© 2014 jen

In The Home Stretch – Part 4 of My Sugar Detox

Today is day 21 of my sugar detox. Even though there were some hard days getting here, it was worth it. I feel so much better! I feel lighter, quicker, and much, much healthier.

I feel happier too. I’m surprised how much happier I can feel. I would consider myself normally a fairly happy person, but as any human can, I can have my dark moments too. I am like most people, but maybe a little more honest about how I’m feeling than the average person. Since I’ve gotten past the I hate everything phase, which happened in week 2 of the detox, I really feel like there is a new measure for feeling good. I would say that what was my normal happy feels happier. I’ve heard the term high on life before and I always thought that was stupid and probably not true. I literally feel feelings of euphoria multiple times a day now over things that are pretty commonplace.

Playing my ukulele and singing feels like a new level of bliss.

Then there is my body, which I haven’t shown that much of it in a while, but I thought it would be helpful for you to see what’s been going on here. My waistline is MUCH smaller, but that’s all. I lost almost no weight anywhere else, just my middle, which is really where I know I need to lose the most weight.

blog-waistlineI would say these are the most extreme curves I’ve ever had and felt healthy at the same time. This isn’t the reason I did the sugar detox but it’s a great bonus.

I have lost a total of 15 lbs in 21 days. I almost never felt hungry and although there was a dark period in week 2, I mostly felt fine throughout the diet.

I’m thinking of food so differently. I don’t eat as much or crave as much and I eat food that is tasting good to me. I’m enjoying the experience of eating more, but not in an obsessive way. I never feel bad about what I just ate. Food is really just something I need for fuel and tasting great is a wonderful bonus.

I also feel so much more aware of what foods contain sugar, what foods are starches and so forth. I think this detox will have a lasting impression on my food choices from here on out.

The other thing that the detox did for me is to create a reset for my neurotransmitters, including my dopamine receptors, which I’m pretty sure is why I’m becoming blissed out over ordinary daily activities. Read about sugar and dopamine here.

You see, with anything that is highly addictive, which sugar is, the reason we eat it – crave it – is that it triggers a neurotransmitter release of dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and other neurotransmitters, which makes us feel good. Removing the addictive item resets the brain and allows us to feel more pleasure again.

In other words, when I get back to my regular life and start consuming sugar again, I will get more pleasure from less of it than I did before. What might have taken me 3 whiskeys before will now happen with 1. If I would have consumed a plate of nachos in the past, I’ll be satisfied now with half as much or less.

This reset can easily be sabotaged by eating and drinking too much sugar again, because every time we spike our blood sugar with over consumption it lowers our neurotransmitter levels, which the body actually has to do, because we can only experience so much pleasure at one time.

If I can have a little better control, which I’ve proven to myself that I can do, then this detox should help me feel more pleasure from less or no sugar.

I think I can do it too, because this feeling feels better than sugar tastes.

I also think lower sugar consumption is what I NEED to maintain a healthy weight. My weight has been up and down a lot over the last few years. I’m looking for balance and health. I think less sugar is the ticket to steadying my weight and maintaining my health.

One other change I’m feeling is my blood sugar, which used to feel up or down depending on what I last ate, now seems really steady. I’m getting less and less stressed by being hungry. I’ve always been someone who would instantly fall apart when I was hungry because my blood sugar would crash so extremely, but with this diet I don’t feel like I crash at all. It’s definitely helped my productivity. I feel much steadier systemically, which makes me feel like a powerhouse.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what my “rules” will be for moving forward, back into regular life. I know I want to eat less starches in general. I still want to eat less meat. I want to consume less alcohol consistently. I can easily skip most sweet treats. (I mostly always have, but over the holiday it was like I opened the sugar floodgates!)

I feel like I’m getting closer and closer to my healthy normal. I’m becoming more and more familiar with what my food lifestyle looks like and I like what I’m seeing.

I really hope to maintain a low sugar diet. It’s really, really worth it.

I’m seeing myself healthier, digesting better, thinking clearer and feeling empowered in this strong body of mine.

I did it! I’m on the last day of my detox.

It’s almost time for maintenance.

I’ll do one more post after this one about how I’m settling back into regular life, because that is as much of a challenge as doing this detox was in the first place.

If you’re wondering if you’d benefit from some type of detox, check out this link to the 7 signs your body needs a reboot.

How about you? Would you consider trying a sugar detox?

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  1. […] time last year I decided to get healthier by doing a 21 day sugar detox. This year I decided to up the ante, by doing a four week detox, and I’m planning to […]