When it comes to sugar withdrawal symptoms, everyone is different. For some people quitting sugar is a breeze, for others it's entirely normal to feel a little nauseous, headachy and generally not your best when you quit. This guide explains 13 of the most common sugar withdrawal symptoms and how you can make the whole process of a sugar detox a little easier.
Some common detox symptoms when quitting sugar:
Constipation or diarrhoea.
Bloating, nausea and gas.
Skin problems: rashes, dry skin and pimples.
Muscle aches and weakness.
I know this might sound like a bit of a horrible list, but some people only experience one or two of these. Plus, they’re entirely temporary. Once you’ve made it through this initial detox phase, I promise you’ll feel much better on the other side. There are SO many benefits to cutting excess sugar from your diet - I have written a blog here outlining all of the amazing things you expect to experience once you quit your sugar habit.
The Sugar Withdrawal Survival Kit
So if you decide to grab the bull by the horns and kick your sugar habit to the kerb, you can use this detox repair kit as a resource if you’re struggling with any symptoms, cravings or lapses.
Drink lots of warm water - Also try herbal tea, which helps to flush things along.
Try acupuncture - It can help with cravings, withdrawals and toxin flushing.
Support energy levels - Make the switch from stimulant-based energy boosts (coffee, simple carbohydrates and sugar) to plant-based ones. Spirulina is the king here. It contains more than 60 per cent pure plant protein and a ready-to-use supply of glycogen, providing long-lasting energy from a whole food source.
Sweat it out - Visit a sauna or sweat things out with a high-intensity gym session.
Take bowel movement helpers - You might like to try slippery elm powder or chia seeds. Both of these are a great source of fibre, which helps bulk up your stool, making it easier to pass. To make them work though, you’ll need to increase your water intake.
Try some yoga moves - Yoga is a great way to assist your body while it’s detoxing.
Relax - Protect yourself against the damaging effects of stress and balance your cortisol levels with a potent antioxidant such as resveratrol. It supports the adrenal glands to better manage the effects of stress.
Crowd out - Load up on vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses and healthy grains at each meal. Have an extra portion of green vegetables at dinner and you’ll be too full for chocolate.
Take extra antioxidants - We suggest green powders, chlorella, resveratrol, barley grass and spirulina. Just don’t take them all at once, one is enough.
Maintain good gut bacteria - Support the gut with a daily digestive tonic such as aloe vera juice or kombucha. Soothing, healing and anti-inflammatory, they’ll also support your healthy gut bacteria.
Try some herbal supplements - The following are all good options, but we recommend visiting a naturopath or herbalist before you start experimenting.
• Magnesium (350mg daily) helps combat adrenal stress and curb cravings. It can also protect against metabolic syndrome.
• Gymnema is a traditional Ayurvedic Indian herb. It curbs sugar cravings by balancing the release of insulin from the pancreas.
• Chromium (200mg daily) is also good for regulating insulin and sugar cravings.
• Cinnamon (1 teaspoon per day) helps control blood sugar levels and stops sugar cravings. It’s easy to add to a sweet breakfast or hot drink, such as chai.
• Liquorice root tea tastes sweet without the sugar. It also supports healthy, strong adrenal glands and helps combat stress.
Talking of which, I really can't stress enough how the benefits outweigh the brief side effects you might experience when you quit sugar - this blog is full of tips and advice on low and no sugar diets.
If you would like help in quitting sugar you can sign up for my 21 Day Sugar Detox Program here.