5 Functional Nutritionist-Approved Steps to Detox Sugar After Halloween
Overindulged this Halloween and need to detox sugar? You’ve come tot he right place!
Although you may not be dressing up or going trick or treating, everyone gets bombarded with Halloween candy this time of year, whether they like it or not.
Maybe it’s the bowl of candy on your coworker’s desk, or perhaps you take a treat or two from your kid’s bag of goodies. Regardless of where it comes from, Halloween ushers an unprecedented amount of sugar into our lives. Learn what you can do in this article…
While sugar may seem relatively harmless, sugar splurges like Halloween can throw you off track big time when they aren’t properly managed. Simply put, if you’re going to enjoy your Halloween candy fun, you need to know how to detox all that sugar. And that also goes for your kids, who are probably hitting that candy bowl even harder than you.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- The best ways to help your body return to homeostasis after a Halloween sugar splurge.
- The role that protein plays in regulating your blood sugar and stopping cravings in their tracks.
- How sugar can become toxic to your liver, and why the care and maintenance of this organ is vital when detoxing sugar.
- The power of exercise to boost your mood, keep detox pathways flowing and crush sugar cravings.
5 Ways To Detox Sugar After Halloween
#1 Abstain From Sugar
This may sound obvious, but the first thing you need to do to get off the sugar rollercoaster is to cut sugar out of your diet as much as possible. Interestingly, the more sugar you consume, the less sensitized your taste buds become to the sweet taste. Luckily, when you cut sugar out of your diet, your sense of the sweet taste becomes heightened once again.
Many people find that within just three days of cutting out sugar, they can start to enjoy the sweetness of fruit and other naturally sweet foods in a more profound way. As your taste buds become sensitive to sweet again, you’ll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth with healthy options instead of running to the cupboard for some cookies or leftover Halloween candy.
Cutting sugar will also help you get off the blood sugar roller coaster that excess sweets can put you on. Consuming refined carbs can spike your blood sugar, which then elicits a response from the hormone insulin to usher all that excess glucose out of your blood and into your cells. This spike in both blood glucose, followed by the exaggerated increase in insulin, often results in low blood sugar, which sets the stage for sugar cravings.
When you cut out sugar, the ups and downs level out, leaving you with much more stable energy.
#2 Consume Plenty of Protein
While reducing your sugar intake can help significantly with carbohydrate cravings, adding in more protein will seal the deal.
Research shows that protein is the most satiating macronutrient, which means that when you put more protein on your plate, you’ll feel more satisfied for an extended period of time. Protein takes a longer time to break down and enter your circulation than carbohydrates, creating a slower and prolonged impact on blood sugar.
When blood sugar is stable, carb cravings are diminished – which is ideal when you want to cut back on sugar.
Some simple switches you can try to add more protein to your diet are swapping out oatmeal for eggs in the morning or try incorporating protein and fat-rich snacks instead of carb-heavy ones like nuts, high-quality jerky, or Greek yogurt.
#3 Support Your Liver
Once your blood sugar is stable, and sugar cravings are at bay, your next step is to release any toxic buildup that’s resulted from your sugar overload. Sugar itself can impact every cell and tissue in your body, resulting in inflammation and, in some cases, oxidative damage.
Your liver is particularly vulnerable to the effects of sugar since this organ is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates and helps to regulate your blood sugar levels. It’s also the primary organ of detoxification in your body, which means that sugar can be a double whammy for the liver. When your liver is overloaded, you feel sluggish and sleepy and often crave sweets to give you a quick boost in energy.
Liver support comes in all shapes and sizes, but some of the most potent liver-supportive herbs and foods include:
- Broccoli sprouts
- Milk thistle
Not coincidentally, I have included all of these research-backed nutrients and more in my Daily Detox formulation.
#4 Stay Hydrated
Hydration is not only key to allowing your body to detoxify and remove unwanted compounds, but studies show that when your body is dehydrated, it can lead to sugar cravings.
Why dehydration makes us crave sweets is still uncertain, but it may be due to the powerful effect water has on our energy levels. You may or may not be aware, but in creating energy, your mitochondria require oxygen as a final step in processing carbohydrates and fat.
Therefore, getting enough H2O is essential for energy production in your body. And when energy is low, what happens? You crave carbs.
During a sugar detox, you may need even more water than normal, but try to get eight glasses of water a day at the very least.
We would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the power of exercise in a sugar detox program. When you exercise, it helps to enhance feelings of well-being that can become diminished when you remove sugar from your diet. It also helps you to burn sugar in your bloodstream.
Much like a drug, sugar can increase feel-good hormone levels like dopamine in your brain. Dopamine not only makes you feel pleasure and motivation, but it also can drive addiction (which is one of the reasons that it can be hard to have just one piece of candy).
Having healthy levels of dopamine circulating around is vital for mental health and well-being, but when your body relies on sugar to get your dopamine engines running, you’re in trouble. Luckily, food is not the only way to stimulate dopamine release; exercise can increase dopamine and serotonin levels, providing a well-rounded feel-good boost.
Exercise is also useful in getting your lymphatic and circulatory systems moving, which is vital if you want to move toxins out of your body. As your body flushes itself by moving your fluids around, unwanted compounds can be removed in sweat, which further removes the burden from your liver.
While you may not overindulge in candy all year long, Halloween is a time of year when we all tend to splurge a bit. Instead of shaming yourself or trying to use your will to white-knuckle your way through the holiday, you can mitigate the damage by following the sugar detox solutions offered here.
Start by getting your blood sugar back on track – this is key to halting those sugar cravings that keep you running back to the candy jar. Once your sugar drive diminishes, it’s time to clean up shop.
The best way to support your body’s ability to detox sugar and its byproducts is by boosting your intake of nutrients that assist in your liver’s activity. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to enhance liver detox is an excellent way to get your energy back without loading up on sugar.
Luckily, mother nature has provided us with a range of foods and herbs that are created to support your liver in amazing ways. Being a detox fanatic myself, I came up with a formulation that I call Daily Detox because it’s gentle enough to be used every day but effective enough that you can rely on this nutrient-rich powder to keep your liver humming along even after the most debaucherous amount of sugar you can imagine.
While I recommend Daily Detox be taken every day to combat the toxins present in our environment, it also assists in acute situations (like detoxing sugar after Halloween).
As a side benefit, Daily Detox‘s nutrients will also help stabilize your blood sugar, so you’ll have an added edge against the sugar rollercoaster. You may even find that the lure of Halloween candy is diminished before you even indulge.
Click Here for References+
- Bartolotto, Carole. “Does consuming sugar and artificial sweeteners change taste preferences?.” The Permanente journal 19.3 (2015): 81.
- Morell, Pere, and Susana Fiszman. “Revisiting the role of protein-induced satiation and satiety.” Food Hydrocolloids 68 (2017): 199-210.
- Schulze, Matthias B., et al. “Dietary pattern, inflammation, and incidence of type 2 diabetes in women–.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 82.3 (2005): 675-684.
- Prasad, Kailash, and Indu Dhar. “Oxidative stress as a mechanism of added sugar-induced cardiovascular disease.” International Journal of Angiology 23.04 (2014): 217-226.
- Raddatz, D., and G. Ramadori. “Carbohydrate metabolism and the liver: actual aspects from physiology and disease.” Zeitschrift für Gastroenterologie 45.01 (2007): 51-62.
- Rada, Pedro, Nicole M. Avena, and Bartley G. Hoebel. “Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell.” Neuroscience 134.3 (2005): 737-744.
- Lin, Tzu-Wei, and Yu-Min Kuo. “Exercise benefits brain function: the monoamine connection.” Brain sciences 3.1 (2013): 39-53.
- Sears, Margaret E., Kathleen J. Kerr, and Riina I. Bray. “Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in sweat: a systematic review.” Journal of environmental and public health 2012 (2012).
- Kuan, Wen-Hui, Yi-Lang Chen, and Chao-Lin Liu. “Excretion of Ni, Pb, Cu, As, and Hg in Sweat under Two Sweating Conditions.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19.7 (2022): 4323.