If you want to quit sugar or limit your intake, this article will show you how to reduce sugar withdrawal symptoms.
Many people are not prepared for the withdrawal symptoms they experience after quitting sugar.
These unexpected symptoms make it hard for many to quit sugar despite their best efforts.
Common sugar withdrawal symptoms include headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, anxiety, cravings, and diarrhea.
The good news is these symptoms significantly reduce a few weeks after quitting sugar.
In fact, within a month of quitting sugar, you may experience benefits such as clearer skin, fewer cravings, and fat loss.
Here are a few ways to reduce sugar withdrawal symptoms when you quit sugar.
How to Reduce Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms
1. Stay Hydrated
Sometimes sugar cravings can disguise themselves as thirst or hunger.
Drinking water is one way of quieting or stalling those strong urges that may come because of sugar cravings.
Get a cute water bottle with motivational statements like these and get drinking.
Aim to drink at least 1.5-2 liters of water per day.
2. Eat healthy Fats
Healthy fats found in foods like avocados, cheese, whole nuts, eggs, and fatty fish are highly nutritious.
Your body digests fats slowly, which helps ward off sugar cravings.
In fact, fats like coconut oil have short fatty acids that help suppress cravings.
If you usually cook with vegetable oil, replace it with coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.
3. Take probiotics
What is it about probiotics that makes them so important?
Probiotics add gut flora that’s important in the digestion and metabolism of food.
Sugar intake tends to interfere with the gut flora, leading to the overgrowth of other organisms like candida.
Candida is a yeast organism that feeds on sugar. It may cause conditions like oral thrush or vaginal thrush.
The overgrowth of these organisms may spike your sugar cravings.
Luckily, probiotics like kefir, kimchi, and miso help increase the good gut bacteria.
In addition to eating probiotic-rich foods, take probiotic supplements.
4. Eat lots of Protein
Eating high protein foods can help to curb cravings and control hunger.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, that investigated the effect of a high-carb diet and a high-protein diet, showed that a high-protein breakfast decreased the hormone ghrelin (hunger) which is responsible for increasing appetite and satiety levels.
5. Use natural healthier sugar alternatives
Swapping sugar for natural sugar alternatives is one way you can reduce withdrawal symptoms.
Instead of table sugar, add natural honey, molasses, maple syrup or coconut sugar to your tea or coffee.
Natural sugars are better since they’re less refined and low in calories.
Note that these sugar alternatives are high in sucrose so take them in moderation.
6. Exercise regularly
Rather than thinking about how hungry or how much you want to eat, keep your mind occupied by doing exercises.
Why not try taking a walk or doing some yoga? You can even do this 5-minute workout in your bedroom.
Working out may ease the fatigue and anxiety triggered by sugar withdrawal, thanks to the endorphins your body releases when you work out.
7. Eat more fruits
If you still want a sugar kick without worrying about calories, try a fruit.
It’s a quick fix to a sugar craving. Fruits have natural sugars and are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.
Fruits like pineapples or bananas are so sweet and high in fiber giving you a momentary feeling of satiety and happiness.
Remember to take fruits in moderation. Eating too many can spike your blood sugar levels.
Eat a maximum of 3 fruits a day.
8. Eliminate all processed foods high in sugar
There is no way you will curb sugar cravings if your food cabinets are packed with processed foods.
Studies show that seeing junk food increases cravings.
Make sure you completely empty your cabinets, give away that food if you have to.
Take the necessary measures to ensure you remove any temptation.
Don’t impede on your efforts of cutting sugar by making it hard on yourself.
9. Get Adequate Sleep
Lack of sleep can worsen your sugar withdrawal symptoms.
It can worsen your headaches, cravings, and anxiety.
Therefore, make sure you sleep for at least 7-8 hours a day. Note that maintaining a regular sleep routine will help you sleep better.
10. Get a support system
When willpower fails you, what’s the next best option?
Talk to your family or friends.
Tell them about your goal of cutting down sugar and how the withdrawal symptoms are affecting you.
They are likely to be more sensitive when they are around you.
Even talking about your cravings out loud may help you reduce your sugar withdrawal symptoms.
You can acknowledge the feeling without having to do anything about it.
11. Deal with Stress
Stress makes your sugar withdrawal symptoms worse.
According to Anxiety Centre, stress uses up a lot of your energy. This dips your energy levels such that your body craves sugar.
Stress is something we go through in life, but there are many ways of overcoming stress.
Do something fun like playing sports, or taking a walk, or talk to a loved one.
When you deal with stress, sugar cravings will subside with time.
12. Take the L-Glutamine supplement
Most cravings could come as a result of mineral deficiencies.
Although studies have shown that there is a limited link between cravings and nutritional needs, a supplement like L Glutamine has been shown to reduce and eliminate cravings.
The mechanism behind it is not that clear but those who have used it claim it reduced their late night craving.
Taking 2-3 teaspoons of L-Glutamine, that’s roughly 10-15 mg per day, is a safe dose.
It’s best to consult your doctor before you start taking any supplement.
If you’re reducing sugar intake in order to lose weight, you may want to follow this program. It’s designed to help you lose weight without going on extreme diets or working out for hours.
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