"I ate too much sugar! How to detox myself?" Release the guilt and beat cravings with these expert-recommended detox tactics.
Did you binge on your favorite candy bar or soda, and are having mood swings now? If the answer is yes, you are most probably having a sugar crash. Sadly, millions of Americans struggle with similar problems as the sugar content of a typical Western diet is way higher than the recommended amounts.[1, 2]
Too much of anything is bad for your health and the same is true of sugar. Consuming large amounts of sugar-loaded foods in a short duration can cause many problems, which are collectively called a “sugar hangover”. Eating too much sugar gives symptomslike - feeling shaky, having a headache, nausea or digestive issues, problems with concentration, lethargy, and low or high moods.
Now, the big question is how to get sugar out of your system fast? Remember, this is necessary because taking large amounts of sugar for extended periods have been linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, liver disease, cognitive decline, and some cancers.
What’s done is done, you cannot undo it.
Ruminating over the sugar binge is essentially one of the worst things you can do to your mood. Obsessive and repetitive thoughts cannot make the things right again, instead, they can boost feelings of guilt.
For these reasons, take a deep breath and forgive yourself. Remember that it takes nearly 3,500 Calories to gain a pound and most probably, you did not take such a huge amount of calories in your last sugar binge.
Well, it may not always be possible to get an hour-long cycling class after the sugar binge. However, you can certainly take the stairs instead of the elevator or take a 15-minute walk during the break.
According to one study published in the journal Diabetes Care,walking for 15 minutes after each meal helps lower blood sugar levels.
It goes without saying that any form of physical activity is good for your health. This is even more relatable if you ate too much sugar and are now worrying about the calories.
Physical activities like cardio or strength training not only help burn the excess calories but also distract you from the cravings. Moreover, short bursts of intense or moderate-intensity physical activity can lift your mood and relieve anxiety. Recall that mood swings and anxious feelings are common symptoms of a sugar crash.
Water is a great no-calorie drink that helps clear excess sugar from the body. Moreover, drinking enough water is critically important to keeping the body hydrated.
Most health authorities recommend eight 8-ounce glasses or about 2 liters of water daily. That being said, your individual needs may vary according to the weight, level of physical activity, and overall health.
You may also take tea or coffee to lift your mood and enhance alertness. However, make sure not to take too much of it. You may use a sugar substitute if you need the sweet taste.
Too much caffeine can actually drain more water out of the body and worsen the symptoms like dizziness, drowsiness, and tiredness.
A junk-food binge will certainly cause a spike in the blood sugar levels and make you feel full. Nonetheless, the effects wear off within a few hours and your body will ask for some more sugary foods to keep the energy levels going.
Interestingly, this is exactly when you can trick your body into shifting the energy source from sugars to proteins. Proteins are highly nutritious, help build muscles, and cause a gradual increase in blood sugar levels. The last effect ensures that you will experience less severe symptoms of a sugar crash.
Many experts recommend completely avoiding sugars and all sugary stuff all at once. Simply put, if you ate too much sugar today, avoid all the sugars tomorrow, and preferably, as long as you can. This can help beat sugar cravings and unpleasant symptoms like headache, lethargy, and nausea.
It will also be useful to know how to stop eating when not hungry. Resist the temptation to eat any sugar-loaded foods during the period and you will find yourself in a better control of the cravings.
Taking enough fiber from your diet is another key to managing sugar cravings and promoting healthy blood sugar levels.
Unlike the simple sugars found in processed foods, fibers in whole foods do not raise the blood sugar sharply. As a result, you will keep you full for a longer duration. In addition, fibers also contain healthy sugars that keep your energy levels high.
Most notably, taking a high-fiber diet also promotes a healthy gut, lowers the risk of obesity, and helps reduce inflammation.
Some high-fiber foods to consider are apples, bananas, raspberries, avocado, strawberries, and pears.
While this may seem like an advice that everyone can give, it forms the base on which all other sugar detox tactics rely.
Do not expect all your habits to change overnight. You have spent years with those habits and expecting them to vanish suddenly makes very little sense.
Start with small changes - eat more fruits and vegetables, limit coffee, tea, and alcohol, check food labels while purchasing, and drink more water. Within a few weeks, you will realize how far you have come and it will be something that will go down in history.
Congrats, you have made it and are now ready to embrace a life without too much sugar but still sweet.
There is little to worry if you ate too much sugar but are mentally prepared to beat it. But the first thing that drives any effort to beat cravings or addiction is motivation. If you are motivated, you are halfway through.
The other things to take care of are your dietary and lifestyle habits. In fact, beating the habit of taking too much sugar could be as simple as maintaining a healthy diet and regular physical activity.
But your weight loss motivation is likely to dwindle as the journey gets tough. Your sugar cravings will return. Here's the interesting thing. Scientists have been uncovering evidences on the causes of your sugar cravings... and perhaps your obesity is not even your fault!