If you keep running across articles that claim sugar is bad for you, but others that encourage more fruits and veggies with natural sugars, it can get really confusing. This blog post will talk about sugar and what it means to over-consume it.
Health Benefits of a Sugar Detox
Before you start a sugar detox or any type of diet change, it is important to understand why you are doing it. This helps keep you motivated as you can keep those advantages in the back of your mind when you hit moments where you have intense cravings. Here are some of the top health benefits of doing a sugar detox.
Your Skin Will Improve
If you have been struggling with acne or are showing wrinkles and sagging of your skin, cutting back on sugar can help tremendously. It is an amazing lifestyle change to make when you don’t want to spend a lot of face creams and injections. For many people, sugar reduces the collagen production in their skin, which can lead to premature signs of aging like wrinkles and sagging. For others, their complexion starts clearing up. Sugar may also be contributing to flare-ups of chronic skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis, so there is another big benefit.
You Can Increase Your Energy
Have you been feeling a bit sluggish or unmotivated lately? Contrary to what people think, sugar is not helping! In fact, you might get a short period of lethargic energy right after consuming sugar, but then you get a much longer crash. This is why afternoons are difficult for so many people. Stop the roller coaster and reduce sugar so that you have sustained energy throughout the day without dealing with those afternoon crashes.
It Provides a Healthy Immune System Boost
Who doesn’t want a more natural way to boost their immune system? By cutting out sugar, you just might be able to reduce how often you get sick will illnesses like the cold or flu. Some studies have shown that sugar can reduce your immune system by leading to inflammation in the body. Try at least reducing sugar in your diet for a few months, then see if you are able to avoid the same illnesses everyone else around you is getting.
There are many other health benefits, from being able to lose weight and keep weight off, to helping lower your blood sugar levels to reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes. The list of health benefits of giving up sugar far outweigh the few benefits you get from continuing to eat it. Keep these benefits in mind when you have cravings or if you go through a withdrawal period when you cut back on your sugar intake.
The Stages of Quitting Sugar
When you quit or cut back on sugar, your body and mind will go through many changes. These stages are similar to when you cut anything out, though the withdrawal period might be worse than other lifestyle changes if you relied a lot on sugar-laden foods. Here are some stages you can expect when you first cut back on your sugar intake.
This is probably one of the first things you will experience, though some people will have the headaches from withdrawal first. Cravings occur when your body discovers it is not getting the same amount of sugar as it used to. This could occur on day 2, or not for a week or so. It will depend a lot on how much sugar you were consuming before starting the sugar detox diet.
If you have ever tried to quit something cold turkey, like smoking or drinking caffeine, you know what the withdrawal headaches are like. While they can affect what you are trying to accomplish during the day, be strong! Take some pain relievers and just try to get through this phase. If you cave, you will just have to keep going through these withdrawal symptoms over and over again.
Aches and Pains
Another stage of quitting sugar is when you get further into the sugar withdrawal period and you experience some aches and pains. Like other symptoms, this might not be something everyone deals with. However, if you start experiencing leg cramps or other odd physical discomforts, it may be your body’s way of reacting to lack of sugar you are consuming. However, if it becomes severe, it is a good thing to discuss with your doctor.
Moving further into the later stages of sugar detoxing and the withdrawal is the mood swings. These can come from a few different sources. You are uncomfortable and might be having some bad headaches, so that will create some irritability. The cravings are definitely making it worse, and when you feel like you are being told you can’t have something, it can play a lot of tricks on you. This will pass just like all other stages of quitting sugar, you just have to be committed.