What happens to your body if you quit sugar for 30 days? Here is what you can expect.
Sugar is a type of carbohydrate that is naturally present in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. It is also commonly added to many processed foods and drinks to enhance their taste, texture, and shelf life.
The most common types of sugar include glucose and fructose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for the body’s cells and is found in many types of carbohydrates, including starchy foods like bread and pasta. Fructose is a type of sugar found naturally in fruits, honey, and some vegetables.
As you will see below from Dr. Sten Ekberg, we will also consider polysaccharide as sugar, or more commonly referred to as starch, the most abundant sugar found in carbs such as bread, potatoes and corn.
While sugar can provide energy to the body, consuming too much sugar can have negative health effects, including weight gain, tooth decay, and an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
So who decided to see what happens to your body if you quit sugar for 30 days? That would be, as we mentioned above, Dr. Sten Ekberg. He is a holistic natural health doctor from Sweden, an Olympic decathlete, specialised in education in nutrition, physiology and functional medicine. He has a YouTube channel with over 2.8 million subscribers where he uploads videos talking all about health and wellbeing.
Here is what he had to say on the matter.
What Happens To Your Body If You Quit Sugar For 30 Days
Sten Ekberg divides what happens to your body if you quit sugar for 30 days into three categories with special emphasis on what happens to the brain:
- Short term
The very first thing that happens is you get some cravings. “It might get a little worse before it gets better,” he says, stating that it might take 3 days to adapt where you will be feeling strong cravings.
Sugar and carbs are an addiction, Ekberg says, since they feed into a reward pathway in the brain that has to do with dopamine. Ekberg explains further why it is difficult to break out of the routine of eating sugar regularly and why some people are more addicted to it and some are less.
- Less cravings
If you make it through the first few days, it will get better and easier. There will be less cravings and your blood sugar will stabilise.
- Less hunger
You will feel less hunger partially because of the stable blood sugar, but also because of lower insulin levels. “With less insulin, now you can start accessing that fat, it allows fat burning and access to that body fat.”
This is when you start seeing real weight loss.
- Improvements in the brain
Your mood will get better and you have a lower tendency for depression and anxiety. There is also improved mental clarity and focus, you get more things done.
- More energised
With the stability of blood sugar, with insulin dropping and fat-burning enzymes increasing, you will feel more body energy.
- Taste changes
Your brain beings being rewired and you notice your taste buds changing. You get a whole new appreciation for real food. “You’ll find flavours that you never noticed before because they were all dulled by fast food and sugar.”
And if there is a birthday or a big celebration with sweets that you feel like you have to eat and you do, what can happen? You likely will think it is too sweet and won’t even like it any longer.
If you reach 30 days, Dr. Sten Ekberg begs you not to stop. If will notice and can quantify scientifically how much healthier you have become.
- Blood work
Blood glucose drops, AC1 has dropped (this is your 3-month average glucose), and triglycerides are lower. This last one is the amount of fat in your blood.
Your cholesterol will improve, with HDL higher and the ratio between your total cholesterol and your HDL will probably have dropped. “That’s one of the most important indicators for heart disease risk.”
You will also have lower inflammation and your blood pressure has come down.
- Lower disease risk
You will start burning through liver fat, type 2 diabetes (you can even reverse it quickly). Reduce kidney failure, blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and dementia.
According to Ekberg, you will decrease your chances of having cancer and will boost your immune function.
Click on the video below for a deeper explanation by the doctor himself.
Why Does Sugar Lead to Weight Gain?
Consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain for several reasons:
High in calories: Sugar is a calorie-dense food, which means that it contains a lot of calories relative to its volume. Consuming large amounts of sugary foods and drinks can quickly add up in terms of calories and lead to weight gain.
Affects appetite: Consuming sugary foods and drinks can affect our appetite by not providing the feeling of fullness and satiety that we get from other types of foods, such as protein and fibre-rich foods. This can lead to overconsumption of calories and eventual weight gain.
Causes spikes in blood sugar: Consuming large amounts of sugar can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to increased insulin secretion by the pancreas. Over time, the body can become less responsive to insulin, leading to insulin resistance, a condition that has been linked to obesity.
Affects metabolism: Consuming large amounts of sugar can also affect our metabolism by increasing the storage of fat in the body, particularly in the abdominal area. This can lead to increased body fat and weight gain.
What is the Glycemic Index for Foods?
The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that measures how quickly and how much a particular food raises blood sugar levels. It ranks carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher numbers indicating that the food will cause a more rapid rise in blood sugar levels.
Foods with a high glycemic index are quickly broken down and absorbed by the body, leading to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This can be problematic for people with conditions such as diabetes, who may struggle to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Foods with a low glycemic index, on the other hand, are digested and absorbed more slowly, causing a slower and more sustained increase in blood sugar levels. This can be beneficial for people who need to regulate their blood sugar levels, as it helps to prevent spikes and crashes.
Some examples of foods with a high glycemic index include white bread, potatoes, white rice, sugary drinks, and candy. Foods with a low glycemic index include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes.
It’s important to note that the glycemic index is just one factor to consider when making dietary choices. Other factors, such as nutrient content and overall calorie intake, should also be considered when making food choices.