How to deal with Sugar Withdrawals

When you are first getting started with quitting sugar, you are going to have to deal with sugar withdrawals. These can range from headaches, intense cravings and mood swings.

Here are some top tips to deal with sugar withdrawals – you can do it!

I love Sugar! nom nom no more!

Taper off Slowly.

When you are going to quit sugar, most people find it more useful to take it slowly, therefore increasing your chances of quitting for good. If your body has been so used to have high doses of sugar daily, then going cold turkey may be too much of a shock to your system for you to be able to control your cravings.

Start by cutting out drinking soda. This may seem extreme but starting with that will make your other changes easier to make since the soda is a very high dose of sugar that is not hidden in other foods.

Do Something Else.

Occupy yourself at times when you would normally be bored and craving a sugar hit. If 3:00pm is your point in the day, why not take a break and head out for 5 minute walk. Do some light exercise for 15 minutes in the morning and the evening to keep your energy up and focus your body. Make yourself a cup of tea, with no sugar of course, and relax. Refocus your energy into something more productive.

Drink Water.

Sometimes you might have a craving, but it could be your body asking for water. Allowing ourselves to get dehydrated can lead to sugar cravings. Make sure you keep water with you at all times and to sip at it through the day. If you donโ€™t like the taste of water alone, add slices of lemon or orange to add zest to your drink.

Healthy Snacks.

Keep a range of healthy snacks available to you. Make a snack box with carrots sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper slices, diced cheese, boiled eggs, raw almonds and macadamia nuts. You can add some fruit in as well such as apple slices, banana slices or a handful of blueberries.

Make sure you keep the portion sizes controlled when eating nuts so you donโ€™t overindulge.

Apple Cider Vinegar.

A top trick to help with sugar cravings is to stir 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with 200 mls of warmed water. It may sound awful, but it is a great way to help with your symptoms and also help your body cleanse.

Find Support

If you are really feeling the pressure, find a person you are comfortable with and talk it out with them. Make sure you have support of your friends and loved ones as you make this transition. It can be very hard and you may be moody and also feeling anxious, so the support of someone can be crucial.
I Quit Sugar for Life - PRINT
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Comments

  1. Another key ingredient that you can add to your diet to overcome sugar withdrawals and the highs and lows it creates is fats. Good healthy fats like coconut oil, butter, avocado, a healthy piece of steak with the fat on. Contrary to what the media would have us believe saturated fats are good for us and are necessary for our bodies to function well. Controlling blood sugar and cravings is amongst one of them.

    • I love coconut oil and use it a lot in my cooking (even in my beauty regime too!). I sometimes feel like there isn’t anything it can’t fix!!

    • I believe the jury is still out on the whole saturated fat element to diet. There are thousands of test studies that say otherwise and we haven’t got any data on people who include saturated fat regularly in their diet, except for labs. And I think you can take those for what they are. Just a tool. This whole Paleo/Atkins phenom. is in its early testing stages. I don’t think an educated opinion can be had for another 20 years or so. Then we’ll see. At the very least, it’s a bold statement to say that we “need” it. You may need the vitamins that are in a steak and avocado, etc. Butter and coconut oil –meh—pretty processed food there. And I would believe it’s those amino acids, vitamins and micronutrients that are causing good health from the food mentioned, not the saturated fat. Hence, cravings would go down. A good steak carries a lot of calories. That’s what would be filling. I’m not saying fat isn’t satisfying and it can be very yummy and “may” help with cravings, but it’s the calories that are filling. Don’t forget, there are 9 calories in every 1 little gram of it. The other two macros are less than half of that. I would also add that it may “help” to control blood sugar. It would not control it. Cutting carbs is what would control it, if one has to go that far. I have gone low fat, low carb and been very successful at “controlling” blood sugar. Also the steak would turn to glucose even without carbs. I don’t think anyone would be eating just the fat from a steak for the blood glucose benefit. At any rate, I don’t agree with you.

    • Jean Field says:

      Yes, I heartily agree with Kerry! Our fats are primarily avocados — organic, one or two daily, coconut milk, almond butter, a little organic butter, and a little from clean meats. And our lab tests are coming in with all numbers very good! My husband and I feel great in our 60’s and are at our high-school weight and size.

    • According to the Mayo Clinic yes our body does need some fat to function. Saturated fats should be limited to less than 10% of calories a day. Replace saturated fat with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Avoid saturated fats as much as possible.

    • I do not know how you can say saturatated fats are good for you… Whoa girl…what are you reading……

      • They are. Seems like you need to brush up on YOUR reading and get your head out of the sand.

      • Try reading some of the articles by Prof Tim Noakes, they are easy to read and very interesting and might change your mind about saturated fats. We have cut them out since the 50s and people just got fatter and fatter.

  2. HI – I quit sugar 10 days ago. The first few days I felt very light and my skin is looking awesome. But since about day 3 I have completely lost my appetite and not eating much at all (although exercising quite a bit) and I feel VERY full ALL the time. Is that pretty normal?

    • Finally, someone who is experiencing what I’m experiencing after just 4 days. Thank you Kylie for sharing.

      Kate, can you help us?

      • Hi Stacey,

        I let Kylie know that I certainly did feel fuller for longer during the quit sugar program. I was eating a lot more though โ€“ definitely didnโ€™t eat less! I also didnโ€™t do a lot of exercise during my program, I focused on jogging around the blocks near my house.
        Maybe your body is adjusting to the new diet. I would keep going if you donโ€™t feel unwell, keep eating your meals so that you know your body is fueled. You could try doing a little less exercise and see if that helps your body recalibrate.
        Kylie ended up leaving a comment here – http://www.katequitsugar.com/ – saying she was feeling better and that maybe it was her body recalibrating!

        • Kate, Thank you. Yours is the first no sugar site that’s actually mentioned the withdrawal symptoms. I was beginning to think that something was wrong with me. I’ve been downright grumpy these past few days, feeling like I was depriving myself of food joy.

          I think I might have turned a corner overnight. I feel pretty good this morning. Today is Day 5. I just made the protein pancakes and am excited thinking about sharing them with others. The goal is to stop thinking about all the things one cannot eat and get creative with all the food that’s left to try!!

          Thank you for the inspiration.

          • Hi Stacey, that is amazing news!!! Keep it up – the protein pancakes are delicious!!!!

          • I just started with my 15 year old son and it’s been a hard first 7 days but I have been looking for those alternatives. He loves brownies I tried to make some but were very “eggy” and good recipes
            Thanks

  3. Jeanie Mink says:

    Hi,
    I have been trying to quit Sweetarts for a while now and haven’t been able. I’ve gone 2 weeks without them but always weaken and buy a roll ๐Ÿ™
    I’ll have to try again as they cause recurring yeast infections.

  4. Day 9. it’s making me a bit depressed, ever since I went for a swim on day 6 and didn’t put sugar/carbs/starches in my mouth after that, for the first time ever. I’ve got moodswings as well, my thoughts aren’t clear and it looks like my consciencesness or the way I perceive the world has changed. Not so sunny anymore. Gawd….

    • Oh no! I know that my motivational speech of stick with and that I know this mood and feeling will pass as your body adjusts to your new diet my not help you right now…. so maybe this video will – http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/too-cute/videos/cute-puppies.htm

      CUTE PUPPY ALERT!!!

      Although in all seriousness, the bad gloomy feeling will pass. Make sure you are nourishing your body with delicious healthy foods and I am sure you will feel better soon.

    • Day 6. I felt good yesterday, and thought “yay”, but back today to feeling low, headache. I am definitely sleeping better, coincidentally, we’re having steak tonight. Hope that helps. Trying to keep reminding myself of all the reasons I need to keep away from sugar. That helps keep me from giving in to cravings.

  5. I decided to stop eating sugar forever. Today was my day 2. I feel dizzy and weak eventhough i am eating enough food. The cravings are killing me. Has anyone else got excess salivation whenever they think about sugar for the first few days. Help please. Thanks.

    • Hi May,

      The first few days can be hard!!! Stay positive and strong, but don’t beat yourself up if you slip up. It can definitely be hard!!!

      • Hi Kate,

        I’m 5 days in to quitting and my body is having a hard to adjusting (headaches, tiredness, mood swings, anxiety). But I can cope with it and I’m going keep on going! The only thing I’m really struggling is with eating fruit and veg, I’ve noticed after 5 days of eating more of it my stomach just feels raw after eating. Do you think this maybe a sign of “die off”/something my body is trying to adjust to? Or could this be an indication of food intolerance. If it is a sign of intolerance, that would really suck as I wouldnt know what else to eat! ๐Ÿ™

        Please help your opinion is much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

        Shiv

  6. Thanks Kate.

    It is indeed. Today i feel better than yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow will be better than today. Thanks for the support kate. You are an inspiration x.

    • Just keep going with it. You are making good changes in your life, just make sure you stay healthy and happy!

    • Keep it up May! Little changes to you diet will make big changes every day. Focus on the achievable and never, ever sweat the small the stuff. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I started cutting down on sugar, felt ok for first few days but now i feel shaky and wobbly, has anyone else had this? I’ve eaten little and often and today been ok but that scared me i must admit!

  8. Day 3 bad headaches all day. Will try the Apple cider vinegar thing. Haven’t taken anything for the headaches. EVERYTHING seems to have sugar in it! AAAHHHHH!

    • Hello Joanna

      I know your pain . Ive done some research & found that Vitamin C tablets help your body curb sugar cravings . Also Dates are a miracle worker – they taste delicious & are naturally sweet – fruit – the good kind

  9. Hi Kate. I hope that you can help, I am now on day 7 without any sugar… The last couple of days have driven me crazy, shaking, anxiety attacks and down right depressed… I went from four cans of pop a night and two candy bars to zero…. Any suggestions?

    • It sounds like your body is going through a total detox. You have been having such high amounts of sugar to nothing so it is no wonder you are feeling crappy and just want to give up. My mantra is to stick with it!!! Drink plenty of water, make sure you are eating healthy and wholesome foods and definitely get some rest. Treat it like you have the flu and be kind to your body while it transitions. This will be the hardest part of the journey for you. I am sorry you feel so terrible, but there will be a light at the end of the tunnel!!! You will not feel addicted to so much soda and junk and your body just won’t crave it. But you have to break the habit first!!!!!! Stick with it – we are there with you while you do this. KEEP IT UP!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. Scooke, I am right there with you, shaky, anxious, grumpy… feel like I am getting off drugs, not just sugar. I can now see where they say sugar is more addictive than coccaine.
    Thanks kate, I look forward to keeping distracted and motivated by going through your site!

    • Hi Tif,

      It IS hard but you can do it. This is a long term change and you may not get through it all in one go. Just keep making changes and focusing on the future and congratulate yourself for the hard work – because it can be really tough!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi. I gave up sugar a few years ago. I made it to 60 days and suffered huge cravings every single day. Trying again now and I’m on the end of day 4. I’m even dreaming about choc biscuits etc. I know from experience that I am not one of those people who can do moderation so I have no choice but to suffer. No suggestion to stop the cravings seems to help. As my friend says to me “suck it up princess”

    • Oh Mark!! hahaha I hope you make it again and kick it for good this time!

    • All fruit needs to be abstained from for at least 90 days when quitting sugar as the body processes fructose the same as refined sugar. Fruit will trigger cravings. Reassess at 90 days.

  12. Hi. I’ve been a huge sugar consumer my whole life. It’s all I would think about all day, every day…so that’s why I decided to give this a go. I’m about to head into the 3rd week of the 8 week plan. The first week I cut out all sugar but still had the occasional piece of fruit (berries, banana) but I wasn’t feeling any withdrawals and had no cravings. So last week I decided to take it one step further and cut out all fruit…and still no withdrawals, no mood swings, no cravings, etc. It worries me that I haven’t been feeling any of the symptoms the others talk about and I’m concerned I may be doing something wrong? Just wondering if there are others that have had a similar experience. Thanks!

    • Hi Lex,

      Honestly it will be different for everyone!! You might have cravings and the sick feelings coming up into week 5! You never know really. If you are having a healthy eating plan and continuing to cut back on the sugars in fruit and carbs without the cravings then that is a good thing! it means the process for you and your body is a lot easier! Keep it up since the overall goal is to make long lasting changes, not go through hell and then say you have done it. I wish I had the same experience as you are. Let us know if you are doing anything differently and maybe we can learn something for you and your journey! Any advice you have would be appreciated by a fair few around here that is for sure!

  13. Me again. Day 18 and don’t for a minute think I’m not counting :). I had a small treat in there to be honest but I’ve already lost 4.5kg in that time. No exercise yet because I’m still recovering from an operation on my hip, so all that loss is purely cutting out the sugar and carbs. Still got the cravings but the results help when you have weak moments

    • Hi Mark,

      Congratulations! Sounds like you are doing really well!!! Never feel bad if you have a few treats, we all do it and no one is perfect. You are changing yourself for the better. Don’t rush the exercise if you are healing – follow your doctor’s advice and be safe.

      Fantastic work Mark, you should be very proud of yourself!

  14. Hi again. Day 20 and I decided life is too short to deprive myself of everything so I bought some Delta Cream biscuits (Aussie version of Oreo’s). Previously Iโ€™d be able to eat the entire pack without any issues. I had a few biscuits this morning and had to lay down / sleep with what I can only describe as a diabetic coma. I then woke, had some more and needed to lay down again !!! I canโ€™t seem to tolerate any sugar !! Iโ€™ve gone from being able to eat 1kg of choc a day to being able to eat just a few biscuits. I’m just shocked how quickly my body chemistry has changed from being able to handle so much sugar to basically shutting down when I have a small amount. Back to my new habits tomorrow.

    • haha oh Mark!! It is VERY weird how our bodies change so quickly. I am glad you tested yourself and you can see how much sugar your body can handle. I have always said not to deprive yourself, but when you have quit sugar the amounts that you can tolerate are so much lowered than before.

      Keep up the good work and I am glad to see you back on track!

  15. I am on day 6 of no sugar and no gluten. I have found going with no gluten much easier than having no sugar! Now that I am reading labels I see that sugar is in practically everything!! I have noticed a lot of changes. I am less bloated. I sleep deeper. I am not hungry and I feel fuller after eating only a small amount. My biggest problem is my head!! It is pounding and my ears are rumbling all the time. Today I could hardly get out of bed. I am lethargic and shaky. How much longer can this last? What can I do for this headache?
    Thank you!

  16. I am on Day 2 no sugar and I feel SO sick. Shakey, headache, dizzy, nauseous. I have been eating lots of chicken, vegetables and rice. I can’t wait till the sickness is over!!! I have been having some fruit here and there because I LOVE fruit. Is it terrible that I am adding some fruit in here and there? For instance is it making the adjustment for my body even harder?

    • Hi Natalie,

      You are only on day 2 so if you are following the guide, then you don’t need to cut back on fruit yet, but if you are doing it your own way, then some fruit here and there is totally okay. You only need to cut out fruit if you want to have a full 2 weeks or so of NO sugar. This is just the full reset, but a lot of people do the reset while still having the occasional piece of fruit.

      Focus on the big things first and get your body adjusted to no sugar in drinks etc then cut back on the fruit. If you feel you have a handle on the reduced sugar in your body, then look at quitting the fruit. Once you feel totally reset, then introduce the fruit back in smaller doses.

      Keep up the changes and the headaches and dizziness should pass.

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Hi
    I have given up sugar now for about 5 weeks. I didnt really have any withdrawal symptoms early on except a few cravings. Over the last 2 weeks i have also not had any fruit.
    I had a biscuit for the first time in 5 weeks, a couple of days ago (a staffroom thank you gift – felt rude not to), but within a few minutes i felt really giddy. Took about an hour and i felt ok again.
    Now this weekend I have felt light headed and have a headache – do you think i am feeling like this because i have cut it out too far and my body needs some sugar or am i getting withdrawal symptoms really late?
    I want to eat healthily but also want to be able to occasionally have a dessert if we go out or ice cream on holiday- am i always going to feel ill afterwards if i carry on not eating sugar for most of the time?

    • Hi Jo,

      You can definitely bring some sugar back into your diet. What is advocated in the Quit Sugar Guide is to quit sugar completely to reset your body and taste buds. Once you have done the full fast, then you introduce fruit back into your diet.

      I don’t believe I am strict at all with my diet in comparison to some. I do eat fruit and I am not afraid to have some sweets if I am out or on holidays. I just make sure that I know to make a better choice next time or to make sure I have been eating as clean as I can during the days beforehand. It is all about give and take and no one can live under full restrictions. That really isn’t living!

      So bring back in some fruit into your diet, and see how you feel. You will feel sick if you go out and buy a packet of cookies and eat them all, so I would avoid doing that! Just think about moderation and monitor your body. If you are feeling like you have had too much sugar, cut back or if you feel like you would like a piece of cake on your birthday, then do it and enjoy it! Moderation is the key!

  18. Hi,
    For the last six months or so, I’ve not only gained weight but I find myself out of breath walking up stairs or running after the dog. I get constant migraines. I feel generally terrible and dumpy. I know I have a sugar addiction and I’ve tried to quit before but I’ve never been this determined. This is day #1. This website and these comments have helped me get through the day. Thank you.

    • Hi Jenn,

      You can do it! Making the hardest transition to remove the sugar and then get use to life with less sugar is the hardest part. Arm yourself with quick and easy recipes that you will love, make sure you drink water and have plenty of vegies for snacks or almonds. You can do it! This is the first part of a big journey and we are here with you!

  19. I was wondering lately why I have been feeling SOOOO crap lately, really anxious and depressive. My poor husband is lovely and patient but I definitely feel for him! Today I got the shakes really bad and thought “Hey maybe this is connected to no sugar” I am now on day 4 and was expecting headaches, not emotional instability. I feel like a druggie coming off something illegal! Sugar must be pretty potent to have these effects!

    • Hi Jessica,

      It can be a huge problem for a lot of people. These feelings will pass!! Give your husband a big kiss and a hug and then take yourself out for a walk to clear your head. This is your journey and you are doing it for all the right reasons! ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. ChamelyMily says:

    Role of the prefrontal cortex and executive control in addiction
    prefrontal cortexThe prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is the cerebral cortex, which covers the front part frontal lobe. PFCโ€™s most typical psychological term for its functions is executive function. The prefrontal cortex has been associated with a personโ€™s personality by more than one scientist. It is associated with decision making, planning complex cognitive behavior, expressing ones personality as well as controlling and moderating social behaviors. Decision making is a process that is carried out in the brain through the interaction of the prefrontal cortex and the subcortical regions involved in reward and motivation. As a result, it is common that failure in self-regulatory behavior, common in addicted subjects, could be dependent upon the alteration of the interactions between the prefrontal cortex and the subcortical regions.
    The PFC has plays a great role in regulating and governing behavior. This function is achieved through a complex interaction of different areas within the prefrontal cortex together with the subcortical areas integrating cognitive and executive functions to produce the โ€œoptimal choiceโ€. The result of this interaction can also result in dangerous decisions some of which are observed in drug addicts. The PFC functional abnormalities are very much attributed to the continued use of drugs or traumatic experiences. PFC plays a role in the onset and in the progression of psychiatric disorders associated with very poor decision making such as schizophrenia, attention deficit or the hyperactivity disorder, and depression all of which are very likely to be suffered by drug addicts after a prolonged period of drug and substance abuse.
    Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brains reward and pleasure areas as well as regulating movement and emotional responses. Dopamine enables us to not only see the reward but to also take actions to move towards them. Addictive drugs such as cocaine, marijuana and nicotine cause an excess of dopamine in the brain. According to scientific theories, dopamine is released in the brain when something very important happens, whether that is an expected reward or an accident. Since it is involved in learning, memory and motivation, the chemical dopamine helps us to store the important information we need to survive as well as to remember it in the future. Drugs however hijack that process sending five to ten times more dopamine surging through the nucleus accumbens and forcing the brains motivational and attention mechanisms to focus purely on the drug. The drug therefore becomes the most important thing in the world which leads to addiction.
    Improved performance in cognitive tasks requiring working memory and inhibition have been observed in people that carry variations in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene which degrade the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. As a result, when the role of COMT is altered, there could be increased likelihood of making the drug addiction even stronger. Addiction is therefore as a result of a number of factors and the PFC circuitry contributes to the expression of several behaviors that are associated with it. A large number of addicted people do not seek treatment, mostly because they do not even recognize their condition as a disease that requires a medical attention. This condition is probably brought about by viewing the abused substance as an essential ingredient of their life regardless of the consequences of its use.
    Imbalance between two separate but interacting neural systems can lead to addiction. These neural systems could be an immediate one that generates decision making, based on the impulsivity-related amygdala system for transmitting pain or pleasure of the immediate prospects and a reflective one, whose basis are for the signaling pain or pleasure of future prospects. The level of controlling behavior is challenged by the ability of cues associated with strengthening activities such as drug abuse, food or sex. Self-control efforts however involve increased activity in the regions of the PFC regulating emotions and cognition and reduced activity in the regions that are associated with reward processing and craving. PFC could be associated with long term outcomes whereas sub-cortical activity is associated with more immediate outcomes.
    The PFC is also responsible for the decision to quit taking a certain drug after a period of addiction. Abstinence is a multiple component condition in which the lack of drug effects is highly associated with the inner struggle between the desire of the reward brought about by intake of the drug and the assessment of the consequences of that behavior in terms of money, social life and environmental involvement for example smoking marijuana. This will very fast lead to appearance of withdrawal syndrome that is characterized by depressed mood, irritability, mild cognitive deficits accompanied by other peripheral psychological symptoms as the PFC tries to adjust. Some addicts who struggle to go through the abstinence of a certain drug at times relapse to their old habits. This relapse can be categorized into three major types which are; drug induced relapse, reinstatement of self-administration behavior upon exposition to drug related cues and stress induced relapse. This is a major setback in the recovery of the addicts.
    prefrontal cortex/
    Research has shown that addicts of strong drugs such as marijuana or cocaine have more problems in their daily lives both physically as well as emotionally. Their health is also very much at risk as this drugs alter the working mechanism of the brain and especially the prefrontal cortex. They report lower life satisfaction, poorer mental and physical health, more relationship problems, and they also have less academic and career success compared to those who do not abuse drugs. Decision making becomes a problem for them and they tend to choose the easy way out which to them is the choice to keep using the drugs. Eventually, they could lose their mind all together as the brain function mechanism gets more and more accustomed to the drug effects.

    • To clarify ChamelyMily’s post, most of the neurotransmitter info seems ok, while the conclusions & ideas behind addiction generally are a long way from current science & research. While the post seems well intentioned, I think there is underlying judgement & lack of understanding. Addiction & motivation are complex, just like us ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. It has taken me only 42 years to figure out that sugar causes me to over eat. I noticed, when I consume a fizzy drink, I can’t stop eating. I enjoy food, but I don’t want to be a slave to my tummy. I will occasionally have a cake, but the days of over indulging are over. I am going to take control over my life. Food is fuel, not my best friend.

  22. I am very happy to find this blog. I am on day 2 and I have had a headache all day. I feel completely miserable. My head hurts so bad I had to leave work early. I’m trying to keep going because I know it will get better. I’m going to try tge apple cider vinegar thing. I hope that helps ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Be strong! Have some water, take a walk if you can and make sure you have a nice fulfilling dinner tonight. Even head to bed early and just relax.
      ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I have not had sugar in 8 weeks the first 3 weeks I was very depressed and had a headache the whole time. Now I feel so much better I have lost 20 pounds I feel more energetic and much happier. Quitting sugar was not easy but very worth it!

  24. I am on day 5 of no sugar and for the last 2 days with a massive headache and throwing up today but hopefully tomorrow will be much better I have been drinking about 4-5 litres of water and the apple cider vinegar did work for awhile so hopefully things will improve in the next few days ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Thank you for this site and comment board! I am day 2 of quitting sugar, and have killer headache and nausea. From what I am reading, it seems like this is pretty typical. I am just so shocked that sugar has done this to me. Do not think I ever want to touch it again.

  26. Hi, my name is Dinah and I’m eating what I hope is my last sugar-thing as we speak – it’s a Safeway chocolate chip cookie, the big one with nothing but chips in it. Oh dear… it tastes so good… but I’m determined. I plan on visiting this board often – I have bipolar so I’m familiar with what it’s like to be irritable or have mood swings. I’m prepared! Wish me luck!!!

    • Good luck Dinah! Take it a day at a time and be kind to your body! It can be a big change so make sure you are ready, and never ever feel bad if you slip up!

  27. I’m one month in to quitting sugar today. Was hard at first, then it got a lot better but I’ve noticed the past few days I’ve been super hungry and had more sugar cravings. Any tips?

  28. I found that cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) helped me with sugar cravings. Google it, you’ll find a lot of interesting articles.

  29. Nicole Burger says:

    Today is day 4 of no sugar and no carbs for me. I’ve had the worst headaches for the last two days. I am also extremely irritable. I’ve been eating some fruit since yesterday due to being extremely shaky and tired all the time. It is really hitting me hard!!! Just pushing through….

  30. This site is such a help! At last I don’t feel alone in my struggle! I have gone on and off the sugar wagon for a couple of years, I know the wonderful feeling of liberation, vitality and health yet when I get down in the dumps my low self esteem can lead me into absolute bedlam. Once I start, I feel totally out of control. The sugar makes me so ill, far worse than I did before and then it feels like such a long, long road back to where I was, if only I could love myself to never go there in the first place. One of the hardest things I can sometimes find is family members planting seeds of doubt in my mind, as though I’m being ‘faddy’, making my life difficult for myself, or prehaps doing it to be vain. I’m seeing them next weekend and the last time I saw them was when I slipped off the wagon, so I’m anxious already and we’re out for a meal. Any tips and support would be so gratefully received. My dear husband has been with me on this journey, but I’ve had to be really firm with him to make him understand what quitting sugar can entail, so few people realize just how hard it is and we live in a society with a food industry that would gladly keep us in the dark and hooked on this terrible drug.

  31. I am getting strange body aches the come and go pretty quickly in arms and legs so strange. I havn cut out sugar completely but I go all day until 7 without then have a little treat. But still get achy. Is this normal I seem to be the only one.

  32. Kathleen Smith says:

    Well do to a recent yeast problem on. vaca.I decided my sugar intake has gotten totally out of control..My main focus is stopping diet soda,& my chocolate ..today is day 2 and I feel nauseous and starting to get a headache,yeast issue is feeling great,so glad to see how others felt as well..I actually think I put weight on lately from diet soda,I always have been small framed,but poor eating made its way to my stomach…Thanx for the comments

  33. Toothpaste has sugar? Can we still use it during the sugar free period? Between, I am on Day 5 of sugar free diet. Headache since 3rd day. Very tired too ๐Ÿ™ But, coping up! I relate my Fatigue, dandruff and skin related issues in face, to Milk and Sugar, which I consume everyday. Not sure, which is causing that. So, stopped both for the past few days. Will continue for some more time and will keep you posted.

    • Hi Shankar,
      I highly recommend you keep brushing your teeth regardless of the saccharine (sweetener) content in toothpaste. Keep on brushing and flossing as per your dentist would recommend.

  34. Wow so excited I found this site! I am a male and cut out sugar about 16 days ago. I have had crazy mood swings and anxiety and down right emotional. I am so glad to hear that others are like this too. I thought maybe a few days it would be tough but didn’t realize withdrawal would take this long! The worst was right at the 12 day mark to now. Like my brain is saying…ok that was fun…now reward me with sugar!!! Lol. Looking forward to getting over this!

    • Hi Brad,

      It is hard but you do get over the major symptoms! They are AWFUL and sometimes I find when I fall off the wagon and binge on some sugar, they I do feel pretty terrible for a couple of days afterwards, but just stick with it as the outcomes are so much better and the reality of living a life with less sugar is so much better!

      • Another Brad says:

        I was a heavy drinker and quit alcohol about 3 years ago, after quiting alcohol I developed a real sweet tooth and would snack through out every day on cookies, cakes and other sweets. In Jan. after gaining 20 lbs I decided to quit the sweets cold turkey- I have been having very little sugar in my diet (other than what might be in salad dressings and that sort of food). For the first couple weeks I do not think I had any symptoms. However for about the last week and a half I have had anxiety, depression, and sleep disruption/insomnia. These issues are not normal for me and I cant identify any changes in my life that would make me feel this way. After reading about sugar with drawls I wonder if this is what is going on. Can you get symptoms 3 or 4 weeks after cutting sugar out?

        • Hi Brad,

          It definitely can affect people in different ways and at different times. I would be very mindful of the symptoms and make sure you stay healthy and as happy as you can. It sounds like you have been through a lot, and I wouldn’t want to quickly dismiss your symptoms, so if you are feeling terrible and having difficulty with anxiety and depression, I would check in with a professional and just make sure everything is okay. You never want to let your mental health take a dive.

          It sounds like you are working hard on your health so great work!!! If this is a sugar related symptom, then keep strong and they will subside.

          KAte

  35. Hi, I’m weaning myself off very slowly, I’m on day 6 of no juice drinks, and no cake, biscuits, sweets, chocs I never had sugar in my tea but still eating 2-3 portions of fruit a day. My question is does it affect your. Sleep? I lay awake all night last night, this isn’t like me I love my sleep?

    • Hi Tracy,

      I LOVE my sleep too! I haven’t been adversely affected with my sleep patterns, but this will more than subside. Try drinking chamomile or a night time tea before bed to see if it helps!!!

  36. Day 8 for me and the last two nights I’ve fallen asleep ok, but then woken up after 4 hours and lay there awake for hours! Mild headache, sore throat, super vivid dreams and hungry for carbs (toast!), but no sugar cravings. Isn’t it weird that everyone’s bodies react differently to withdrawal!
    Was happy to read all these comments and see I’m not the only one doing it tough.

  37. I started this sugar free journey on the 10 of February, I thought I was giving it up for lent, but after these 9 days of mood swings, cravings, shakes, headaches (might be one long headache), constant daydreams of all the sweets I can make and have made (Chef, Baker) I am considering giving up this sweet and syrupy way of life. I am an insulin dependent diabetic that battles high sugar and the cravings that come with it. If I die soon, I would rather go out in a blaze of glory (gored by bull while saving family from burning barn)… instead of having body parts cut off because I couldn’t bare a few weeks of this mind numbing withdraw from the white poison. I look forward to feeling better and having some control. Oh yeah it would be nice to toss out the needles too!

  38. Summer Breeze says:

    Hi Sugar junkies ?

    Good to see so many people kicking this poison sweetness to the curb!

    I am in day 14
    First 10 days seemed pretty easy.. of course I dreamt about gorging on a chocolate muffin but all in all not too bad.

    Last few days..had headaches, bawled my eyes out, feeling really low, felt like i was going to vomit in the evenings.. I thought i was coming down with a virus..but I am realising its the “no sugar”.

    I am just pushing on.. I have quit smoking and now its sugars turn!

    I would like to hear some happy ending stories??

    I want to believe I will feel wonderful in time… How long does it take?

    Any links to success stories?

    Thanks
    GREAT SITE ?

  39. Just wondering if you have to quit using sugar substitutes too, like Splenda, etc.

  40. Hi Kate, I’m on withdrawal now but hit a wall when what I thought were horrendous withdrawal symptoms turned out to be a sinus infection. This caused headaches, body aches and slight fever. I mistook these to be the sugar withdrawal symptoms. Was just bad coincidence the infection came just when I quit sugar. Or ARE they connected somehow?
    Maybe something in my immune system? After feeling as if I’ve been hit by a truck…I’m going to keep trying to avoid sugar. Maybe more gradually. As I type this, my hands are screaming with pain. I’m juicing and eating a lot of fruit and veggies. Lots of water. Whew!! this is hard

  41. Hi Katie, I’m getting ready to go sugar free. I’ve tried a few times, but start back. I feel terrible most days, tired, moody and depressed.
    I can use any suggestions and encouragement anyone can offer.

    • Hi Annette,

      You can do this and you are ready! Keep trying hard and maybe do a slower sugar reduction plan for yourself. Focus on one item or meal and remove as much sugar from that meal that you can and repeat. I always start with drinks – look at where you can reduce sugar from what you drink. Give yourself a week or two with no sugar in your drinks, then look at something next – say maybe from snacks. Reduce sugar in snacks and find new snacks that are better.

      Give your body a change to recover and adapt and just keep going. Every single step you take in the direction of removing sugar or excess sugars from your meals and drinks is a good thing!!!

      AND NEVER EVER MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BAD IF YOU EAT SUGAR! Don’t make this about good and bad food, focus on your life and the changes appropriate for your life. The internet is filled with these aspirational pictures, sites and photos… just focus on you. If your journey is slower than others, so be it. I applaud your decision to give it a go again and we ALL know how hard it can be. Just keep trying and keep a positive mindset.

      Keep in mind, we all fall off the wagon, but it is a new day every day and we just make a better decision next time… I shouldn’t just say “we” but ME! I don’t lead a perfect life or have the perfect diet, but I keep a positive mindset and just make better choices next time.

      ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Day 3 here. Had a lot of energy today….and no, it didn’t come from caffeine! Just got home from work… Feeling a bit tired…nothing extreme.

    I keep carbs around 45 net. So in addition to cutting sugar, I made a point to lower my carb intake. Here’s a sample of what I eat:

    BREAKFAST
    1 scoop Jay Robb egg white protein shake mixed w/water
    1/4 cup raw organic walnuts

    LUNCH
    Huge salad w/ all non starchy veggies
    2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1Tbsp Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
    1 Tbsp grated cheese (the good stuff from Italy, not the crap in the green can…eww)
    1 plain Greek yogurt

    DINNER
    4 oz lean protein
    Steamed veggies
    1 Tbsp grass fed butter
    1 very small baked potato

    MID MORNING SNACK: Organic grass fed bone broth
    EVENING SNACK: 1 oz raw almonds

    I’ll have to try the 2 tsp Apple cider vinegar in water. Great idea ๐Ÿ™‚

    FYI… I suffered with headaches for two days. Was light headed yesterday. Good today.

  43. Isabelle says:

    Day 2! Felt like crap yesterday afternoon/night. Got that pressure in the head (not quite a headache) and nausea. Yuck! And chills (which is not a bad thing for me, since I am usually having hot flashes -and I am not menopausal- so it’s a nice change!). Took a really hot bath, which helped tremendously, and went to bed early. Woke up at 2h am with the pillow soaked in sweat, went back to sleep for another 5 hours. Up at 7h this morning feeling great, energetic! Hope it stays that way! And in the last 24 hours I’ve lost 4 pounds of water weight FOUR!! (236 to 232). Just 96 to go, hihi!
    Keep it up everyone!!!!!!

  44. It’s ten days since I went cold turkey and I’ve been getting terrible headaches, which are finally starting to ease. Reading this article helped me to stick with it. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/apr/07/the-sugar-conspiracy-robert-lustig-john-yudkin
    Hope others find it helpful.

  45. As a recovering addict and now sugar abstainer I have to say, although I’m having some of most of the symptoms I see above, giving up sugar is a snap compared to other things I’ve left behind. . .

  46. I am on day 9 of no sugar. I am also gluten free. I have had to give up almost all ready made foods due to the added sugar, particularly all the “gluten-free” foods.
    I’ve had a sugar problem my entire life (I’m 45). I’m not overweight, and even on the thin side, as I exercise a lot.
    I have had recurring tendon, muscle and joint problems for which tests have shown no cause. I am doing the no sugar thing to see if it helps.
    Here’s the problem- on day 9 my skin looks worse than ever, my sleep has been AWFUL, I have seen no reduction in the one area of fat that I do have, and I feel no better mentally or physically.
    I have had sleep problems my entire adult life, but had been doing pretty well UNTIL the day I gave up sugar. Now I am having a hard time falling asleep, and once I finally do, I have a hard time staying asleep. I feel like the sleep I do get is terrible.
    I now have big bags under my eyes that I did not have before, and combined with my bad skin, I look terrible and older than I did before quitting sugar.
    My anxiety level is substantially greater.
    Although my appetite has actually significantly decreased, and I’ve been eating less (just by virtue of fact that I no longer eat a package of gluten free cookies/ice cream/whatever in middle of day), and my exercise has remained same, I have noticed no weight loss.
    While I didn’t really need to lose weight, I was hoping the weird little bulges that had developed just over my hip bones would go away, since I read that such fat is often a sign of insulin resistance/high sugar diet. Since the rest of me is pretty thin, the bulges look particularly weird. And they have not budged.
    All this is to say- what is the point if I am going to: feel worse, look worse AND look older?
    I am not seeing any benefits here. And yes, I am still having the tendon and muscle pain, though it’s dissipated some. But it usually goes away on its own within a week anyway, so there is no reason to think it’s due to quitting sugar.
    How is this an improvement?!

  47. I’m on Day 2 and had truly forgotten how hard this was! I’m exhausted (even though I slept a solid 7 hours last night) I’m having difficulty focusing, muscle tension and aches in my back and shoulders, slight dizziness, nausea, headache… and the list goes on. Not great given how much energy I have to devote to my job everyday. I also inadvertently planned to give up sugar the same week that I got my period (not my best idea).

    I can see why in the past I just went back to eating sugar for the instant relief that it brought for all these symptoms. I feel like I need it just to get through the day! Which is unbelievably sad when I think about it…

    But I am going to persevere and currently eating a protein filled breakfast and drinking plenty of water to try and compensate.

    Much luck to us all!

  48. Christy Clark says:

    Hi Kate,

    I’m concerned I’m eating too much fat and over compensating – can you advise?

  49. Hi!
    I started to cut out off sugar after I have been sick a lot with diferent things and I observed that Im eating sugar every day.
    Ice cream , cookies , ect …
    I decided to stop sugar and I avoided as much as I can. Im on week 5 and so far the worst week. I have all kind of withdrawn syndromens and my stomack is so pinful and I have no apetit . Im forcering myself to eat .
    My stomack pain started after a set of antibiotics. That was the other reason I went on a sugar free diet to restore the balance in My belly.
    Any tips for this stomack pain ?

  50. Quit sweet drinks for a week and have been off sweet drinks and all desserts for and additional two weeks. I’ve had depression, moods swing, irritability, headaches, and a muffled sound in my ears. Will these symptoms go away if I am still eating some sugar like fruits and sauces and stuff?