studying sugar
Diets,  Fitness,  Health,  Nutrition,  Weight Loss

What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Sugar?

What Happens When You Quit Sugar?

Your risk of contracting about 70 health disorders will begin to plummet.

  1. Your brain will sharpen.
  2. You will soon crave less sugar.
  3. You will begin to lose weight.

Here’s the bad news… you will (for a short time) experience signs of withdrawal similar to someone who is coming off drugs or alcohol (yikes).

We all know of people that suffer from alcohol addiction. Although a person is sometimes pre disposed to this sickness the trap usually gets its start like this…

A person takes a drink and at once feelings of fear, insecurity and discontent are quieted. The brain being the awesome thing that it is remembers the solution…for future reference.


The brain is efficient and doesn’t want to remember the same fix twice.

At that point the “solution” becomes the problem and the alcoholic begins to take shape.

Do you see a similarity with sugar intake? We consume sugar – then there is a dopamine (happy juice) reaction in the brain.

The brain remembers that sugar helps with depression, despondency, etc. and thus a behavior cycle begins to form.

For more on this you might check out case studies from Princeton Neuroscience Institute > Professor Bart Hoebel > Department of Psychology – where they have been studying the effects of sugar addiction in rats for many years.

What Happens To Your Body When You Quit Sugar?

This depends on how much sugar you have been consuming. How long you have been consuming high amounts of sugar and your individual body chemistry.

I would not suggest sugar substitutes as they may prolong the withdrawal or worsen it.

Instead we could consider foods like blueberries, nuts, clean protein meats, and apples. These are handy during our tapering off process.

If you’re feeling ambitious you could go cold turkey but why not cut down over the course of a couple weeks?

Cold stopping sugar may produce depression, sleep changes, cravings, irritability, flu like symptoms and the list goes on. But hey, if you can cold stop it go ahead champ!

Some of the negative aspects tied to sugar withdrawal may take anywhere from a few days to 30 days. With a large amount of people reporting positive feelings in 1 week or less.

coffee and desert

What Else Happens?

I recently saw an article by Time you might you might find interesting.

Dr. Lustig from the University of California conducted an experiment where 43 children ages 8-18 where given a special menu for 9 days to reduce sugar (their dietary sugar was lowered to 10% of daily calories).

You may be surprised to find that though they were given “crappy” foods high in starch and calories. When the sugar was reduced “Everything got better,” says Lustig. The Dr. actually referred to sugar as a toxic substance. For more see video below

Why Do We Like Unhealthy Foods?

Dopamine and opioids in the brain become more active when you or I consume sugar (usually a high dose).

Dopamine is released when we experience something new or exciting. This is a huge player in the  viewing of pornography.

Opioids work together with dopamine and the mind remembers that sugar intake gives a pleasure experience.

In short, we can take a step back from this weird and wonderful cycle by simply cutting down on the sugar. The more sugar I eat the more I will crave.

What is Sugar?

  • Sweet flavored substances (chemicals) that are normally used in food have been given the general name – sugar.



  • This widely used sugar (Sucrose) is made of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen = it’s a carbohydrate (C12H22O11).


Is Brown Sugar Better Than White Sugar?

  • Brown sugar is white sugar mixed with molasses.
  • Molasses is sugar cane ground, pressed, filtered, and then evaporated to create a brown liquid know as (you guessed it!) molasses.
  • Molasses contains small amounts of minerals. I feel neither of these sugars should be ingested as they are both “added sugars”.

You may conclude that brown sugar is “less bad?”

Molasses contains B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc (small amounts). Molasses has 46% dissolved sucrose. While white sugar is about 99.9% sucrose.

  • Raw sugar (sugar in the raw) is sugar cane – ground and pressed. When granules are formed from the juices produced from the grinding and pressing process you get raw sugar (still about 96% sucrose).

studying sugar

How To Eat Less Sugar?

Is there such a thing as cold? Or dark? Cold is merely a word given to describe the absence of heat. Dark is likewise an absence of light.

A well-known pastor was known to have a plaque on his desk that says “don’t fight the flesh, feed the spirit”

Where am I going with this? I think you and I would best “eat less sugar” by simply eating moreclean foods.

It would be hard to eat a chicken salad and a Snickers bar at the same time. Although I’m sure I could do it!

IMPORTANT: To eat less “bad foods” we enter the realm of habits. You pick a day, Sunday? If you make a grocery list on Sunday. And then prepare meals for the week Sunday or Monday. You have just embarked on eating less sugar.

In other words you have begun to change your habits.

I don’t want to understate this. If for a few weeks or a month we execute a simple step like making a grocery list on a certain day (without all those goodies) we have put into motion a game changing habit. The bi product of which is “eating less junk food”.

Does Eating No Sugar Hurt You?

Sugar is needed for our survival. However many foods you and I eat have natural sugar.

As you know, processed white sugar and flour are the big no no’s here. Not too long ago I heard that rats will eat the brown flour in a house but not touch the white flour.

heard it so it must be true?

What Chocolate Has The Least Sugar?

The higher the percentage of “cacao” the better. Darker chocolates usually have more cacao and less milk solids. This is open to debate but the general consensus is that the higher the percentage of cacao the more healthy the chocolate.

Cacao are the seeds that cocoa, cocoa butter, and chocolate are made from.

when you quit sugar

What are Added Sugars?

  • Added sugars are those sugars that are unnaturally added to foods during processing. You know the usual suspects that contain added sugars – pastries, fruit and soft drinks, cakes, candy, deserts.
  • In the 1800’s the American population consumed the amount of sugar found in a can of coke per week (45 grams)
  • Around 2012 we reportedly were consuming 130 pounds of sugar per year. That’s 756 grams per week (every 5 days)

So… from 45 grams every 5 days to 756 grams per 5 days.

Many animals fair better health-wise because of the absence of added sugars.

Some of the most common health disorders linked to sugar consumption are: diabetes, mental development in young children, being easily distracted, allergies, asthma, hypoglycemia, changes in mood, and nutritional deficiencies.

So how many calories from added sugar does the average joe eat per day?

The University of North Carolina published a report stating about 20 percent of the U.S consumed over an entire cup of added sugar per day (700 calories of added sugar).

Based on info from the American Heart Association women can safety have 6 teaspoons or less of added sugar daily. That is 100 calories worth (25 grams roughly).

While can eat no more than 150 calories from added sugar daily.

What do you thing about this? Should an organization such as the AHA say that any “added sugar” is “ok”? (comment below)

1 teaspoon of packed brown sugar = 17 calories

1 teaspoon of white sugar contains = 16 calories

Avoid products that list sugar in their first three ingredients!

What would you add to this discussion?