Quitting sugar can be more than a little intimidating, but if you're reading this, then you've probably already taken the first step – making a decision to quit. What comes next is facing the onslaught of withdrawal symptoms – but if you’re armed and ready, you’ll glide through this stage. Here are our top tips to make it happen.
First things first, let's talk about what sugar withdrawal symptoms entail. You may experience headaches, fatigue, mood swings, cravings and even flu-like symptoms when you first get yourself off the sweet stuff. These symptoms can be tough to deal with, and many people fall off the wagon during this period – but it's important to remember that they're temporary and that you'll feel much better once your body adjusts to life without sugar. And if you do fall off the wagon? It’s never too late to start again! Here at I Quit Sugar, we believe you can always jump back on! Here are some tips on how to deal with withdrawal symptoms:
Drink lots of sugar-free fluids
Water is your old reliable best friend when you're in the early stages of learning how to quit added sugar. Why? Keeping your fluids up can stave off fatigue, improve digestion and keep you hydrated – all of which help you fight off cravings. Herbal tea is another good choice to help you fight the intense cravings that come with withdrawal. Moroccan mint tea is especially beneficial in fighting those urges – it’s made with spearmint and green tea, and this combination is not only fragrant and refreshing, it’s also a powerful craving-buster that improves digestion and gut health.
Practice good sleep hygiene
Quitting sugar can be exhausting and with the withdrawal symptoms taxing on our bodies, so make sure you're getting plenty of rest. A good night’s sleep is also important for regulating our eating and waking cycles, so if our REM is thrown off balance, you can guarantee the whole day will be off too. So, how can you do this? There are a number of elements essential to a good night’s sleep; eating well, avoiding bright light, staying cool and getting exercise. Be sure to steer clear of blue light, and this includes phones or computers, for at least a couple of hours before bed. Blue light wreaks havoc on your circadian rhythm, setting us up for poor sleep quality, as it decreases your body’s melatonin, a hormone which plays a major role in regulating sleep cycles. Regular exercise is another important one for your sleep – especially the early-morning, outdoor variety. This is because the natural light helps regulate your hormone levels – and research has found that early light may be most helpful as the sunlight increases serotonin, which helps boost mood, it’s the early morning is the best time to keep sleep-disturbing cortisol in balance. Make sure you have a schedule to wind down before bed – a bit of meditation, a cup of camomile tea and some light reading can all help calm your nerves, prepare your brain for sleep and reduce the chance of waking up at midnight craving junk food.
Eat plenty of protein and healthy fats
Eating protein-rich foods like nuts, eggs and beans can help stabilise your blood sugar levels and reduce cravings, and this is because protein has been found not only to promote muscle health, but also support weight loss and regulate our satiety hormones. Starting your day with healthy fats is a good way to keep your hunger in check until your next meal, with studies finding monounsaturated fats help balance blood-sugar levels and keep us fuller for longer. Another type of healthy fat – known as medium chain triglycerides – have been found to decrease appetite and sugar cravings throughout the day. Plus, we all know about the benefits of omega 3s for brain health, but they also help keep our hormones regulated too – so enjoy eggs, hemp seeds and flax seeds in your diet to reduce those withdrawal symptoms.
Find healthy alternatives to old favourites
Missing your mum’s chocolate cake? Or feeling left our at a friend’s birthday party? Just because you're quitting sugar doesn't mean you have to give up sweet treats altogether – that’s what we’re here for. You can enjoy delicious meals like these Healthy Chocolate Pancakes, and you won’t believe this Bloody Good Cheesecake is added-sugar free and loaded with gut-boosting nutrients. So, where the bloody hell are you? Get on over to our extensive recipes section for all your favourite desserts – or if you’re keen for more exclusive content, our No Sugar Baking Cookbook has everything you could want or need to recreate your old favourite comforts – your friends and family won’t even know they’re sugar-free!
Need a little extra help quitting added sugar? Join us for the 8-Week Program. 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 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:
- 8 weeks of meal plans and shopping lists.
- 90+ member-only recipes.
- Community forums to share your journey.
- Support and guidance from the I Quit Sugar team.
- 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!
I Quit Sugar
February 27, 2023
Hi Ange, you’ve already made a great step in acknowledging your problem! Sugar is so addictive and heavily linked to our emotions, so you’re not alone in losing motivation! But that’s where it can help to have some support systems in place, whether that be pledging to quit sugar with a friend or joining a program like the 8-Week Program. You can do it!