Quitting sugar seems to be on top of everyone’s New Year’s resolution list – maybe it is on yours too? But going on a sugar-free diet is not for the faint-hearted, especially after you discover how many different types of foods contain this addictive stuff as a hidden ingredient.
Whether you are thinking of slowly eliminating sugar from you diet or suddenly going cold turkey, you’re bound to feel unexpected withdrawal symptoms – after all, if sugar was that easy to give up, wouldn’t everybody be doing it?
Here are a few desirable and undesirable side effects of going on a sugar-free diet that you should know about before trying it yourself.
What is your biggest food weakness? Something that you turn to in times of stress or heartbreak? Most people seek out something sweet like chocolate or ice cream to provide comfort, but unfortunately, these foods contain a ton of sugar and the only way to stick to your no-sugar resolution is to ignore your sweet tooth – which won’t be easy in the beginning. But as time goes by, your cravings will become more manageable.
Doing it With Friends Helps
What’s better than experiencing strong sugar cravings alone while on a diet? Doing it with someone else to reinforce your motivation and keep you from falling off the wagon. Ask your friend to join you in your efforts to kick the unhealthy sugar habit and hold each other accountable for making the right food choices.
Unexpected Side Effects
Your body can have several reactions to low blood sugar level once you go on your diet. Some people experience strange side effects such as weak peripheral vision, forgetfulness and lightheadedness which usually fades away once your blood sugar is raised back to its normal level.
Irregular Sleep Patterns
When your brain is signaling intense cravings for sugary foods, it can be hard to shut it off at night and go to sleep. Most people experiencing sugar withdrawal symptoms have admitted to waking up at strange hours at night.
This could be due to hunger or low blood sugar level in your body which can subside if you snack on a piece of fruit before going to bed every night.
Replacing Desserts with Fruits
Whether you like fruits or not, you’re going to have to accept them as a reasonable alternative to sugar. If you come back home from work after a stressful day, you may get the urge to reach for a bar of chocolate and drown your sorrows in it – but sadly, you can’t do that anymore and you may have to resort to a couple of bananas instead.
Sugar is Unavoidable
You may think that you can easily identify sugar by tasting a certain food but you’ll be surprised to know that even food that aren’t sweet-tasting can have a ton of sugar in them such as ketchup, mayonnaise, cooking sauces and chutneys.
When your body wants sugar constantly, looking for other alternatives such as savory snacks or fruits will not satisfy the cravings. One of the biggest sugar withdrawal symptom is excessive snacking to satisfy a persistent craving that will not subside no matter what you eat.
You body is behaving like a stubborn child who wants dessert before eating the veggies, but as a parent, it’s your job to not give in to its childish desires.
Once you eliminate sugar from your diet, you’re taking out most of the unhealthy foods (okay, maybe not French fries and pizzas) which is going to result in weight loss. If you’ve held on to your will power and haven’t fallen off the sugar-free wagon, this will be the much-deserved reward for your patience.
A little Cheating Can Throw You Off balance
Okay, so you’ve passed the initial test of the sugar-free diet and overcome the cravings – what’s wrong with celebrating victory with a piece of chocolate pie? You can easily go back to your diet the next day, right? Well, not that easily.
Once you make the pie, you might get the urge to scoff down three slices of it in one sitting and may even save the leftovers for the next day. Your complacency can get the best of you and before you know it, you’re back at square one fighting off the cravings once again.
Some of your friends may admire your courageous spirit and a few may even join you in the effort to kick the dangerous sugar habit, but not every one is going to stand on the sidelines, cheering you on as you struggle to make it to the finish line.
It can be hard to explain to someone why you’ve suddenly gone from the girl who could eat an entire cake in one sitting to not ordering any dessert after dining out with friends at a restaurant.