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Sugar Detox: Symptoms, Withdrawal Side Effects, and How to Manage Them

The first step

Sugar is responsible for a number of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar depletes your energy and can contribute to depression.

Removing sugar from your diet can make you feel better and can decrease your health risks.

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Sugar Detox: Symptoms, Withdrawal Side Effects, and How to Manage Them

Sugar Detox: Symptoms, Withdrawal Side Effects, and How to Manage Them

https://www.healthline.com/health/sugar-detox-symptoms

healthline.com

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Key Ideas

The first step

Sugar is responsible for a number of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar depletes your energy and can contribute to depression.

Removing sugar from your diet can make you feel better and can decrease your health risks.

You can feel lousy

Sugar is as addictive as nicotine, cocaine, and morphine. Sugar leads to a rush similar to injecting heroin. It leads to a vicious cycle of cravings for more sugar to feel good.  

Stopping your sugar intake could result in withdrawal symptoms - at least at first.

Symptoms of sugar withdrawal

A sugar detox can cause unpleasant physical and mental symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can last up to two weeks. Sugar cravings can be worse in between meals or when you feel stressed. 


Physical withdrawal symptoms include light-headedness, nausea, tingling and fatigue.

Mental symptoms

  • Depression is a common sugar withdrawal symptom. 
  • Anxiety. You may feel like you have less patience than usual and are on edge.
  • Changes in sleep patterns. You might find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Cognitive issues. You may find it difficult to concentrate and can forget things.
  • Cravings. You may find yourself craving sugar and carbohydrates like bread, pasta, and potato chips.
  • Tips to overcome side effects

    • Quit cold turkey. This includes prepackaged foods, sweetened beverages and white flour.
    • Eat more protein. Protein will help you avoid hunger.

    • Increase your dietary fiber to help you control your blood sugar.

    • Drink more water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. Water also helps keep you regular.

    • Avoid artificial sweeteners as it encourages sugar cravings.

    • Manage your stress to keep cravings under control.

    • Exercise increases energy and reduces stress.

    • Drink some greens. It is found to decrease sweet cravings from day one.

    • Get enough sleep.

    • Eat something bitter. Bitter foods like coffee, arugula or broccoli raab shuts down the receptors in the brain that makes us crave sugar.

    We all slip up

    Don't beat yourself up when you slip up. 

    Write down why you want to quit sugar. Remind yourself every time you feel yourself slipping.

    If you slip up, use it as a learning experience and start again. Make sure to avoid the same trap next time.

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    Cravings for sweets things may increase as you start a sugar detox. If you persist, the battle will be won in about a week.

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