7 tips for quitting sugar/starting a detox
Throughout my 60 day liver-loving' detox I compiled some notes on what made the experience all that more easier and interesting. I find that reading about other peoples experiences very educating, as there is no better evidence that what has already been done before!
If you're thinking of trying something like this yourself then I hope these come in handy.
1. Get in the right headspace – prepare your mind.
By this I mean ensure you are 110% on board with yourself to be giving up the sweet stuff. I remember the last time I ate something with added and processed sugar in it before I began my 60 day liver-lovin’ detox: It was chocolate mousse and I had made it to take to a friends place for lunch. As I was eating it I was thinking to myself “this is the last time for 60 days that you will be eating something like this – so sweet and sugary” and I was totally ok with that. I knew what I was beginning and I had accepted the fact. It's sort of like talking yourself into something you're a little scared of -- like speaking in front of a crowd or preparing for a sky dive. Ok maybe not quite to that extent but you get the point? Once you believe in yourself you are capable of anything!
2. Prepare your pantry and fridge.
There will be absolutely no need for the certain foods you will be cutting out and/or the sweet tempting treats that you know are in there. Gather them up and either keep them hidden away in a place you cannot reach/see, throw them out in the rubbish, or give them to a friend or family that you know would really love and appreciate a little sweet treat.
In my case I gathered all of the items up which included cooking chocolate, a couple of half eaten bags of lollies, packets of biscuits and bars of chocolate. As I type this it sort of sounds pretty unhealyth (to me anyway) but in my defense these items had been in there for at least 2 months and we generally just chip away at them when we want a little treat on the weekend (ok and sometimes during the week too!).
3. Do some research.
By this I mean have a look at some websites and blogs that promote healthy balanced living, quitting sugar, or plant based eating. This will give you an insight into what it could potentially look like for when it comes to the point where you begin your detox or start cutting out processed sugar. A couple of websites that are my go to for information, recipes, inspiration and motivation are:
All of the above are also on Facebook and Instagram if you’re into social media as well, and they always tag other like-minded people in their posts to check out, too.
4. Tell your friends, family and people you will see the most over the next couple of months.
This can have a huge impact for a number of reasons. It’s pretty safe to say that, if they have your best intentions at heart, they will be encouraging throughout your journey. It also helps if you will be seeing them around meal times as, hopefully, they will be conscious of your current lifestyle choice and can help provide an option that fits in with what you’re eating. One of the first weekends I started my detox we went to my parents place for the weekend. My mum made the whole meal so that I could have everything: no sugar was added, no sauces on the food, everything was all wholesome and fresh. It was such a sign of relief because I didn’t have to sit there and contemplate in my head how I was going to get through the meal without breaking my detox and/or only eating some vegetables as everything else was processed. I also told a few people at work what I was doing, and we had quite a few birthdays over the 60 days which means work shouts a cake for morning tea. I was fortunate enough that work also bought some fruit a couple of the birthdays so it didn’t seem like I was missing out on anything while everyone else was eating cake! I can’t say no to fresh pineapple and grapes.
5. Stock up your fridge, pantry and freezer with homemade goods.
Before you start I recommend making a couple of big batches of freezable food, and putting them in portion sized containers in the freezer or at least cutting them into single servings. This will make having “something to eat” when there’s “nothing in the cupboard” so much easier! I also did this a couple of times throughout the 60 days just to keep that supply stocked up. You basically have no excuse to eat something that doesn’t serve your body when there are a variety of items in your freezer or pantry to choose from. My favourites would have to be bliss balls, muesli bars, portions of mince for dinners, my seedy crackers, almond biscuits, soup, frozen berries, raw nuts and boiled eggs. These are all my go to snacks so I always like to have a decent supply of them on hand. Another thing I found with being prepped like this is that if someone turns up unexpectedly or you’re asked to someone’s house at the last minute then you can have something to take or offer that will fit in with what you’re nourishing your body with at the moment. This reduces temptation and helps prevent those feelings of missing out while everyone else is eating!
6. Take some progress photos and/or measurements.
This can be for your eyes only, they most definitely do not need to be made public, but I find they help quite a lot for staying on track. No matter how well we stick to a healthy eating plan, our mind can play tricks on us and before we know if we’re thinking degrading thoughts about not being good enough (trust me, I’ve been there). If you have proof in a photo or a waist measurement that is shrinking, then that is a great way to give yourself a little boost and hopefully put a smile on your face. Just as a side note, often our eyes play tricks on us as well, and while we may think a photo doesn’t show any improvement try to take note of how your clothes fit you as well. Have they loosened around your hips? Does your dress not cut into you in a certain way anymore? Are your shoes or rings loose (yes this happens!!)? Anything like that can indicate that your body is a little more efficient at burning your fat as fuel now that the burden of sugar has been taken off your liver.
7. Do your best.
Ok, let’s be honest here – in case you didn’t know – no one is perfect ALL of the time! While we might throw ourselves into a new exercise regime or decide to eat spinach with every meal, it takes A LOT of dedication and preparation to stick to those things. So please don’t beat yourself up or punish yourself if you don’t stick to whatever detox or food group cut out you attempt to do for the whole time you would like to Give it a good crack though, try your best to be prepared and committed while learning new things about food, your body and what you are capable of. As long as you know in your heart that you have made an attempt to feel better inside and out, then nothing else matters.