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What To Expect When You Quit Sugar For A Month

In a world facing a type 2 diabetes crisis, 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 isn’t just a high risk factor for diabetes, it also has zero nutritional benefits and makes you crave food. Most people lose weight when they decide to quit sugar.

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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! We were getting through a packet of sugar a week.

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!)

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 increasing 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. He found it tough but he lost half a stone in a month. He was so chuffed!

That was just from cutting out obvious sources of sugar – sugar in his tea and sugary treats. My guy’s a climber and the weight loss made a difference to how hard he could climb.

No Sugar For A Month – Long Term Effects

This was a few years ago and the weight has stayed off. 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.

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 minimise 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 sugar is addictive and when you quit 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 you’re ability to extract nutrients from food.

You’ll Feel Lighter

A big plus of quitting sugar is reduced bloating. You’ll also be consuming less 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 less bills and time in the dentist 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 cooking healthy food at home. Better for you and your family.

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 travelling. 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.

It’s Your Best Defense Against Diabetes

Sugar is the number one factor 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: 6 Tips To Help You Quit Sugar (Right Now) will help.


These are just some of the many benefits you’ll enjoy when you quit sugar. I find the challenges are always outweighed by the huge pluses in how I feel. Love to hear your comments!

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.

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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! ;)

Alison

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!

Alison

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.

Gabriella

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.

Alison

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.

Wilhelmina

Sunday 14th of February 2021

I stop eating sweets at the end of December well a day after Christmas I well lighter but I don't think I loss any weight though

Alison

Sunday 14th of February 2021

Hi Wilhelmina. Weight loss comes down to cutting calories. Quitting sweets is a terrific first step but if you're replacing those calories with other foods you won't lose weight. Try keeping a food diary for a week - with no cheating! Write down everything you eat and take a note of your reason for eating - were you hungry, upset about something or just bored. It may help you face up to why you're eating too much. You can then do something about it. If you're eating through boredom - find ways to distract yourself. I'm assuming you need to lose weight. If you don't - quitting sugar will just make you feel better and it's certainly better for your body.

Cassie

Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Hey! I’ve reduced added sugar from my diet for 3 weeks (almost a month) now. The only added sugar I get is from the whole wheat bread I buy from the stores and the rest are natural sugars from fruits and sweet potatoes. I used to eat a lot of chocolates, chips and other processed food but decided to go on a diet on the 2nd week of January and dropped 10 pounds from then. I was feeling fine for the first 3 weeks but unintentionally lessened my fruit intake and cut out sweet potato from my diet. It got me feeling a bit weak and lethargic. Do you think that this could be a sign of sugar withdrawal? and did you encounter this when you cut out your added sugar?

Alison

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Personally I only felt weak and lethargic for the first few days but I don't have a very sweet tooth. My guy does and has never completely cut out sugar. He found just cutting out the main culprits such as sugar in his tea was enough for him to drop at least half a stone. He does exercise a lot and still claims he needs the occasional sugar fix although it could well be psychological. The goal is to eat a reasonably healthy diet and be a normal weight for your height and it's best to get there with steady weight loss. Shedding 10 pounds in 3 weeks sounds rapid (it's hard to know for sure without knowing your current weight, BMI and target weight), but if it's a big percentage of your body weigh that will explain feeling weak and lethargic. A consistent 1-2 pounds weight loss per week is the best target to aim for. If you're losing weight too fast increase the healthy food you eat.