Medically reviewed by Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN, Nutrition — created by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst — updated on respectable 20, 2020

Reducing your added sugar entry is a great decision to do for a healthy lifestyle. When doing for this reason isn’t constantly easy, the benefits space worth it, as added sugar has been proven to have negative effects on her body.

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Research studies have attached a high included sugar intake v various medical conditions, consisting of obesity, diabetes, and also heart disease, and also poor dentist health.

Sugar may also reduce your energy levels, bring about fatigue and also reduced alertness during the day, and also eating sugar may also be a variable in depression, according to a 2019 review.

Cutting included sugar from her diet may assist protect versus chronic an illness development and boost your overall health.

This article looks at just how reducing your sugar entry may affect your body, both physically and also mentally, together with effective methods to to win the side effects.

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Why does providing up sugar feel so bad?
A variety of studies have uncovered that sugar affects the brain’s price system. This reward system helps humans survive, yet it’s likewise involved in addictive behavior.

Food is a herbal reward, and sweet foods and also drinks stimulate her brain’s price system, bring about you come eat an ext of the food.

According come a 2018 review, the most common foods connected with addictive symptoms room those high in included fats or added sugars.

Studies have found that street triggers the relax of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens — the same area that the brain implicated in the response to addictive drugs.

Sugar can additionally cause the relax of endogenous opioids in the brain, which leader to a rush that may cause future cravings.

Eating sugar regularly transforms your brain so that it becomes tolerant come it, causing you come require more to get the very same effect.

The average American consumes 22–30 teaspoons (about 88–120 grams) of sugar every day. This is considerably an ext than the recommended maximum, which is 6 teaspoons (about 24 grams) for females and 9 teaspoons (about 36 grams) because that males.

Therefore, if your diet is high in included sugar, to reduce your added sugar intake may come with some unpleasant symptoms.


Research says that sugar can be addictive, i m sorry is why reducing her sugar intake may bring about unpleasant symptoms in some people.

Cutting added sugar from her diet may cause physical and mental symptoms.

How the human body reacts to providing up street is different for everyone. The symptom — and also their severity — will count on just how much included sugar girlfriend were taking in through sweetened foods and beverages.

Some world find that their symptoms last from a few days to a pair of weeks.

As your body adapts to a low added sugar diet end time and your added sugar intake becomes less frequent, the less intense your symptoms and also cravings because that sugar are likely to be.

You may uncover that your symptoms room worse at specific times of the day, such as in between meals. Stress and anxiety may create cravings for sugar, so you may find that her symptoms feeling worse throughout times of stress.

Mental symptoms

Cutting added sugar from her diet may result in a variety of emotional and mental symptoms, including:

Depressed mood. Some civilization may feel down when they cut added sugar from your diet. This is partly due to a to decrease in dopamine release. Anxiety. feelings of anxiousness may be accompanied by nervousness, restlessness, and irritability. You may feel choose you have actually less patience than usual and are top top edge.Changes in sleep patterns. Some human being experience transforms in their sleep as soon as detoxing native sugar. You might find it hard to loss asleep or remain asleep v the night.Cognitive issues. friend may discover it complicated to concentrate as soon as you quit sugar. This can reason you come forget things and make it tough to emphasis on tasks, together as work or school.Cravings. in addition to craving sugar, girlfriend may find yourself craving various other foods, such together carbs choose bread, pasta, and potato chips.

Physical symptoms

When giving up sugar, girlfriend might notification that you’re emotion physically operation down. Some people get headaches.

Other feasible physical withdrawal symptom include:

light-headedness or dizzinessnauseafatigueSummary

Giving up sugar deserve to feel unpleasant, both mentally and also physically. But rest assured, it will certainly get much better if girlfriend stick come it.

If you’re used to regularly eating sugary foodstuffs like cake, ice cream cream, sweetened breakfast cereal, candy, and also cookies and regularly drink sugar-sweetened beverages, it might take time to reduce your dependency on added sugar.

For part people, cut all develops of added sugar from their diet is helpful. However, rather may find this an approach too extreme.

Fortunately, even making small changes to your sugar intake deserve to significantly influence your all at once health. Monitor these beneficial tips to slowly reduce your added sugar intake over time.

Swap sweetened drink for water. reduced out sugary soda, fruit juice, and energy drinks and also replace castle with level or sparkling water. If you require a an increase of flavor, add some mint or slices of lemon or lime.Start your day the short sugar way. rather of getting to for that colorful box the sugary grain or a frosted doughnut, fuel her body v a protein and also fiber-rich omelet made with veggies and a side of avocado and fresh berries.Choose unsweetened snacks. her favorite granola or protein bar might be pack with included sugar. Select whole, nutrient-dense snacks prefer nuts and seeds, whole fruit and also nut butter, hummus and also veggies, or hard-boiled eggs when you require a refuel. Focus on your totality diet. Optimizing the nutrient-density that your all at once diet can aid improve health and also may assist you cut back on added sugar. Emphasis on whole, unprocessed foodstuffs like vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, poultry, eggs, and seafood.Summary

The tips above can assist you gradually cut earlier on added sugar and also improve the quality of your all at once diet.

Here room some tips to help you to win the next effects and avoid — or at the very least limit — some of the symptoms related to cutting sugar out of her diet.

Be realistic

Although cut all resources of included sugar might be advantageous for part people, rather do finest by concentrating on to reduce or cutting out one resource of added sugar in ~ a time.

For example, if the main resource of included sugar in your diet is soda, shot cutting earlier on or cutting the end sugary beverages from your diet first before relocating on to other sources of added sugar.

There room many included sugar “detoxes” that involve cutting all included sugar from your diet for a particular time period.

While these might be beneficial for part people, the emphasis should be on reduce your included sugar intake because that life — not just a collection time period.

To execute that, you must do what works best for you. This might mean gradually cutting out included sugar over time rather 보다 eliminating all resources of added sugar in ~ once.

Eat protein-rich foods

Add protein come every meal to assist you avoid hunger and also low power levels during your street detox.

Research argues that eating protein have the right to promote feelings of fullness, i m sorry can assist you control food cravings.

This will aid you prevent the temptation come reach for a candy bar or various other sugar fix.

Healthful sources of protein encompass fatty fish, lean meats, eggs, beans, legumes, and also nuts.

Increase her dietary fiber intake

Eating high fiber foods may aid you stave turn off hunger and also cravings. They take longer to digest, causing you to feeling fuller for longer.

High fiber foods additionally contribute to healthy and balanced blood street regulation. Keeping your blood street levels steady may assist prevent cravings.

Aim because that high fiber vegetables, beans, and legumes.

Pairing high protein and high fiber foods is ideal for healthy and balanced blood street control. Examples include mixing high fiber veggies prefer broccoli into your eggs or spooning part pumpkin seeds over your oatmeal.

Stay hydrated

Staying optimally hydrated is essential for all at once health and may assist you regulate sugar cravings.

Replacing drink high in sugar, such as soda and also energy drinks, v water can help reduce your added sugar and also overall calorie intake.

Plus, reducing your sugary beverage intake may help reduce street cravings.

Drinking water can similarly help keep your bowel activities regular. This is particularly important when you boost your fiber intake.

Fiber-rich foods and also adequate water input are required to aid keep stools soft and also move them with your cradle system, staying clear of constipation.

Avoid man-made sweeteners

Swapping out sugar for synthetic sweeteners may seem like a an excellent idea once you’re giving up added sugar, but it have the right to derail your efforts.

Research suggests that specific artificial sweeteners may result in metabolic transforms that may rise cravings, food intake, and weight gain.

Reducing your intake that sweet foods — also those that are sugar-free — may be the best means to cut included sugar from her diet.

Manage your tension levels

Research reflects that tension affects food preferences and increases cravings for sweet foods.

Sugar likewise appears to have actually a calming effect on stress and anxiety hormones, i m sorry contributes to your desire for sugar once feeling stressed.

Keeping your stress in examine will do it much easier to cut sugar from your diet and aid keep cravings under control.

Taking a brief walk, talk to a friend, and reading a publication are a couple of simple methods to relax.


Exercise is beneficial in several ways when cutting added sugar from her diet.

It can help increase energy and reduce stress, which can assist combat symptoms favor fatigue, low power levels, and also stress-induced cravings the may occur when to decrease your added sugar intake.

A 2015 study also found that brief bouts the exercise, such as a fast 15-minute walk, decreased cravings because that sugary foods.

Remember to begin slowly and speak to your doctor prior to you start exercising if friend have any preexisting clinical issues.

Focus on all at once diet quality

Studies present that improving in its entirety diet top quality can assist minimize cravings because that sugary foods and enhance cravings for healthier foods.

For example, eating fewer foodstuffs high in included sugar favor ice cream, cake, and cookies and also increasing her intake the nutrient-dense foods items like beans, vegetables, fish, and also whole fruits may help reduce your reliance on added sugar and assist you crave healthier foods.

Get sufficient sleep

Insufficient sleep might worsen symptoms of included sugar reduction, such as fatigue, cravings, and low mood.

Not getting sufficient sleep may increase cravings for sugar and also other unhealthful comfort foods.

Sleep deprivation changes appetite-regulating hormones and also may improve cravings for highly palatable foods, such as those high in included sugars.

Getting a great night’s sleep may help you:

make healthier food choiceslower your stress levelsboost your power levelsimprove your concentration and also memory

Avoid daytime napping and also aim for the exact same bedtime every night.

Eat something bitter

Eating bitter foods items may aid prevent sugar cravings by acting on receptors in the brain that drive sugar intake, follow to research.

You can make your very own bitters or select bitter foods, such together coffee, arugula, or broccoli raab (rapini). Read much more here.

Stay motivated

Giving increase or reducing sugar have the right to be difficult, specifically if her diet to be high in added sugar, so go straightforward on yourself.

Try composing down her motivators for offering up sugar. Look at these once you feel a craving because that sugar.

If you start including back foods and also beverages high in added sugar, remind yourself of your motivations, you deserve to always try again and learn from your experiences.

For instance, if you find that the cravings room worse during specific times that the day, schedule activities to keep yourself busy during that time, or be ready with high protein snacks and water.

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The most important thing is come decrease your all at once intake of included sugar. It’s important to keep in mind that occasionally enjoying a sugary treat will certainly not derail your efforts or as whole health. The your all at once diet quality that problem most.


Making crucial dietary and lifestyle alters can assist people beat your sugar cravings. This consists of eating lot of of protein and dietary fiber, staying hydrated, do time for stress and anxiety relief, and also getting sufficient sleep.