How to Stop Eating Sugar – 10 Day No Sugar Diet
Welcome to the How to Stop Eating Sugar – 10 Day Sugar Detox Challenge!
Get ready to feel better and to make a difference in your own health as well as the health of your bank account! It is time to eliminate sugar from your diet once and for all.
There are a few ways to approach the Sugar Detox Challenge, and we want you to chose the path that you know you will be successful following.
Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine…
… so some of you might need a powerful approach to tame a long standing addiction while others of you might just need a little push in the right direction again. The goal of the 10 Day Challenge is to help you in creating awareness of sugar in your life and then to re-evaluate the role of sugar in your diet going forward.
You can start this challenge at any time and repeat it as many times as you need. Sugar reform in your diet is for life, not just for 10 days. When you do start your challenge, you will make an announcement to your friends / family / social circles, whatever you need to stay motivated and accountable.
Let’s start with WHY we need to stop eating sugar before we get to the how:
“I am not against sugar, when it is appropriate and rare.”
Just a few UCFS Sugar Science Facts:
- Added sugar is in 74% of our packaged foods.
- Scientific evidence shows too much added sugar, over time, is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, lipid problems, and hypertension; all of which are part of what is called Metabolic Syndrome.
- Evidence is also mounting that high levels of sugar consumption can fuel some cancers and is linked to inflammation, dementia or Alzheimer’s and more rapid aging.
- 31% of American adults and 13% of kids suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
- 75% of health care costs are from metabolic syndrome diseases. – This is not just about overweight people. 20% of obese people have a healthy metabolism, and 40% of skinny people actually have the metabolic diseases caused by sugar consumption. That means 60% of the entire US population is suffering from metabolic diseases.
What is the end result of the How to Stop Eating Sugar 10 Day Cleanse?
Now, that will be up to you. There is no real nutritional value in having any sugar in your diet. Therefore, you will need to decide what role sugar will play in your life going forward.
Here are some conclusions you could come to:
- I need to eliminate all sugars (fructose) from my diet.
- I need to follow the American Heart Association recommendations. Including that women and children take in no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day. (No sugar for children under two.) Men no more than 9 teaspoons a day.
- Or some other similar goal.
MY GOAL: ____________________________________
Am I Addicted to Sugar?
Before starting your How to Stop Eating Sugar 10 Day Challenge, perhaps you would like a baseline for where you are starting in your journey. Taking a “Sugar Addiction Quiz” will help you contour your Sugar Detox Program.
This will help you decide if you need 5 days of prep first and then 5 days without sugar, or if you can go cold turkey from day one and do 10 days without sugar. It will also help you decided what you need to cut out of your diet for 10 days to be successful. Whether that is all fructose, or just added sugars, and whether or not you can keep simple carbs in your diet.
Here are some of our favorite Sugar Addiction quizzes:
There are many resources available to help you on your 10 day sugar detox journey, and this guide is one of them. We will provide you with steps/goals each day as well as food suggestions for your zero sugar days.
How to Stop Eating Sugar Elimination Program Part One
The First Five Days
The first five days of the Ten Day Sugar Detox Challenge are about creating awareness and educating you on how sugar is present in your life. This is a time to slowly cut back on the sugar as well since the last five days will be totally sugar free. However, if you feel ready to go without any sugar from day one, go for it! Please still participate in the activities in Part One, but go ahead and cut out all the sugar right from the start.
Most of us though will need some easing into this challenge, plus sugar is sneaky! First, we will need to hunt for the sugar that is “hiding” in 74% or more of our processed foods (see the list of different names sugar goes by in Day One.) Let’s get started!
Day One: Sugar Hunting
First, your challenge is to find the sugar that is living in your house/work/car at this moment. Remember that the majority of your packaged foods are going to have sugar in them. Namely, look for sugar in your snack and breakfast cabinets. Contrarily, for this challenge, the sugar in your fruit does not count. (Whole fruits have fiber and other good stuff in it.) However, fruit juice does count towards your added sugars. Think of fruit juice the same way you think of soda, just loaded with sugar ready to hit your body hard and fast!
Keeping a Food Journal
Every day in this challenge you will keep a journal of the foods that you eat. You can use an app or you can write it down. In addition, write down/enter in all added sugars eaten in grams as this is how they are listed on nutritional labels and charts.
You might need to do some hunting on this – especially if you eat out. There are a few apps out there that will give you added sugars, but not many. Try Fooducate. Also, check online for restaurants’ nutritional information. Then, add up all your added sugars for the day.
Ten Day How to Stop Eating Sugar Challenge Photo
Your first photo challenge is to gather all foods that have added sugars from your house. Then, put them in one location such as your kitchen table, and take a picture with them! You can be in the picture or not, your choice.
Next, using the hashtag #MLHsugardetox post this picture to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any of your other favorite social scenes so we can all share our shock together! In addition, make sure to search for other peoples pictures too. Finally, tag others to take the challenge as well and direct them to medicarelifehealth.com.
Individual Change that Leads to a National Movement
Making changes individually is great, but we need as many people as possible to start making changes in their sugar consumption to make a difference at a collective level. Remember, we are all paying as a nation for our health care crisis and reforming our sugar consumption could just be what we need to tackle this mounting financial and health crisis.
Here is a list of various ways sugar is represented in our foods. According to the Sugar Science Program of UCSF, here are 61 different names for sugar, and these all count as added sugars:
Barley malt syrup
Cane juice crystals
Coconut palm sugar
Corn syrup solids
|Dehydrated cane juice|
Evaporated cane juice
Free-flowing brown sugars
Fruit juice concentrate
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
A Word on Dairy
Lactose is counted as sugar on food labels as it is a form of sugar, but it is not fructose, so it does not count as part of our challenge. Added sugars that include fructose are what we are looking at for the sake of this challenge. For example, a lot of yogurt has added sugars in it. So, for the sake of this challenge, stay away from yogurt unless you know there is no added sugar in it. Finally, check ingredient lists and watch out for all the sugar words. You can research more about milk and dairy products at a later time to decide what role they will play in your diet.
How to Stop Eating Sugar Day Two: Documenting
Keep investigating all sugars in foods – packaged, restaurants, at home. Remember to keep a journal of the foods that you eat using an app or writing it down and write down all added sugars eaten.
Add up all your added sugars for the day. There are about 4 grams in a teaspoon (4.2 if you want to be precise) so divide your grams by 4 to see how many teaspoons you consumed today (and from Day One of the Challenge as well). How close did you come to the recommendation of less than 6 teaspoons for women and children and 9 for men?
Now, try each day, for the first five days of this challenge to decrease your intake to get you ready for your zero sugar days.
Getting Social with the MLH Sugar Detox
Post online grams using #MLHsugardetox how much sugar you consumed today and/or from day one.
Make a Difference: Then, call out a product that has sugar in it that you think should do better. Together we can start real change in a sugar-flooded industry.
Day Three/Four/Five: Easing into Your New Sugar Free Diet
By this time, some of you might be ready to go “cold turkey” and cut out the sugar right now. If that is you, go ahead and skip ahead to Day Six and elongate your zero sugar time period. However, others might still need these next 3 days to slowly decrease the sugar. Maybe aim to decrease your sugar by a teaspoon or two a day, or whatever is needed to get you to zero teaspoons by Day Six.
Coming up, it will now be time to be very proactive about what we are eating each day. It will be easiest if you prepare your own foods for the coming days so you know WITHOUT A DOUBT that you are not consuming any hidden sugars.
We have put together some sample meal plans in Part 2 that include not only foods that are without sugar, but also foods that will help your body
run even cleaner and healthier. Just cutting out the sugar is going to give your poor liver a break, so consider this your “detox” time!
Use these days to go grocery shopping and to plan ahead your meals as much as you need to be the most successful at this Challenge as possible.
How to Stop Eating Sugar Elimination Program Part Two: Days 6 – 10, Zero Sugar
Day Six / Seven / Eight / Nine: Zero Sugar
You are now ready to eat zero sugar for five or more days! We have a few zero sugar five day meal plans on this page for you. In addition, we have a large Pinterest Board with TONS of zero sugar meal plan options that you should follow!
Part 2 Everyday Day Photo Challenge:
Instagram/Facebook your meals! Use #MLHsugardetox as your hashtag.
Taking photos of your meals may actually help you to lose weight and/or stick to your zero sugar plan! Not only will it make you more mindful of what you are eating, but it also gives you some accountability to share socially what you are putting into your mouth during your no sugar challenge. It may also help someone else to see what options are available in the no sugar world.
Zero Added Sugar Food Planning
We do have How to Stop Eating Sugar Meal Plans pictured below to help you plan your zero sugar days. However, here are some notes to consider when doing your own planning.
Note One: Fruit
Fruit has fructose in it, but it also has fiber in it. (Fruit juice does not have fiber, and is not allowed during the challenge.) However, some of you might want to eliminate fruit for the last 5 days of your challenge as sometimes the sweetness will lead you to crave “the hard stuff.”
I would personally suggest cutting out fruit besides berries and avocados which has a ton of fiber in them, just for these last 5 days to truly feel the benefits of being “sugar free.” I am completely for fruit in my own diet otherwise as I love the fiber, vitamins and minerals that fruit provides.
Note Two: White Flour
Another consideration is white flour. White flour is also something you might consider leaving out for these 5 days. Bread without any sugar is hard to come by in the grocery store anyway, but if you would like to try a bread that is free from sugar or strange sugar substitutes, try Ezekiel Bread.
Note Three: Dairy
Again, on Dairy – Lactose is counted as sugar on food labels as it is a form of sugar, but it is not fructose, so it does not count as part of our challenge. Added sugars that include fructose are what we are looking at for the sake of this challenge. A lot of yogurt has added sugars in it, so for the sake of this challenge, stay away from yogurt unless you know there is no
added sugar in it. Check the ingredient list and watch out for all the sugar words.
Note Four: Carbohydrates
This isn’t a low-carb / no-carb challenge, just a fructose elimination challenge, but there is growing evidence that limiting carbs may help the body in many ways.
Note Five: “Sugar-Free” Labels
Watch out for “sugar free” as this typically means that the messed around with strange sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols that we want to avoid for this challenge.
Note Six: Diet Sodas
Cut them out. They are not good for you. Yes, they are “sugar free,” but I am sure you can quickly search online for all the reasons that they are not beneficial for your health and may even cause you to crave sweet things. If you must, you must. I get it, but if you need to caffeine, go for coffee if possible. Cream in your coffee is just fine. Real cream like half and half is good and heavy creams is even better! Watch out for the sugars in coffee creamers.
Note Seven: The “Health Halo”
Finally, “organic,” “gluten-free,” “non-gmo” things can also be sugary things. Watch out for the “health halo” that hovers around packaging that wants you to think its innocent. Perhaps it is, perhaps it is not. Remember that 74% of packaged food has sugar lurking in it!
How to Stop Eating Sugar – Zero Sugar Meal Planning Examples
Now, here are a couple different meal plans you can use to help you design your zero sugar days.
How to Stop Eating Sugar – Zero Sugar Options for the Tough Stuff – Breakfast, Drinks & Snacks
Breakfast Options – Zero Sugar
- Smoothie (if including fruit): Berries, Vanilla Unsweetened
Almond Milk and/or Coconut Milk, Unsweetened Protein
Powder, Leafy Greens
- Wrap: Zero Sugar Tortilla, Egg, Avocado, Cheese, Chalula
- Avocado and String Cheese
- Toast (check your bread for sugars) with no sugar peanut
butter (ingredient list should be 2-3 items long) or butter
- Shredded wheat cereal (no sugar) with berries if eating fruit
- Coffee with half and half/heavy cream
- Homemade peanut butter oat bars (no sugar or honey or
- Unsweetened Almond milk and protein powder
- Eggs, bacon and toast (again, check your bread)
Drink Options – Zero Sugar
- La Croix
- Unsweetened Iced Tea
- Green/Black Tea or Herbal Tea
- Dry Red Wine – Red Zin, Cab, Pino (For the last 5 days of the
challenge, try to avoid alcohol all together, but if you must,
these are the best options with very small amounts of sugar)
Snack Options – Zero Sugar
- Apples and no sugar added peanut butter
- String Cheese
- Carrots and hummus
- Mini Cucumbers
- Spoonful of Coconut Oil
How to Stop Eating Sugar Day Ten: Looking Forward
This is your last day of the Stop Our Sugar 10 Day Challenge, but is only the beginning of your new relationship with sugar. Today we want you to share with as many people as you can what sugar is to you now.
Please write down the answers to these questions. Then, share online or talk with your friends and family:
- How do you feel after 5 – 10 days without sugar?
- How will you eat sugar (or not eat sugar) going forward?
- Next, what have you learned about your body, yourself or about how sugar interacts with you?
- What do you think everyone should know about sugar?
- Finally, what do you think needs to be done on a national level/international level to save us all from our current health crisis?
Tell Your Sugar Elimination Story
Finally, tell your story and be a part of the no sugar movement that is unfolding all over. We all need each other on this journey to make permanent changes in our habits and behaviors.
Let’s work together to make changes where they are the most effective. Our goal with the Ten Day Sugar Detox project is to do everything in our power to change individuals’ lives in regards to their relationship with sugar and then to be a part of the national story through organizations that can make a difference in our government, in our schools and in our grocery stores.
Please join us however you can in making a difference in the lives of those around you, and email us or talk to us on Facebook about what you are doing!
Thank you for being a part of our How to Stop Eating Sugar – Ten Day Sugar Detox Challenge.
Remember, you should always consult a physician if you have any concerns, and know that this plan contains general information nutrition, health and diets. The information is not medical advice. Please don’t treat it as such.