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6 Detox Hacks to Come Down from Your Sugar High

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    Go Cold Turkey

    "The holidays a offer unique opportunity in that you've eaten so many sweets that you're quite frankly just done with them," says Patricia Farris, MD, coauthor of The Sugar Detox. So take advantage of your "I can't even look at another piece of toffee" attitude to kick the sweet stuff outright. It's the most effective approach, says coauthor Brooke Alpert, RD. Weaning yourself can backfire, as even a little bit of added sugar can make you crave more. It should only take three days for you to start feeling like yourself again.

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    Scan for "-Ose"

    There's no need to swear off all sugar—just added sugar, which includes table sugar and lurks in most packaged foods (even salty-tasting ones), says dietitian René Ficek, RD, lead nutrition expert at Seattle Sutton's Healthy Eating. Before buying any packaged food, read the label and look for any ingredients that end in "-ose" (code for sugar).

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    Get Moving

    Burn calories, regulate your blood sugar—it's a pretty sweet deal. "Your muscles use sugar as a source of energy, thereby lowering your blood sugar," Farris says. Don't have time for a full workout? Little bursts of activity may do even more good. One 2014 study out of New Zealand found that performing 12-minute "exercise snacks" before each meal improves blood sugar control better than single, longer workouts.

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    Drink More Water

    "When your body is dehydrated it actually craves sweets, so by drinking a lot of water during the day you can decrease your sugar cravings and give your body more energy," Ficek says. While you're coming down from your sugar high, she recommends drinking at least one large glass of water each hour of the workday.

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    Curb Cravings with Fruit

    "The natural sugars and fiber in whole fruits will provide the sweetness you crave without the blood sugar spike, keeping your energy and mood lifted," Ficek says. Plus, since added sugar can desensitize your taste buds, cutting them out will make natural sugars actually seem sweeter, Farris says. "Many of our dieters say an apple never tasted so sweet."

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    Go Green

    "Adding greens to your diet is one of the best ways to keep energy levels up and eliminate those sweet cravings," Ficek says. Green veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli are great sources of iron and vitamin B-6, both of which can keep you from "needing" a sugar boost. "Try having a green smoothie for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, and a green veggie stir-fry for dinner. These meals will make you feel so good; you won't dare go back to those sweet treats," she says.