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Will cutting sugary foods abruptly cause headaches or other physical reactions?


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I want to cut out the sugar in my diet and only eat fresh fruits. If I do this suddenly will this give me headaches or some kind of withdrawl symptoms? I'm just not sure what to expect if anything.

If anyone has done this could you please let me know how it felt and how long it took before the cravings stopped? Thanks in advance.

Edit: to say I do realize there is so much sugar already in even seemingly better for you foods such as fiber cereals and such.

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It can - when I've gone from eating a lot of sugar/junk to zero sugar in the past, I've had some headaches. They passed after about 2 days.

At other times, when I was generally eating pretty well and cut down on my sugar intake, I did not get any headaches.

I recently started my diet and drastically cut (although not completely cut) refined sugar from my diet.  No headaches or anything.

It depends on how much sugar you typically eat.  If you're getting 200+g a day, for example, dropping to sub 50g a day might be noticeable.  If you don't eat all that much sugar now, you probably won't experience any headaches.

What I'd suggest if you're going to do this is that you don't cut your calories at the same time.  Keep your total energy intake at the same level by replacing the calories from sugar with calories from other foods.  If you do that and make sure you eat/snack regularly you should be able to keep your blood-sugars stable and therefore feel in good shape.... not hungry, not craving.

The other suggestion is when you lose sugar to also cut right back on other refined starches and simple carbohydrates such as foods made with white flour.  Anything with more than 20g sugar per 100g is a 'high sugar food' - something to look out for on packaged goods.   Replace them with wholegrains, starchy vegetables, beans/lentils, wholemeal products and foods with less than 10g sugar per 100g.   Again, this should help avoid the blood-sugar 'dips' that give people problems.

It takes about two or three weeks to get used to your low-sugar diet.  You should start noticing that food tastes different in about a week, however.... ordinary things like carrots will taste much sweeter, for example.

After a 10 pound weight gain post wedding (May of this year) I started looking at my diet and realized it was almost entirely carbs - I was also over-indulging in sweets and homemade baked good.

Last week I decided to eliminate sugar, fruit, flour, and other starchy carbs. I've been eating protein and veggies with every meal and eating every two-three hours. The first few days were REALLY tough, I had headaches and MAJOR carb cravings - I had to distract myself to keep from diving head first into a big bowl of pasta. It's been a week now, I still get cravings but they are not nearly as bad. Other things I've noticed is that my skin looks much better and my stomach is less bloated and I no longer have the rumbly tummy after eating.

I'm going to keep restricting carbs for a few more days or until I feel I have control over the cravings, then I'm going to slowly re-introduce whole grains and fruit and eat as clean as possible (basically the diet I maintained before getting married).

While its been difficult, I think it has been a great way to get back to my healthy eating habits as well as introduce healthy balanced meals to my husband who is content eating a big bowl of pasta (no veggies or protein) for dinner every night. (my husband by the way...has not gained an ounce since the wedding...GRRR)

 

I gave up "sweets" this past Lent.  For me this meant anything that wasn't naturally sweetened.  I allowed myself to have fruit but not artificial sweetener. I wanted to see if I could get used to living without refined sugars (which don't do me any good) and be satisfied with only sugars found naturally in foods.

The first two days were really hard.  I didn't have withdrawl symptoms - I just really craved something sweet.  I stuck to it and, by the fourth day, I was amazed to find I wasn't craving sugar anymore. 

To date I've managed to keep this up fairly easily.  I allow myself occasional treats but I don't get the strong "sugar cravings" I used to have. Now sweets have become an optional thing for me.

Thanks everyone. I think because i've been eating so many carbs lately and sweets I will take your advice and replace with all natural fruits and not lower the calories (keep at what CC says to eat) but replace with fruits or natural sugar sources, not white sugar though.

I think if I eat a lot of fruit for the first few days it will help with the sugar highs and low dips. I have noticed that sometimes proteins and fats help me feel better in place of sugary things.

Don't eat too much fruit.....  even though it's natural sugar and fruit has a good fibre content you can still OD on fruit sugar and it'll trigger cravings just the same as the white granulated stuff in the sugar bowl.   You're better off subbing a savoury food for sweet food in general....  so the protein and fats idea might have legs....  gets your taste-buds less used to sweet flavours and this speeds the process up considerably.

Should have added... no artificial sweetners for the same reason.  Sweet is sweet is sweet.... tastebuds again.

The worst you will probably experience from an abrupt change like that is massive cravings.  You may have to adjust your diet over time rather than making a sudden change. 

If sugar has been a big part of your diet until now, you might consider making small changes at first. Small changes make big differences in the long run! 

Also, I find I do better when I think of changes in a positive way.  So, rather than say "I am going to cut out sugar from my diet" I would say "I am going to add more whole grains (or vegetables, or protein, or fruits, whatever my diet is lacking)".  For me, that takes the focus off the bad old habit, and puts it on the new good habit.

dkenworthy,

Thats a great way of looking at things. Thanks :)

#11  
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Yes, I recently read in a book that cutting sugar from our daily coffee will help lose weight.  I began taking my coffee without any sugar on a Monday.  That evening I had a terrible headache. The next day I did it again and it gave me a headache that's when I began to think, could it be the fact that i cut sugar? So, I am cutting one pack this week and moving next week cutting it to zero..those headaches are annoyingCry

I've had more problems with caffeine than sugar. In the past, I've cut out soda and caffeine entirely; most of the drinks I cut out had a lot of sugar, too. I had headaches for about two weeks. I started drinking soda again, but diet. It's been a week since I've cut out MOST sugars from anything other than fruits and other carbs (I even eat sugar-free candy), and have had no headaches yet. None out of the ordinary, anyways.

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