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7 Amazing Things that Happen When you Quit Sugar

7 Amazing Things that Happen When you Quit Sugar

Yes, sugar is delicious and tempting and even comforting. But it’s also deadly for your health, your waistline, and your mind.

Not only does it cause the obvious problems like tooth decay, but sugar is also linked to impaired brain function, depression and anxiety, cancer and heart disease.

Despite all these obvious ill effects, many Americans are still consuming up to five times the amount of sugar that’s recommended by the American Heart Association. This means women are eating up to 30 teaspoons of sugar per day, while men eat up to 45 teaspoons!

That’s pretty gross when you think about it.

Of course, they’re probably not sitting down eating spoon after spoon of white sugar, but in today’s society, hidden sugar is lurking everywhere. In fact, it’s found in 75% of packaged foods purchased in the United States.

Why not find out how much hidden sugar you’re consuming every day? See these everyday foods that are terrible for your health, and also this list of 15 foods that have dangerous amounts of the sweet stuff.

It might just shock you.

And it’s not just those with a sweet tooth that are at risk of overdoing it on the sugar. If you’re filling up on bread, pasta, chips and fries, it means you’re simply consuming sugar in another form. Starchy foods are broken down by the body into simple sugars and cause all the same problems that candy does, particularly when over eaten.

The bottom line is, sugar is not your friend so banish it from your diet. Sure, it will mean reading labels, forsaking some of your favorite treats and even making meals from scratch.

But when you read on and discover these seven amazing things that happen when you quit sugar, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s totally worth it.

Bonus: Download this PDF Checklist to Get Rid of Your Sugar Withdrawals.

Slow Down The Aging Process

young skinDid you know that sugar ages you?

In a process known as glycation, sugar attaches to the collagen in our skin and other parts of the body. This causes inflammation and reduces the effectiveness of both collagen and elastin, the proteins in our skin that help it stay youthful. When these don’t work so well, your skin no longer looks supple and youthful. Instead it begins to look dull, dry and…old!

While glycation can’t be completely stopped, it can be slowed down. And you guessed it, quitting sugar is one of the best ways to do this.

You don’t have to take my word for it, a study of 600 men and women found that those with higher blood sugar levels consistently looked older than those with lower blood sugar. For every extra 180 g of glucose per liter of blood, their estimated age rose by five months.

Diabetics – whose blood sugar level had been raised over a long period of time – looked older than their peers who did not have diabetes.

As well as aging your skin, too much sugar has been found to aggravate acne, and in some cases, even trigger it. And, according to the Rosacea Research & Development Institute, sugar is the fuel that burns the inflammation seen in rosacea.

Once you begin to wean yourself off the white stuff (including simple carbs) you should soon start to notice a difference in how your skin looks and feels.

Watch The Pounds Melt Away

weight loss jeansHow great would it be if you could just make one small change, and see the pounds melt away, particularly around the belly and love handles area?

Well, you can! Simply ditch the sugar and you’ll be effortlessly trim in no time.

A recent study has shown that, when calories were equal, those on a low sugar and refined carb diet burned 325 more calories a day than those eating a low fat diet! On the other hand, diets high in energy from fructose (sugar) contribute to weight gain and obesity.

Basically, too many sugary foods over an extended period of time cause resistance to the hormone insulin, which triggers our bodies to store extra fat and slows down metabolism. Once the body starts to get resistant to insulin, it can be a difficult process to reverse…so prevention is the best cure.

But insulin isn’t the only hormone that sugar affects, it also interferes with the function of leptin. This particular hormone is responsible for controlling our appetite and telling our liver what to do with all the glucose stored there. When our body doesn’t read leptin’s signals, it leads to weight gain particularly around your middle, which is often a precursor to diabetes.

Stop Being A Slave To Sugar Cravings

sugar cravingsAre you left craving something sweet just an hour or two after treating yourself to a muffin or candy bar? Given that sugar is thought to be just as addictive as cocaine, it’s not really surprising.

Contrary to what many people believe, being addicted to sugar and flour is not an emotional eating disorder. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, it’s a biological disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that cause us to crave sugar and carbs.

When we eat these foods our bodies release serotonin and beta-endorphin, neurotransmitters that improve our mood, reduce anxiety, and increase self-esteem. Naturally our bodies crave that source of happiness again and again.

It seems like a vicious cycle, and it is. But the good news is that when you give up sugar those cravings will stop. Dr. Hyman promises the detox will happen in 10 days or less!

If you need some help in getting through the first few days of going cold turkey, check out my post on how to eliminate your addictions. And just keep thinking how good it will feel when you’re no longer a slave to your sugar habit.

Bonus: Download this PDF Checklist to Get Rid of Your Sugar Withdrawals.

Sleep Like A Baby

sleeping like a babyBlood sugar issues are said to be the second leading cause of insomnia, affecting one third of Americans.

By ditching sugar and refined carbs, especially before bed, you’ll avoid a rise in blood sugar levels that keeps you up all night.

You’ll also avoid the inevitable drop that follows every rise. This drop causes the body to release hormones to regulate glucose levels, while also stimulating the brain, something which can easily cause you to wake. By avoiding this pattern of rising and falling sugar levels, you’ll have a much better sleep.

In addition to disrupting blood glucose levels, sugar and grains are food groups that many are sensitive to. If you’re one of these people, you might experience reactions that keep you up – like excess congestion, gastrointestinal upset, bloating, and gas.

If you absolutely need a snack before bed, try some oatmeal or whole grain carbs. These should maintain blood sugar levels and also increase the level of serotonin within the brain, promoting a healthy and consistent sleep.

Reduced Risk Of Illness

muscle arthritis goutIt’s believed that conditions like asthma, allergies, heart disease and even cancer are actually caused by chronic inflammation in the body. While a certain level inflammation is normal, when it is triggered unnecessarily, or gets out of control, then we have a problem.

What causes the brain to misread the signals, and trigger an inflammatory response even when no threat exists? A poor diet, rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates, is one of the main culprits.

The blood sugar surge that follows from snacking on white bread, French fries or even a can of soda, causes the body to release inflammatory messengers called cytokines. Eating whole grain products instead reduces cytokine production.

In addition, sugar and white flour are acidic foods and experts believe this is a major cause of chronic inflammation. Given that the average American consumes more than 130 pounds of sugar and 133 pounds of flour per year, it’s not surprising that so many people are suffering from diabetes, arthritis, and a host of other inflammation related issues.

Once you cut out the sugar and simple carbs and replace them with fruit, vegetables and complex carbohydrates you’ll decrease your body’s inflammatory responses and therefore reduce your risk of these illnesses.

No More Energy Slumps

soft drink glassWhen you hit the 3 pm slump, do you reach for a can of soda or an extra sweet latte?

Sure, they give you a quick energy boost, but if you think about it, don’t they almost as quickly drain that energy, leaving you exhausted, irritable, and craving another pick-me-up?

Because these foods are broken down very quickly, blood sugar levels rise and the brain stops producing orexin, the neuropeptide responsible for feeling alert. It’s not surprising you can’t focus on anything once lunch time has passed.

When it comes to fuel to keep us going, our bodies use two types – sugars and fats. Of course, we should be using fats as fuel, given that they are the most energy-dense macronutrient. Unfortunately, most people are adapted to using sugar as their source of energy, which burns much quicker, leaving them struggling to stay awake.

A study of rats in UCLA showed that those fed a low fat diet, high in sugar and refined flour, were not only more obese than rats fed a balanced diet, but also less willing to work for a reward. Proof that sugar makes you lazy!

By replacing sugar and simple carbs with healthy fats and complex carbohydrates as your main sources of fuel, you can say goodbye to those energy highs and lows that are holding you back.

Feel As Good As You Look

happy healthy woman natureYou might think that a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked will put you in a good mood, but actually the exact opposite might be true.

A British psychiatric researcher conducted an analysis of the relationship between diet and mental health and concluded that there is a strong link between high sugar consumption and the risk of depression and schizophrenia.

This isn’t the only study to link sugar with mental illness. A 2004 study found that a higher intake of refined sugar and dairy predicted a worse two-year outcome of schizophrenia.

Sugar is believed to affect our mental health in two ways. Firstly, it suppresses activity of the important growth hormone BDNF. Sufferers of depression and schizophrenia are known to have critically low levels of BDNF levels in the brain.

Secondly, it causes a chain of chemical reactions that promote chronic inflammation, something I mentioned earlier. In addition to the countless other problems long term inflammation causes, it also disrupts immune system function, and wreaks havoc on the brain.

Why not try cutting out the sugar and white carbs for a few weeks and seeing if you feel healthier and happier? My guess is, you will!

Fill up on healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein as these are nutrient dense foods. Fruits, especially berries, are a great sweet treat and make a healthy replacement to sugar. Even simply adding a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to snacks can give the illusion of sweetness without the sugar.

If you’re really struggling, these 6 tips should help you reduce your sugar intake without the pain!

And don’t even think that by switching to ‘diet’ or ‘sugar free’ options you’ll be getting your sweet fix without doing your body any damage. Have you read my post on the common but deadly sugar replacement aspartame?

Once your body adjusts to this new, sugar free regimen, your only regret will be that you didn’t do it sooner.

Bonus: Download this PDF Checklist to Get Rid of Your Sugar Withdrawals.

Were you surprised by some of the amazing benefits giving up sugar can bring?

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  1. Trevor

    August 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Hey Mike, you’ve got me convinced….got to try cut out more of the sugar, thanks for the reminder!


    • Mike Kamo

      August 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Trevor, glad I could help. It’s for the best — for everyone.


    • Michelle French

      May 13, 2016 at 9:20 am

      No more cupcakes. My life is over 🙁


      • Mike Kamo

        May 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm

        Hey Michelle, no need to be sad… It is best to save your cupcakes for special occasions. You’ll soon feel healthier, energetic, and younger. Before you eliminate anything from your life, it is important to add something first. Keep fresh fruits handy all the time for when your cupcake cravings hit.


    • Peter

      November 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Quitting sugar is like quitting smoking or drinking habit. Sugar is an addiction we have carried from the childhood. Thus it is more difficult or almost impossible to quit… fast food lobbyists do not want you to quit it ’cause this is what makes you addictive to fast food… we are doomed


  2. Rodrigo

    August 6, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I’m really having a rosacea like symptom and it began when I started eating chocolate again after 2 years with almost no sugar.
    Amazing post. You’re doing a great job with the blog.


    • Mike Kamo

      August 7, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Rodrigo, glad you find it helpful. Thanks for the feedback.


  3. Hairy Man

    August 7, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Hello Mike , thanks for this wonderful post on Sugar, is it true that carbohydrates eventually become sugar in the body during digestion?


    • Mike Kamo

      August 8, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Hairy, that’s pretty much what happens.


  4. Priyankar Mukherjee

    August 7, 2015 at 10:48 am

    What are “white carbs”? I know about carbohydrates but do not know about white carbs. Can you throw some more light Mike ?


    • Mike Kamo

      August 8, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Priyankar, they are sugar based typically. Think of white bread and other complex carbs.


      • lou

        September 11, 2015 at 1:17 am

        White bread, flours… any SIMPLE carbs the “COMPLEX” ones are better.. they are veges and fruit..:D


  5. Baig

    August 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Congratulations on your success with your blog so far and wishing you the best of luck going forward!

    If I like drinking soda and I don’t feel like stopping because I enjoy it, what is the maximum amount of soda a person could drink without affecting their health too much? (Can you put it in number of cans of soda?)



    • Mike Kamo

      August 8, 2015 at 10:43 am

      Baig, there is no magic number. I would just drink 2-3 a month and try to cut back from there until you no longer have a taste for soda.


  6. Chantelle

    September 8, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    I cut sugar out of my diet for 4 months as i was diagnosed with breast cancer and didnt want it to spread. I cant say i experienced all of the above and the cravings never went away, but on a health point of view you are correct!


    • Mike Kamo

      September 9, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Chantelle, great to hear 🙂

      Have a speedy recovery!


  7. Mel

    September 10, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    I understand what and how sugar affects me but I don’t know how to stop eating things with it! I eat veges, dairy and meat either frozen or fresh and very rarely canned. My downfall are foods like pasta, brown rice, whole grain bread, potatoes, CHOCOLATE! I find it very hard not to eat these things and am unsure of what I can replace them with as I find them all filling (well all except chocolate…that is just ‘feel good factor’). HELP, how do I cut or limit this stuff from my diet (on a budget!).


    • Mike Kamo

      September 11, 2015 at 9:20 am

      Mel, try to substitute with fruits — although they have sugar it’s a natural source of sugar. Try to limit your fruit intake to the earlier part of the day though.


    • nicola

      September 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

      I am no expert on this topic however there are some fantastic cookbooks and blogs about now such as Helmsley and Helmsley or deliciously Ella which include healthy sweet recipes, I also enjoy naked bars which don’t contain anything unnatural (although I realise they’re maybe not for everyone)


      • Mike Kamo

        September 14, 2015 at 7:38 am

        Nicola — thanks for the feedback. Looking forward to hearing much more from you.


    • Rem

      May 23, 2016 at 4:57 am

      Mel… Oats is an other substitude. Try that 🙂


    • eamon

      February 11, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Just stop eating them, the easiest way to go about it would most likely be stop bying them.. job done!


  8. Catering Melbourne

    October 13, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Great piece of information. Quitting sugar is not easy, but as there can be significant changes after quitting it then its a very good idea to leave it or minimize its intake. I am also eating less sugar in my diet but can’t completely leave it. But after reading this i would surely try to quit it.

    Thanks for sharing such great post with us. Cheers!


    • Mike Kamo

      October 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

      Glad you found the article helpful.
      I definitely think reducing your intake can have many positive health benefits. Keep me posted on progress and how you feel as you slowly take yourself off sugar.


  9. Lil M

    December 20, 2015 at 4:15 am

    Great article..I just went off of sugar and refined carbs,it has been amazing.I have had so much energy it is insane!The pounds are melting off. You were so right about wishing I had done it sooner.


    • Mike Kamo

      December 20, 2015 at 8:35 pm

      Lil, that’s great to hear. Keep me posted on results — looking forward to hearing much more from you 🙂


  10. Vera

    January 4, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Thank you for this article. Very informative. Today is Day one with no sugar. It feels like quitting smoking again. I did that cold turkey I can do this too!!


  11. Kay

    April 8, 2016 at 3:12 am

    i have really been planning about cutting back on sugar like forever but time after time i keep procrastinating and giving myself excuses but yesterday i decided to really get it done, today being day 1, let see how far i can really go. Its such posts that keeps me on check, fingers crossed am going cold turkey for atleast 30 days first.


    • Mike Kamo

      May 24, 2016 at 6:34 am

      Kay, well done! I am sure you can do it if you put your back into it.


  12. Kate_H

    May 8, 2016 at 12:03 am

    Great blog Mike.

    I gave up all but the minimum sugar from 1st January this year and the benefits have been amazing! Not only have I lost almost 2 stone without any dieting but I feel so much healthier but I have tones of energy and my mental wellbeing (I suffer from anxiety) has improved considerably.

    Like you said, I just wish I’d done it years ago! ?


    • Mike Kamo

      May 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Kate, glad you started — you’ll see the results trickle in 🙂


  13. Tony p.

    May 10, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    I quit eating sweets and anything containing sugar in it, I’ve switched to eating lots of fruits and vegetables and some meats. I have lost 15lbs and I feel great and my brain is really clearing up from the sugar fog, also my skin looks really healthy. I sometimes have a craving for something sweet but instead I’ll reach for some nuts or fruit or even a carrot, I can’t remember feeling this great in along time and I hope to continue on with this healthy life style.


    • Mike Kamo

      May 11, 2016 at 10:51 am

      Tony, it’s all about having that balance and putting the right things in your body — let me know if you need help with anything else 😉


  14. samia

    May 22, 2016 at 8:23 pm

    does high intake of sugar effect fertility too?


    • Mike Kamo

      May 23, 2016 at 12:50 am

      Samia, that’s right. Consuming sugar regularly may lead to infertility, or make fertility issues you already have worse.


  15. Zulfiquar

    May 23, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Hey , I found this article to be written just for me . conditions like craving for sweet 24/7 and disturbed sleep timings are my problems too . I will definitely quit SUGAR from my diet . I will inshAllah keep you posted about the effect . I have a query , my sugar level is generally low what do I eat to keep it balanced when the need arises . Secondly , in the middle of the night or right before sleeping I need to eat something sweet _ otherwise I can’t sleep _ is it fine to have fruit ? I really need to eat something sweet before sleeping and will I get rid of this condition if I quit sugar ?


    • Mike Kamo

      May 24, 2016 at 6:19 am

      Zulfiquar, I would love to hear about your progress.

      Protein snacks may be best when your sugar level is low.

      Fruits are full of vitamins, minerals, and fibers and should be a part of every diet. It is ok to eat fruits in the middle of the night or before sleeping. Just keep an eye on portion sizes and stay away from fruits canned in syrup or added sugar.


  16. Rem

    May 23, 2016 at 5:36 am

    Very Informative. I was already on a low carb, now quit sugar for a month. I was heavy on carbs, mostly white rice every day and now its more than a month i quit white rice. Feeling so energetic and happy! 🙂


    • Mike Kamo

      May 24, 2016 at 6:29 am

      Rem, Wish you good luck in your healthy journey. Eat healthy, be healthy!


  17. Nico

    July 18, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    It’s day 11 without sugar and I feel great. The first 4 days were tough. I switched from redbull to English breakfast tea.


    • Mike Kamo

      July 20, 2016 at 8:20 am

      NICO, glad you started — you’ll see the results soon.


  18. Valerie

    August 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    A month ago, you could have showed me that picture of candy. And I would have said, “I want this, and this, and a little bit of this. Oh that’s good, too!”
    But, because of a 2-week low-carb diet that I, unfortunately, had to end…–Keto, I’ve found, is not easily supported by an, um, modest budget. I ended up starving myself. So, now I’m on the 5:2 IF (if you can call it “intermittent fasting”) diet that I plan to do for, probably years.–I now no longer crave refined sugar. It was probably the best thing that diet did for me–even more than the pounds I had lost, which wouldn’t budge past 188 before then (I am kind of tall, but still…). On day ten, I had noticed carbohydrate cravings; although, no sugar cravings. They were gone! I had finally rid me of that curse that plagued me all my life: sugar addiction! In fact, now, I hate white sugar.
    So, minutes ago, when I clicked onto this page and saw what is at the top, the first thing I said was, “That’s disgusting.” XD
    P.S. (I feel a need to put the p.s.) I am in no way trying to insult people who still like processed sweets. I did, after all, for more than 35 years (I’m guessing, because, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t eat them, as a baby.)


    • Mike Kamo

      September 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm

      VALERIE, thanks for sharing your experience. Good to hear that you’re on the right track. Good luck!


  19. Emma

    October 10, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    My lipid levels were terrible. After researching diets I realized sugar rather than DST may be the culprit. I cut radically back but two weeks ago started to add sugar again though nothing like the amount I used to eat. How can I get back on track now?


  20. Ever Ever

    January 1, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Using suger since childhood was one of my hobbies and now i have the signs of gut imbalances on me its so weird that i odor very bad smell to others even i cant smell that shit , i read somewhere when yu continue eating suger meals it makes it worse.
    so what if i use stevia suger ? since im not sure the feedback? maybe i have signs of Diabet too like depresion tired amd anxiety


    • Mike Kamo

      January 2, 2017 at 3:24 am

      Stevia is naturally very sweet and considered 100 to 200 times sweeter than sugar, but it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like sugar and other artificial sweeteners do.

      Thanks for reading and posting here.


  21. Ever Ever

    January 4, 2017 at 6:28 am

    Thanks Mike
    i have lessen my suger diet and fast foods over a month. but the odor doesnt unfollow me , the odor or some kinda chemical arises when someone eating next to me. they look like dying at the momentbut i cant smell anything. help me if you have any idea or solution . people hate me the way ….
    male 23


    • Mike Kamo

      January 5, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Hey, thanks for reading and posting here.
      The foul oral odor is usually caused by a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the surface of the tongue and often in the throat and tonsil area.
      By developing the right habits, you can effectively help prevent it.

      Eat foods rich in fiber
      Drink green and black teas
      Clean your mouth after eating meat, fish or dairy products
      Use mouthwash
      Stop smoking
      Drink plenty of water
      Use an oral probiotic


  22. Cammalot

    April 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    How long do sugar withdrawals last? I’m on day 4 and feel like I’m going to die 😩. Such bad anxiety, nausea (in waves) and constant headache. I just feel so weird. It’s kinda scaring me.


  23. joe

    April 17, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I have given up sugar but still cannot find a girl friend.


  24. Anonymous

    April 25, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Just a tip, your ad with the red bar is in a position that makes it too distracting to focus on the article. If you want an ad, I understand, but consider moving it from a place where it’s shaking distractedly above text you’re trying to get your brain to focus on.

    It makes people not want to stay on the page and keep reading. Just saying. :/


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About Mike Kamo

Hi, I’m Mike. One of my biggest passions in life is nutrition and after being certified, I wanted to create a site where I could help readers live a healthy and nutritious life. I believe we control our destiny and we can choose to live a long and healthy life by eating right and treating our bodies with respect.

Let me show you how our simple and efficient online fitness coaching has made it easy for thousands of women to lose weight, and how you can too!

Online Fitness Coaching

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Make your body lean just by eating right foods.