7-Day Sugar Free Challenge
Why have a break from Sugar?
You may be wondering whether it is worth quitting sugar, or even giving it up for a short time. Is it really that bad and do the benefits of quitting out way giving up that favourite chocolate bar or dessert? Well, let us take a look…
Refined sugar is incredibly addictive, so much so that sugar addiction has been a likened to addiction to cocaine and even heroine. It has no nutritional value, apart from providing us with a very short-lived burst of energy, and sadly, refined sugar has an extremely negative impact on human health.
Negative health impacts of sugar
- It increases our risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- It causes inflammation which may exacerbate existing inflammatory conditions, or even lead to them. For example, acne, eczema, arthritis, Polycystic ovaries, to name a few
- It leads to weight gain
- It increases our risk of developing heart disease
- It may increase our risk of developing cancers, as sugar feeds cancer cells
- It may increase our risk of depression by dysregulating our neurotransmitters
- It may Increase cognitive decline, and even increase the risk of developing dementia
- It may accelerate the ageing process, including our physical appearance, wrinkles and cellular ageing at a deeper level
- It leads to low energy by causing dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose levels, providing an initial, short-lived spike, followed by a dramatic dip
- It decays teeth
- It may Increase the risk of developing kidney disease
I’m so addicted to sugar I am not sure I can stop!
Yes, you can! Balancing our blood glucose levels and replacing those sweet treats with healthy, sugar free alternatives will make it more achievable than you think. You may even enjoy it!
Join the 7-Day Sugar Free Challenge
To kick start your health, reduce the burden on your liver and lessen your risk of developing chronic illness later in life, I challenge you to join me for my 7-day sugar free challenge.
For the next 7 days I want you to follow these guidelines: –
- No refined sugar or foods containing refined sugar for 7 days
- Also avoid sweeteners, honey, agave syrup and maple syrup for the next 7 days
- You may include natural sugar (fructose) in your diet in the form of fruit and, if required a little coconut sugar
- You must maintain a healthy blood glucose balance by eating regular meals (3 meals and 2 small snacks) and by including protein with ALL meals and snacks. E.g. if you eat an apple you must include some nuts of seeds as well. If you eat pasta, you must have protein with it e.g. fish or meat
- Eat wholegrains (brown rice, brown pasta, brown / wholegrain bread) and avoid white, refined carbohydrates (white bread, white pasta, white rice)
- Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water per day
- Weigh yourself and measure your waist, hips, chest, upper arms and thighs and record your measurements prior to starting the challenge and again at the end to assess your progress
- Keep a diary re how you feel throughout the 7-days. E.g. Does your energy feel more consistent? do your joints ache less? have your cravings reduced? Is your skin clearer? Less PMS? (if appropriate time of the month) etc.
Tips for healthy sweet treats
- Smoothies made with fruit, vegetables and nut butter or flaxseeds
- Paleo cakes (paleo cakes are protein rich and refined sugar free). There are lots of recipes available online
- Homemade flapjacks sweetened with stewed apple or dried fruit, combined with seeds, oats etc
- Avocado chocolate mousse – blend a frozen banana with avocado, raw cacao powder, a little vanilla essence, and a little coconut sugar, then enjoy!
Written by Lara Seago, nutritional therapist and wellness expert for MADE On Demand