Your ultimate guide to doing a sugar detox course
Do you want to tackle your sugar cravings? See if you get any health benefit from cutting down on sugar using a sugar detox
You've seen and heard about sugar detox courses but you're still trying to decide if it's the right thing for you to do right now. And then if it is, you have to choose which one!? It can get all a bit confusing and overwhelming.
If this is you right now, you're in the right place. Below is my ultimate guide to doing a sugar detox course (based on my 4 years coaching and course running experience). It will help you decide if to do a sugar detox, which one to pick, and then how to get the most out of it. Enjoy!
Is a sugar detox right for me?
So the first question is IF you should do a sugar detox course right now to achieve your health goals.
When deciding if something like this is right for you, it’s important to know yourself well, where you can weigh up your previous eating habits and dieting history to make a personal decision that is right for you.
For some, a sugar detox can work wonders and for others it can have a negative impact on their overall mindset that counters the lower sugar benefit side of things.
You need to do a little initial analysis of yourself.
To do this, I would suggest you read two articles first:
A lifestyle vs. a diet
It’s important to be aware that any kind of sugar detox is putting restrictions on yourself and eliciting a form of control over what you eat – so it is a diet. Even if a course is described as a ‘lifestyle’ – if it restricts sugar, it’s still a diet.
However, that doesn’t mean to say you can’t transition what you learn into a lifestyle afterward – and many do. It’s just a case of accepting initially that this is a diet and understanding the implications of that.
One of these main implications is that you will on a day to day basis become more conscious of what you eat.
You are likely to think about food more, even think about sugar more (very likely at the start) and naturally, assign your attention to eating according to the plan and rules rather than what feels more intuitively right for you and your body/hunger that day.
This can be a good thing if you were previously unaware of sugar; your bad habits or sweet cravings were getting the better of you; and you know a bit of structure will get you into a healthy gear and teach you loads about yourself.
This can be not so a good thing if you’re constantly feeling obsessed with what you eat already and spending a lot of time and effort thinking about it and feeling guilt or shame around food. A diet is likely to make this worse.
Be honest with yourself and weight up the pros and cons of your own situation. You may also want to have a look at my mindset revamp 7-day course if you’re worried you’ve become unhealthy in the way you think about sugar.
If you’re feeling ready to go for a sugar detox, then read on….
Can I do a sugar detox course myself?
The quick answer: absolutely! Many people do this.
There’s enough free knowledge on the internet these days – you can spend the time to research it all, so you can DIY your sugar detox.
There are plenty of helpful articles here on this blog, including these two:
However, doing a proper sugar detox course can offer numerous benefits. It can:
- Save you a ton of time of doing all the research yourself
- Give you a tried, tested and improved process (proven by others who have done it before you)
- Provide a structure and do a lot of the thinking for you
- Give you a community and have people do things at the same time
- Give you more accountability where you invest money in the course (which gives more incentive to actually do it!)
If you are time poor and know you thrive with some structure or community, a sugar detox programme could be much better than going at it DIY.
The best three books to read on sugar
If you want to learn more about sugar through a book, there are now loads listed on amazon and of varying quality.
The three books below, are in my opinion, the best three to pick from. They are solid in science and really lay down everything worth knowing.
They will inspire you (or a loved one) to take concrete action around sugar and would make excellent reading alongside or before your sugar detox experience.
How to choose the right sugar detox course
So let’s say, you’ve now 100% decided that you’re going to invest in yourself and take a sugar detox course. The next task is to pick which one!
These are the things you need to weigh up:
- Do you want to start immediately, on a date of your choice or align with a group to do it at the same time?
- Do you want to be able to access the whole course at once or do you want to have it drip fed to you?
- How much do you personally value (& use!) online community support (e.g. Forums, Facebook and Instagram)?
- Will you follow a meal plan exactly or do you like to make it your own and adapt?
- How much do you value extra information emotional eating and habits?
- Do you prefer to have a course based in your home country (so you’re close to the language and types of recipes)?
- How much extra accountability would you like or do you think you need? e.g. extra 1-2-1 sessions
- How much budget are you willing to spend?
- How much does a personal connection to the individual behind the course impact on you?
Think about these questions honestly before you read any sugar detox sales pages and you’ll be able to compare all the sugar detox courses out there to really find the perfect one for you.
Once you know what you value and what you’re looking for, you can start to shop around.
This is an important decision for you and I want you to make the best choice that is going to lead to success with lower sugar!
The next few sections of this guide contain some quick reviews of some of the most popular sugar detox courses.
Quick review: Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program
- Cost: $150 AUD (currently about £93)
- Community support: Yes
- Location: Australia
- Start: Three start dates a year (Jan, June, Sept)
Having run for a number of years, the I Quit Sugar 8-Week Programme is packed full of valuable materials and provides full meal plans, community support and regular e-mails to educate and inspire you throughout. The meal plans are well thought out and the recipes are delicious. There is a great Instagram community using a number of #iqs hashtags, and the programme is nicely adaptable to different dietary requirements (apart from vegan).
If you find the cost a little too steep but love the recipes and are a fan of Sarah Wilson, you can still complete the programme through the I Quit Sugar 8 Week Program book which is available in both hard and electronic copies.
Read the full in-depth review: Sarah Wilson I Quit Sugar online program: Is it right for you?
This course gets 4.5 stars because it’s got everything that you need but I know some do find it a little too expensive compared to other programmes and so I’ve knocked half of star off.
Quick review: The 21 Day Sugar Detox by Diane Sanfilippo
- Cost: 37-77 USD depending on package (about £30-64)
- Community support: Yes, very active on Facebook.
- Location: USA
- Start: Anytime
The 21 Day Sugar Detox is another great sugar detox programme that is packed full of value and produces great results.
This course provides daily e-mails throughout, an app to support you every day and a very active Facebook community. There are some great modification documents to adapt the diet for those exercising a lot, those who are pregnant and those breastfeeding.
The course is slightly slanted towards ‘low carb’ and so unlike Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar programme, you won’t find so many recipes with healthier carbs like oats or sweet potato.
Overall this gets 4 stars. It’s a great course and one of the best for the price but the stricter carb limits mean reduced flexibility. Also, being only 21 days, you may feel like it doesn’t quite go on for long enough and your results might not be as significant compared to doing a longer course.
Quick Review: 6-week sugar detox by Laura Thomas
- Cost: £30
- Community: No
- Location: UK
- Start: Anytime
So of course I’m going to feature my own 6-Week Sugar Detox course (formally known as Mentor Me Off Sugar) in this review but I intend to be completely honest about what it is and what it isn’t.
It isn’t as sophisticated as the two previous courses, but it does have some unique information guides and supports making this a real lifestyle shift. It also has the benefit of having a personal touch with a lot of video lectures on everything from perfection to emotional eating.
The course can be started at any point and all modules and guides can be accessed instantly. So, if you wanted to skip ahead a little bit or quickly download the alcohol guide the night before heading out, you can!
What I think makes this course really different, is the practicality of the material and the uniqueness of some covered topic areas. You’ll receive guidance on managing others in sticky social situations and get a plan at the end to build your sustainable lower sugar transition period post-course.
The course unfortunately doesn’t offer any community support at present.
I’m going to be modest and rate myself 3.5 stars but this could be 4.5 for you value doing a sugar course by yourself, when you want.
What about all the other courses out there?
Of course, these three courses are not the only sugar detox programmes out there.
One thing you can certainly consider if you have more budget, and know accountability is important to you, is to look for a sugar detox course where there is a coaching or personal 1-2-1 support offered as part of the package.
I no longer offer this service, but I know from coaching 1-2-1 that often when someone said yes and committed to coaching, they would almost instantly stop eating sugar! When you know you’re speaking to someone regularly (& you like them!), you’ll do what it takes to make it work. Tt was incredible to see the success many of my clients had in such a short time just because they did what they needed to do.
I will also add that often, there’s a lot more than needs addressing around the sugar which coaching lends itself well to – emotional eating, judgement of others, social pressure and situations where you’re faced with sugar etc.
Make sure you’re signed up to the Happy Sugar Habits newsletter as I do make occasional offers and share when sugar specialised coaches I know do special deals.
My 7 top tips for when you complete a sugar detox course
These are the top tips I found myself telling over and over again to clients, those on my courses and just day to day answering peoples’ questions about how to do a sugar detox successfully
- Understand if you’re using your sugar detox just to lose weight or because you want to get control over cravings and change tastebuds. There is a DIFFERENCE here and it’s really important to know which one you’re doing. Know your WHY and get clear.
- Savoury breakfasts as much as you can. I know if you’re not used to these, they are strange at first. I know that you might just hate eggs by the end of it. Maintain savoury mornings though if you can. You will adjust with time and even if you sugar detox just your breakfast you will notice a difference.
- Get substitutes at the ready. It was coconut flakes and Chai tea for me. I used them in my toughest moments and they worked (most of the time!). Yours may be different, but keep trying until you find the ones that work. Then rinse and repeat
- Fat & protein in EVERY meal. If you’re eating plain porridge in the morning then yes there’s no sugar, but it’s not a balanced meal. You need some fat and protein added in. Nut butter, seeds, natural yoghurt – just beef it up with something
- Get accountability – a coach, a Facebook group or just set something simple up. Make a bet with a friend or announce it on your Facebook (brave!) – just do something that really holds you to sticking out the tougher moments
- No time is an EXCUSE. It can be worked around. Boil 10 eggs on a Sunday evening for breakfast. Keep nuts in your car. Order healthy things online and get them delivered. Find a Pret (they have lots of good healthy low sugar options). Eliminate this excuse from your vocabulary today
- Don’t beat yourself up or strive for perfection. Minimise self-bashing. You are learning about yourself, your relationship with sweet food and it will all be valuable. Definitely, don’t delay your starting due to needing to have everything ‘ready’ – read this post on how perfection can delay low sugar chnage.
Hopefully you’ve found this guide helpful and you can make the right choice depending on your situation.
Just taking action is the main thing and the fact you’re mentally ready for this is a big step.
Good luck with whatever you do and see you on the other (lower sugar) side!
Please note: This post contains some affiliate links – this means I do get a kickback thank you which helps keeps this website running. All the courses are great and I only share products and services I really believe and have purchased myself.