Quitting Sugar Side Effects

Fresh fruitNo matter what people might say, quitting sugar is just like getting over any other addiction. It is an addiction, and your body is going to have problems with you giving up something it really enjoys. When you are quitting sugar, side effects are par for the course. For the most part, you won’t notice the lack of sugar as much as you would notice the absence of other chemicals, such as nicotine or caffeine.

For the first day or two after quitting sugar, side effects will be nonexistent. Unless you are eating sugar constantly throughout the day, it will take a little bit of time for your body to notice it doesn’t have its regular fix. I was eating sugar regularly, because I like to have it in my coffee. Even still, the first day was not bad at all.

The second day after quitting sugar, side effects I noticed were:

  • headache
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • shakiness
  • dizziness
  • light headed
  • feeling hungry all of the time

The good news is these side effects were gone after just a couple of days, and they were relatively minor. I also quit having coffee at the same time because I couldn’t imagine it without sugar, so the effects were magnified for me.


Side effects are usually bad things, so when people talk about quitting sugar, side effects that are good are not usually included. There were a lot of positive benefits to quitting sugar that I noticed right away:

  • more energy
  • better digestion
  • the optimism that goes with beating an addiction
  • hopefulness
  • feeling cheerful, even while feeling irritable

A few weeks later, I no longer have any cravings, and the most remarkable thing has happened: I am noticing the subtle flavors in meals that I don’t remember tasting in a long time! Without sugar, my sense of taste has been improved to the point that I am enjoying the sugars in fresh fruits and reveling in the variety of flavors found in natural foods. It really is amazing. They say smoking reduces your sensitivity to flavors, but I think sugar is at least as bad, if not worse. I don’t remember enjoying foods this much after quitting smoking.

So for me, at least, quitting sugar side effects were completely manageable and quickly gone. If you are on the fence, give it a try for a week and see how your body responds. Chances are, it won’t be nearly as bad as you imagine it to be.

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