Summary: A Two week Sugar Elimination challenge results in Mind and Body Physiological Changes that are so true, vast, deep, and amazing — why anyone would not try a two week challenge, I’m clueless on. This post provides some insights and How-To’s for doing a two week elimination of only refined sugar. This post also includes excerpts from HOW GIVING UP REFINED SUGAR CHANGED MY BRAIN, which shares a dieter’s experiences doing this challenge. That article is such a great read! I wish every one would do a two week sugar elimination diet. You’d experience a revelation in Mind and Body Physiological Changes in how you feel including energy and mental clarity that are truly impossible to ignore! Heck, even Dr. Oz’s three day vegetable, fruit, multivitamin and VSL#3 probiotic cleanse caused massive microbiome changes and you can read about that here too!
Note, I’ve included limited PubMed support (contrary to my normal MO)
My readers already know I’d be talking about microbiome changes due to increasing foods that are nutrition for your not human you (i.e., your microbiome). Because your food pre-selects which beasties and in what abundance resides in your microbiome, massive changes can occur when sugar foods are eliminated and replaced primarily with increased vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats. Healthy fats are a handful of nuts and unadulterated EVOO. If you’d gather together many nutritionists and MDs, the only nutritional advice they’d agree on is that we all need to increase vegetables and fruits though few have a clue that the health impact is due to the reaction of the non human you, aka the beasties within your microbiome. This post shared the study finding that our trillions of beasties changed simply on Dr. Oz’s 3 day fruit and vegetable blitz (which also included taking a multivitamin and probiotic VSL#3), but the microbiome reverted back to that which was pre-cleanse within 10 days after stopping the 3 day cleanse. The knee jerk reaction of our microbiome to the food it is fed is a major reason I promote the sugar elimination experiment: it’s a smack in the head of what condition your microbiome is really in, and it is the microbiome’s health that impacts your immunity, health, wellness, and vitality.
It’s also a smack in the head that this two week experiment won’t be long lasting relative to microbiome long term changes. It takes long term diet to effect such since your microbiome is persistently stable. However old you are, your microbiome has been established over that many years. A two week diet change isn’t going to change a microbiome long term as it has taken years to establish. If you are new to the list, first, welcome, and if all this microbiome talk is foreign, please read the OPTIMAL MICROBIOME DIET FROM AMERICAN GUT DATA post to jump start your education on diet impact on microbiome. Microbiome changes for Dr Oz’s 3 day cleanse were:
Read on for the How-To’s in doing a two week sugar elimination.
First, I am totally impressed this man’s doctor explained that though he was lean and with normal lab values, she was concerned about the cumulative sugar load being eaten at every meal as effecting health and cognitive abilities. She’s absolutely correct ; your cumulative sugar loads:
Science is finding that refined sugar—which is found in most sweets, sodas, white breads, and pastas, virtually all “fat free” and “low fat” snacks, fruit juices, deceptively “healthy” yogurts with fake fruity sauces added for taste, energy drinks, most Starbucks drinks (including many coffees), table sugar and milk in coffee, sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauces, mayo, pasta sauces), and countless other packaged foods—is making us cranky, make rash decisions, and it’s making us stupid. Refined sugar is hidden in tens of thousands of foods and its addictive effect on the brain is more powerful than that of cocaine.
How to eat that two week sugar elimination diet?
As a baseline, A two week sugar elimination diet would involve more home cooking and consists of “fresh foods: fruits and vegetables, [eggs,] fish, chicken, and meat, and whole-grain pasta and rice.“ In other words, the baseline suggestion eliminates refined sugars, not foods containing natural sugar. “Most of these foods you are already eating regularly—only side by side with foods containing refined sugar.”
Tip to my readers: If you want to truly feel sugar impact, kick it up a notch and eliminate the grains and rice, which metabolize to sugar in our body, and don’t OD on the fruits, especially those high in sugar, and instead perhaps focus on consuming those lowest in sugars (like the berries — see the below slides)… and focus more on consuming the other whole foods.
Many fruits are high in sugar, especially compared to vegetables, as shown in the below slides. A great alternative for fruits is to properly dehydrate them at low temperature to preserve maximum nutritional density and natural live enzymes using fruit picked seasonally and locally at their peak of ripeness. This permits snacking small amounts of high sugar load fruits, and you can read EASY How-To’s, for apples, at HOW-TO DEHYDRATE APPLES & PRESERVE THE ENZYMES, EASY. So timely with fall season approaching!
Oh… about how crummy you’ll feel those first days of the sugar elimination diet
You can always first wean yourself off refined sugars to allow your body to reset before going full throttle. If you go full elimination, just suck up those crummy feelings and stay steadfast knowing your elimination diet is in fact working.
“As you were not feeding your addiction, your brain was shouting out to have sugar to satisfy its cravings… This is a period of adjustment, and starts with the cravings being more intense before they start to get better…Your body was still having a hard time adjusting to the new foods and reduction in sugar. It is programmed to get energy from sugar, and it takes time to get used to getting it from a different source. It almost feels like a hangover as your body is getting used to the withdrawal of sugar.”
But persevere through those first few crummy days as once you mentally muscle your way through that experience, you come out on the other side, on a completely different plane elevation AND feel fantastic!
You’ve just experienced quite a revelation of how badly sugar affected you, mentally and physically, and of how great you feel off it:
1. Your mind works better. Boulton says, “Your blood sugars are balanced without the constant roller coaster of sugar highs and lows which reduces your brain fog and increases mental clarity.”
2. Your tastebuds change and cravings disappear. You notice the natural sugars in fruits.
3. Sleep and energy improves and that improves healing and function of the mind and body. Boulton says, “Your insulin levels are regulated when your blood sugars are balanced, [This] promotes good sleep patterns and gives you consistent energy, which also reduces fatigue and means you can focus more. This has a knock-on effect on the rest of your hormones as they work synergistically, which also improves energy, sleep, and brain function.”
4. You’ll lose weight despite eating the same number of calories. Boulton explains, “Sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin levels, as well as disrupting your neurotransmitters in the brain, which increases fat storage, Eating more protein, fiber, fruit, and vegetables increases your metabolism, and your body burns it off more efficiently. It really isn’t just about the calories but about the quality of foods you eat and the way your body processes them… [the] body was no longer fighting a constant deluge of refined-sugar intake it needed to process nonstop.”
After the elimination diet, having results too drastic to ignore, how do you sustain it?
Refined sugar’s presence and its marketing power is everywhere, which makes it nearly unavoidable unless you are willing to prepare all of your meals using only fresh foods—something time and work commitments don’t always make possible.
Some tips to help you:
- Bulk cooking and a freezer are mandatory (my opinion.)
- Think about adherence to a 80/20 principle realizing that quitting things cold-turkey can be hard.
- Continue to try eliminating the bad by crowding it out with better alternatives.
- Remember: You can’t stop everything you’re doing if you aren’t prepared to replace it with healthier alternatives.
- And you cannot make the transition over night.
So be kind to yourself, and cruise my Pinterest boards for a bank of EASY, FAMILY FRIENDLY, redic delic, great recipe meal ideas!
In health through awareness,
Last updated: February 16, 2018 at 8:26 am to add in the post sharing microbiome study findings for Dr. Oz’s 3 day cleanse eating: fruit, vegetable, multivitamin, and VSL#3 probiotic. The prior update March 23, 2016 was for SEO optimization.