Here’s what happens to your body when you cut back sugar.
What Actually Happens to Your Body When You Stop Eating Sugar?
Prepare to be rewarded for your efforts. Week three is when you really start reaping the benefits of that low-sugar life. “People usually have no cravings, no symptoms, and are losing weight,” Dr. Smith says. (That’s because excess sugar is stored in the body as fat—and when the surplus goes away, so does the weight gain.) “They feel energized and encouraged that they can actually do this.”
If it all becomes too much to bear, he recommends eating some fruit to take the edge off—some options are lower in sugar than others, so stock up on options that won’t give you a glycemic spike.
Week 1: Expect less energy and ‘withdrawal’ (but it’s temporary!)
“The truth is, if you’re able to gradually reduce your sugar intake and replace it with something else—like more fiber and more protein—you can stay off of it [indefinitely],” says Dr. Smith, the author of the book Blast the Sugar Out .
By the time your second week starts, your brain fog has probably lifted and you’ve likely got a lot of your energy back. But your body might still be wondering where all the sucrose went.
It’s not totally clear why this happens from a biochemical standpoint, but research shows that giving up sugar creates a similar reaction in the body as ditching drugs. Dopamine levels fall, while acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that regulates pain perception, rises—and this chemical combination is said to be linked to withdrawal symptoms.