Do You Need a “Sugar Detox”?

I love sharing questions I get from clients on my blog because I feel like they are questions that a lot of you might have!

This week I got a great question, “If I ate like crap over the weekend, should I do a sugar detox/withdrawal to combat it?”

Thanks to media and society in general, there’s become this idea that if we “indulge” we need to counteract it with some extreme measure.

However, this usually has the opposite of the effect of what you want and perpetuates a cycle of restriction and overeating.

Proactive Vs. Reactive

There’s two ways to look at situations. We can either focus on how to prevent them OR how to handle the situation after the fact. It’s much more effective to work on preventing unfavorable situations in the first place.

So how do we prevent a weekend bender of too much indulgence? Identify the triggers!

Do you usually hang out with a certain group of friends when this happens? Is it after a tough day with your family? Is it always on Saturday night? Is it usually after 3-4 drinks and your willpower is down? Is it always via UberEats?

Look for patterns — and then get in your own way! Delete the UberEats app. Don’t have quite as many drinks. Get rid of tempting snacks. View this as an experiment. If something doesn’t “work”, it’s not a failure. You’re just narrowing down strategies that could be effective.

If you must be reactive

Even the best plans fail. So what do you do if you still “over indulge”.

Sidebar: What “overindulging” is to each person is different. I’ve had client eat one Oreo and feel like they need to do a cleanse. Spend some time evaluating (or get help) whether or not you are actually “overindulging” or if you might just have too restrictive of a mindset. Getting to an 80/20 mindset can be a real challenge if you’re used to labeling everything “good” and “bad”.

Let’s evaluate two possible reactions to overeating:

  1. You’re super negative in your self-talk and decide that you need to go “no carb/sugar” for the next 5 days. Day one and two are fine. By day three your workouts suck, you have no energy, you’re cranky and you “cave” and have pasta on day three. You talk negative to yourself for not being able to stick to a plan for 5 days (spoiler alert: not your fault your blood sugar was screaming at you) and repeat the cycle indefinitely.
  2. You look back and try to identify any triggers that may have caused you eat more than you’d like. File those away for next time. Eat your regular meals the next day (pay attention to hunger and you could adjust portion size slightly) and make sure you are aware of your self-talk. You eat regularly for the next week and don’t guilt yourself about the past!

Which option sounds better to you?

I know those two scenarios are oversimplified, but you get the idea. A roller coaster of blood sugar levels and food quantity keeps you on the roller coaster longer. A steady supply of food helps keep you a little more rational 🙂


Was this helpful? Is this something you struggle with? How do you usually respond? Let me know in the comments!

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