What happens if you stop eating sugar — 6 consequences of failure

Added sugar gives short-term pleasure, but gradually destroys the body from the inside. He can cause depression , worsen the functioning of the heart and brain, contribute to the appearance of malignant tumors.

Many people wonder: what will happen to the body if you completely stop eating sugar. What changes will occur in well-being and health.

Is sugar addiction real?

Sugar is a dangerous food product, but only when consumed in large quantities. It can worsen the health of the heart and blood vessels, cause type II diabetes mellitus and obesity, lead to depression, and also spoil the enamel of teeth.

The main danger of sugar – Addiction development .

Experiments on rodents demonstrate that sugar has an effect on the body similar to nicotine, morphine or cocaine. He increases dopamine production in the brain, which causes a feeling of pleasure, stimulates the consumption of more and more sugar every day.

According to of information of the American Association of Cardiology, the average person consumes the equivalent of 22-30 teaspoons of sugar per day (normally up to 6), which already indirectly indicates the existence of some kind of dependence on the product.

With prolonged use of sugar, resistance develops. The body needs more product to meet its needs, and it stops responding to low doses.

Sugar alters neurohumoral reactions in the body, therefore, dependence on it exists and is not only psychological, but also physical. Refusal can lead to similar reactions that occur when stopping taking narcotic drugs.

Short-term negative consequences of failure

Upon discontinuation of sugar intake, withdrawal syndrome is observed – a complex of physical and psychological disorders. They manifest themselves individually in each person and depend on many factors.

The duration of withdrawal syndrome is from a few hours or days to 2-3 weeks. In the first days, a person feels the side effects of rejection most acutely, then the craving for sweets gradually weakens.

All the effects of withdrawal syndrome can be divided into two types.

1. Mental disorders

The following come to the fore:

  1. Depression. Changes general emotional background due to a sharp decrease in the production of "hormones of joy". Observed mood reduction , feeling depressed and indifferent to everything.
  2. General concern. A person becomes nervous and irritable, reacts sharply to any events around, sometimes violently and aggressively. These symptoms can cause harm to your own health and others.
  3. Changing the sleep mode. In the first few days, it becomes difficult to fall asleep in the evening or in the first half of the night. During the day, drowsiness and slight confusion.
  4. Cognitive disorders. Giving up sugar is "stressful" for the brain. In such a state, he cannot work in the same mode, all vital reactions (thinking, attention), as well as memory are suppressed. It is not recommended to reduce the volume of consumption or completely abandon sugar during active training, work activities or anticipated long trips by car.
  5. Changing eating behavior. Sugar is a high–calorie and sweet product. With a decrease in its share in the diet, cravings for any simple carbohydrates (pasta, bread), as well as other sweet foods and sweeteners increase. Careful attention to the rationing of eating behavior is required.

2. Physical symptoms

In addition to changing behavior and emotional background, a person undergoes a change in the work of internal organs. May be bothered by:

  • Headaches;
  • Nausea and epigastric pain;
  • Increased fatigue and weakness;
  • Dizziness, episodes of decreased visual acuity;
  • Tingling and a feeling of "goosebumps" in the arms and legs.

If you abruptly refuse coffee, you may have a headache – this is the most common symptom. Sometimes the headache has a diffuse persistent character and is not stopped by conventional painkillers.

Gastroenterological disorders are caused by increased production of hydrochloric acid. As a result, the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract begins to collapse, which is manifested by nausea and pain in the epigastric region. Especially severe pain syndrome in the morning (on an empty stomach), as well as with a long period of food intake.

Symptoms of physical and psychological discomfort are dangerous and expressed only in the first 1-3 days, then there is a gradual improvement in the general condition, and, at most, after 2-3 weeks, sugar cravings are almost completely stopped.

Giving up sweets is fraught with the development of withdrawal syndrome – short-term psychogenic and physical disorders that need to be endured. In some cases, you may need the help of a doctor.

6 positive effects

Sugar, as already mentioned, is considered one of the most harmful foods. The white (refined) species is especially dangerous.

Gradual elimination of sugar will benefit the health of the body. The following changes can be reliably identified:

  1. Weight loss . Fructose, which is saturated with common varieties of sugar (cane, beetroot), increases cravings for food and increases the feeling of hunger. She also stimulates the production of leptin, a hormone that increases hunger. Within a few weeks after the exclusion of sugar from the diet, weight loss and waistline transformation are observed, since eating behavior will change in any case.
  2. Improving Cardiovascular health . Any simple carbohydrates activate chronic inflammation in the tissues, as well as deposition cholesterol crystals in the walls of arteries. Excluding them from the diet reduces the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis in the future, as well as extremely dangerous complications of this deviation – stroke and myocardial infarction.
  3. Improvement of skin condition . Frequent consumption of sweet foods associated with a decrease in local immunity factors and increased sebum production. Acne and other infectious and inflammatory processes in the thickness of the skin and adipose tissue will become less likely to bother.
  4. Reducing the risk of developing diabetes mellitus II type . Sugar is the main companion of obesity, and overweight is almost always observed in people with diabetes mellitus. Giving up sweets is an easy way to protect yourself from a dangerous endocrine disease.
  5. Cancer Prevention . Modern scientific works have found that excessive consumption of simple carbohydrates increases the likelihood of the formation of malignant tumors of the esophagus , pleural leaflets, small intestine and endometrium .
  6. Normalization of mood . In the first "critical" period after the refusal, the mood is depressed, depressive symptoms dominate. However, after a few weeks, the craving for life increases and the emotional background improves.

Also, when avoiding sweet foods, the condition of tooth enamel is restored, the likelihood of developing kidney diseases (chronic renal failure) decreases, and the functioning of the liver and central nervous system improves.

The consequences of completely giving up sugar are positive and help to improve the health of the body as a whole. The main thing is to find the strength to survive the "critical" period.

How to give up and not go crazy – 8 tips

The following recommendations are described that will help you completely or partially get rid of extremely unpleasant symptoms when you abruptly stop consuming sugar:

  1. Stretch the refusal for several weeks . An organism is a complex object that cannot quickly adapt to sudden changes. It is recommended to reduce the proportion of sweets in the diet gradually (no more than 30% per week).
  2. Use sugar substitutes . It is quite easy to deceive the taste buds and the brain by using natural substitutes (for example, stevia) instead of the usual sugar. Learn more about healthy sugar substitutes here →
  3. Increase the proportion of fruits in the diet . Any fruit is a rich source of natural sugars, as well as vitamins and minerals. In addition, due to the abundance of dietary fiber, fruits saturate the body quickly enough. The most useful fruits can be found here →
  4. Suppress cravings with physical activity . If psychological or physical withdrawal symptoms appear, short-term sports are recommended (for example, 10-20 push-ups or 5 minutes of running on the spot). This practice "switches" the brain and helps to tolerate abstinence more easily.
  5. Drink more fluids . Taking several glasses of water causes stretching of the walls of the stomach and, through reflex mechanisms, a decrease in cravings for food.
  6. Make any sweet foods unavailable . Desserts and sweets should not be stored in the house. The path to them, in case of excessive desire, should be as long as possible (for example, a hike or a trip to the store).
  7. Eat more meat and nuts . Protein food is the easiest way to get a lot of valuable nutrients and energy.
  8. Plan your day carefully . It is recommended to take at least 8 hours to sleep, avoid physical and psychological overloads. Any stressful situation during the rejection can disrupt all plans.

Other addictions may worsen in the process of rejection: craving for coffee and products containing caffeine; smoking, eating flour. Careful monitoring of all bad habits is necessary.

In the process of stopping sugar intake, you need to carefully approach every detail: from the daily routine to the preliminary disposal of sweet foods in the house. Only a comprehensive and carefully thought-out plan will work.


  1. Simple carbohydrates (including refined sugar) are a dangerous food group that can not only lead to obesity, but also worsen the health of the cardiovascular and central nervous systems, and cause cancer.
  2. Giving up sweets is the right and healthy strategy to increase life expectancy. However, it's not that simple, sugar causes physical dependence!
  3. The exclusion of sweet foods from the diet is a severe stressful situation for the body, which cannot pass without withdrawal syndrome (physical and psychological discomfort).
  4. It is recommended to follow a number of rules that allow you to survive the "withdrawal syndrome" quickly and without consequences. If you feel that you are unable to cope with addiction on your own, contact a specialist.