Saying sayonara to sugar is no piece of cake—literally and figuratively. Those cravings don’t go away overnight, and if you’re used to a sweet treat to get you through that 4 p.m. slump at work, you’ll need a replacement on hand. (Matcha anyone?) You know cutting ties is good for you, but when will those health benefits start kicking in? According to a new article in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, it’s as soon as nine days.
“That single change in diet improves metabolic results in less than two weeks.”
Researchers looked at various studies published on nixing sugar and found that it takes less than two weeks of cutting back on sugar—especially high-fructose corn syrup—for your metabolism to get a boost.
“Fructose provides no nutritional value and isn’t metabolized in the brain,” says osteopathic pediatrician Tyree Winters, DO, one of the researchers who analyzed the studies. “Your body converts it to fat, but doesn’t recognize that you’ve eaten, so the hunger doesn’t go away.”
Hence, the almost immediate effect on your metabolism when you stop eating it. “That single change in diet improves metabolic results in less than two weeks,” he says.
Once you start seeing and feeling an improvement, it’s a big incentive to keep it up, so really it’s all about getting through that first week and a half. (And hey, go ahead and reward yourself with a fat bomb when you get there.)
Speaking of sugar, here’s how to know if you’re addicted without even realizing it. And Zac Efron shares his secret for curbing cravings—yep, even he has a sweet tooth.