21 Day Sugar Detox Complete!

My wife and I just finished the 21 Day Sugar Detox protocol that we started after the Christmas season. I had been feeling a little gross and my immune system had been dragging over the holidays, in part because of the amount of sugar I found myself eating! It's so easy to indulge when sweet things are all around you (and I had a good time with it, don't get me wrong)--however, I decided that a comparable period of time with very little sugar would be a good reset to do, and Diane Sanfilippo's well-received protocol (and new book) seemed perfect! 

The Detox Experience

Throughout the detox we cut out added sweeteners of any kind, but besides that we pretty much like we normally do. My wife craved chocolate or something slightly sweet after dinner most nights for the first part of it, but after a few days I noticed that my sugar cravings had gone down almost to nothing, which is really one of the main points of the detox. The really interesting thing that I took away from it was how I had been misinterpreting the signals I was getting from my own body. In almost every case, when I had the craving for something really sugary, what I actually wanted was real food! Usually protein and fat. I was really just hungry, and my thought processes were going to candy and ice cream first.

Breaking the Mental Pattern

I started changing my mental pattern and every time I would think, "Oh man, some sugar would be really good right now," I would take a second and ask myself if any other foods also sounded good. Lo and behold, everything sounded good, especially meat. I would end up saying, "Man, some sugar would be good... Oh, wait, some ground pork also sounds really good!" and I would go eat that instead. I've found that I need carbohydrates in my diet to feel my best, and am constantly telling people how the Paleo Diet, as it exists now, is not necessarily a low carb diet, but the mental pattern of reaching for sweets when I was really hungry for nourishment was something it was great to get out of. (Other sources of carbs are usually more nourishing.)

The 21 Day Sugar Detox protocol is great for many reasons, and I feel almost like I could do it any time without trouble. It wasn't hard to keep up, and I found that I lost a few pounds of fat over the course of doing it. If you feel like you're stuck on the sugar roller coaster and want to find some more balance, I suggest checking it out!

You can check out the 21 Day Sugar Detox book and the companion cookbook with more than 100 additional recipes. You can do a detox by just cutting out all sugar for a while, but the book is really great because of all the background information it contains on how sugar works in the body, what issues it can cause, and why people seem to be so addicted to it. It also has individualized plans for people with different needs and has a bunch of amazing recipes, some of which we tried with deliciously great success.

It was also perfect that during our detox we got to see Diane Sanfilippo speak during the Balanced Bites/Nom Nom Paleo/Primal Palate book tour ("#paleotour".) Lucky us!
Source: Wife's IG


  1. I've found that my withdrawal and negative symptoms from detoxing from sugar were MUCH more intense than anything else I cut out (even caffeine). An acupuncturist told me that the two-week-long headache I got was probably from yeast, which eat sugar and live in your gut, dying off. I've since gotten back on the sugar train but try to eat a lot more reasonably. I also highly recommend The Great American Detox Diet. The recipes in it are phenomenal (though not paleo)!

  2. I have never done the 21 day sugar detox, but I definitely notice a difference when I am not eating sugar, I stopped having sugar in my coffee and I don't miss it.

  3. I haven't completely cut out sugar, but I've cut it by at least 80% in the past month as I've made a conscious effort to cut out almost all processed foods and most dairy. I find that I am much more sensitive to many things now - sugar being at the top of the list. Bonus - I've dropped 10 pounds so far and am on my way back to health again!

  4. This is great! My wife and I just completed a 21 day cleanse too. I did a few blog posts on it. The hardest part is keeping up the healthy eating after the cleanse is over. :)

  5. Yes, most people are advised to cut out all sweeteners including fruit and chewing gum/artificial sweeteners etc. You're allowed one non-sweet piece of fruit per day (i.e. a green banana). An important part of it is getting rid of the cravings for something that TASTES sweet. It was really incredible for helping us lose the desire for sweet things--even after our detoxes, we've wanted them less! You can read more about the program here. http://balancedbites.com/21dsd


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