We read about the term a lot. Sugar Detox. There are other phrases going around like carb flu or keto flu. All these phrases refer to the same process – cutting sugar out of your diet.
What happens if you don’t eat sugar for a period? This time frame can refer to anything from hours to days.
Chances are you are already experiencing it daily, even if you eat a western American diet high in carbohydrates and sugar.
You skip breakfast. You feel tired and irritated by teatime and crave something sweet. That is sugar detox. You will by default grab something that will ‘pick you up’ and give you some energy.
I remember when I was a student at varsity, my go-to snack was a Bar-One and a coke. It gave me enough energy to pull me through till the afternoon.
You eat a burger and some fries for lunch. An hour later, you cannot keep your eyes open. That afternoon slump is a symptom of sugar detox.
You feel like you cannot concentrate, and your mind is blogged. Mental fogginess we call it. It’s a symptom of sugar detox.
Over the past few years, our bodies got accustomed to carbohydrates as an energy source. And here I’m not referring to whether the quality of the carbohydrates are good or bad. An average person takes about 400g of carbohydrates a day through a standard western diet which is high in processed food. When you eliminate processed and sugary foods from your diet, that can drop to anything between 100g – 150g. So, by eating meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar, you are automatically following a lower carbohydrate diet. Which is good for you.
Sugar detox is not a pleasant experience at all. Majority of people give up within the first week because of the severe sugar detox symptoms they experience. The severity can differ from person to person. It depends on what your current diet looked like and how much inflammation you need to get rid off in your body.
Sugar detox symptoms, which can feel like flu symptoms, are caused by the body adapting to a new diet consisting out of lower good quality carbohydrates.
When we eat a diet high in carbohydrates and sugar, our kidneys hold onto sodium. The excess sodium causes our body tissue to hold on to excess water.
When you start a sugar free lifestyle, your body gets rid of excess water and the kidneys will excrete the excess sodium.
That can cause some people to become sodium depleted.
Majority of the sugar detox symptoms you experience will be as a result of sodium depletion during this time. It is important to increase your sodium intake with good quality sodium, very early in the process of your sugar detox.
If you take any medication, it’s also important to talk to your health care provider about your sugar detox.
Press on and push through. You are creating a life time of health for a few days of unpleasantness. Tell your family and friends what you are going through and ask for their support.
Good luck and let me know how it is going!