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Your body needs daily sugar, but most Americans consume way too much of it! Are you one of them?
Sometimes, we don’t realize how much certain foods affect our health, and sugar is one of those foods. There are some major health problems that come along with consuming too much sugar!
Too much sugar in your diet can lead to tooth decay, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, liver problems, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and even blindness!
Sugar is also very addictive! In fact, “Research shows that sugar can be even more addicting than cocaine,” says Cassie Bjork, R.D., L.D., founder of Healthy Simple Life. “Sugar activates the opiate receptors in our brain and affects the reward center, which leads to compulsive behavior, despite the negative consequences like weight gain, headaches, hormone imbalances, and more.”
“Studies suggest that every time we eat sweets we are reinforcing those neuropathways, causing the brain to become increasingly hardwired to crave sugar, building up a tolerance like any other drug,” she adds.
Do We Even Need Sugar?
The short answer is yes. Your body’s cells require energy to survive. The body’s preferred form of energy is glucose, which comes from sugar. Glucose moves from your blood into your cells for storage and energy.
But, what happens when you stop consuming sugar?
Even though it takes so good, sugar has very little health benefits. Our bodies don’t need added sugars to function properly. In fact, added sugars contribute additional calories and zero nutrients to food. Over the past few decades, added sugars have been the cause of obesity!
According to Dr. Ian K. Smith, MD, the author of Blast the Sugar Out, he says “The truth is if you’re able to gradually reduce your sugar intake and replace it with something else—like more fiber and more protein—you can stay off of it [indefinitely].”
However, you’re never going to be able to completely rid your body of sugar and glucose because it comes naturally from other places. For instance, in most proteins, approximately 50–80 g of glucose can be derived from 100 g of ingested protein.
Are you second-guessing your sugar consumption yet?
If you’re looking to cut back on the amount of sugar you consume or even cut it out of your diet completely, then you’re going to want to know exactly what happens to your body when you reduce your sugar intake.
We’re going to walk you through the steps...
Week 1 - Withdrawals
So, you took the leap and decided to cut out the sugar. Now, what?
Brace yourself. After the first 3 to 5 days of not consuming sugar (or even sooner), you can have symptoms similar to withdrawals.
People initially get headaches, not unlike the headaches you’d get from caffeine withdrawal. You could also have decreased energy levels and mental sharpness, as well as gastrointestinal problems.
For some people reducing sugar levels could cause depression, anxiety, changes in sleep patterns, cognitive issues, and the start of cravings.
Reducing your sugar intake is no joke and it’s just the first week! If you’re struggling on the first few days—which may just be the hardest— then we suggest eating some fruit to alleviate your symptoms.
Week 2 - Cravings
By week 2, your energy will improve and your brain fog may have lifted. You will feel more alive and less irritable, but you may have some intense cravings. There are a few things you can do to fight cravings, you can drink water, sleep more, and eat certain foods. Here are 19 foods that can fight sugar cravings.
Week 3 - Turning Point
By week 3, your body will start reaping the benefits of cutting sugar out of your diet. First off, your taste buds are hyper-sensitive. Your cravings are gone, inflammation in your body has decreased, your energy levels are up, your ability to focus is improving, and you’re losing weight.
Week 4 - Mentality
By week 4, you’re having less sugar than any of the previous weeks. So you’re going to need to buckle down and be mentally strong to keep the sugar away.
Week 5 - Maintain
By week 5, you realize you don’t need sugar anymore. You can still have sugar, but only occasionally, and definitely not in your daily diet. At this point, you should have no problem making the healthy choices.
Now that you know how much sugar affects your body, you’ll be prepared to cut the sugar from your diet and handle the symptoms.If you’re still in the mood for something sweet, sample our tasty Peak Muscle Performance flavors: Berry Blast, Raspberry Lemonade, Green Apple, Strawberry Banana, Orange Cream, and Blue Raspberry.