Healthy crazes come and go but over the years, one of the messages that have remained consistent is that an excess of sugar can be detrimental to your health.
Personal trainer, Ryan Naidoo, describes sugar as ‘the worst thing you can put into your body.’
“Not only does it contribute to weight gain but it affects overall health and has a particularly negative effect on black and Indian people,” Ryan explains.
Sugar and salt are two ingredients that both race groups consume in excess. Triggering many health issues such as diabetes, heart problems, and strokes.
Many people think about omitting sugar from their diet as a detox but it should be considered a lifestyle change. Thinking about cutting sugar as a detox makes the goal a short-term one with limited results and overall health benefits.
According to Ryan, this is what happens to your body when you cut sugar cold turkey:
1. Withdrawals symptoms
Sugar addiction is as real as drug addiction and an excess of sugar in your body increases your dopamine levels in much the same way as a drug does. Quitting sugar cold turkey will see your body reacting to the change in a ‘defensive’ way.
Your craving for sugar won’t stop and you will need to train your mind to say no.
The first week after you stop sugar will be the hardest. You will feel lethargic, dizzy, and even weak. It’s common with most addictive substances but this will pass. You should eat small, light meals throughout the day to boost your energy and stay hydrated to keep you alert.
3. Your body responds
It will take a few days to get used to but your body will adjust to the cut in sugar and will respond to the change. A month after cutting sugar, your cravings would have minimized drastically. You will notice an improvement in your mood swings and you will be more focused and energized.
4. You’ll improve your breath and smile
Sugar is not good for your pearly whites and is the number one cause of gum illness and cavities. Fizzy, sugary drinks are even worse for your smile, and because the bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugar, you can say goodbye to bad breath too.
5. You can have better sex
Men with diabetes, especially Type II, struggle to have an erection. The situation is worse for men who are overweight with the condition because it lowers testosterone levels affecting not just arousal but a desire to have sex.
Other benefits of cutting sugar from your diet include losing weight, improving your heart health, and lowering your risk for stroke.
Also read: To carbo-load or not to for your body type