If you’re struggling to ween yourself off those afternoon sugary snacks for good, you’re not alone. The average American consumes 17 teaspoons of sugar a day (the recommended amount is six teaspoons, by the way), so it’s no cakewalk to reduce your sugar intake by more than half.
Of course, we’ve all heard of the many benefits of cutting down on sugar. But how long must we go through sugar withdrawal symptoms until we see the health benefits of swapping chocolate for a turmeric latte? The Journal of the America Osteopathic Association believes the lucky number is nine days. After analyzing different studies on quitting sugar, researchers found that your metabolism will get a boost once you cut back on the sweet stuff (particularly high-fructose corn syrup) for less than two weeks.
“Fructose provides no nutritional value and isn’t metabolized in the brain,” says researchers Tyree Winters, DO. “Your body converts it to fat but doesn’t recognize that you’ve eaten, so the hunger doesn’t go away.”
When you stop eating sugar, your metabolism will improve almost immediately. “That single change in diet improves metabolic results in less than two weeks,” Winter says.
Think you can handle nine days without your normal sugar hit? Once you do, Winter and his researchers says you’ll start feeling great on the inside and out — and you’ll be on the fast track to keeping up with this new healthy lifestyle with room for an occasional chocolate bar every now and then.
This article was originally written by Jacqui King. For more, check out our sister site, Now to Love.