Of all the things we consume that can do a number on our overall health, be it physical or even mental, sugar is one of the worst. Sugar is a major culprit in mental health epidemics, obesity, heart health, and any number of concerns, but it’s also a prominent part of the modern diet. Natural sugar from fruits can be a good addition in balancing your diet. But processed sugar is something our bodies aren’t designed to digest naturally, bringing on an assortment of problems with it. Take, for example, these four very common and potentially very damaging things that happen to your body shortly after deciding to kick sugar from your diet. Of course, this isn’t meant to deter you from cutting sugar out altogether when possible or at least cutting back on consuming it. But at the very least, expecting these four reactions to a sugar detox will hopefully help you whether the storm.
If you’re on a diet that’s cut down your carbs and sugar significantly, a heavy cheat day filled with sugar can throw things into disarray pretty fast. Your body will likely hold onto more water than usual as a byproduct, which it will likely drop again after a few days.
This is possibly the toughest one to work through, as caving into sugar cravings will likely only start the cycle all over again and bring you back to square one. Your brain knows that you like sugar, so the moment you stop eating it you’re going to get neurological signals and tricks that will tempt to go back for more. This is actually a symptom of legitimate addiction, much like drugs or alcohol — which sugar could certainly be defined or described as. The withdrawal symptoms and feelings of detoxing from sugar may not be as heavy as a substance abuse detox but acknowledging them as a similar function can be helpful in overcoming them.
Refined carbs cause inflammation and interfere with your body’s ability to sustain or produce energy. On one hand, sugar compromises mitochondria, which impairs your ability to make the fuel it needs to operate. Second, your body exerts a lot of energy in fighting that inflammation brought on by sugar intake. A heavy sugar binge can be felt for a few days through low energy which, for some, is the least fun byproduct. Of course, this is one of those things you won’t notice until you’ve started to feel refreshed and energized by having cut a lot of sugar out of your diet in the first place.
Sugar is heavily linked to depression, anxiety, and inflammation. When you start to experience withdrawal symptoms your body is working to manage lowered glucose levels, a simple sugar that is an important energy source in living organisms and is a component of many carbohydrates. Being left with low energy and noticeable cravings are often precursors to headaches, migraines, and for some, eventual significant mood swings.