.
Added sugar appears on ingredient lists under many names, making it easy to hide in your diet. Read food labels and learn about the various names for sugar (e.g., sucrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup) to identify it in different products.
Unexpected places sugar may be hiding in your diet: Condiments, flavored yogurt, salad dressing, pasta sauce, fruit juice, and granola bars.
Going cold turkey with added sugar can be challenging for many people. Gradually reduce your sugar intake over the first week to ease the process. Cut back on sugary beverages, processed snacks, and desserts.
To start with, assess what sugar-laden foods you currently consume. Once you become aware of what these are, gradually reduce them from your diet by replacing them with healthier options. Start by removing sugary drinks, then move on to processed snacks, and finally finish by cutting out desserts.
Related: Is Type 2 Diabetes Reversible?
Choose whole foods
Focus on a diet rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds. Foods with natural sugars, like fruit, are perfectly ok in moderate amounts. Because they contain fiber and other phytonutrients, they don’t spike blood sugar levels the same way that added sugar does.
Eat a big, protein-packed breakfast
Eating your largest meal at the beginning of the day has been shown to reduce cravings for the rest of the day and help you lose weight (7). Researchers think this is because a breakfast that includes protein, fiber, and healthy fats helps you stay fuller for longer, and keeps blood sugar more stable throughout the day.
Sometimes, thirst can be mistaken for sugar cravings. When you’re craving sugar, check to see that it’s not a slight feeling of dehydration that’s actually to blame. A good place to start is to consume about half your body weight in ounces per day, and more if you’re active.
Don’t rely on sheer willpower to reduce your added sugar intake. Prepare healthy snacks in advance to avoid reaching for sugary options when hunger strikes. We like an on-the-go simple charcuterie board, packed with walnuts, sliced cheddar, blueberries, and sliced turkey or edamame.
Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep isn’t often talked about as the culprit behind sugar cravings, but inadequate rest can actually be a big problem for your sugar habit. Getting fewer than 7 hours of sleep per night drastically increases the likelihood of insulin resistance, making your brain crave sugar for extra energy until it gets the rest it needs (8).
Similar to sleep deprivation, stress can lead to emotional eating and sugar cravings. Practice stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Share your sugar detox journey with friends, family, or online communities. Having support can help you stay motivated and accountable.
Monitor your progress
Keep a journal to track your daily sugar intake, moods, and any changes you notice in the way you feel. Over time, you may notice improved sleep, better concentration, more consistent energy throughout the day, and a better overall mood.
How to succeed with a sugar detox
There are many variations of a 30-day sugar detox, but the one thing they all have in common is making it so you’re not relying solely on willpower to avoid sugar.
Consistency is key when you decide to cut out sugars, and it’s important to remember that a detox is not a quick fix. Instead, focus on a long-term commitment to making small changes that will benefit your overall health and well-being in the future.
If you’re successful in avoiding added sugars for a month, if you decide to add back in a small amount afterward, your cravings will likely be much more manageable so you can feel more comfortable indulging now and then.
We can help you find the best diet for your needs
If you have specific health concerns, dietary restrictions, or chronic conditions. An integrative medicine doctor can provide personalized guidance and recommendations tailored to your individual needs.
Get started with an integrative team with:
- An integrative team including a nutritionist, physician, health coach, and more
- Gut function analysis
- Nutritional deficiency testing
- Hormone evaluation
Schedule your appointment now—Virtual visits are available!
Many people can successfully complete a sugar detox by following the guidelines mentioned above. If you decide to consult a doctor, choose a qualified healthcare professional who specializes in integrative medicine or nutrition.
Remember, before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your specific situation.