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The Ten Day Sugar Detox Challenge: Part One

The Ten Day Sugar Detox Challenge: Part One

The Sugar Detox 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 Sugar Detox Challenge 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

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.

Sugar List

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:

Agave nectar
Barbados sugar
Barley malt
Barley malt syrup
Beet sugar
Brown sugar
Buttered syrup
Cane juice
Cane juice crystals
Cane sugar
Carob syrup
Castor sugar
Coconut palm sugar
Coconut sugar
Confectioner’s sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Corn syrup solids
Date sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Demerara sugar
Evaporated cane juice
Free-flowing brown sugars
Fruit juice
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose solids
Golden sugar
Golden syrup
Grape sugar
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
Icing sugar
Invert sugar
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Palm sugar
Powdered sugar
Raw sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Rice syrup
Sorghum Syrup
Sugar (granulated)
Sweet Sorghum
Turbinado sugar
Yellow sugar

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.

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.

Ready for the next five days of the Ten Day Sugar Detox Challenge?

Days 6 – 10 are next.

Click here for The Ten Day Sugar Detox Challenge: Part Two

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