Sugar detox is hard work, and often difficult symptoms show up during the first week of two. If you’re trying like mad to decrease your sugar intake, you might experience some of the following problems. Even though it is might be difficult, it is SO worth it. Putting less sugar in your body is a fantastic goal that will translate into better health — even if it is a bit painful at the beginning. Just remember the detox symptoms aren’t forever, and if you can get over the hump, you’ll be rewarded with better health, more energy and often weight loss.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of SOME things you might experience when you’re starting to decrease sugar in your diet. They are all normal and often challenging, but luckily we have some tricks to make the journey a little bit easier at the beginning.
We can help you get to a place where you don’t have to fight cravings because you don’t have them.
- FATIGUE — You will feel tired; this is totally normal. The trick for minimizing tiredness is to drop your sugars slowly so it doesn’t jolt your system and make you feel tired or worse. If you decrease sugar over time, you won’t have such exhausted days. You may need to step into this new routine. Try eating whole foods and lowering sugar one day per week…then two, then three. It helps.
- ENERGY UPS AND DOWNS — Sugar gives you fast, available energy. When you eat less simple carbs (think white sugar, pasta, rice or flour), your body responds with less of a bolt of ‘get up and go.’ When you eat more whole food, your body processes that food and gives you a ‘slow but sure’ energy source. So, it could be that as you transition, your body will ask for the simple, easy sugar. DON’T GIVE IN! Stick to your plan of eating more whole foods. In the end, it’s the sustained long-term energy you ‘re after. Planning your meals and snacks for eating every 3 hours helps smooth over sugar ups & downs. Sometimes you just need to eat by the clock for a while to set up this routine. Stick with it–it is where you need to end up.
- SUGAR CRAVINGS — We need the amount of sugar that we regularly get. So limiting sugars WILL cause sugar cravings. ANSWER: Fill your plate with good quality fats & proteins, and lots of veggies. If you are really struggling, eat an extra serving of fruit, which naturally has the ‘good stuff’ sugars your body is craving but in a MUCH better form than fabricated sugars you are normally eating. Sugar cravings will pass in time, but you need to be patient. It takes time to lose those pesky sugar cravings. To curb sugar cravings, add spice. When you take out a big ingredient in the diet, you should replace it with something else. Now would be a good time to add some spice to your life. Like Italian food? Try adding garlic, onion, parsley, salt, pepper and a bit of sage. Like Thai food? Try adding turmeric, coriander, cumin, garlic and ginger. Like Indian food? Try adding onion, garam masala, coriander and cinnamon. It pretty drastically changes your food and tastes so good that you won’t miss all of the sugar.
- EXTRA THIRST — when you’re actively changing your diet routines, you’ll be craving your normal foods. Many times, when you crave something, you’re actually thirsty, especially this dry time of year. If you’re craving sugar, please try to drink a big glass of water or a nice herbal tea. This might quench your thirst and tame the sugar craving.
There are many changes happening in the body when you drop your dietary sugar load, but not all of it is easy. Hopefully, these tricks will make your journey a bit easier. If you want more help, please reach out the holistic nutritionists at Healthy Nest Nutrition. We talk about this stuff all day long and we LOVE it. We can help you change how you think about sugar and help you get to a place where you don’t have to fight cravings because you don’t have them.
We offer 20-min. complimentary consults before we get started with new clients to make sure nutrition therapy is a good fit for you. You can hop on our schedule here.
Here’s to better health with less sugar! Good luck and enjoy the journey.