From breakfast cereals to sauces to pastries, sugar can be found in almost every product.
According to stats, the American adult consumes around 77 grams of sugar per day. American kids, on the other hand, consume 81 grams of sugar per day (*).
Unfortunately, the addictive nature of sugar has negative long-term effects on your health. Overindulgence leads to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers (* , *).
If you’re trying to avoid the dangers of sugar or beat sugar addiction, this 7-day no sugar challenge is for you. Here’s more about this challenge, what you should expect, and how to survive 7 days without sugar.
What is the 7-Day No Sugar Challenge?
As the name implies, the goal of this no sugar challenge is to help you quit your sugar habit so your health can improve.
Not only will cutting down on sugar help you avoid chronic disease, but it’ll also be a key to reaching certain goals, such as weight loss, clearer and younger-looking skin, and better cognitive function (* , *, *).
When you sign up for our 7-day sugar detox diet, you’ll be receiving daily emails from us. In those emails, we’ll teach you how to spot different names of sugar in foods, provide you with a healthy grocery list and recipes, as well as show you tricks on creating a lasting habit change.
Our no-sugar challenge rules are:
- Avoid all kinds of added sugars (this includes brown sugar and other sugar names you may not be aware of).
- If you want something sweet, shift your attention instead to keto-approved sweeteners and natural sugars from low-carb fruits (like berries, watermelon, cantaloupe).
- Nourish your body properly with whole, nutrient-dense foods. This includes meats, green veggies, eggs, poultry, seafood, and nuts.
Don’t worry if these rules confuse you. Later in this article, you’ll find a list of tips on doing the 7-day detox diet without feeling that you’ve missed out. (What’s great about this plan is that it has been designed with your sugar cravings in mind.)
What Happens to Your Body A Week Without Sugar?
Before starting the challenge, it’s important that you know what to expect.
The first few days without sugar would probably be the most difficult, especially if your body has been used to sugar. You’ll experience headache, fatigue, and mood swings — these are symptoms similar to the keto flu. They’re normal and they’re your body’s reaction to low levels of blood glucose (because sugar raises your blood glucose).
After this initial period, you’ll start feeling the benefits of our 7-day no sugar challenge:
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- Stable energy: Cutting sugar prevents blood sugar highs and lows or fluctuations, which negatively affect your energy levels. It might be just what you need to become productive throughout the day!
- Weight loss: Eating excessive amounts of sugar can cause you to put on more weight by adding empty calories to your diet and increasing your appetite so that you crave more calorically dense unhealthy foods (*).
- Better looking skin: Research shows that sugar speeds up the aging process and leads to acne since it increases inflammation and sebum production (* , *). The takeaway? Eliminating sugar keeps your skin young and acne-free.
- Improved brain health: As you progress in this challenge, you’ll notice brain fog decreasing and mental clarity improving. In fact, quitting sugar can improve your memory, learning, and other cognitive abilities (* , *).
- Restful sleep at night: Have trouble falling into a deeper sleep? Evidence shows that sugar leads to lighter and less restorative sleep (*).Getting restful sleep improves every area of your life, including your physical performance and mood.
What Are the Names of Sugar You Need to Avoid in This Challenge?
You’ll be surprised to know that sugar comes in different names. It’s not just your regular table sugar that you need to avoid, but also these names found on an ingredients list in many processed foods:
- Brown sugar
- Corn syrup
- Agave nectar
- Maple syrup
- Blackstrap molasses
- Coconut sugar
- Beet sugar
This is just a start. We’re going to send you the complete list of 56 names for added sugar when you subscribe to this no sugar challenge.
Tips to Help You Survive the 7-Day No Sugar Challenge
The good news is that you can go without sugar without losing your mind! Here’s what we recommend that you do to make this experience worthwhile.
1. Know which foods have added sugar.
Aside from the obvious — sugary drinks (soda, smoothies, and fruit juices), pastries, breakfast cereals, and dairy desserts — sugar can be found in foods that don’t even taste sweet. This includes salad dressings, barbecue sauces, condiments, bread, and premade soups.
By first being aware of the presence of sugar, you’ll be able to keep it out of your system. The nutrition facts label will tell you the amount of sugar that’s in a food. This brings us to the next tip.
2. Learn how to read food labels.
Make a habit of reading the nutrition facts label, especially if you’re shopping for packaged foods. That said, it’s easiest way to avoid added sugar is to stick to unprocessed items — but sometimes, that’s not possible.
The nutrition facts label will show you the Total Sugars an item has, which refers to the sugars that are naturally present in that food or drink. Added Sugars, on the other hand, are the sugars that have been added during processing, such as corn syrup, glucose, maltose, and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and maltodextrin. Stay away from anything that has “Added Sugars.”
(Refer to the list of sugar names in the previous section of this article and the email we’ll send you.)
3. Make your own sugar-free desserts at home.
In cases of extreme sugar cravings, which may likely happen within the first few days, you can allow yourself to indulge the right way.
There are lots of healthy desserts you can make at home using ingredients like unsweetened milk, heavy cream, fresh berries, monk fruit sweetener, and some of our Perfect Keto products. Try this simple blueberry smoothie bowl that requires only 5 minutes of prep time.
4. Eat more protein.
Stocking up on a variety of animal foods, such as beef, pork, poultry, and seafood, will ensure you get enough protein.
Research demonstrates that increasing protein intake leads to decreased hunger and increased satiety (*). This helps to keep those sugar cravings and hunger at bay, which ultimately causes weight loss.
Another interesting fact about protein is that it lowers blood glucose after meals and improves your blood glucose control (*). If you have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes and are trying to quit sugar, make sure to include more protein into your diet.
5. Keep your stress in check.
Feeling stressed and overwhelmed all the time can make it difficult for you to control your sugar cravings. When you’re faced with stress, you’re very likely to reach for comfort foods.
This is why it’s so important to take care of yourself physically and mentally if you want this challenge to work. Go for a walk outside daily. Avoid putting too much on your plate — learn to say no. Limit your time on social media (but don’t forget to open our 7-day sugar detox diet emails!)
6. Eat at home more.
If you find that eating outside makes you vulnerable to eating a sugary treat, then aim to enjoy more home-cooked meals.
The key is to keep your kitchen well-stocked with fresh ingredients like eggs, ground meats, cheese, butter, vegetables, and spices. Make sure to pre-plan your meals so you won’t have to do last-minute meal prepping (for those with the most hectic schedules.)
Keep in mind that restaurant meals tend to cost more, plus they may contain other ingredients that harm your health. Seed oils, for example.
7. Switch to alternative sweeteners.
There are a few sweeteners that you can use instead of sugar which have no effect on your blood glucose and insulin levels. Choose stevia, monk fruit, and erythritol. Use them to sweeten your coffee, tea, or any keto-friendly beverage, including your homemade desserts. Just know that erythritol, a sugar alcohol, when consumed in large amounts may lead to bloating and gas (*).
8. Favor low-carb fruits.
If you’re having fruit cravings, turn to low-carb fruits like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, and watermelon. These fruits contain only a few carbs. If not eaten on their own, you’ll be able to use them as an ingredient for your sugar-free drinks and popsicles.
Those following a strict keto diet should be careful not to overdo these fruits. Just a small amount of each fruit will do. Here’s a helpful resource of the best keto fruits with their net carb count per 100g serving.
9. Remind yourself of your why.
Maintaining a sugar-free lifestyle and being protected from health problems is truly possible. If you find yourself wanting to compromise or quit, go back to the reason why you wanted this in the first place. Perhaps it’ll help to visualize how amazing you’ll look and feel once you complete this challenge.
One more thing: celebrate your journey. Treat yourself to a nourishing meal at the end of each day or a workout, and feel free to tag us with your daily wins on social media.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Food & Drink List
Just because you’re avoiding sugar, doesn’t mean your options are limited. As a matter of fact, you’ll have plenty of fresh and whole foods to choose from that’ll help you get through the week (and beyond):
- Fat and proteins: beef, chicken, pork, eggs, fish, seafood, butter, MCT oil
- Vegetables: spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, brussels sprouts
- Fruits: avocados, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, lemons
- Nuts: almonds, pecan nuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts
- Seeds: chia seeds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds
- Beverages: water, unsweetened coffee, unsweetened tea, sparkling water, almond milk, homemade keto drinks
Feel free to check out this complete list which includes foods you can eat and should avoid. While this list focuses on the keto diet, all the options are sugar-free and healthy, so anyone can consume them, whether they’re on keto or not.
7-Day No Sugar Challenge Meal Plan
Fill your week with these meals. You can prepare them in advance or make a sugar-free meal in just a few minutes!
- Breakfast: eggs and avocado slices with plain coffee
- Lunch: tuna salad made with canned tuna, mayonnaise, onion, celery, and lettuce
- Dinner: instant pot pork tenderloin
- Breakfast: almond flour pancakes and sugar-free maple syrup
- Lunch: cauliflower hash browns made with riced cauliflower, cheddar cheese, and spices
- Dinner: beef and broccoli stir fry
- Breakfast: bacon-wrapped asparagus with cheese
- Lunch: air fryer pork chops
- Dinner: chicken thighs with garlic cream sauce
- Breakfast: omelet with ham and cheese
- Lunch: steak bites with zucchini noodles
- Dinner: easy ground beef casserole
- Breakfast: scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and tomatoes
- Lunch: cauliflower and broccoli with shredded parmesan cheese
- Dinner: breaded shrimp, coated with crushed pork rinds
- Breakfast: smoothie made with strawberries, almond milk, and monk fruit
- Lunch: burger bowls (a mixture of ground beef, chopped lettuce, cheese, and onion)
- Dinner: creamy brussels sprouts
- Breakfast: tuna, eggs, and avocado slices
- Lunch: baked chicken wings marinated in spices like paprika, cumin, garlic powder
- Dinner: meatballs using ground beef chuck and ground pork
What to Expect After the Challenge
As long as you stick to the plan, you should be able to feel the positive effects of detoxing from sugar — more balanced blood glucose, better mood, focus, productivity, clearer skin, and even weight loss. The first few dangs are going to be the hardest, but keep going.
The worst possible thing you can do after completing this challenge is to start eating sugar again. Whenever you feel like giving in, remember why you started.
Your friends and family might even notice your weight loss and increased energy, among other results. In that case, don’t forget to invite them to try the challenge themselves!
Are You Ready for Your 7-Day No Sugar Challenge?
Removing added sugars from your diet will improve your health in many ways, including breaking sugar addiction. While this challenge lasts for only a week, it’ll force you to increase your food awareness and learn how to fuel your body right — not with sugar, but with nutrient-dense foods.
It’s free to join. This might be the best thing you’ll ever do for your health! Sign-up now.
Faruque S et al. The Dose Makes the Poison: Sugar and Obesity in the United States – a Review. 2020 January 14
Chong CP et al. Habitual sugar intake and cognitive impairment among multi-ethnic Malaysian older adults. 2019 July 22
Lowette K et al. Effects of High-Fructose Diets on Central Appetite Signaling and Cognitive Function. 2015 March 4
Beilharz J.E et al. Short-term exposure to a diet high in fat and sugar, or liquid sugar, selectively impairs hippocampal-dependent memory, with differential impacts on inflammation. 2016 June 1
St-Onge M et al. Fiber and Saturated Fat Are Associated with Sleep Arousals and Slow Wave Sleep. 2016 January 15
Leidy H et al. Increased Dietary Protein as a Dietary Strategy to Prevent and/or Treat Obesity. 2014 January to February
Gannon M et al. An increase in dietary protein improves the blood glucose response in persons with type 2 diabetes. 2003 October