Sugar Detox Diet Success Tips

diet success

Remember when we talked about how addictive sugar can be in the first post of this series? As you get further along in the sugar detoxification process, you may become acutely aware that you’re a sugar addict. And you might not even have realized you had a problem before. 

Researchers now know that withdrawal from soft drinks, sweeteners, and processed foods can be alarmingly similar to withdrawal symptoms experienced by cocaine and heroin addicts.

The sugar detox diet we’ve been talking about addresses some of these symptoms by offering solutions through food choices, vitamin supplements, and exercise. If you’ve become dependent on highly processed foods, you may feel some of these symptoms, but adhering to the diet plan can help reduce the symptoms. After you’ve been on the sugar detox diet and the withdrawal symptoms begin to subside, your muscle cells will once again become sensitive to insulin, and your body will begin to function optimally. You’ll even see some improvement in the appearance of your skin and hair.

Alternative Treatments

If you’re experiencing especially strong withdrawal symptoms as a result of your break from sugar, you may want to try some natural methods such as acupuncture and meditation. Exercise can also help lessen the impact of sugar withdrawal.

dietary changes

The sugar substitute galactose can also help you overcome strong cravings. It’s a healthier type of sugar that doesn’t have any effect on your metabolism. You can also help reduce your cravings by reducing your overall carbohydrate intake and increasing your essential vitamin and nutrient consumption.

It’s especially important to increase your intake of antioxidant supplements like vitamins E, C, and B complex, in addition to supplementing with alpha-lipoic acid supplement. Anything you can do to restore your metabolic balance will be helpful in reducing withdrawal symptoms.

Enlist the help of plants, roots, and herbs in your desire to break the addiction to sugar. Some of these additions to your diet can help restore the metabolic process. Some herbs that have been shown to definitely aid in the treatment of metabolic syndrome are ginseng, bitter melon, and berberine (found in Golden Seal and Oregon Grape).

nutritional data

increase your nutritional knowledge

Make sure you learn about the foods you’re consuming. The success of this diet plan depends on you adhering to a balanced diet of the five main food groups and being aware of your sugar intake at all times.

STICK TO THE PLAN

In the first two weeks, it is critical to strictly adhere to the plan. This takes willpower – especially if you’ve become highly addicted to sugar. Listen to your body, and don’t give in to the sugar cravings.

Wake up earlier

If you’re anything like I am, this next success tip is going to hurt. I like my beauty sleep. I’d probably hibernate for weeks at a time, if I could. But that’s not good for you if you’re doing a sugar detox.

Instead, you need to start waking up a little earlier — about 45 minutes before your normal breakfast time, when it’s easier to recognize real feelings of hunger. This will help you pay much more attention to the signals your body is giving you.

Sugar has become the nemesis of the modern world. Don’t let your sugar addiction get the better of you. Take the time to learn how you can resist sugar addiction and help your body return to health and vibrancy (you’ve taken the first step on this journey by reading this series of blog posts – good for you!). Take control of your health by cutting out the sugar, and check out my Thinkific course on the sugar detox diet if you want more in-depth information and more detailed meal plans. 

Sugar Detox Diet Meal Plan

sugar detox diet plan

If you’ve been following this sugar detox series from the beginning, you may be thinking that you’ll have to give up a lot of great-tasting food to achieve success. But that’s really not true. There are a lot of delicious recipes and foods available to help you reduce your sugar intake.

Some are convenient and make great snacks, while others take a bit more time to put together because they are natural and not processed.

Smoothies and Shakes

One meal that you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner is the ever-popular smoothie. I love a good smoothie, and it’s so easy to create without adding any sugar at all.  

It’s important to use fresh ingredients whenever possible when making smoothies. Fruits such as papaya, pears, and kiwi contain good sugars and can be used to make delicious smoothies. Blueberries are also amazing in fruit smoothies for weight loss, and they’re one of my favorite fruits because of their antioxidant value. I almost always use Greek yogurt as a base for my fruit smoothies because it’s low in sugar and high in protein, but you don’t really have to do that if you don’t want to. Almond milk also makes an excellent fruit smoothie base because it’s low in sugar, but it doesn’t have as much protein as Greek yogurt.

How about a vegetable smoothie? It probably doesn’t sound that great, but I promise you you can make it really tasty. I recommend using beet juice as a base for any vegetable smoothie. And check out this book for over one hundred of the best green smoothie recipes available (including both fruits AND vegetables).

In addition to smoothies, you can incorporate meal replacement shakes into your daily diet plans. I especially love using meal replacement shakes in place of breakfast (it really is the most important meal of the day). One of my favorite shakes is from IdealShape. These things are delicious and are full of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. And if you’re looking for an IdealShape discount code, you’ve come to the right place. You can get one free when you buy two with code: SUPERSHAKE (for a limited time).

CHEESE

I love cheese – real cheese. Not the fat-free kind. That’s not really cheese. And I love that you can (basically) eat as much as you want when you’re trying to eliminate sugar from your diet. 

Choosing cheese on a sugar-free diet can be a bit confusing. Let me explain. Milk has sugar (lactose), so cheese made from milk also contains this sugar. It’s just that some kinds of cheeses contain more lactose than others, depending on the process used to make the cheese (some cheese-making techniques use a culture that consumes the lactose.

Goat and sheep’s milk typically contain lower levels of lactose. You can make a cheese omelet for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) adding in some avocado, spinach, and herbs like chives or parsley. That will give you the perfect healthy, sugar-free way to start your day.

Soups

When you’re eliminating or reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, you can easily turn to comforting soups that contain the right sort of carbohydrates to help increase your metabolism. Vegetable soup with tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, celery, onions and whatever other vegetables you enjoy is always a good choice for either lunch or dinner.

You can also branch out from typical vegetable soups to creamier versions using spinach and carrots. This is my favorite creamy spinach soup recipe, and this one is my favorite cream of carrot soup recipe.

breads

If you’re a bread junkie (we love bread here at our house), you don’t have to do without it on the sugar detox diet. You can get gluten-free bread at the supermarket or Amazon, or you can make your own (you’ll probably need a bread machine for this). There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked bread.

If you don’t want to chance it with the bread, you can opt for gluten-free crackers when you want to try to make sandwiches.

SNACKS

Sugar-free snacks can revive you when you experience afternoon slumps. Instead of reaching for the snack-size candy bar, reach for the veggies. They always make great snacks, and you can make great dips from sour cream, onion, garlic, and other herbs and seasonings.

Can’t get past your desire for the candy bar? IdealShape also has some amazing low-sugar snack bars that can help you control sugar cravings and hunger pains throughout the day. This double chocolate one really tastes like a brownie. Who wouldn’t love to eat brownies while they’re losing weight and cutting sugar out of their diet? I was sold on the first bite!

healthy snack bars

DINNER IDEAS

Low-sugar dinners can be exciting when you create dishes that are both filling and beautiful to look at. Lamb, chicken breasts, and salmon are some main courses that will give your dinners plenty of variety.

For a ton of healthy, nutritious, low-sugar dinner ideas, visit this site.

Dessert

You can even have dessert on your sugar-free diet plan. One great option is to make a berry tart using a gluten-free pastry crust and coconut milk. Sometimes I’m tempted to skip dinner and head straight for the dessert when this is served. I love my berries! For more impossibly delicious low-sugar dessert ideas check out this site.

It’s not hard to keep things interesting on the sugar detox diet plan. By following some general guidelines about which food items to use and which to avoid, you can create some amazing low-sugar dishes that will delight your entire family!

How to Prepare for a Sugar Detox Diet

prepare for sugar detox

After you decide you’re going to detoxify yourself from the harmful effects of sugar, you should take some time to analyze your current diet. How much sugar are you eating each day? How many high-sugar foods do you eat per day instead of eating healthier alternatives because they’re more convenient … or they seem more convenient at the time?

man eating doughnut

While you’re analyzing the foods you now eat, be thinking about which food changes you could make that would help eliminate sugary snacks and sugar content from your main meals.

Identify where your sugar intake is coming from. Sugar is in so many foods it’s imperative that you know where in your diet you can make changes for the better. For example, ketchup has a lot of sugar – so you can make the swap to low sugar or sugar-free ketchup. You can even make your own no-sugar-added ketchup by using this recipe.

Write It Down

It’s important when preparing to undertake the sugar detox diet that you keep a daily food diary. A food diary can help you see where you might be overlooking a candy bar, soft drink, or other snack that you might mindlessly eat or drink when you’re having a really stressful day.

It’s best to jot the food down in the diary just after you eat it so you can plainly see where sugar might be creeping in during your day. The food diary should include details on nutritional information and all the various ingredients in certain foods that you may not know are there without reading the labels. Also, take note of what you drink – even water.

Include how you’re feeling when you eat or snack during the day. There may be an emotional pattern you can identify within your eating habits. I tend to reach for chocolate more when I’m having a hard day … or when I’m bored. Really, I reach for anything when I’m bored, but that’s when I’m more likely to reach for the sugar. 

Activity patterns are good to note as well. See where your bursts of energy occur during the day and when you have the best mental acuity. I’ll bet anything it’s not 30 minutes to an hour after you ate that donut for breakfast. I know I always feel pretty miserable right about that time.

Knowing the importance of tracking what I’m eating and how I’m feeling when I eat it is what led me to create my 30-day food, exercise, water, fitness, and emotional eating tracking journal. You can get the PDF version for free when you subscribe to my email list, or you can buy the paperback version on Amazon.

personal fitness tracker

Finally, you might want to track your sleep patterns. Here are some of the best sleep and activity trackers available on Amazon. See if your quality of sleep coincides with what you ate before bed and how hungry you are the next morning. Research suggests that eating a lot of sugar before bed can really decrease the quality of your sleep because of something called adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal exhaustion symptoms include:

  • Mild depression or anxiety
  • Multiple food and/or other allergies
  • Lethargy and lack of energy
  • Decreased ability to perform daily tasks
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Dry and thin skin
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low body temperature
  • Palpitations
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation

Adrenal hormones can affect blood sugar, and blood sugar spikes and drops can affect adrenal hormones. These things are inextricably linked. The only way to defeat adrenal exhaustion (or adrenal fatigue) is to limit the amount of sugar you put into your body … and your shopping cart.

Get ready to go SHopping

Before you get ready to shop for the food items you’ll need for the sugar detox diet, you have to get rid of the sugar traps that are already in your kitchen. Throw away the donuts and muffins (ouch!). And if you have any leftover Halloween candy, toss that too. Get it all out … even the ice cream.

Take a minute to breathe. … It’s going to be okay. I promise.

When shopping for sugar-free foods, concentrate on purchasing high-quality ingredients and whole foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy. Vegetables should be a focal point of your food shopping list. And any carbs that you buy should be of the whole-grain variety – pasta, flour, and rice. Quinoa (pronunciation: keen-wah, in case you were curious and didn’t know) is also pretty great. Even my kids like to eat it! We’ll get more into the sugar detox diet meal plan in the next post in the series, but for now I want to end with some motivating suggestions. 

Don’t give up!

Set reasonable and achievable goals for your sugar detox diet plan. It may look easy, but it may be difficult to adhere to 24 hours a day, seven days a week given the hectic pace of everyday life. Try to keep on track, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up every now and then.

As you progress through the sugar detox diet, you’ll quickly realize that ingesting snacks or a meal that consists of a high sugar content can make you feel sluggish. You won’t notice it at first because of the initial sugar rush, but you’ll feel it when the sugar wears off. You know what I’m talking about. I notice the crash when I’m not making a conscious effort to cut down the sugar in my diet, but the crash hits a lot harder when you start to cut it out all at once. But keep pushing through. As is the case with anything, it always gets worse before it gets better. Keep trying to cut out (or, at least, down) the sugar, and you’ll start feeling halfway normal again before you know it.

5 Reasons to Start a WordPress Blog

starting a wordpress blog

5 Reasons to Start a WordPress Blog

It should be no surprise that when I started this blog, I chose WordPress to host it. Well, I chose WordPress as my creation tool. I’m actually running a self-hosted site (which I’ll talk more about later). But WordPress is king when it comes to running any website efficiently and effectively. Maybe you’re not convinced (maybe you’re not even convinced you want to start a blog at all), and that’s why I wrote this post … to inspire you with some reasons to start a WordPress blog. Read on to find out more.

1 – Everything You Write Will Be Saved in “the Cloud”

If you’re anything like me, you like to write. You write a lot — anywhere and everywhere you can. I used to write everything down in spiral-bound notebooks. I’d fill up notebook after notebook after notebook … and that system worked until I had children. Then, suddenly, all my notebooks started disappearing, and I’d find them later filled with drawings and stories written in child scrawl (and sometimes my scribbled-down ideas would be written over or torn out).

The drawings and words were adorable, and it was very heartening to see that my children are so creative. But I wanted to use that paper! Now, with WordPress, the screen is my canvas. And I can generally keep my children away.  They don’t know how to log in to my blog dashboard… yet.

I’ve written things and saved them on computers too since I was a very young child (back when we had floppy disks that were actually floppy), but I soon found out how unreliable that was … Computers crash and burn, and sometimes you can’t restore the data that’s on them. I can’t tell you how many story ideas I’ve lost because I didn’t save them before my computer decided to die. You can solve the computer dying problem somewhat by emailing everything to yourself after you write it, but who remembers to do that all the time? I don’t.

When you create your posts in WordPress, you can write, edit, and save everything in “the cloud.” I’m still not exactly sure what the cloud is, but I know I like it a lot because it automatically backs everything up for me. Many people will tell you to write your blog posts in a Word document first, and then copy that into WordPress just in case WordPress crashes, but I’ve had more trouble with Word crashing and not restoring my documents than I have with WordPress, so I can’t see how that’s a very good idea. If you’re really afraid of something like happening, you can start out with Google Docs (which also saves to the cloud), but again I’ve had more trouble with lost documents on that platform than I have had with WordPress. I love WordPress’s automatic backups. I trust them 100%.

2 – You can Pick and Choose among numerous themes

Chances are, if you’re starting a blog you want people to read it. And the first thing people are going to notice when they come to your blog is how it looks. Your WordPress theme is what determines this. There are hundreds of available WordPress themes for websites, both free and paid. I’ve never felt the need to purchase a premium theme. The free WordPress themes look and work just fine, as far as I’m concerned. 

My current theme is the twenty-sixteen one. I love how clean and non-distracting it is. There’s plenty of white space, which is especially important for online reading. It kind of feels, to me, like you’re reading your favorite magazine. And that’s pretty cool!

3 – The Plugins Make your website awesome … and profitable

This is one of my most favorite things about a WordPress blog, and it’s the #1 reason why I totally recommend you start your own self-hosted site. I use GoDaddy, but a lot of people recommend SiteGround. I’ve heard some good things about Bluehost and A Small Orange as well. The main thing is: you want to host your own site. Yes, I know WordPress.com gives you “your own site” for free (Notice I put your own in quotes? There’s a reason for that!). I even went that route for my own site, mishaelaustinwitty.com. But I totally regretted that decision because I quickly learned who was really in control of my site. You got it: WordPress!

One of the main things missing from a free WordPress.com blog is that you don’t have access to all those awesome plugins (condensed, yet fully functional software programs). You do have access to some, but not all. And I wanted access to all of them, which is why I decided to self host when it came time to start this blog.

Plugins add some totally cool (and often useful) functionality. There are plugins for almost anything you can think of. You can add a contact form to your site. You can get plugins to make it look like it’s snowing on your website. And there are even plugins that can help your make money. For example, check out this great list of 15 Great WordPress Plugins to Help You Make Money Online.

starting a wordpress blog

One of my favorite plugins is strictly aimed at improving SEO (search engine optimization) functionality. SEO is what helps search engines like Google (or Bing or Yahoo) find your site. And, believe me, you want them to find your site. If they don’t find it, nobody else will. Then you won’t get your message out to the world, and you certainly won’t make any money from it (which is really, after all, why a lot of people start a blog in the first place).

The All in One SEO Pack is the best way to optimize your site. It’s easy to use (even I was able to figure it out), and it’s totally free. I first discovered the All in One SEO Pack going through the training at Wealthy Affiliate I made sure I filled out all the plugin information for each of my blog posts, and I saw some major traffic improvements in no time (Google is now my #2 source of traffic (behind StumbleUpon). If you’re at all interested in making money with your site, you HAVE to have access to plugins. No way around it.

4 – you can have a blog and a website all rolled into one

Say you’ve got a product to sell, and you want to start your own website to sell it. WordPress is the best way to do that. Online stores are great, but blogs are even better. With a blog, you have more content that is updated on a more regular basis. Remember SEO? Search engines love updated content, and they love frequently updated content even more.

And with a self-hosted WordPress blog, you have complete control over both your online store and your blog. You don’t have to split the profits with anyone (like Etsy, who charges you an upfront listing fee AND takes a cut of every sale). You keep EVERYTHING you make, and you’re at the mercy of NO ONE. WooCommerce is a free plugin that can easily up you create your online store in minutes, and if you use Bluehost for your hosting, you can automatically integrate it into your site. This is especially awesome if you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge (or interest in the technical side of blogging).

5 – If you don’t want to do it yourself you can easily outsource

Speaking of not having the knowledge or interest to do some things for your blog…

One great thing about having a WordPress blog is that there are a lot of people who know a lot of things about WordPress, and they would be more than happy to help you figure things out (or do things for you – you just have to allow them to sign up as an admin) … for a price.

Note: If you’re willing to let someone else sign up as an admin on your site (I do not recommend this), it has to be someone you really, really trust. Preferably, this will be someone you know personally, outside of the online world.

But there are tons of blogging tasks that you can outsource without giving someone else access to your site, like:

 

  1. Create custom infographics to correspond with your blog post.
  2. Create content upgrades – Give some added value to each and every blog post.
  3. Design social media graphics – Images to share, share, share … and get more traffic to your blog
  4. User test your website or blog – Do you really know what your site visitors’ experience is like? A user test will tell you.
  5. Write blog posts/articles – Note: You will still have to upload these yourself, but it can save you a ton of time. Writing takes forever. I’ve been working on this post for DAYS.
  6. Design blog graphics – Blogs are visual, so you have to add pictures to enhance the user experience. Somebody has to come up with them, and finding the right image (like writing the best content) can take time.
  7. Create custom forms – Remember that contact form we talked about earlier? It’s got to come from somewhere.
  8. Create a favicon or logo – What’s a favicon? It’s a special image that can help add identity and branding to your site. And if you don’t know what it is, you might need someone to help you design one.
  9. Design printables or ebooks – This can fall under the category of content upgrades, or these can be freebies you offer to email list subscribers.
  10. Write email sequences – After you get email subscribers, you will need to send them something, which means more writing … and more time spent writing. Let someone else do the work for you.
  11. Design an ebook cover or landing page – you’ll need something to drive potential email subscribers to your freebie offer. That’s what a landing page does
  12. Do keyword research – This is a biggie, and a lot of people don’t know where to start. You can find someone else who knows their stuff and can help you pick just the right keywords to rank on Google and get more visitors to your site.
  13. Create a content marketing plan – Do you have a plan for your blog … or for what to do with the content after you create it? Don’t know where to start? Let someone else come up with the plan for you.
  14. SEO audit – How does your site measure up in terms of SEO? The right virtual assistant will be able to tell you.

Where can you find someone who can do all these things for you? You’re not likely to find one person who can do ALL these things, but you can find several people who can do one (or more) of them. If you hire a bunch of different people to do things for you, then you’re going to want to find the best price possible. And there’s no better place to find the best price on a bunch of helpful services than Fiverr.com.

blogging tasks you can outsource to fiverr

 

You can literally find someone there to do each of these things, starting at only $5!

So, this is the first half of reasons for why you want to choose WordPress for your blog, but they’re pretty good ones, huh? Just wait till you see what comes next!

Which of these reasons resonates with you most? Is there something I’m missing? Let me know in the comments.

Ideal Shake Meal Replacement Review

ideal shake meal replacement reviews

A couple of months ago, I was looking for lower sugar food options, and I came across a meal replacement shake from Ideal Shape. I bought the slim down starter kit (it was only $10, so I didn’t have much to lose), and I’ve been going through it a little at a time.

THE BARS

I started with the ideal shape bar (the double chocolate one), and that tasted just like a brownie … just with a little less sugar.

healthy snack bars

 

THE SHAKES

Then, yesterday, the girls were pouring out milk into glasses (whole milk – I’m not all that concerned about reducing fat), and I remembered I still had those sample packets of the Ideal Shake I’d never tried.  I thought it might be a good idea to get them in on the taste testing — not that they need to lose weight; I just wanted a child’s perspective on how the shakes tasted. When I mentioned we could make shakes, the girls were all over it.

I made the chocolate for myself (I’m a sucker for chocolate), the older girl had the vanilla, and the younger one had the strawberry.

ideal shape shakes

I ended up having a little of all three because, well, I was the one who paid for them, and I wanted to try them all out to see how they compared to each other. And, yes, I did let the kids try my chocolate shake too. I’m not opposed to sharing!

I loved the chocolate. It was so delicious, thick, and creamy. My older girl wasn’t really impressed with the vanilla (out of all three, it was my least favorite), but my husband finished it up in no time flat and proclaimed it to be equally delicious. His exact words when he finished the shake were, “We need to get more of this.” This is a big thing, because he is a super picky eater.

The clear winner, though, was the strawberry shake. I liked the taste of the chocolate, but the strawberry was a whole other taste experience. Creamy doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was like the best strawberry ice cream I’ve ever had melting on my tongue in smooth waves. So, so good!

You know what I really love about the Ideal Shakes? They have 11 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar. You read that right: ONE GRAM OF SUGAR!!! But they really tasted like they had more than that, even my husband thought so. Obviously, there was some sugar in the milk (about 12 grams in a cup of whole milk), but compared to other milkshakes that’s basically nothing (which makes this the perfect shake to use as a meal replacement on the sugar detox diet).

THE HUNger block

I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical at first concerning the claims that it can block hunger for three hours, but I soon became a believer. I drank my shake at about 2 in the afternoon and tried to eat pizza at 6:30 PM. I got one slice down, and that was IT. Usually, I can eat about two or three slices, but not after enjoying that delicious shake. I had to stop at one!

So, 206 calories for the shake plus one cup of whole milk plus 350 calories for the piece of pizza = 556 calories, compared to my usual 700-1050 calories for two to three pieces of pizza.

Wow! I just realized how much of a difference that really made in my daily diet. Besides that, the Ideal Shakes have a whole lot more vitamins and essential nutrients in them than a piece of pizza does. I’m SO buying more of these shakes!

one word of caution

I’ve gotten into the habit of drinking coffee in the afternoon. On the sugar detox diet, you’re supposed to give up caffeine. I have not gotten that brave yet. My caffeine addiction is real … and it’s bad.

My husband fixed me my afternoon cup and got one for himself. This was about an hour or so after we had the shakes.

Note: You’re supposed to drink a full glass of water to activate the hunger blocker in the shake, but neither my husband nor I did that. I did drink some water after that, but i don’t think it was a full 8 ounces. You’re supposed to drink 16 ounces of water after you eat the IdealBar.

We both noticed a couple of hours later that our stomachs felt terrible … churning, nausea, and a whole lot of gas! This also made food less desirable for us, but I have to think that the coffee somehow reacted badly to the ingredients in the shake. Because of this, I don’t think I’ll be drinking any more coffee after I have a shake, and I don’t think anyone else should try it either.  Maybe something else caused our stomach upset, but I just don’t think so. The timing was just too perfect.

I can’t wait to buy more!!

I’m pretty sure our whole family is addicted to these shakes now. I can’t stop thinking about them, and even my husband is trying to figure out how to work it into our budget. We’re on a needs-only plan right now because money is kind of tight, but I think everyone in this family is thinking we need these shakes.

Not that my husband and my girls need the weight loss aspect of the shake, but the hunger block didn’t seem to work on my girls, anyway. They were ready to eat again an hour later. Still, everyone can benefit from the vitamins and minerals that are in these shakes — 20 of them, in fact:

I’ve already got three more tubs in my shopping cart, and I’m thinking about trying them with almond milk next time … or maybe water, to reduce the calories even more.

Next up

I still haven’t tried the Ideal Boost weight loss drink. I’ve got sample packets of the Pineapple Passion and Peach Mango flavors. I’m going to try one of these tomorrow instead of my afternoon coffee to see if it helps me stay awake past 7 PM. These drinks have as much caffeine as one cup of coffee, and they are chock full of B vitamins, so I’m hopeful that they will give me some much needed energy.

I’ll report back on how the Ideal Boost experience went as soon as I can. I can say, however, that as impressed as I’ve been with the other Ideal Shape products so far, I can’t imagine the Ideal Boost disappointing me … or anyone else! If you haven’t given Ideal Shape a try yet, I highly recommend that you do so. Your body will thank you for it!

 

Is a Sugar Detox Diet Right for You?

is a sugar detox diet right for you

Who is the sugar detox diet right for? Anyone. Practically everyone in the world can benefit from the sugar detox diet.

Not only is sugar bad for all of us, but it’s also addictive and can cause many health and lifestyle problems. If you have frequent cravings for sweets, bread, pasta, fruit juice, and even snack between meals, you may be living a sugar-dependent life.

An addiction to sugar may cause mood swings, low energy, sleeplessness, and anxiety. You may also find it difficult to concentrate after a meal. Weight gain is another serious problem for those who crave sweets.

breaking the sugar addiction

Obesity can be directly linked with the amount of sugar you consume. Eliminating it from your diet will cause immediate weight loss that will most likely stay off for good. When you effectively eliminate sugar from your diet, you’ll notice much improvement in many of the health problems you may have, in addition to the definite weight loss.

Those who are suffering from severe health problems such as metabolic syndrome (insulin malfunction), hypoglycemia symptoms (low blood sugar), chronic pain, skin problems, hair loss, and dental problems will also notice significant and positive differences by giving up sugar.

When you realize that some form of sugar is in everything we consume (have you been reading the labels on the food in your pantry and freezer?), it seems daunting to enter into the sugar detox diet plan. You have to spend some time getting to know what the good and bad types of sugars are and how they make your body react before you can choose the right foods for this diet. You’ll also need to know foods that contain hidden sugars – and they may be hidden where you would least expect it. 

Unfortunately, millions of Americans suffer from high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and just feeling crummy. In fact, those problems have become the new normal — and they are all linked in some way to sugar consumption. The sugar detox diet can turn your life around and help you feel good again, and it can do so in a way that will prevent withdrawal symptoms, like nervousness, anxiety, or severe cravings. 

Note: If you’ve consumed a lot of sugar daily for a long period of time, you may experience what’s known as the Herxheimer response, otherwise known as yeast die-off. You see, when you eat a lot of sugar, you make a really nice, hospitable environment for bad gut bacteria and yeast. When you stop eating so much sugar, the yeast don’t have anything to eat, so they die … and they make sure you feel pretty miserable by setting off a whole lot of toxins. You can avoid yeast die off symptoms by taking things slowly and using liver-supporting herbal supplements, like milk thistle.

Still, if you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, the sugar detox diet may be exactly what you need — as long as you take it easy!







What Is a Sugar Detox Diet?

 

sugar detox diet

Do you have a sweet tooth? I know I do.  If you’re anything like me, your love affair started when your grandmother gave you your first homemade chocolate chip cookie (or sugar cookie, in my case). And I remember Kroger bakery handing out free cookies as reading rewards when I was in elementary school. I loved getting those free cookies!

Now, cookies and cakes and other baked goods aren’t the only foods that contain sugar. It’s also present in canned goods, bread, milk, juices, and  so much more – and it can be deadly. If you suspect that your weight and health are being ruined by too much sugar, it might be time to consider a sugar detox diet.

Basic Principles 

Cravings for sugar are stronger than for other types of foods – and there are good reasons for this. Our tongues contain up to 5,000 taste buds and up to 25 receptors that tell us when something is bitter. But there is only one receptor for sugar.

That one receptor can differentiate between different types of sugar and leads to certain responses within the body. The type of sweetness that comes from processed sugars causes a powerful outpouring of opiates (endorphins) that instantly make us feel content and relaxed.

sugar is more addictive than cocaine

Knowing that sugar is just as (or even more) powerful than any drug available today, it is easy to see how addictive it can become. The sugar detox diet is a sugar withdrawal plan that helps you stop sugar cravings cold turkey (without stress) and learn how to live a sugar-free life.

Breaking the addiction to sugar without the stress it usually causes is the ultimate goal of this diet plan. If you adhere to it, you’ll notice that your metabolism will heal almost immediately, and other diseases like diabetes will markedly improve.

Pros and Cons of the Sugar Detox Diet

The pros of the sugar detox plan are many. You’ll lose weight, improve digestive problems, counteract depression symptoms, and lower your risk of cancer, thyroid disorders, chronic pain, and so much more.

The only cons of the sugar detox diet are in the learning and preparation processes. You need to take time to learn how sugar affects you and know which foods contain hidden sugars so you can avoid them. Reading labels (and knowing what to look for when you read them) is absolutely essential.

Removing items in your kitchen pantry and refrigerator that contain harmful sugars and replacing them with fresh, organic items may take some time and getting used to, but the benefits of the sugar detox diet are so plentiful that you’ll soon be glad you put in the effort.

Next week, I’m going to go into how you can know if a sugar detox diet is right for you, so stay tuned!








Fear of the Gym – 9 Ways to Overcome It

Fear of the Gym – 9 Ways to Overcome It

fear of the gym

Going to the gym can be scary, especially if you’re new to working out. The thought of going into a busy gym where you seem to be the only one who doesn’t know what they’re doing can be overwhelming. You may have visions of walking into the gym, and everyone turning to look in your direction.

Can you picture the judgmental stares as the others check out your love handles and pot belly and think, ‘What is SHE doing here?’ The thoughts may even give you nightmares. The fact is, you are there to get into shape, same as anyone. That thought alone should keep you going. But no matter how your fear of the gym manifests itself or how strong it is, you can overcome it with a little preparation and a few tricks. Here are 9 of the best ways to overcome your fear of the gym.​

No matter how your fear of the gym manifests itself or how strong it is, you can overcome it... Click To Tweet

Choose a Gym That Works for You

Make sure you do your research when you go to choose a gym. Gym memberships can be a big commitment. Make sure the facility you choose has the equipment you need and want, and check out their group classes to see if they offer anything you might be interested in.

Always wanted to try Zumba (I know I have), and you see that the gym down the street offers a few classes at times that are convenient for you? Go for it! Knowing that a gym will meet your needs will help keep you focused, calm you down, and make going in on the first day that much easier.​

Not sure exactly what you’re looking for in terms of a gym? Check out this article for some ideas.

Tour the Gym Before You Commit

If you didn’t tour the facility before joining (and I really recommend that you do), you will need to schedule a tour before you go to work out for the first time. Most gyms will be more than happy to give you a tour at your request, and many require it for new customers.

Here’s a list of some of the companies that have the best gym membership deals out there:

  • Life Time Fitness
  • Gold’s Gym
  • Anytime Fitness
  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • Planet Fitness

The locations and availability of these companies varies (as do their monthly costs), but most offer a free pass you can use to try them out.

Another good, fairly low-cost option is your local YMCA. Don’t forget to look there in your search for the perfect gym.

Meet with a Gym Personal Trainer

If you are new to working out, schedule an appointment with a personal trainer. They can teach you how to use equipment, give you information about fitness or workout routines, and answer any questions you might have.

You’ll be way more comfortable on your first day at the gym if you have some idea of what you’re going to be doing. And it’s always better to go into these situations with some support, which is what a personal trainer can offer in addition to the fitness knowledge.

Research Equipment and Exercises Before You Go

If you choose not to make an appointment with a personal trainer, you’ll need to research the equipment and exercises, at the very least, ahead of time. This will give you some basic knowledge and will prepare you for your first visit.

Here are some sites to visit to give you some idea of the most common types of gym equipment and how to use it:

home fitness exercise equipment

Plan Your Workout

Before your first visit to the gym, plan your workout. Have an idea of what you will do during your time at the gym, and you will be way more likely to stick to the routine.

If you’re new to fitness, choose a pre-made workout regimen to begin. Check with your gym of choice to see what they recommend. They should be able to guide you. Start slow, and you can always change it up later when you’ve gotten more experience.

Go During Non-Peak Hours

Choose non-peak times to visit the gym until you’re more comfortable. A less busy gym is a lot less intimidating than a busy one is. You will also be able to make it through your workout with less pressure, and you’ll be able to take your time.

Peak hours are generally mid-morning (between 8 and 11 AM) and early evening (4 to 7 PM). Remember those judgmental stares we were thinking about earlier? There will be a lot fewer of them if you don’t go to the gym during these hours. That’s why it might be better to visit a gym that’s open 24 hours a day, so you can be sure the gym will be open when there will be fewer people there.

Put Together a Rockin’ Playlist

Music is a great way to calm anxiety. You can listen to your favorite songs, or put together an upbeat playlist to enhance your workout. Here’s an awesome cardio workout playlist that’s available to stream on Amazon if you’re a Prime customer like I am. 

Focus on your favorite tunes (or maybe the latest audio version of the book you’ve been dying to read), and you’ll be less likely to focus on the others around you. This will improve the mindfulness (and effectiveness) of your workout.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

This is a biggie. Whatever else you do, try not to compare yourself to others.

You know those other people there at the gym? You don’t know where they were when they started, and you don’t know their story. Maybe they were once afraid like you are (and maybe the looks on their faces aren’t as judgmental as you think they are).

The only person you should worry about when you are at the gym is yourself. Compare your today to your yesterday (not anyone else’s), and gauge your progress on what you can accomplish day by day.

Don’t Let Fear Get in the Way of Your Health

Going to the gym can be scary for anyone, especially for someone beginning their fitness journey. I know. I’ve been there. But you can’t let that fear keep you from achieving your fitness goals. Use the tips in this blog post to overcome your fear of the gym. Don’t let that fear keep you from being the best, healthiest version of you.