First off, congratulations on making a choice to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Cutting your sugar intake can go a long way in walking towards a healthier lifestyle. However, pulling through a strict sugar detox isn’t easy. Sugar withdrawal symptoms are the real deal and can be quite painful in many ways. However, the benefits that cutting your sugar intake can provide far outweigh these cons, and hence sugar detox is something you need to consider. Are you looking to implement a sugar detox? If so, here’s everything you need to know about detox from sugar, and how that can help you in the long run!
Why You Need to Detox From sugar
While many of us may have a sweet tooth, several studies have shown that sugar has links to several medical conditions. These include lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes, as well as acute ailments such as heart disease. Furthermore, daily, consuming too much sugar leads to a decrease in energy, increase in depression, and leads to poor dental health. Detox from sugar helps you reduce all these risks, while also bettering your chances at a healthier, more fit life. However, every good thing comes at a price, and pulling off a good detox from sugar isn’t easy. So what are the problems we might face when trying to cut down our sugar intake?
Why does a Sugar Detox lead to Withdrawal Symptoms?
Several studies have proven that sugar affects our brain the way nicotine, morphine and cocaine do. Therefore, when we suddenly try to stop consumption, there will be several side-effects to that. As per reports, an average American consumes over 28 teaspoons of sugar a day, which is much higher than the recommended six. Hence, cutting sugar down to even the required amount can result in several withdrawal symptoms which can make life quite difficult. Eating sweet food activates the brain’s reward system, which leads to us feeling certain things, making the process of eating sweets addictive.
Similarly, sugar activates the release of dopamine the same way heroin and cocaine does. Sugar also affects the release of endogenous opioids which is similar to how heroin works. All these factors contribute to our body craving more sugar to feel good. Therefore, when you starve your body of what it wants or feel it wants, it results in you experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Sugar Detox Withdrawal Symptoms
While everyone might react to a reduction in sugar intake, here’s a look at some of the common sugar detox withdrawal symptoms. Most of these can last from up to three days to three weeks. However, the good thing is that the longer you stay away from sugar, the lesser intense these symptoms become, meaning they fade out eventually. They also tend to become more acute in between meals, and also rise when you undergo stress.
Mental symptoms due to a sugar detox include:
- Depression – Many people feel quite low, and also like they do not enjoy what they are doing
- Anxiety – Several studies have shown that people who cut out sugar tend to feel more anxious, nervous and restless. Most people report feeling like they are on edge and getting irritated by the simplest of things.
- Insomnia – Many people state that their sleep patterns underwent massive changes when they stopped eating sugar. While some people had trouble sleeping, others found themselves lazy and wanting to sleep longer.
- Concentration Issues – Sugar also affects cognitive response, and many people admit they feel a lack of focus when they stay away from sugar.
- Cravings – Most people even found themselves craving carbs, bread, potato chips and salty food as a result of the sugar detox.
Physical symptoms due to a sugar detox include;
How to Beat Sugar Detox Side Effects
- If you decide to cut sugar turkey, go cold turkey, rather than slowly bringing down your intake. Even limiting your intake can lead to side effects, and thereby lessening it in stages will result in your side effects lasting longer. If you stop it altogether, while you might have intense symptoms, they will go away quicker.
- Make up for the lack of carbs in your diet by packing up on proteins. Not only is this a healthier alternative, but it will also help you combat lethargy. Avoid candy bars laden with sugar, and start eating more fish and poultry. Rather than indulging in sugar-rich snacks, try to eat more veggies, nuts and seeds which are high in proteins and nutrients.
- Another way to prevent your body from starving is to eat food that is high in fiber. Not only will this enable proper digestion, but it will also help in satiating your hunger. Furthermore, high-fiber foods help in controlling blood sugar, which can help you stay active for longer.
- Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day to feel and look better while detoxing from sugar. Overeating fiber-rich food without having enough water can lead to constipation. Therefore, make sure you drink a lot of water every day.
- Some studies show that artificial sweeteners tend to encourage sugar cravings. Therefore, once you decide to detox from sugar, make sure you avoid all artificial sweeteners.
- Manage your stress to limit your cravings and prevent side effects to the maximum possible extent. Try listening to relaxing songs and meditating when you feel like your stress levels are spiking.
- Exercising regularly will help you improve your energy levels and keep lethargy and depression at bay. Take some time out from your daily schedule and dedicate it to exercise. Exercise can include anything from a brisk walk to an hour of swimming. Make sure you do something you enjoy, as this will also help you control your stress.
Use these tips and tricks to beat your sugar addiction and come out of your sugar detox stronger than ever before. The first step in solving a problem is deciding that it is a problem. Now that you have done that follow through with the program by using these pointers, and watch as the results help you lead a happier, healthier and more positive life!