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What To Expect When You Quit Sugar For A Month

I get it. You’re a sugar lover. A little bit of the white stuff can make the day seem sweeter! But so many of us eat far too much. Cutting out sugar by deciding to quit sugar for a month, or at least drastically curb your intake, is a no-brainer. It’s a big step towards healthy eating for weight loss and one of the top recommendations by the World Health Association.

Sugar is a high-risk factor for type 2 diabetes, especially in sugary drinks. It has zero nutritional benefits and makes you crave food. Plus most people lose weight when they decide to quit sugar.

This household decided to quit sugar for a month

  • It was a big boost for losing weight.
  • Quitting sugar caused headaches and cravings.
  • It improved energy levels and overall fitness.
  • We started cooking much healthier meals.

Read on to find out what happened…

quit sugar for a month

No Sugar For A Month Weight Loss

Now I don’t have a sweet tooth, I guess I’m lucky that way, (peanut butter toast is my downfall). For my guy, it’s a different story.

Tea is his drink of choice and he can get through 10 cups a day. He was taking 2 teaspoons of sugar in his tea. Just think! That’s 20 teaspoons of sugar a day! That’s 100 grams of sugar. We were getting through a packet of sugar a week – incredibly high sugar consumption.

Now he does exercise a lot and you would never say he was overweight, but he did have a little bit of a tummy. (Not that I would ever mention it to him!) Possibly the sugar was contributing to his weight gain.

I was more worried about what that sugar was doing to him. Could someone as fit as my guy still get diabetes just because of his sugar intake?

It was probably less likely because he exercised daily (which lowers your blood glucose level), but that’s no guarantee. There’s certainly an increase in the number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who are thin but don’t have the best of diets.

I managed to quit sugar myself, lost some weight and it made my guy curious enough to try…

If You Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet What Happens?

It’s a big deal. Some people coast through cutting out sugar from their diet, but real sugar lovers can find it hard. My guy found it tough and because he exercises a lot it was difficult to find healthy high-energy snacks to satisfy the cravings.

You don’t want to switch your high-sugar treats for equally unhealthy high-fat snacks such as salty chips! He got by with whole grains, protein and healthy fats – whole wheat toast, bananas, and small handfuls of nuts.

Before he started quitting sugar, we cleared all sugary treats and foodstuffs with added sugar out of the pantry. This was the best tip for avoiding temptation and following a sugar-free diet.

I found I had to be really patient and supportive. Quitting sugar was my idea so I got all the flack on bad days – especially over the first week!

But he stuck at it and by week two it was a lot easier. When he got to the end of the month he felt terrific. His energy levels were up and quitting sugar made a complete change to his body shape.

He’d lost over half a stone in a month and was so chuffed! He also looked leaner. My guy’s a climber and just losing half a stone made a huge difference to how hard he could climb.

This was just from cutting out obvious sources of sugar – sugar in his tea and sugary treats.

cutting out sugar
Cutting out sugar – benefits

No Sugar For A Month – Long-Term Effects

This was a few years ago and the weight has stayed off permanently. In fact, over the next few months, he lost a little more and he’s now a stone lighter than when he started cutting back on sugar.

He does have a few sugar treats from time to time, but he’s never gone back to the high sugar intake he used to live on.

Quitting sugar or at least drastically reducing your intake is so worth it. You owe it to your body to eat better with less sugar and sweet stuff!

What Counts As Sugar?

Sugar creeps into our diet in so many different forms. It naturally occurs in fruit, it’s added to processed food from sauces to cakes, and food producers try to mislead us by adding natural sugars in the form of fruit sugars, maple syrup, and honey.

It’s all sugar! Even when it’s natural. I draw the line at removing fruit from my diet but try to minimize eating foods with added sugars even from natural sources.

I like to avoid drinking fruit juice. It’s a big sugar hit and you can get the nutrients you need from eating whole fruit.

Here’s what happens when you stop eating sugar for a month…

You’ll Go Through Withdrawal Symptoms

Everyone reacts differently but sugary foods are addictive and when you quit for the first time you’ll go through withdrawal symptoms. Don’t worry – they won’t last.

Some people get headaches for a day or two and most people feel tired but by your second week you’ll be bouncing around with extra energy.

You’ll Have Better Digestion

Eating too much sugar messes up your digestive system. When you quit sugar you’ll be rewarded with a healthier gut.

Quitting sugar is good for your immune system and your ability to extract nutrients from food.

You’ll Feel Lighter

A big plus of quitting sugar is reduced bloating. You’ll also be consuming fewer calories and have less food cravings.

The result? You’ll lose weight in no time. Real sugar addicts can experience large weight loss just by quitting sugar.

Your Dentist Will Love You

Quitting sugar means less fillings! Sugar is the main cause of tooth decay and by eliminating sugar from your diet your chance of fillings becomes almost zero.

That means smaller bills and time in the dentist’s chair! I haven’t had a single filling since I quit sugar!

You’ll Cook More

When you quit sugar for a month you’ll become more aware of all the bad ingredients in processed food. The solution? You’ll start checking the ingredients list on packets and cooking healthy food at home. Better for you and your family.

healthy snacks to reduce sugar cravings
Keep some healthy snacks to hand to reduce sugar cravings

You’ll Need A Supply Of Healthy Snacks

It’s best to be prepared with healthy alternatives to sugary treats. Make sure you don’t lapse by having a supply of fruit and nuts to hand.

Travelling Will Be Tricky

You’ll need a plan to cope with traveling. It can be very difficult when you’re out and about to find sugar-free food. It’s best to go prepared with your own food.

You’ll Be Able To Taste Sweetness Again In Natural Foods

When we eat sugar all the time we lose our sensitivity to sweetness. When you quit sugar expect to be delighted by the wonderful natural sweetness in healthy foods. You’ll low these low sugar treats!

It’s Your Best Defense Against Diabetes

Sugar and obesity are the number one factors contributing to the rise in type 2 diabetes. Cut out sugar and you vastly reduce the risk. Some people have even managed to reverse type 2 diabetes by quitting sugar and following a low-carbohydrate diet.

Tips To Quit Sugar For A Month

Sugar is everywhere. It’s the hidden ingredient in so many processed foods. Everyone needs a little help to quit sugar for a month and the resources in my post: How To Quit Sugar will help.

Combine quitting sugar with walking for weight loss and I’m sure you’ll love the results!

These are just some of the many benefits of cutting out sugar. There are so many good reasons to avoid sugar-laden foods. I find the challenges are always outweighed by the huge pluses in how I feel. Love to hear your comments!

If quitting sugar completely is a step too far, try and make healthier choices such as home baking healthy low sugar cakes next time you want a sweet treat instead of eating shop-bought cakes which often come high in refined sugars and calories!

If you’ve found this post helpful, you may enjoy my other weight loss-related articles:

There are so many different diets to choose from and some are quite complicated to follow. Deciding to quit sugar is a simple way to lose weight. #quitsugar #loseweight #weightloss
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Frequently Asked Questions

No sugar for a month weight loss?

Expect to lose 1-2lb a week. It can be a lot more if you’re a big sugar addict and have a lot of weight to lose. Weight loss will depend on how much your diet changes by quitting sugar. If you have a sweet tooth – expect to see big changes.

What happens when you stop eating sugar for a month?

Expect withdrawal symptoms for the first few days. These could be headaches, feeling achy and tired. After the first few days, you should start to feel better and by the second-week notice increased energy levels. You stop craving your next sugar fix. No more energy peaks and crashes. Your digestion will be better, less bloating and if you’re replacing your sugary snacks with healthy food, expect to lose weight.

How long does it take your body to detox from sugar?

Sugar is present in many natural forms, such as fruit and vegetables, so you’re never completely detoxing from sugar. It’s the super-concentrated stuff added to processed foods or stirred into your tea that causes the problems. Quit adding granulated sugar, honey, maple sugar or any other form of intense sugar fix to your food and your taste buds will quickly adapt. Some people will adjust in less than a week but everyone is different and it’s harder if you have a sweet tooth. One month should be enough to eliminate cravings and adapt to healthy eating.


Wednesday 9th of June 2021

I began on Sunday this past week. I started walking laps from the end of my hall and back 10-20 times a day, and cut out ALL soda intake. I've been drinking ONE cup of coffee with a spoon of sugar in the morning and thats it. The great of the day I drink water with sugar free flavors. So far, in 3 days, I have lost 1.8 lbs! I know that's fast, but as my goal is 2 lbs a week, I'm happy with the result. I'm also using keto pills, and a low carb diet.


Wednesday 9th of June 2021

Hi Jennifer, it's fantastic you're taking positive steps to lose weight by cutting back on your sugar intake and exercising. Just make sure you're drinking enough water because some of your fast weight loss could be dehydration. I'm wary about using keto pills. At best they're just a waste of money and at worst can be dangerous for your health. It's safer to avoid all diet pills. You may find getting outside and going for a walk is more fun and helps to keep you motivated. Love to hear how you get on over the next few weeks!

Haris Kolavayal

Friday 7th of May 2021

I am trying to avoid sugar,and i am successful for last 25 days.i iused to drink more than 4 mugs of tea milk+sugar, but now i changed my life i am drinking black tea or green tea without sugar. Question is How long i need to carryon like this?


Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Hi Haris, It depends on your goals. Are you trying to lose weight or is the aim to cut back on sugar for health reasons. Too much sugar in your diet increases your risk of type 2 diabetes. So does being overweight. ( Some people choose to quit added sugar for a month or two to hit weight loss goals and then resume eating moderate amounts of sugar. Others remove added sugar from their diet permanently. It's up to you but I'm sure you can get used to drinking tea without sugar. It's terrible for your teeth!

Chaitanya Karnik

Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

Dear Alison,

Its been about 35 days that i have quit sugar completely coupled with intermittent fasting (18:6) and a low carb high protein diet, started exercising which includes a mix of cardio and weight training. Result - Lost 24lbs :) Never ever in my wildest dreams did i ever think that it would be so easy to burn those extra pounds piled up over years of unhealthy eating and drinking. And all it took was sheer will power and a big 'NO' to all that stuff that i was consuming. Reading articles like yours and body transformation cases of actors like Robert De'Niro for Cape Fear kept me motivated. Thanks Again! Hoping to continue with this till i achieve my goal of those washboard abs! ;)


Thursday 25th of March 2021

Hi Chatanya,

It just shows what you can do when you put your mind to it and accept that anything is possible. Congratulations! You read about actors transforming their bodies all the time but they're often supported by physical trainers and dieticians. Plus guys like De Niro have incredible drive. So making such a transformation on your own is amazing. That's a lot of weight in a short time so your maintenance phase could be a tough one until your body gets used to it's new "normal". Continuing with your exercise regime and having fitness targets will help you stay motivated. (For anyone else reading through these comments, recommended weight loss is 1-2 lb a week when you want to shift weight permanently.) Interestingly De Niro got into shape on a high carb low fat diet of grains and mainly green veggies for the Cape Fear role but it was before the current trend for actors to take the low carb high protein diet route. Both routes have been shown to work. The medical profession tends to be split on the health benefits of a low carb diet. We need more solid research! I've been eating vegan for the last 9 months and for me it's carbs all the way - especially for fuelling low distance runs - but I can see the draw of low carb diets for a lot of people. It's a case of finding what works for you and sticking to it. Congrats again and I'm sure you'll get your goal of those washboard abs!

Lacey n

Monday 8th of March 2021

I have been doing monthly challenges for the last year and have had great success at changing my eating habits. Sugar is not one I have faced yet! But my new challenge starts tomorrow and I will be re-evaluating my meal plan and cutting sugar where I can. I know my results would be amazing because I have pcos and sugar as my vice! Last year I lost 60lbs...cutting sugars might get me to my next goal! Thank you for this article! Very inspiring!


Monday 8th of March 2021

Wow Lacey, that's a lot of weight you've managed to lose! Just keep things sensible and keep going for steady permanent weight loss with a realistic goal weight. I would aim to cut out anything with refined sugar rather than take quitting sugar too far. For example - fruit is full of sugar BUT fruit is good for you and packed full of nutrients. It's the junk you want to get rid of. I find it helps when you think of food as fuel. Why am I eating something - what good is it doing to my body? Be proud of what you've achieved so far.


Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Hi Alison, I quit processed artifical sugars for 2-3 months as I was worried about developing diabetes even though don't have it. My diet is average and healthy. I'm not vegan or vegetarian. I'm 38 year old, fine framed women and have always weighed 120 pounds without ever having issues with my weight. During 2-3 months of no processed sugar, the reverse happened and I gained 20 pounds. I am now 140 pounds for first time in my life! I don't do any heavy excercise but the doctor confirmed I had gained 10 pounds of muscle and some fat and water retention maybe? Still the doctor is not able to explain what occurred even with extensive blood tests where all my hormones are fine. I didn't notice it at first as most of my clothes still fitted. I went the doctors cause everything heavy, instead felt light to pick up. Any idea what happened here? My protein levels were way higher than the highest average but I have a ferritin deficiency which is being addressed. Thank you for your time. I was able to get rid of some of the water retention with a herb recently which brought me to 136 pounds.


Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Hi Gabriella, that's a really curious situation and you're right to take it up with your doctor. I suspect that quitting processed sugars for 2-3 months and what you're experiencing with your body are more of a coincidence than a root cause. If it was me, I'd want to know what was causing the high protein levels and why someone on a healthy diet had a ferritin deficiency. Body builders tend to avoid added sugar as it's seen as detrimental to building muscle mass, (although there's a recent trend to use a small amount of sugary food post workout to spike insulin levels for faster workout recovery). It's possible, if your diet had been really bad prior to quitting sugar, that the nutrients from healthy eating combined with just your typical daily movement would be enough to gain muscle. It just seems really unlikely if your diet was "average and healthy" before the weight gain. Possibly, because you quit sugar, you've unconsciously been eating excessive amounts of healthy food. (Although you have gained muscle you've also gained at least 6 pounds of fat). It's still easy to gain weight if you over-eat. But it doesn't explain the high protein levels. I'd also be a bit sceptical of a herb being the cause of losing 4lb in water retention. High protein levels can be a sign of dehydration and dehydration can lead to water retention - so make sure you're drinking enough water.