What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Sugar?

It's no secret that sugar is bad for you, but the potential damage it can do to the body is more than more people comprehend. Instead of looking at this issue from a tsk-tsk, this-is-why-you-shouldn't-eat-sugar perspective, let's look at it from the vantage point of the positive effects of a sugar-free life. When one gives up the sweet stuff, the body immediately starts rejoicing, kicking in various healing processes, proving beneficial in both the short and long term.

Giving up anything that makes us feel good is always challenging at first. However, sugar is trickier because it is marketed under many different names, so a certain amount of vigilance is necessary. Other names for sugar include sucrose, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, barley malt, and high-fructose corn syrup (and this is just scraping the surface). To get the full, no-sugar diet effects, read food labels carefully and learn to recognize all the sneaky ways sugars are inserted into what we eat.

But first, it's important to examine what happens to the body when a person removes sugar from his or her diet, starting with the more immediate results and progressing to possible benefits that come further down the line.

  • You May Initially Feel Depressed

    The initial withdrawals will by no means feel like a benefit. It would be remiss not to caution that feelings of depression or irritability when first giving up sugar is common. This happens because the body is used to receiving a certain amount of sugar to burn for fuel and energy. When that mainline supply is cut off, it knows it has to conserve the little sugar it's getting (from other sources like fruits and carbs) to ensure all the essential body processes can keep working. It's a matter of prioritization.

    As a result, the brain doesn't get all the fuel it needs right away, and depression and lethargy are the unfortunate side effects. The good news? It's only temporary.

  • You Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes

    It's common knowledge that a diet high in sugar dramatically increases the odds of developing diabetes. But what you may not realize is these odds drop almost immediately when you quit sugar. The pancreas doesn't have to produce as much insulin to handle all the sugars coming in, and the liver will begin to process the toxins it stored up instead of focusing on processing sugar.

  • You Won't Catch As Many Colds

    Quitting sugar boosts your immune function. Sugar appears to have a direct impact on the white blood cells' ability to kill harmful bacteria. One study found this ability was reduced by as much as 50% for up to five hours after consuming sugar.

    It stands to reason that removing sugar from your diet helps white blood cells do their job more efficiently, strengthening the immune system and protecting the body from colds and other illnesses.

  • You Might Notice Fewer Wrinkles

    Within 72 to 96 hours of calling it quits on sugar, the first visible advantages of your sacrifice may present themselves in a surprising place: your skin. Sugar dehydrates the skin, so with sugar removed from the equation, the skin immediately starts to rehydrate and replenish.

    The color of your complexion will become healthier and heartier, oily skin will begin to clear up, dry skin will improve, and you may even notice fewer wrinkles.

  • Energy Levels Will Increase And Remain More Consistent

    As the body starts to balance out its reduced intake of sugar, your energy levels will likely go up and remain more consistent. In other words, fewer sugar crashes and more sustained energy throughout the day. Even the small, hidden amounts of sugar added to the foods we eat are digested like any other kind of sugar (very quickly). But once it's metabolized,  the all-too-familiar sugar crash comes on. Throughout any given day of sugar consumption, these ups and downs are normal.

    With a healthy, sugar-free diet, a person gets energy from high protein and healthy fat sources that the body can sustain longer than energy from sugar.

  • Intercourse Might Get Better (!)

    The connection between sugar and quality of copulation may seem like a leap, but it's not. Sugar has a direct impact on sexual function. Its effect on insulin levels tampers with reproductive hormones in both men and women. Over time, this can affect everything from libido to mood and physical functioning.

    The issue is all about balanced insulin levels. Eating sugar upsets that delicate balance, potentially resulting in less-satisfying intimate lives.