What happens when you cut out sugar?

Sugar is hard to escape. The excessive amount of sweet in our diet not only leads to weight gain, but also disrupts the normal functioning of metabolism, increases the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and other serious diseases. Giving up sugar is the first step to a healthy lifestyle and nutrition.

According to a report by the University North Carolina, the average person consumes about 300 calories from added sugars a day, and 20-percent of Americans exceed 700-calories from added sugar on a daily basis! The main reason for the desire to eat sweets is the lack of carbohydrates in the diet, the wrong diet, a strict diet, poor nutrition, and the desire to lose weight. It could be a reason for your body constantly require carbohydrates in the form of baked goods, cakes and sweets. Often we want to grab some sweet staff simply because of a bad habit to snack constantly. As a result, blood sugar will rise, insulin will lower it. Such jumps cause endless hunger and the urge to eat something sweet. This chain leads to obesity and diabetes.

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Women want sweet on certain days of the menstrual cycle. This happens due to the reduction of the hormone estrogen, which then decreases the production of the hormone serotonin, instead the body requests sweet. With depression, lack of love and attention, we’re drawn to sweet things. This is how the body protects against bad mood and produces serotonin - the hormone of happiness and pleasure. However, in a short period of time after eating a piece of chocolate, hunger overtakes us.  It turns out a vicious circle. The more we forbid ourselves from eating sweets, the more difficult it is for us to stop wanting them.

We consider chocolate or other sweets as a reward. Indeed, in childhood, we regularly heard: "until you finish the soup, you won't get sweets."  And also that "sweets are only for those who are well-behaved."  Oddly enough, such an attitude makes itself felt in adulthood.

Why you should cut out sugar?

Sugar affects the body like a drug. It has been proved that eating sweets is very similar to taking cocaine. Of course, a complete rejection of sugar is impossible. This is because sugar is not only in things like cakes, cookies and soda — it’s also in salad dressings, pasta sauces, and even a seemingly healthy snack like yogurt. The recommended daily intake of sugar is 25 grams, which is about five teaspoons.  However, we consume sugar in much larger amounts every single day.

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So why should we say “good bye, sugar”?

1. Mood stabilizes.              

Many people strongly believe that sugar makes you feel happier .  However, it is not true. Studies have shown that women who ate foods with a high glycemic index were more prone to depression than the second group of participants who ate less of such foods. The fact is that sugar in large quantities leads to chronic inflammation in the body.  At the next stage, this affects the functioning of the brain, provoking depression.  So, for sure, after eating a piece of chocolate, we can feel a surge of energy, but this state will quickly change to the opposite.

2. Reduced incidence of colds.               

As discussed above, high concentration of sugar (and gluten) leads to chronic inflammation.  Any inflammation makes the body weaker, which means that the risks of getting a cold increase. This risk decreases as sugar levels decrease.  In addition, according to studies, the no sugar diet reduces the manifestations of diseases such as allergies and asthma.

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3. Reduce excess weight.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average person consumes about 22 teaspoons of added sugar daily. Thus, if you rid your diet of at least added sugar, it is possible to get rid of 350 extra calories per day. Does it make sense for you?

4.  By eliminating sweets, you will begin to consume vegetables and herbs in large quantities. And thanks to a sufficient amount of nutrients, you will feel a surge of strength.

5. Healthy teeth and fresh breath.

Sweets are bad for your teeth. It destroys tooth enamel.  In addition, regular eating of lollipops leads to mechanical damage to the teeth.  The bacteria that cause bad breath feed on sugar.

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6. The skin will become clearer.               

In two weeks of the sugar detox, you will find that your skin is smoother and acne has been greatly reduced. By the way, sugar is a source of inflammation not only on the skin of the face, but also on other parts of the body. According to research by American scientists, the rejection of sugary carbonated drinks reduces the appearance of acne by 87%.

Giving up sugar is stressful for the body. Therefore, in the first weeks of such a diet, you may experience headaches or other discomfort. This happens when you refuse products that have been in use for a long time and have already become addictive. After a couple of weeks, "side effects" will pass or be noticeably reduced. From the third week, you, and even those around you, will notice significant positive changes from the sugar detox.

Cover photo by Jon Ly on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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