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3 Ways to Deal with Stubborn Sugar Detox Symptoms

If you’ve recently quit sugar, you might have noticed a host of uncomfortable symptoms that come with the detox process. That’s why we’ll be sharing a few simple tricks to fight the signs of withdrawal – and they won't cost an arm and a leg.

From physical symptoms like headaches and shakiness to mental symptoms to mood swings, there’s a long list of signs you’ve quit the sweet stuff. Here are a few of the major ones:

Anxiety: If you’ve recently quit sugar, you’re probably feeling on-edge and cranky. This is normal. Sugar – and the withdrawal from sugar – tends to cause higher levels of cortisol to be released. The result? More stress, anxiety and feelings of panic. A racing heart, fight-or-flight feelings and a dry mouth are often part and parcel for the detox phase, so if this sounds like your sugar-free experience, you’re certainly not alone. One study found people who drank 2 sugary soft drinks a day had cortisol levels 22% higher than those who did not, showing a direct link between increased stress hormone production and sugar consumption.

Cravings: This is one of the more obvious, but no less challenging, symptoms of your sugar detox. When these cravings set in, many are desperate for relief, and this is where many fall off the bandwagon. This can then trigger a cycle of over eating and subsequent feelings of guilt, regret and failure and, as a result, many give up on their sugar-free goals. But here at I Quit Sugar, there’s no such thing as failure and it’s never too late to get back on the wagon.

Headaches: If you’ve noticed more frequent headaches since quitting sugar, it could be related to this major life change. It takes a while for the body to adjust to the absence of sugar, but somewhere between a few days and a few weeks is the general timeline for symptoms to subside – but in the meantime, we’ve got a few solutions to help you manage detox symptoms.


There are a number of pressure points on the body believed to relieve symptoms of pain and improve overall health. Reflexology maintains that different parts of the body are connected, so treating one spot could help another. The practise originated in ancient China based on the concept of activating acupoints in the body – let’s dive into a few of them. 

Union Valley point: Also known as pressure point LI-4 or Hegu, this point is between the base of your thumb and second finger, on the back of your hand. Using acupressure on this point is believed to reduce the severity of headaches.

  1. Position your hand with your fingers pointed up.
  2. Place the thumb on your other hand in the space or “valley” between your thumb and second finger.
  3. Press on the space with your thumb and move your thumb in a circular motion. Apply firm pressure.
  4. Repeat 3 times.

The Gates of Consciousness: This point is believed to help tension headaches – so if quitting sugar has got you stressed, this could be the one to try.

  1. Place your second and middle finger onto the back of your neck on the left and right side, just below your hairline.
  2. Press on the spots for 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat 3 times.

Knee point: This point is believed to improve digestion, thereby reducing the changes of constipation or gas which often accompany a diet change.

  1. Find the spot just 5cm below your knee cap.
  2. Massage firmly for 2 minutes.

Eating protein and healthy fats

Protein plays a massive role in satisfying our hunger and preventing cravings. A high-protein brekkie has been found to promote better muscle health, support weight loss and manage our satiety hormones, meaning we won’t be plagued by those near-constant cravings that come with the early stages of detox. Healthy fats also help prevent cravings, not to mention their other benefits, with studies proving fats like omega 3 reduce inflammation and reduce the risk for autoimmune conditions and metabolic syndrome. But that’s not all omega 3s are good for:

  • Reduces the risk for heart disease
  • Improves gut health
  • Reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases
  • Improves eye health
  • Boosts mental clarity and health 

Plus, studies have found healthy fats to help balance blood sugars – say goodbye to sugar crashes – and prevent insulin resistance. Healthy fats also keep us fuller for longer, having been found to decrease appetite and curb sugar cravings. They even help to keep your hormones regulated, another important aspect of hunger and sleep function.

Here are a few craving-busting foods:

  • Avocados
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Lentils
  • Natto

Exercise for endorphins

Releasing those feel-good endorphins is one of the best ways to take your mind off the cravings and mood changes that come with quitting sugar. If you’re on the program with us, you’ll have access to a range of exercise resources, from dancing to Pilates – all of which help manage stress and keep us concentrated on the goal. Here are a few simple ideas to get your blood pumping – and your endorphins.

  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Tai chi
  • Tennis – playing with a friend helps boost feel-good hormones, so go for partner and group sports!

It’s no secret that a sugar habit is a tough one to beat – wherever you go, sugar is there. Unlike ditching alcohol or illicit drugs, there are few places where sugar is unwelcome. From birthday parties and functions to the office pantry, Sunday markets and the supermarket. Is it any wonder that so many of us find it hard to quit the stuff? That’s why it can also help to join a program like ours – our 8-Week Program is based on accountability, support and providing the essential resources to set you up for success. We’ll help you change the way you look at food – and that doesn’t mean you have to follow restrictive diets or miss out on your favourite foods; we believe you can still enjoy delicious food without jeopardising your health. With celebrity chef Sarah Glover on our panel of experts, you’ll have an array of fun recipes at your fingertips, along with our own exclusive armoury of simple, tasty and healthy recipes for everything from daily meals to impressive entertaining. We’ve also got nutritionists, personal trainers and naturopaths in our team of experts, and they understand what our bodies need and how to best arm ourselves against those cravings. So, if you’ve been having a little trouble keeping that sugar addiction at bay, we’re here to help. We know it can be hard to stick to your health goals – especially when you’re trying to manage it alone. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:

  1. 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
  2. 90+ member-only recipes.
  3. Community forums to share your journey.
  4. Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
  5. Exclusive content from our panel of experts.

So, if you’re ready to ditch sugar and the host of maladies that come with it, it’s not too late to join. We’d love to help you get started on your health journey. Sign up HERE today!


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