There are a number of side effects of detoxing from sugar. These can include impacting on your mental focus, sleep patterns, triggering headaches and possibly even nausea. Keep in mind that there’s so much on the other side of a sugar detox that will make any of these seem like a tiny disruption for a very short period of time.
Deciding to quit sugar can be a big step to take for most of us. It can be an extremely addictive substance but can be broken quite easily by taking the right steps. The most difficult part is not falling back into old habits!
On the bright side, however, giving up sugar from your diet can lead to a multitude of health benefits in the long run. But while the process is happening, you can find you will suffer some negative effects. In today’s article, we discuss the side effects of detoxing from sugar.
Just how bad is sugar for the body?
While on its own in small quantities sugar is generally not a major issue. The health risks tend to typically come from one of two ways (or even both in some cases). Either over consumption of sugar, or consuming the man-made sugar known as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). For the sake of clarity, I’m of the firm belief that HFCS are really bad for you.
Fructose is a type of sugar itself, however, it is not harmful to the body if eaten in its natural state. Fructose is found in a majority of fruits, especially sweet fruits. The difference between fructose and HFCS is that you consume fructose with a high amount of fiber in the fruit itself, helping to counteract the effects of fructose.
For an in-depth dive into how fructose and glucose are all processed by your body, check out our comprehensive deep dive into the body’s method for processing sugar.
Are there any benefits to overcoming sugar addiction?
There is a wide range of benefits to cutting processed sugars out of your life. These can range from the physical to the non-physical. While going through the process of detoxing from sugar can feel challenging, the benefits will eventually begin to show.
Removing sugar helps with:
- Improving your mental clarity and energy due to sustained blood sugar levels
- Reducing inflammation of the skin, leading to cleaner and healthier skin
- Helping to improve both your sleeping patterns and quality of sleep
- Leading to loss of weight due to calorie deficit (provided the rest of your diet and lifestyle is healthy!)
- Lowering anxiety in the long run, and
- Saving you money as you avoid sugary snacks and buying more cost effective, healthier alternatives (or avoid all snacks if you are Fasting!).
The benefits, in the long run, will far outweigh any negative side effects of detoxing from sugar. It can be challenging to quit but it is more than possible.
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There's no reason to avoid things that taste good. Sweet doesn't always mean bad for you. #fruit and vegetables that have a sugary sweet taste are fine in moderation. Like everything that keeps your body happy, enjoy these in moderation, get plenty of water and exercise. Another great way to break a processed sugar addiction.
So what are the side effects of detoxing from sugar?
Like any detox from an addictive substance, you may experience a number of withdrawal symptoms. Some are simple and some are more serious.
Simple symptoms may include:
- Reduced or limited ability to focus
- Increased cravings for sugary or starchy foods, or
- A feeling of fatigue, nausea or even light-headedness.
More serious symptoms may include:
- Temporary disruption to your sleeping pattern, where the decreased energy intake from lack of sugar takes effect
- Increased chance of experiencing anxiety in the form of feeling on edge. Although this is a reasonably normal feeling when detoxing from any substance, or
- A feeling of depression due to the lower energy levels and withdrawal symptoms.
The great thing about these side effects is that they are temporary and only stick around for the short term. Detoxing from sugar can initially be challenging but it will get better in the long run.
Overall, you will not know how your body will react until you try to remove sugar from your life. You may even find that you are fortunate enough to not encounter any of the above side effects! Detoxing from sugar can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, varying based on how dependent your body has become to the sugar that has been a part of your diet.
If you are concerned about any of the side effects, check in with your health professional. If you already suffer from some of the side effects, ensure you have a check up with your health professional before, and while detoxing.
Have you detoxed from sugar in the past? Let us know your experiences below in the comments below.