For two weeks, we're completely ditching sugar in all its forms!
There's sugar in pretty much everything we eat and drink, so here is a quick breakdown of how the challenge works:
According to Dr. Ian Smith, M.D., author of Blast Your Sugar Out, it is important before such a challenge to slowly wean yourself off rather than going cold turkey. If you attempt quitting sugar fast and suddenly, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms. Expect to have a headache in the first three to five days of your no sugar detox. "The first thing people notice is they typically get headaches, similar to caffeine withdrawal," says Dr. Smith. "They also report having decreased energy levels and mental acuity, as well as gastrointestinal distress."
Having a hard time letting go of your morning donut and coffee run before work? You're not alone, and there is a good reason why.
Researchers at the Princeton University Department of Psychology have found plausible evidence pointing to sugar being considered an actual addiction. (Yes, you read that right.) "Sugar is noteworthy as a substance that releases opioids and dopamine," their document states, "and thus might be expected to have addictive potential." The good news is that this is temporary, so try not to let the uncomfortable adjustments in your body get the best of you. Withdrawal might also show up as "signs of anxiety and behavioral depression," according to Princeton University's study, so don't neglect your mental health in the process of quitting all sweet substances! Continue meditation and self-care to stay on track and maintain your sugar-free commitment.
By week 3, your hard work might even pay off in the form of healthy weight loss, clearer skin and even better sleep.
However, it is crucial to stay on a regimented schedule that supports your new sugar-free dietary restriction. Get the recommended amount of sleep after a day's work, or else you are putting yourself at risk for a sudden craving for sugar intake due to a spike in cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body.
While at this point you may be reconsidering your commitment to the no sugar detox just like many of the NC editors have been, not all delicious stuff is off limits so there's no need to send a smoke signal out to the world. Here's a list of meals that we're trying out during the challenge. Although it can be so easy to put physical health to the side for the sake of ease, convenience and taste, in 2018 we are holding ourselves accountable for bettering our total selves, from body to mind to soul. Let's do this!
photo courtesy of weiXx -- Getty Images
Want to join NaturallyCurly editors in doing the No Sugar Challenge?
Join us and kickstart your health goals for 2018 by clicking on this link to pledge your participation in our challenge. Follow NaturallyCurly on Instagram for more updates on the editors' progress, too!