Giving up sugar (even just briefly) can be one of the best things you can do for both your waistline and your health, which is why today’s article is going to be looking at 7 benefits you look to gain from removing added sugar from your diet.
No matter what your thoughts, views or opinions on sugar are, there’s no denying we all eat far too much of it, with reports stating that the average person consumes around 300 calories from added sugar everyday!
That’s not even the worst of it though, as it’s estimated that roughly 20% of Americans consume up to 700 calories, which is an entire cup of sugar everyday!
We aren’t just getting sugar from the obvious places either, such as cakes, chocolate and soda, as it’s managed to sneak its way into everything from bread to orange juice, yoghurt, pasta sauces and even dried fruit!
It’s important to note though that when talking about added sugar we mean highly refined and processed goods, not natural sugars found in fruits, vegetables and products such as milk.
Excess consumption has caused sugar to take control of who we are, and has played a direct role in causing the current obesity and chronic disease epidemic.
But what happens when we break free from the addiction?
This will largely depend on how big of a sugar habit you have, but in the initial stages people consuming large amounts everyday can face a variety of addict like withdrawal symptoms.
These can range from mood swings to a drop-in energy levels, anxiety, restlessness, trouble sleeping and in some cases, even depression.
Everyone responds differently, so there really is no way of knowing how it will affect you until it happens.
If you can push through it though, you’ll be rewarded with a whole host of positive changes to your mental, physical and emotional health.
7 Things that happen when you quit sugar
1) You’ll shed those excess pounds
If you’ve struggled losing weight then reducing sugar intake will not only cut your overall calories consumed, but it will also allow your body to heal and start working optimally again.
From a weight loss perspective, too much sugar can cause your body to become resistant to the hormone insulin, which triggers the body to store fat.
Once this happens it can take time be reversed, but once it does, weight loss and maintenance becomes easy and effortless.
2) Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other illnesses
Research has shown that reducing added sugar consumption will reduce your chances of dying from heart related issues threefold, due to the reduction in chronically elevated insulin levels.
Not only that, but you will be at a much lower risk of getting diabetes and some forms of cancer!
There’s research linking sugar to everything from fuelling cancer cells to making us more likely to develop Alzheimer’s, robbing our body of nutrients and negatively impacting every system in our body.
So it really is an understatement to say we need to get our intake under control.
3) Clearer skin
Sugar causes systematic inflammation which has been linked to triggering acne and a whole host of other skin related issues.
The problem with inflammation is it produces enzymes which break down elastin and collagen, which in turn can result in wrinkles and sagging skin.
Within 7 days of quitting sugar you should see a noticeable difference in redness and breakouts.
4) Freedom from energy slumps
When you eat sugar your bodies response is to release insulin to get your blood sugar levels back to normal, and this can explain why you get that sugar high, shortly followed by a sugar slump.
Queue the cravings, and you land up in a rinse and repeat cycle of fluctuating energy levels, always chasing that unmaintainable sugar high.
After about a week of going sugar free your body will re-sensitise and go back to your normal dopamine levels and your blood sugar levels will even out.
At that point your energy will start coming back and you can finally start to feel normal.
5) Improved mood
While initially you may face mood swings, anxiety or depression, once you get through the withdrawal symptoms you’ll finally be free, opening you up to a whole new world and outlook on life.
By making it to this point you can break the control sugar has over you, which in itself is hugely freeing and a relief.
6) Better sleep
Constant sugar crashes throughout the day can lead to sluggishness and that midday slump, which is why come three o’clock you may always be feeling like you are in desperate need of a nap!
By cutting out sugar you will be more alert throughout the day, which will have the knock-on effect of improving your sleep at night.
Some people may however suffer from trouble sleeping in the first few days due to sugar withdrawal, but this will pass!
7) Improved memory
Various pieces of research have linked excess sugar intake to brain fog, suggesting it hinders memory and learning.
That’s why people who get off sugar report clearer thinking, focus, and have an easier time concentrating.
The benefits don’t just stop there though, as you’ll also have a boosted immune system, making you less likely to get sick, better mental power and you will be able to start enjoying food for what it is.
That’s because sugar affects our palette and the foods we crave, and once you get away from that you can start to savour, appreciate and enjoy all the delicious and natural foods out there.
Yes quitting sugar is going to be tough, but once you break free you can slowly start to reintroduce it into your diet, enjoying it more in moderation for what it is.
That’s what balance is all about.
Take the no added sugar challenge
To help you take the first step in breaking your sugar addiction I have put together a free 7 day no added sugar challenge.
During this 7 days I’m going to be helping you every step of the way, proving you with everything from accountability to support and guidance, helping you make more informed choices and break the addiction.