As you strive toward your personal health goals this year, you may be thinking of new ways to achieve them sooner rather than later. Detoxes and fad diets are never more popular than in the grand ole month of January. Perhaps you’re contemplating a sugar detox since we talk about it so much around here. There are a few famous false beliefs surrounding these detoxes.
When you hear “sugar” you most likely think of excessive sweets like cake, candy, and soda. Sugar detoxes are often packaged as a quick fix to help you achieve “health” so you can settle back into your old eating habits with lessened consequences. So you assume by cutting out overly sweet foods, you’re detoxing sugar, but it’s not that simple. Here are three myths you’re believing about detoxing sugar:
1. “I only have to cut out sweets.”
“Only” is such a simplifying word, which builds false hope in this scenario. It’s suggesting you’re looking to avoid a couple of specific ingredients. That would be great if it was that simple, wouldn’t it? A common misconception – actually, a complete lie – is that products labeled “sugar-free” are truly sugar-free. The FDA has approved over 200 names for sugar. There’s sugar, sweetener, syrups like cane syrup and corn syrup, then all of the “-ose” ingredients such as dextrose, maltose, and fructose. Let’s not even talk about the unpredictable names like crystals and concentrates. The list is endless and merciless. Artificial sweeteners are everywhere from cereals to soups to toothpaste and vitamins.
Flavor enhancers and “diet-friendly” products are typically worse than the natural thing. In order to effectively detox sugar, you need to understand which foods and food groups are harming you more than the sugar itself. Various food groups like bread break down into sugar. Your body processes other foods like beans as sugar. How foods are sourced and handled matters. Even on the “sugar-free” products, some buzzwords in the tiny print expose the lies they’re boasting about in bigger print. Nonetheless, all hope is not lost! With the right guidance, you’ll still find a plethora of delicious foods you love are still on the table. You’ll acquire new preferences among spices and sauces in no time!
2. “If I purge my home of sugar, I should be safe.”
Let’s be real. Stocking your refrigerator full of detox-approved foods and throwing out every ounce of sugar is not stopping you from hopping in your car and grabbing your favorite stress-relieving snack in your darkest hour. All the same, those good-for-you foods will not keep you from slapping someone in your house when the cravings hit and the hanger sets in. Sugar is more addictive than illegal substances like cocaine. Quitting might not be a walk in the park, but it is just as rewarding as detoxing from any drug – forever. It’s not as simple as waking up one day, deciding to throw out every sugar-ridden item in your pantry, and magically living sugar-free.
Food has positioned itself as a vital piece of everything in westernized culture. In happiness, sadness, moments of boredom, times of celebration, and even when you want to get together but don’t know what to do – you EAT! Food has become such a vital piece of cultural identity it’s like a knee-jerk reaction. Generally speaking, it’s easily accessible, so you most likely reach for whatever is easiest, fastest, and sometimes whatever is most comforting. You have no idea how much you rely on food emotionally until you try to make a drastic change to your diet or eating style.
It’s not just about what you cut out, but what you replace it with. The most important step toward shifting your eating style, as is the case with any lifestyle shift, is to change your mentality. Think about challenging goals you’ve accomplished. If you wanted a new position in your job or decided to become your own boss, you had to educate yourself on the expectations of that role and sharpen certain skillsets to become the person you needed to be for that role. Chances are, you have spent years building new habits that ultimately qualified you for where you are now.
The way you eat and view food has been a part of you for so long that a healthy dose of patience balanced with determination are non-negotiables in kicking your sugar habit. Focusing on finding fun replacements rather than all the things you can’t have is already a step in the right direction!
As I always say, your community is instrumental in your success. The habits of those around you determine your long-term lifestyle choices. The table conversations are different among distinguished, achieving women, rather than gossiping and complaining women. You will constantly feel alone when those around you aren’t striving towards goals on the same level as you. Having a friend to shop, thumb through meal options, and set aligned goals with is so much more exciting and encouraging than trying to keep yourself motivated and torturing yourself with your own thoughts during your struggle periods. What was that? You said say that again? Ok…Having a friend to shop, thumb through meal options, and set aligned goals with is so much more exciting and encouraging than trying to keep yourself motivated and torturing yourself with your own thoughts during your struggle periods.
3. “At the end of this detox, I’ll be able to eat whatever I want!”
This one might be the funniest myth of them all! If you’re jumping into a sugar detox for a number on a scale or simply to feel better for a moment in time, it’s not a true investment. You’ll fall back into old habits and your body’s health will continue to deteriorate under the strain of sugar’s abusive effects, from inflammation that makes a cozy home to disease to the chaos that ensues among your day-to-day functions and productivity.
First, if you tell yourself to hold out until the end for all the sugary foods you miss, you’re already entering this with a dangerous mindset. You’re setting yourself up to fail whether it’s a cheat day in the middle of the detox, or undoing all of your progress and potentially worsening other issues after the detox. Entering this exciting journey with the intent to make this a stepping stone in your evolving eating style will give you the greatest long-term return on investment.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive community to help you navigate and succeed through your detox, check out the Sugar Detox Reset. We provide you with everything to include:
- Mindset work
- Daily affirmations and encouragement
- Professionally guided course by Certified Integrative Coach Sakinah Bunch, INHC
- Intimate Q&As with Sakinah B.
- Easy-to-implement steps for your lifestyle
- Recipe inspiration and shopping tips
- Post-detox preparation and support
You can succeed!
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