A lot of people make the decision to get the sugar out of their diets. They usually do this to improve the way that they look and feel. Sugar tends to wreak havoc on blood sugar levels. The quick energy that sugar gives just doesn’t last, and people tend to “crash” after its effects wear off. As well, sugar tends to promote weight gain.
If you’re considering giving up sugar, you should know that you may experience sugar withdrawals when you do take it out of your own dietary picture. Today, we’d like to share some important information about what sugar withdrawals feel like. Our comprehensive guide is designed to give you a deeper understanding of what sugar withdrawals are and why they happen.
Now, let’s look at the most common withdrawal symptoms that people experience when they take sugar out of their diets completely. Bear in mind that the symptoms usually don’t last too long. If you’ve given up sugar, it’s helpful to know how you might feel like your body detoxes. It’s really important to understand what may happen and prepare for it. Knowing how the body reacts is the key to assessing how you feel. It’s also possible to do a lot to feel better during this detox phase of life. It will pass and when it does, you’ll be able to access all the very real benefits of giving up sugar.
Symptoms of Sugar Withdrawal
You may notice that you crave sugar intensely after you give it up. When we get into the habit of giving our body toxins, such as refined white sugar, our bodies adjust to the situation. When we get the sugar, or another toxin, out of our bodies, our systems go into a different state.
Suddenly, we aren’t getting the toxic substance the way that we used to, and our bodies start to crave it, to restore our systems to “normal.” Sugar may also be a psychological addiction for you. We get used to eating it, we love the way that it tastes, and we want more of it all the time. For some people, sugar is trouble!
If you give up sugar, you’ll need to find the willpower to stay away from it until the cravings subside. There are ways to distract yourself from sugar cravings which may make it easier to stay away from sugar in the future. For example, adopting healthy, clean eating habits which flood your body with vital nutrients will strengthen your system and may help to curtail cravings. You’ll be well-nourished, so your body will get what it needs.
As well, exercising may help a lot. The exercise of the cardio type, which raises the heart rate, will spark the release of endorphins (feel-good chemicals which are produced naturally within the body) which elevate mood. Exercise promotes emotional stability, and this is one of the keys to getting past the craving stage.
Basically, be kind to your body while you’re giving up sugar. When you do, the right things regarding taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to overcome cravings with greater ease. However, you’ll still need to be strong. Giving up sugar is a good thing, and your willpower will pay off in the long run. Also, drink plenty of pure water each day. Flushing out impurities will help to reboot your entire system so that you can start fresh.
How much you crave sugar after you give it up will probably depend on how much you were consuming and how often your body was getting potent “hits” from sugar. The more you consumed, the worse your cravings may be. Sugar lurks in a lot of foods and drinks, so you may not even realize how much sugar you were taking in on a daily and nightly basis.
For example, sugar “hides” in iced tea drinks, soups, sauces and so much more. It’s everywhere and getting it out of one’s diet is all about reading product labels and making smarter choices. When sugar is high on the list of ingredients in food or drink, it likely contains quite a bit of this harmful “white stuff’. So, get into the habit of reading product labels.
Making your own food and drink, from fresh and healthy ingredients, is one of the best ways to get sugar out of your diet. Also, you may want to check out menu plans for diabetics which are posted online. Diabetics try to restrict sugar intake, and their meal ideas may give you inspiration for a sugar-free diet.
You May Experience Mood Swings
After giving up sugar, you may find that your moods go up and down rapidly, sometimes, for no real reason. Some people feel angrier when they aren’t getting sugar and others also suffer from irritability. In general, mood swings only last about 14 days. However, this is a long period to be experiencing these mood swings, so you should consider using some stress-management techniques during this time frame.
One example is meditation. Our minds are powerful, and we may balance our minds by practicing deep and even breathing. There are plenty of ways to learn meditation online. It’s very simple to do. It’s all about counting each breath and some people also chant mantras (silently, or aloud) to clear their minds. Meditation is extremely calming.
Also, taking a healthy supplement, such as Cod Liver Oil, which is known to combat symptoms of depression, may be very beneficial now. There are ways to improve mood and finding the right therapies and techniques won’t be hard. Just remember that mood swings related to giving up sugar won’t last.
You May Get More Headaches
Most of us do get headaches from time to time. When we give up sugar, we may get even more! Sugar is a toxin and taking it out of our diets plunges us into a “detox” state. This means that our systems begin to adapt to the changes. One of the signals that the detox phase is happening is headaches. These may be managed with mild, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Advil or Tylenol.
It’s quite common for anyone who is detoxing from anything to get headaches. People tend to get them during “cleanses” or when they give up bad habits, from smoking to drinking and beyond. The headaches are generally harmless and signal positive changes in the body. However, they are painful and annoying.
You shouldn’t use OTC pain relievers a lot. When we take a lot of these pain relievers, we sometimes get rebound headaches when we stop! However, they are safe choices when serious headache pain strikes. In general, headaches which are related to sugar withdrawals won’t last more than a couple of weeks.
Detoxing completely will generally happen within fourteen days or so, so try to manage headache pain as best you can. If you are concerned about it, you should see your doctor. Make sure to tell him or her that you’ve eliminated sugar from your diet and that the headaches started afterward.
Your Sleeping Patterns May Change
Sleeping patterns may be altered for the worse when sugar is eliminated. For example, you may find it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. Insomnia is a symptom of sugar withdrawal. While it’s an inconvenient symptom, it should be temporary. Your body is currently recovering from the dips and spikes in energy that sugar causes. It’s changing, and this will affect your energy levels. You may feel tired at different times and alert when you should be sleeping soundly.
If you need help dealing with sugar withdrawals, a natural supplement, such as Melatonin, may help you to fall asleep. While it’s not the best for helping people to stay asleep, it is rather effective for those who are having trouble falling asleep in the first place. Melatonin also assists with recovery from jet lag, and you may find it most places where supplements are sold.
As well, try to unplug from electronic devices which have monitors at least an hour before you go to bed. Studies have shown that using monitors shortly before bed makes brains too alert. Using devices with monitors right before bed makes it harder to fall asleep.
You May Lose Some Weight
When you go sugar-free, there is the possibility that you’ll lose weight. Sugar contributes to weight gain. The sugar in food has calories and affects blood sugar levels for the worse. Blood sugar does play a role in weight loss. When you take away sugar, you may have a lower daily calorie count, and this may lead to weight loss. Most people are happy to lose weight. However, some people don’t need to lose any.
If you’re not interested in losing weight, you should consider getting more calories from sugar-free foods. For example, a handful of nuts should have a lot of calories, and these calories will help you to maintain your weight while you’re eating the sugar-free way. Just be sure to avoid nuts which are seasoned, as these may contain sugar. Check product details to be sure that the nuts you are eating are truly sugar-free.
You May Feel Ill in General
It’s not uncommon for people who have given up sugar to feel a general malaise. Some people feel like they have the flu or are coming down with the flu. This is another facet of the detox experience. The body is adjusting to the changes, and you may feel ill for a while as your body learns to function without sugar. If you’re worried about flu-like symptoms, please see your doctor. However, most people who feel ill during withdrawal from sugar do tend to recover within a couple of weeks. Flu-like symptoms, such as body aches, headaches, and fever, may range in severity from person to person.
Is Giving Up Sugar Worth It?
As you can see, it is possible to feel bad, physically and emotionally, while giving up sugar. So, after reading all of this, you may wonder, “Is giving up sugar really worth it?”. The answer is, “Yes!”. Sugar is not a healthy substance, and it causes some bad symptoms of its own while we are consuming it, such as energy dips and spikes, weight gain and mental fog.
When you give up sugar, and the unpleasant detox phase is over, you may notice that you are slimmer, more mentally alert and more energetic. Most people do find that they feel amazing once they’ve gotten the whole detox process out of the way. It’s all about removing a substance which is harmful, without replacing it with another bad habit. If you can manage this, you’ll have made progress regarding repairing the damage that sugar does and moving forward to a healthier life.
Sugar permeates processed foods, so it’s important to be vigilant. In general, one hundred percent elimination of sugar is challenging. It can be done but will require research into food ingredients. Most people prefer to eat sugar-free and then enjoy a sugary treat once in a blue moon. Many choose honey as a sweetener when they bake, rather than refined sugar. Honey is natural and does have health benefits, so it’s better than sugar, health-wise.
Now that you know what sugar withdrawals will feel like, you’ll be ready to decide if going sugar-free is right for you. We believe that it’s a healthier way to live. If you’ve already given up sugar and you’re dealing with the symptoms that we’ve talked about here, you should know that they will generally pass. Two weeks is the time frame for the worst symptoms. It’s worth two weeks of discomfort to clean out your system and start over. Hopefully, the strategies that we’ve discussed here will help you to feel more calm, healthy and centered during the detox process.