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Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Sugar refers to short-chain carbohydrates that are sweet and used in food. Most people know sugar as a whitish crystal-like powder with a sweet taste that is often added to food. Each year, hundreds of millions of tons of table sugar are produced across the world. The sugar that you eat is scientifically referred to as “sucrose” which breaks down into both fructose and glucose in the body. Although sugar is a staple ingredient in many foods, some people believe that it is unhealthy.

Those who believe sugar is unhealthy may attempt to cut consumption of sugar and/or withdraw from it altogether. Despite the fact that some people claim to experience sugar withdrawals, the severity of symptoms experienced is up for debate. Those who are anti-sugar tend to argue that frequent sugar consumption can lead to mental health problems such as attention problems, hyperactivity, and foggy thinking.

Additionally some believe that sugar consumption takes a toll on their physical health – internally and in regards to gaining weight. It seems as though sugar affects everyone differently – some people are naturally more sensitive to its effects, while others may not notice much of any psychological change from sugar consumption vs. going sugar free. In any event, if you are considering the removal of sugar from your diet, below are some symptoms that people have experienced during withdrawal.

Factors that influence Sugar withdrawal

Below are some factors that may influence your withdrawal from the substance that is sugar. Things that may play a role in your withdrawal include: time span over which you consumed sugar, your average daily consumption, your individual physiology, and whether you just quit cold turkey or gradually cut your consumption.

1. Time Span

How long have you been consuming sugar? If you’re like most people, you have been consuming sugar for most of your life. The longer you have been consuming sugar, the more difficult it is going to be to just completely cut it from your life. Most average diets are filled with considerable sugar. The more sugar that you consume for a longer period of time, the tougher it is going to be to quit.

2. Daily Consumption

How much sugar do you consume on a daily basis? A couple hundred years ago, the average American only ate about 2 lbs. of sugar annually. In the 1970’s, the average American consumed about 120 lbs. of sugar per year. These days, your average American citizen consumes nearly 152 lbs. of sugar per year or 3 lbs. per week.

This is a pretty drastic change compared to what people were eating in the 1800’s. In general, the less sugar you consume on a daily basis, the easier the withdrawal process and the less likely you are to have severe discontinuation symptoms.

3. Individual Physiology

It should be noted that everyone is affected by sugar differently. Some people are more sensitive to its effects, while others won’t notice much of a withdrawal when they stop including it in their diet. Some people will have a more difficult time coping with cravings and other psychological symptoms when they withdraw.

A lot of your personal experience will be based on your individual physiology. Certain people are able to adjust to effects of cutting sugar from their diets quicker than others.

4. Cold Turkey vs. Tapering

Most people that quit consuming sugar do so by quitting “cold turkey.” In general, quitting the consumption of sugar without gradually weaning down consumption can lead to more extreme withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms will likely be more pronounced among people who quit cold turkey after having consistently ingested large amounts of sugar for years.

If you consume a significant amount of sugar daily, it may be best to gradually cut your consumption over the course of a week or two. By gradually lowering the amount of sugar in your diet, you are gradually adapting to this change and it is thought to be an easier process.

Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms: List of Possibilities

Below is a list of possible withdrawal symptoms that you may experience when you cut sugar from your diet. Perhaps the most prevalent symptom that people experience is a strong craving for sugar and/or carbohydrates during withdrawal. Also understand that not everyone will go through all of the symptoms listed below – withdrawal varies in severity and intensity based on the person.

  • Anger: If you quit cold turkey, your mood may dip and you may notice that you are more angry and irritable than usual. The anger should not last more than a couple weeks, but may be difficult to cope with if it was unexpected.
  • Anxiety: Various individuals have reported feelings of anxiety when they drop sugar from their diets. It is known that sugar can have an influence on dopamine levels and activity – which could be the culprit for these feelings. Certain individuals are more sensitive than others in regard to experiencing anxiety upon discontinuation.
  • Appetite changes: Eating sugar can lead some people to experience increased cravings for carbohydrates. Additionally when you stop consuming sugar, you may notice that your appetite experiences some degree of fluctuation. Initially you may eat more or less than usual, but it should balance out.
  • Cravings: The most obvious effect when you stop sugar is that you’re going to crave it. The cravings for sugar may be intense and difficult to overcome. If you stay the course and stay self-disciplined, you will eventually reach a point where these cravings subside. It may help to remove sugar substances from your house and/or keep them out of sight so that you don’t fall victim to the cravings.
  • Depression: People can experience a crash in mood when they first come off of sugar. This dip in mood is typically not very extreme, but can feel like a low grade depression. Eventually your mood should bounce back and stabilize.
  • Dizziness: In more extreme cases of withdrawal, individuals have reported feeling dizzy when they stop consuming sugar. Most people will not feel “dizzy” when they stop including sugar in their diets, but more sensitive people can.
  • Fatigue: Sugar can provide some people with short-term boosts in energy. When a person quits including sugar in their diet, it is possible to experience some general fatigue and lethargy during the first couple weeks of withdrawal. Over the long term, a person should notice that normal energy levels return.
  • Flu-like: In some cases, people actually experience a severe reaction to cutting sugar from their diet that results in very low-grade flu-like symptoms. If you have this severe of a reaction, it should subside within a few days. Most people will not experience this particular symptom when they cut sugar, but everyone is affected differently.
  • Headaches: Initially some people experience headaches when they remove sugar from their diet. These headaches can be a result of tension and/or the changes you are going through by detoxifying your body from sugar.
  • Insomnia: Dropping sugar from your diet may temporarily result in changes in sleep patterns and arousal. You may notice that you are unable to fall asleep at a proper time because you feel anxious or your arousal has changed; this will eventually go away. Consider taking melatonin or using some sort of relaxation exercise before bed if it’s a big problem.
  • Irritability: During the acute phase of cutting sugar from your diet, you may become snappy as a result of not having the sugar that you crave. Sugar can influence dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure in the brain. When we are no longer getting the same stimulation, we may become irritable.
  • Mood swings: It is fairly common to experience minor mood swings when you initially cut sugar from your diet. The mood swings may consist of some minor depression, anxiety, and/or other negative feelings. Eventually your moods will stabilize without the influence of sugar, but it may take a short while for your brain to adjust.
  • Shakes: In some cases, people can actually shake when they drastically cut their sugar consumption. These shakes are usually a result of cold turkey withdrawal, but are typically not too severe; they will eventually subside. This is actually a fairly common symptom among people who stop consuming sugar that were previously consuming high amounts.
  • Sleep changes: The withdrawal process may affect sleep to a certain extent. During the withdrawal you may notice changes in energy levels, arousal, and mood. All of these factors are thought to influence our ability to get a good night’s sleep. Do not be surprised if your sleep is slightly influenced.
  • Weight changes: Most people notice that they lose weight when they drop sugar consumption. Weight loss is generally due to the fact that people stop eating unhealthy foods and drinking beverages that are sugar-filled.

Sugar Withdrawal Duration: How long does it take?

There is no exact science suggesting that sugar withdrawal takes a specific amount of time. The duration for which you experience withdrawal symptoms will largely depend on you as a person. Some people are able to quickly adjust to functioning without sugar, while others may have a difficult time resisting cravings and the feelings that they get when they have something sugary.

Based on various experiences, most people do notice that they go through some sort of a withdrawal period when they drop sugar from their diet. However, the length of this withdrawal period is subject to variation. Some people felt considerably better and were virtually withdrawal-symptom free within a few days, while it took others up to a full month to feel completely natural and detoxified from sugar.

In general, it is thought that the reason people experience withdrawal symptoms in the first place is largely based on individual sensitivity as well as dopamine. When you stop consuming sugar, your dopamine levels may temporarily drop – leading to various psychological symptoms. To help address this problem, it is recommended to consume lean protein, fruits like blueberries and apples, as well as nuts for additional nutrients.

It is also recommended to avoid sugar-replacement products as these substances act similarly on the brain and can also have eerily similar discontinuation symptoms (e.g. aspartame withdrawal symptoms).  Additionally if you are a big soda drinker and/or like energy drinks, you could also be experiencing caffeine withdrawals; this is something to consider.  Most would agree that it’s up for debate as to whether there is even such thing as “sugar withdrawal” in the first place.

Some people don’t experience much of any noticeable change when they drop it from their diets, while others notice significant cognitive and psychological changes. If you have successfully weaned yourself off of sugar, feel free to share your experience in the comments section below.

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{ 458 comments… add one }
  • Michael L Dopp August 23, 2016, 9:28 am

    Day 23 of my Refined Processed Sugar fast. I’ve been experiencing mostly positive affects of removing all refined and highly refined sugars from my diet, however the last couple days have been a little more difficult. Experiencing some fatigue, insomnia, and flu-like symptoms. My diet has changed. I’m eating much more kinds of nutrient rich foods that are also high in fiber.

    Most of this fibrous foods contain very good source of carbohydrate, which is in the fiber itself, so after the digestive system draws the carbs out the fibers move thru to the colon to move out of the body. This creates an added benefit of cleaning the organ walls as it move out in the form of a bowel movement. I haven’t been craving sugar all that much, mostly because I really haven’t stopped eating sugar.

    I big difference is I’m eating whole food products(apples, carrots, blue berries, watermelon etc) Another big difference and inclusion in my diet is incorporation of 3 nutrient rich seeds, chia, flax, & hemp which I either eat in conjunction which not only sugary whole foods, but almost everything I am consuming. Most of the time I sprinkle it on or just mix it in. Having one of those insomnia issues at this very moment.

    I am hoping over my planned 52-week fast from refined and highly refined sugars and products that contain them I will shed the nearly 70 plus pounds I added to my body since around 2002 when I weighed around 200 to 210. Or maybe I should convert to kilos so I’ll appear to weigh less. I’m not trying to focus on the weight loss, I believe it will just come naturally. My focus is on stability, balance, and harmony.

    I’ve been on a quest for a long while now. Adulthood has been pretty good for me, despite many stumbles and falls. I’ve gotten lost at times. I’ve been fortunate to people around who maybe cared more than I did at times. Eventually the caring has to come from within, you can lead a horse to water and all that jazz. An event, a change happens with an idea and although a single person can change the world… babbling coming in, thinking about a future that doesn’t exist and may never exist.

    I want to leave this post with this thought. I don’t want to quit eating refined sugar and get militant about it like I sometimes do with smoking. I smoked until age 30 and at the height of my smoking I was inhaling 2-3 packs a day. When I gave up smoking over 28 years ago I also began thinking more about my refined sugar consumption, because along with the 40-60 cigarettes I was chaining I was also consuming in excess of a 12-pack of soda a day, mostly Mountain Dew.

    A doctor once told me that he was advocating this, but it would be healthier for me to consume a 12-pack of beer a day instead of those cans of syrupy sodas. Sugar is a highly important feature of the human diet, but the reason that refined sugar is sometimes suggested to be more addictive than cocaine or heroin is that many of us are almost on the brink of mainlining the stuff. I’ve done a lot of research for the kind of person I am, reading has always been a slow and arduous task for me….

    I don’t give my mother a lot of credit sometimes, she got a little preachy in my youth about the directions I should be traveling, but my mom has always spoken of moderation, portion control. For almost the first time in my life I can see it now. Maybe even after this year long process I am beginning I will be able to look a dozen doughnuts or cookies face-to-face and just eat one, and wasn’t that delicious without gobbling down the remaining 11.

    In my research I come to conclude that one of the biggest reasons any diet changes fail is the Deprivation Affect. Removing something significant without replacing it with something else. Indiana Jones always knew he had to put something in place of that artifact he was stealing. Filling the void, that’s a challenge. It’s probably one, if not the reason addicts become addicts in the first place, trying to fill the void. I’ll look for the positive and add whenever I can, but be willing to consider changing, reducing if the new positives don’t feel positive. Experiment, Educate, Evolve, Enjoy.

  • Stephanie August 23, 2016, 3:01 am

    I think this might be happening to me but I don’t know. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I was so happy a few months ago. I felt on top of the world, and now I feel like crap. Crying all the time getting angry over nothing, screaming at my kids and husband and just generally feeling terrible. The only thing that has changed in my life is that I have cut back on sugar, although I have not quit sugar entirely.

    I was eating a family block of chocolate a night plus all the other generally sugary foods. I pretty much ate what I wanted (but never drank soft drink, always hated the stuff) Now I only consume sugar on the weekends. It doesn’t make sense that my withdrawals would be so extreme if I am still consuming it though, does it? I’m going to the doctor this afternoon because I need some answers before someone gets hurt or I hurt myself.

  • Courtney August 15, 2016, 6:37 am

    I started out on a diet that requires me to be eating a lot of protein and completely cut out sugar cold turkey. I have been really lightheaded, and noticing that I have developed a headache. I also have gotten the shakes, not only because I’m cold, but I really was addicted to sugar.

  • M August 9, 2016, 5:42 pm

    Well I dropped sugar from my diet quite by accident because I was sick as a dog with some type of infection. Three weeks later I am still having flu like symptoms, foggy brain and insomnia to name a few. Is this the effect of the initial medical problem that was plaguing me or the results of sugar detox I guess I will never know.

    So I suggest you detox when healthy so you can distinguish that the root cause is sugar and not some other underlying factor. The problem is that we often get a scare and that awakes us to taking better care of ourselves. On day 18 and still feeling sub-human. I hope that some day soon I will feel the best I ever have when the detox withdrawal symptoms finally disappear.

    Strangely enough I have noticed that the 2 small spider veins on my leg have disappeared… coincidence or was sugar feeding them babies as well as the bad bacteria in my gut?

  • Patti August 7, 2016, 4:20 pm

    I am on Day 7 of a doctor ordered No sugar no starch diet… I am a mess — the worst part is the headaches… They are terrible, I am prone to migraines and I have been waking up at 1am with a migraine type headache every night. Yesterday I had a headache all day and night, this am I was ok until about 11am and now its a migraine type headache.

    I went for a 6 mile walk hoping it would boost my brain power… No such luck. I am not a soda drinker etc but I did love my potato chips and sandwiches etc… No more… I drink seltzer water all the time–no sugar no calories etc… no artificial sugars/flavors… any one know if seltzer could be a problem for headaches? Never had headaches before while drinking seltzer.

  • Kelly August 4, 2016, 1:23 am

    Today is day 1 and I felt like I was getting sick so I decided to google sugar addiction. I’ve been living mostly on sodas and junk food for about 4 years. I’ve thought about cleaning up in a half-hearted way but I’ve never laid out a plan. I just kinda didn’t have sugar today and thought maybe I just kinda won’t have sugar tomorrow. I’m glad I found this site. I’m going to make the commitment.

  • Will Davis August 3, 2016, 3:10 am

    Days (1-3) I was very irritable. By (day4) I even felt like I was having Hot flashes as a Man! By day 5-6 lack of focus, lack of Energy dizziness, headaches continued. Days (7-10) I suffered appetite lost which now have me eating small portions of food. Stay Strong as we All Pray to reach the Benefits of Better Health.

  • N August 1, 2016, 2:37 pm

    I subconsciously went off sugar and gluten just over a month ago. I had extreme anxiety with led me to the hospital, shortness of breathe, trouble sleeping, dizziness and it brought up a lot of suppressed emotions and feelings which I had been covering up by eating sugar. I had always been a stress eater who would eat only sugar or bread when I felt stressed and going cold turkey has brought everything to the surface.

    It has been a month now, the anxiety, dizziness and nausea are still there but I am a little more in control since when I started. I’ve also experienced a big loss of appetite, and part of the reason I’m not recovering as quickly as most might be because of this – I don’t eat much now because I don’t feel like it. I just get lost in a whirlwind of my thoughts and don’t have my crutch of sugar and gluten for a quick fix.

    It’s affecting my relationships and I’m realizing that I need to start taking supplements to make up for the lack of nutrients in my diet as I feel very lethargic and dizzy. I’m glad to have come across this article and hope to grow more stable very soon.

  • Heather July 12, 2016, 5:35 pm

    I’m on day two of no sugar and I was a heavy user. I do not have all the flu like symptoms that you have – or the headache yet – but I feel extremely shaky, like my heart is racing. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks.

  • Karleen July 12, 2016, 11:50 am

    This is my fourth week and my anxiety and slight depression hits me hard in the evenings and in the middle of the night. I feel slightly weaker during the day, maybe need to stop up the protein. I do not crave sugar but wish for emotional clarity which seems to be lacking right now as I feel like I am on a rollercoaster emotionally. The odd thing is that I don’t want to eat anything sugary, I just want to feel better. I am hoping that at the end of this fourth week I will begin to feel normal. Has anyone had as hard a time eliminating sugar as I have?

    • Stephanie August 23, 2016, 3:15 am

      This is how I feel. It’s been a month since I reduced my sugar intake. (I have not quit entirely) and I have been an absolute mess. The only thing that has changed in my life is the sugar so I don’t know what else it could be. I haven’t had any trouble resisting my cravings, but want to know why I feel so horrible.

  • Sharalee July 12, 2016, 4:42 am

    I am on day 11 of my sugar detox. The first few days I felt icky. Like mild flu symptoms. I was way too low on the carbs, so I allotted myself 100 a day, and up to 30 sugar a day since then (all from fruits/veggies/etc). For almost a week I felt somewhat depressed, and now for the last couple of days I am having severe anxiety/panic attacks. I can’t wait to feel normal again! I’m creating some great recipes in the meantime. :)

  • Coco July 8, 2016, 11:34 am

    Oh Wow! All these people are going thru what I’m going thru right now. I’m a helpless chocoholic and my weight gain is getting out of control the past 5 years, so I decided to quit cold turkey. To prepare for this, I told myself repeatedly the past 3 weeks prior to quitting cold turkey that chocolate is vice, sweeten poison that will harm and eventually kill me.

    Continuing to consume chocolate will bring ultimate suffering in the end. Yes, I fed so much fear in myself…lol. I had to. This was going to be the only way to part from my life long addiction. Today is day 3 and surprisingly, no craving. Maybe my fear tactic worked. Lol.

    But here is the withdraw – extreme fatigue. It is so difficult to do anything. Feel like my body is wet noodle and having hard time dragging it thru the day. I was going to work out at gym but I just cannot. Coming home from work, taking the shower and going to sleep (sleeping a lot) is my routine for 3 days now. I hope this fatigue will go away in a few days or weeks.

  • Bryan July 7, 2016, 6:10 pm

    Good to see all these posts. I am on day three of no sugar and no beer in my detox. I’ve been more irritable than normal. Day one and two I was constipated and then day three all of a sudden my body just flushed everything out in like three sessions of explosive diarrhea. Wondering if this happened to anyone else. Also I think I’ve lost some weight but I haven’t weighed myself yet. Crazy what sugar does to a person. And beer. They don’t call it a beer belly for nothing.

  • Denisha July 2, 2016, 7:45 pm

    I’ve been sugar free for two days and I am grouchy, my anxiety is up and I have a headache. I am dying but I know that it’s for the best.

  • Natalie June 11, 2016, 9:24 am

    Day 5 no Coke, no sugar in coffee and I’m down to 2 coffees a day and it’s been 5 weeks with no energy drinks! (I was consuming 1 X 500ml can a day for 2 years). I have now had a headache for 4 days. I’m feeling like crap to be honest and all I want to do is drink a large glass of Coke!! I’m tired and cranky and have even felt like throwing up! But I’ve gotten this far, and I need to do it for me! It’s for the best. (I keep telling myself that). Please someone tell me it gets better. How much more of this pain must I go through? I honestly didn’t know I was so addicted to sugar!

  • Finn May 24, 2016, 3:28 am

    I’ve been 95pc sugar free for last 4 months. Cravings for first couple of weeks were pretty bad but I slogged through. Even worse is the anxiety and depression and irritability which is worse now in the 4th month. Still addicted to coffee 3-4 cups daily but when is this going to get better?? I’m hanging on by a thread and seriously if things don’t improve I’m going to chuck it in.

  • Imad May 16, 2016, 9:24 pm

    Dizziness!!! I’m on day 2, I’m having flu like symptoms with dizziness and low energy all day long as well as headaches. Yesterday I ate zero sugar, but today I couldn’t stand… I had something equivalent to 6 teaspoons of sugar because of the severe dizziness. But I will fight till the end of this withdrawal.

  • Indira May 14, 2016, 12:16 pm

    Day 4 on going cold turkey on sugar, coffee, eggs, dairy and bread. Headaches were constant for first two days, followed by mild fever. Now only whole of my body hurts. But no headache and no fever :).

    I am just amazed at this reaction I’m having, never have expected to be this extreme. I do have cravings, but then I take one look at my body and what am I going through right now, and believe me , there is no way I would give in. No way.

    What kind of poison are we actually feeding ourselves? I bet I wouldn’t have this symptoms if I’ve decided to go off broccoli. ;)

  • Connie May 12, 2016, 3:40 pm

    I made the decision three weeks ago to cut refined sugar out of my diet. To help with cravings and to somewhat wean off I allowed myself all the fruit I wanted for the first couple weeks. I cut my fruit back to two small apples and a serving of blueberries per day. The last couple days I have a headache, am achy, and overall flu-ish. I didn’t think cutting the fruit would have the same affect as cutting refined sugar. Any input?

  • Kathrine May 5, 2016, 7:30 am

    I went cold turkey about a week ago but my period happened to start about the same time. Although I don’t regret starting this, I have had dizziness and headaches for four consecutive days now therefore I highly recommend cutting your sugar intake slowly or doing it shortly after your period if you feel that it could worsen the effects.

  • Haithem May 1, 2016, 6:39 pm

    16 days nothing but veggies, meat, and cooking oil. Mentally I’m a wreck, energy is low, and I get dizzy when I stand up sometimes. You can say I’m on a ketogenic diet. I know all my side effects would go away if I bite into some sugar, but that’s the problem.

    • madeleine May 3, 2016, 5:02 am

      Hi Haithem, a few thoughts. Maybe switch to a good olive oil if you are using it to cook or drizzle on your veggies. Butter is actually good for you, buy an organic if you can. Also, instead of going back to sugar, how about a complex carb? A potato, a small potion of plain pasta.

      There are so many varieties of pasta, you can get them without gluten. I was off of almost everything except meat and a few veggies and I was dizzy yesterday. I researched it and a lot of folks suggested a bit more carb. Good luck, sugar is the tough one!!

  • Madeleine April 30, 2016, 2:00 am

    Hello everyone, super informative posts, thanks. I wondered if anyone can give me feedback on a kind of scary feeling in my chest. (Yes, middle of the night, I do think of heart attack). I am very healthy, in my 60’s and I quit sugar and wheat this past Monday. Felt headachey, but that was to be expected. The past two days, I feel as though there is a pressure on my chest.

    I walk the beach daily and have not had any symptoms of pain or being short of breath. Just this persistent feeling of pressure. I hope it is simply another detox symptom but I would feel better if I heard from others who had felt it too. Coincidentally, I will see primary physician for general check-up next week and will rule out heart issue if it still persists. Thanks for the input. Madeleine

  • Jackie April 22, 2016, 5:49 am

    Well I’m on day 3 and can’t sleep, I’m exhausted and have an extreme migraine and am dizzy!!! At this point you start to think is it worth it? But reading all the positives YES IT IS WORTH IT. So I will keep plugging away until I feel the difference. Good luck everyone.

  • Sourdough Sue April 17, 2016, 10:48 pm

    I am 6 weeks free. Happy to report no major side effects. I do not eat processed food in any case so wasn’t eating as much sugar as some. Just doing too much home baking….which I miss of course…but I noticed I went from needing desert to not even thinking about it in one week!

    AMAZING! Also lost 3 kgs in 3 weeks and I was not overweight to start with. Sugar sure is evil!! Good luck all and stay with it!

  • Ohm April 15, 2016, 8:08 pm

    I just quit cold turkey on sugar and junk food. And it’s been about a week since it happened. I’ve experienced headaches since yesterday as well as insomnia, higher anxiety, cravings for sure and definitely more mood swings. But I just want to make sure all that was from this drastic change. Hopeful it all goes away soon. And thank you for your answers.

  • Jack the Fibber April 14, 2016, 7:45 pm

    Been there. Done that. Warned by my doctor about the evils of sugar – though I hadn’t been sick for over 30 years – I tried to cut back from 15 cups of triple sugared coffee a day. After two weeks of 2-cups of sugared coffee a day and another 13 cups straight, the only 2 changes were: 1) fatigue and low energy levels and 2) sleepiness that forced me down for 30-45 minutes each day. No headache, no fits of blind rage, no depression.

    My wife said, “Why are you doing this to yourself?”
    I replied, “Uh, because I’m 20 pounds overweight?”
    She: “Get off your butt and go for a walk.”
    Me: “OK, but first a nap….”
    She: “Stop blaming the sugar. You’re 77, you’ve been addicted all your life and it hasn’t done any harm. Your computer posture is from sitting on your duffs all day. Your legs are tired because you don’t use them except to go to the bathroom.”

    She’s right. Despite loading up on sugar for the past 60 years, I normally feel great. Just the occasional fit of lunacy…

  • Shelley April 5, 2016, 9:34 pm

    I am on day two withdrawing from sugar and flour. Day 1 was good, however today I woke up on day 2, I had a awful headache. I made my oatmeal breakfast and I began to feel nauseous. I had to stop eating and felt really sick. It was not until later on in the afternoon that I felt I could eat. I eat a few nuts and a banana. I drank water and ended up on the toilet for some time.

    I still have a slight headache, feeling a little weak but are determined to take on, what ever this detox dishes out at me. I have been sick for so long, being overweight, migraines, acid reflux, bouts of depression, join pain, fogginess, sleeping problems and so on. It is inspiring to hear others tell their story and encouraging that there is a silver lining once the withdrawal symptoms end.

    • Metaphysics April 14, 2016, 9:15 pm

      Forgive me, Shelley, but to me it seems that all your problems – as described in paragraph 2 – cannot be laid at the doorstep of excessive sugar consumption. I’m sorry about your ordeal, but your solution might conceivably be that you’re not getting enough sugar. Or enough of something else? Ever thought of that? No, I’m not an agent for Big Sugar. At any rate, best wishes!

  • Lucy April 2, 2016, 5:14 am

    Hello, I am so glad I found this site, to see I am not the only one going through this. I am a recovering alcoholic and always craved sugar. I would drink 4-6 monsters a day to keep me going and lots of candy throughout the day. I pulled an all nighter last night and felt horrible today like I stayed up all night on a coke bender. I realized it was the sugar making me feel so crappy today.

    Today is day one of no sugar and having gone through alcohol withdrawals many times, I am not looking forward to sugar withdrawals. I thought I was never going to feel that crappy again but looks like I am in for another ride with cutting the sugar intake. Thanks for all the motivation and inspiration from everyone and hope everyone achieves their goal of a sugar free life. :)

  • Tanya Thibodeaux April 1, 2016, 2:12 am

    I am currently completing day 9!! Oh wow, so glad I came across this. I use to have a little coffee with my sugar and I decided enough was enough. Some of my symptoms have been muscle ache, nausea, headaches, mood swings, anger, trouble sleeping, hot sweats and panic. Today when I awoke it was headache that comes and goes all day and fatigue. Drinking plenty of water and taking vitamin supplements. Thank you all so much for sharing your experience and I am cheering on each one of you!! We can do this!!!

  • Shari March 31, 2016, 2:45 pm

    I haven’t even started, I know I should have done this years ago. I’m 57 . This is very very challenging for me. I have to start somewhere. GOD HELP ME!

  • Randy March 21, 2016, 5:51 pm

    You people need to stop giving medical advice based on your own experiences. Everybody’s metabolism and ability to process sugars. both complex and simple, is very different than everybody else’s. You need to get under a doctor’s care and take that medical professional’s advice. I am on the start of my 3rd week with out refined (simple) sugars, and the beginning of my 2nd week with NO carbohydrates. Fruits and other high sugar foods are generally not a good idea while going through a carb free diet. But again, only after consulting with a physician will you know the best way to proceed.

  • Anna March 18, 2016, 6:00 pm

    I am a chocoholic who is now sugar free, week 3. I am through the cravings thankfully. My problem is I never feel satisfied. I eat something healthy, then I feel hungry or “empty” soon, like an hour later. I was wondering if that will go away soon?

    • beth simmons May 19, 2016, 1:24 am

      Great question. Did you ever get an answer?

  • Jo F March 15, 2016, 2:00 pm

    I’m so pleased I saw this! I’m over 2 weeks into quitting sugar and salt; the salt is because my bp is a little high and the sugar I just decided to do at the same time (I’m an all or nothing kind of person!). I haven’t had any headaches or cravings and thought everything was fine but towards the end of last week I started feeling very anxious, and things that didn’t bother me usually I was fretting about to the point of becoming paranoid.

    I had a fall in work and although it wasn’t pleasant, I couldn’t stop crying and had to go home (I did injure myself as well). Yesterday I was crying relentlessly all day in work; my boss told me to go grab a coffee somewhere at one point because it was that bad. I went for a walk with a colleague at lunchtime and sat there telling her how pointless I was as a person, how I had no purpose, generally everything that was wrong with me and how desperate I felt.

    I felt like I was cracking up as I didn’t know what was wrong with me. Today I’ve only cried a few times at my desk but I’ve asked if I can listen to music via headphones for stress relief (Pink Floyd is my savior today!) and it’s helped enormously; my body, though, feels very jittery and I can barely lift my arms up. I have mild chest pains as well and feel very nervous. I messaged my (adult) daughter to ask if I could see her later to distract myself from whatever’s happening and she straightaway said ‘it’ll be the withdrawal, don’t worry, it’ll pass.’

    I hadn’t even thought of it but I came here and straight away saw many people have also struggled with anxiety as a result of quitting sugar. I’m amazed and yet very relieved that I’m not going mad! I am still eating fruit but refined sugar is out, along with bread and anything sweet like chocolate, cake, all the obvious stuff. This has given me so much peace of mind that I feel like a huge weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.

    I’m not going mad, I’m doing myself a favor! I can now ride it out knowing there’ll be an end to it. :)

  • Nancy March 11, 2016, 7:55 am

    It’s so hard to cut sugar 😭😢. I tried this week, but I failed. I’m going to start tomorrow again because sugar is a vey bad addiction. Good luck to everyone and I hope you can overcome this challenge!!

  • GemRose March 10, 2016, 9:40 pm

    Hi, so this is my 3rd detox and this is my second sugar detox. I am in day 3 and wow, I knew I had this experience before but damn it the flu like symptoms really hurts, haha! So I decided to do this because as much as I do work out and became a vegetarian for 3 years now I find that I am not as healthy as I want to be.

    I have a really bad sweet tooth and I want to challenge myself that sugar is not my down fall, hehe* Also, I got my Hawaii trip coming up so… why not? No sugar = means no bloating so yay for my bikinis! :) It is refreshing to read all of these comments and how we can relate and even uplift each other :).

    I have my sister and my boyfriend’s sister in this detox as well and I really hope we all succeed. I am aiming for 21 days and I am not consuming fruits as well but my oh my I cant wait to make my yams or sweet potatoes tonight! Much love to everyone and I wish everyone strength and will power to go though this!

  • Julie March 9, 2016, 4:04 pm

    I was a heavy sugar consumer. I went “cold turkey” 4 days ago and I am having horrible headaches, low grade fever and flu like symptoms. I’m also having trouble with sleep, but it might just be the discomfort of the flu. Hopefully it’s gone within a couple weeks, I don’t want this to last a month…

  • Mariea March 9, 2016, 3:18 pm

    I have stopped eating sugar, unhealthy carbs, fast food, pop, and junk food all in one day cold turkey. It has been two days and I fall asleep at 7:30 but by 3 o’clock I’m very fatigued. I have headaches by the end of the day, also feel a little dizzy.

  • Linda March 7, 2016, 7:28 pm

    Day two and I have a headache. It’s not the worst headache I’ve ever had, but it’s pretty uncomfortable. :( And tired. I keep yawning like I need a nap. Lol. And I did snap on a co-worker. In my defense, he deserved it. He was being an absolute pain in the a$$. He can email me stuff, but decides to come to my desk, with this sense of massive urgency (which it ISN’T) and completely interrupts my train of thought.

    Ha…maybe that’s the crankiness/bitchiness everyone’s talking about when quitting sugar! :). SO…I do love my chocolate. I just ordered on nuts(.)com some raw organic cocoa nibs. There is no sugar in them, but I plan to have them as a treat once in a while. While I was on the website, I also ordered some organic raw macadamia nuts! I’m eating a diet low in carbs (around 44 net grams a day) and higher in healthy fats.

  • GG March 7, 2016, 3:32 pm

    I am feeling the sore throat and somewhat flu like symptoms myself (aches/light headed/head ache). I am not totally sugar/carb free but I’ve dramatically cut my levels to what would be deemed more appropriate and within standard dietary guidelines. (I am reasonably fit).

    Personally, I think it is ridiculous to go on these gimmicky programs that have you cut sugar/carbs completely, even if it is only a few times per week. Those programs are not sustainable in the long-term and the fact that no one ever can completely eliminate these nutrients from their diet is the reason they end up failing, getting discouraged in the long run, and gaining even more weight back.

    Forget the $400 per month gimmick programs and stick to eating right and exercising with some intensity. In the long run, that is more sustainable. I promise, no one ever got fat because they put sugar in their coffee or had some sugar loaded Hubba Bubba gum.

  • Julia March 5, 2016, 3:39 pm

    Hey guys! So glad that I found this website! I stared the 21 day fix through beachbody and cut out sugars (since they aren’t allowed). I know that I was addicted to sugar because I have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet! Today marks day 3 without sugar and my head is killing me.

    Last night though I stared feeling very nausea and started having frequent vowel movements. I have read on some comments that other people have as well. I hope that I read that right and that I’m not the only one experiencing these symptoms!

  • PHG March 2, 2016, 12:53 pm

    I put 8 packets of sugar in my coffee twice a day for 25 years. I decided to cut this in half 2 years ago, this was a tough battle, but I did it. Yesterday, I decided to remove sugar form my coffee and tea all together, I am feeling a bit dizzy, and my focus is a bit off. I don’t see giving up sugar all together, I just want to cut processed sugar, soda, drinks with sugar. However, I am never giving up jelly beans. You guys are great, I am getting lots of inspiration from your messages.

    • GG March 7, 2016, 3:35 pm

      I think you made the wise decision to dramatically reduce your sugar consumption rather than eliminate it entirely. No one got overweight because of sugar in their coffee.

  • Anya February 22, 2016, 9:02 pm

    Hello! Thank you so much for putting this blog up. I have not been a huge sugar consumption (No Soda / etc.) but I would sneak in a mini pastry or so from a local supermarket. Even if I didn’t consume a lot of sugar I quit it cold turkey. Completely eliminated it from my life and today I am on day 5.

    Day 1-3 I had piercing headaches! Just from that! Just from a tiny wini amount. So I have no idea how difficult it must be for folks who quit cold turkey and have been consuming a lot of sugar. Today no headaches just exhaustion. But tomorrow is day 6 so I am hoping I will start to feel some energy soon. What I want to share as to what helped me personally:

    1. Water. Water is your friend. Drink 1-2 Liters per day. Whenever I had a craving, headache…I would reach out for water and it helped.
    2. Epsom salt bath. I was feeling low low low and physcially horrible first 3 days. I took an epsom salt bath every night and it helped tremendously.
    3. Get out and do something. Distract yourself. Whether a music show, a movie, (not a new restaurant though otherwise you will want to attack the desert menu) anything to get you out of your routine! A walk, concert, masage….this helped me get through the first few days.

    If you want to write me you can reach me at soulinwater[@]gmail.com. Take care and good luck to all my fellow humans! <3 Anya

  • Stephen February 17, 2016, 9:43 pm

    Hi all like everyone I was a insane sugar-holic I would drink my way through a liter of coke in a day easily (120+ grams of sugar!!) and have gotten a high heart rate because of it. So I decided enough is enough quit now as your in serious risk of health issues soon (21 years old) anyway.

    Day 1: woke up in the middle of the night sweating profusely, shivering uncontrollably and breathing incredibly quickly, it was horrific truly horrible

    Day2: severe aches and pains all over my body mainly from my back and neck. Upset tummy and serious lethargy… All of these symptoms have continued for 9 days now but I think I THINK it’s getting better, I’d just love to sleep really.

    But the worst side effect by a mile is the anxiety, especially health anxiety every bump, pain, ache elevated heart rate was terrifying… But I will carry on good luck to everyone else. P.S. I’ve gotten no cravings however or headaches which is odd.

  • Alba February 16, 2016, 10:40 am

    Hi. Am on my week and a bit of no sugar and so stressed out/ anxious and feeling it is hard to sleep. Ate about a KG of cherries at lunchtime, had magnesium, did exercise and still running a few hours of sleep. Will try taking it easy tomorrow instead. However reading this article and the post I do have a question. I am conscious that restaurants may put sugar in noodle dishes too. Do I need to stop sugar altogether for the withdrawal symptoms to stop or can I still have it in moderate amounts?

  • Rachel February 14, 2016, 4:37 am

    Hi, I have been on an LCHF diet for a week and cut 90% carbs and sugar out of my diet… feeling OK but have had dips (i.e. momentary mood swings downwards). Seem to be through the worst but yesterday and today I have had a massive headache and feel fatigued. What has helped? Drinking heaps more water, staying distracted, plus eating berries with shaved almonds and cream is a nice treat.

  • Gabriel Coll February 13, 2016, 5:17 pm

    Great article much appreciated. I’m off sugar four weeks now. I hadn’t read up before giving up. I was very anxious from time to time and couldn’t understand why. Just over a week ago, after a cycle with a friend I got such a sudden attack of anxiety I fainted! I still didn’t know what was wrong with me which unsettled me even more.

    When discussing my faint with a Dr who is a friend I mentioned in passing that, after years of heavy consumption, I’d gone completely off sugar some weeks ago. He explained my anxiety and faint in one word “withdrawal” it was only then I read up and found articles such as this. I was amazed, and very relieved, that for some anxiety symptoms come on when sugar is dropped from the diet as it explained my symptoms.

    I had thought I was losing my mind. 4 weeks in and I’m still getting mild anxiety symptoms from time to time but of a lot less intensity, frequency and duration. Thank god 😊.

    • Alba February 16, 2016, 10:48 am

      My mom says that people used to faint when they had too much stress. Funnily enough the “cure” was some water and A – as in one – spoon of sugar. I guess in moderate amounts everything is good. Problem is dang biology that tells us good sweet things are OK to eat compared to bitter/rotten stuff. I am happily though finally coming off the high and when I think of chocolate now all I want to do is vomit.

      I do so wish I could sleep properly again. Waiting for that. :) though am so tired I forget some stuff now usual lack of brain fog is nice. If we all give up sugar evolution might be good to us again. Though right now while not being able to sleep I hope this will lead to our species being able to participate with the eventual AI rather than become Matrix batteries. Will cut my ramblings and try to back to sleep. Simple things. :)

      • Alba February 24, 2016, 8:54 am

        Update. Been off sugar for a while now – what I can control anyway and all going great. Veggies taste nice now weirdly enough and all good with sleep. I found juices, macro greens and the like satisfy the cravings. I am a bit scared what will happen in winter when there are less types of fruits but will cross that bridge later. Victory for now. :)

  • Jay February 13, 2016, 2:50 pm

    The amount of chemicals that are placed in our foods is just wrong…and sad. Our bodies do not know how to process garbage. I put myself on a self-imposed strict diet. Basically, anything that comes in a box or bag is out! Period. Two weeks in with a cold-turkey sugar detox and the only symptom I have come across is the cravings. I am 40-years old, 5’7″ at 185 pounds.

    In just 9 days I dropped 8 pounds down to 177 (without any exercise whatsoever). Cutting out junk (candy, cookies, ice-cream, bread, etc) was very difficult, in fact…still is. After 30-days of this, I will return to a diet that is built on the principle of “everything in moderation” coupled with my daily dose of cycling (when Autumn returns).

  • Michele February 12, 2016, 1:10 pm

    I eat quite a healthy diet and am not overweight and am training for a marathon but was very aware that after my meals I would always reach for the sweet treats mainly chocolate and biscuits, and I wanted to see if I could stop doing this (replaced with rice cakes and almond butter and the odd square of 85% dark chocolate)!

    I’m on day 5 and have found it relatively easy to not eat the chocolate etc and my craving for it has reduced, but I can’t shake this dull behind the eyes headache that has come on since day 2 or 3. I’ve also been for 2 runs this week which I’ve found tougher than I should have and I wonder if my body has been used to having access to all this sugar and how it’s having to look else where for energy sources?!

    I’ll stick with it but I really hope this headache goes away soon!

  • Donna February 9, 2016, 9:45 pm

    I have started reducing the amount of sugar in my diet. I realize that the amount I now consume is too high for me to stop cold turkey. I’m menopausal and suffer from mild depression so I know the symptoms everyone on here is having will be hitting me the more I get rid of… and I just don’t think my body could stand the shock of cold turkey. Hope all are doing well. Ready or not, I’m in this for the long run.

  • Sue February 6, 2016, 9:07 pm

    I gave up sugar 4 days ago. I am such a big sugar eater, and am surprised that I don’t have too many cravings. Day 3 however, I got such a black mood, which is so unusual for me. I could of cried all day! Gave my husband a really hard time. Think he thought a different woman had moved in. As usually I am quite an optimistic happy person. Hope it goes soon as I would rather be happy than miserable. Hope it’s worth it.

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