A dietitian has revealed what happens to your body 20 minutes, one hour, one day, one week, one month and one year after ditching sugar.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Queensland-based Leanne Ward revealed that while you might not think you have a high sugar diet, chances are you’re eating more than you think.
Sugar is in everything – from packaged sauces to fruit juice, bread and even salad dressing, she said.
But what happens if you quit sugar? Will you ever get over the cravings?
Leanne also shared her top tips for clearing your diet from sugar for good.
Speaking to FEMAIL, dietitian Leanne Ward (pictured) revealed what happens to your body 20 minutes, one hour, one day, one week, one month and one year after ditching sugar
According to Leanne (pictured), 20 minutes after ditching sugar, you’re likely to feel not that great – you will lightly have strong cravings and an element of brain fog that is hard to get over
What happens 20 minutes after quitting sugar?
What is the timeline for giving up sugar?
* 20 minutes later: Raging cravings.
* One hour later: Cravings ongoing and perhaps a headache.
* One day later: Slight cravings and less of a 3pm slump at work.
* One week later: Cravings every now and then, better sleep, looser jeans and clearer skin.
* One month later: Cravings completely disappeared, less sluggishness, weight loss and better concentration.
* One year later: Zero cravings, clear skin, weight loss, great sleep, great overall health and more energy.
According to Leanne, 20 minutes after ditching sugar, you’re likely to feel not that great.
This is because sugar causes an intense energy high, followed by cravings, mood swings and the all-too-familiar ‘crash and burn’ at the end.
‘If you’ve had a heavy sugar snack 20 minutes before going cold turkey, chances are your body is going to crave more sugar and the cravings will be in force within 20 minutes,’ Leanne told Daily Mail Australia.
But if you’ve had something a bit more nutrient-dense – comprising lean protein, complex carbs and a small serving of healthy fats – then you’re likely to feel more ‘full and satisfied for a few hours afterwards’.
What about one hour?
For the Queensland-based dietitian, depending on how nutritious your last meal was, you should still be feeling full and satisfied an hour later.
‘If your last meal was a sugary one, the cravings might be coming on strong,’ she said.
‘As sugar is quickly digested and absorbed by the body, chances are your body is screaming out for more.’
While the benefits will not be in place yet, Leanne recommends you nibble on some protein, fibre or healthy fats if you feel the need to snack.
Good examples include celery with peanut butter, a handful of roasted nuts or some vegetable sticks with hummus or cottage cheese.
The good news is that the day after you have first quit sugar, the cravings should start to subside – however, you won’t see many benefits; perhaps just less of a 3pm slump
What happens to your body after one day of quitting?
The good news is that the day after you have first quit sugar, the cravings should start to subside.
‘If you’re fuelling your body with plenty of wholefoods and plats, complex carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats, your cravings should be manageable,’ Leanne said.
But there is also bad news, as a lot of the great effects that come with quitting sugar won’t be apparent yet.
The best you can hope for is less of a 3pm slump and perhaps increased concentration at work.
Leanne (pictured) said a week after ditching sugar, you’re not out of the woods – as your cravings will still be apparent – push past them with herbal teas, protein and healthy fats
What about one week later?
While you might think that a week after ditching sugar, you’d be through the woods, unfortunately, this is not always the case.
‘Your cravings could be in full swing after 5-7 days without the sweet stuff,’ Leanne said.
But, she added, it’s important to ‘try and resist them as when you repeatedly eat sugar, research has shown that it can lead to changes in dopamine receptors as your brain may become more tolerant to sugar, and in time it needs more and more to achieve the same “sugar high”.’
If you were someone who only ate a moderate amount of sugar, by the time a week has elapsed, you might be starting to feel pretty good.
Your skin should be clearer, you should be sleeping better and your jeans may even feel a little less tight.
The benefits of giving up sugar are myriad, from weight loss to less sluggishness and increased energy at work (stock image)
What happens after one month?
A month is around the point where your cravings should have died down and where the benefits of a sugar-free life really kick in.
‘Your cravings should be gone,’ Leanne said.
‘But don’t be surprised if they are still a little bit triggered by other things such as situations (the movies), seeing pictures on TV (an ad for ice cream), seeing someone unwrap a chocolate wrapper or seeing lollies at the checkout.’
By now, you should have found a way to beat your cravings – which often stem from boredom.
Whether it’s a hot shower, a walk or some deep breathing, Leanne said that once you deal with your ‘non-hungry eating’, you should be able to move past your cravings for good.
Try to load up on protein and leafy greens during this period.
What happens after one year?
By the time a full year has elapsed, Leanne said you should be reaping the full benefits and your health should have improved immeasurably.
You should weigh less, you shouldn’t experience any cravings, you should get less brain fog, have clear skin and be all-round in a better mood.
‘By this time, you should be living your healthiest life,’ Leanne said.
It’s worth noting that at this point there is room for a little bit of sugar in moderation, if you want it.
‘But try to slow down and enjoy only a small amount mindfully for long-term health,’ Leanne said.
By the time a full year has elapsed, Leanne said you should be reaping the full benefits and your health should have improved immeasurably (pictured: a typical day on her plate)
What are Leanne’s top tips for cutting out sugar?
For those who want to try and ditch sugar, Leanne said the most important thing to do is be mindful.
‘When you are eating, focus on being mindful, slow down, sit in a quiet area and concentrate on what you’re consuming,’ Leanne said.
‘Think about eating foods that will help to stabilise your glucose levels – such as fruit paired with a healthy fat such as nuts or cheese – as these will keep you feeling satisfied for longer.’
Leanne also said fruit is a great idea for those giving up sugar, as it will give you a sweet hit without the processed elements.
However, she said everything in moderation is best – as you shouldn’t eat too much fruit.
You should, however, limit fruit juice – as Leanne said ‘eating your food rather than drinking it’ is always a good idea.
If you must have a juice, then make sure it is primarily vegetables – and follow the 3:1 rule – three parts vegetables to one part fruit.