Sugar Detox Side Effects + How to Manage Them

With every good healthy change comes its own set of challenges. And unfortunately, doing a sugar detox out of love and appreciation for your body and health also ungraciously comes with its challenges–usually referred to as “sugar detox side effects”.

Surely you’ve read the myriad of unpleasant side effects that can happen once you decide to detox from sugar. (Here’s why you should quit sugar.) Your coworker, friend, or sister have had this thing or that happen when they detoxed. Which makes it plausible to have questions.

And here’s the truth of the matter:

Sugar can be a giant asshole. It makes you crave it, it makes you gain weight, it ages you incessantly, and it creates a cycle of binging-guilt-cravings. And also–it’s gonna give you hell if you decide to quit it.

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Here are the main side effects of breaking up with the food you hate to love and love to hate, and how to manage.


Headaches can be a two-fold thing when it comes to sugar detox side effects. On one hand, your body is trying to adjust to a new energy source–including your brain energy.

Secondly, a little-known secret is that carbohydrates hold water in the body like salt can. So reducing it can make you dehydrated.

Solution: Get the largest water bottle you can find, and guzzle all day long!

Mega Cravings

One of the nasty things sugar can do is make you feel like your going into a withdrawal situation physically. And when this happens, your body and brain are working together to find some homeostasis. Again– your body is adjusting to a new energy source, but there are also some reward-system responses from your brain at play here as well.

Solution: When mega cravings hit, a really good way to combat this is to start out with deep breathing to calm yourself. Then find a healthy snack that is sugar-free but has a higher fat (and preferably protein and fiber) content.

Crazy Mood Swings

As anyone beginning on a diet can tell you, the crazy mood swings will repel your loved ones (and coworkers) like nobody’s business. This is (again) from your body trying to readjust to a new energy source. This causes blood sugar swings, which can make you feel moody and emotional, unfortunately.

Solution: Make sure to have a balanced snack and eat every 2-3 hours during this detox period. But also take some breathing time every day to decompress. Remind yourself what a fabulous thing you’re doing for your body and mind, thank yourself, and breathe deeply until you’re ready to take on the rest of your day with some semblance of having your ish together. 🙂

Want the full gamut of a SUCCESSFUL SUGAR DETOX–including help for the rest of the side-effects you may experience?

Get the 1-week meal plan and video guide “The Sugar Detox Experience + 5 Steps to a Successful Sugar Detox” below! 👇

sugar detox side effects headache cravings

Laura Brigance, MS, CHC

Author: Laura Brigance, MS, CHC

Laura is a Nutrition Specialist and Certified Health Coach with a Master of Science in Nutrition. Her goal is to help working moms reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar, and regain natural energy with her CHEAT Codes to Wellness framework.

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