8

votes

Avoiding the Sugar Binge

Answered on January 12, 2015
Created February 12, 2010 at 11:55 PM

I am a long time reader of most of the popular paleo blogs. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to eat. I typically stick to the The 10 Commandments (yes, I know there's 12, but in light of Kurt continually referring to GCBC as the Bible, it seems appropriate). However I frequently fall victim to 'The Sugar Binge': A pint of ice cream. A bag of York Peppermint Patties. A sleeve of Thin Mints. What are some good strategies to curb this behavior?

220994a1bcff1923ef0388192bdba8d4

on October 28, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Ugh, me too. Every few weeks this happens to me, and I feel so guilty about it. It takes me days to recuperate.

03331e628b0c3588b58723ffbde07cfd

(50)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:05 PM

i have had this for ages, but never really realised it was the cause until reading this. Thanks nicole

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 06, 2010
at 01:06 PM

wow, nicole, awesome post! Creamy, high-protein yogurt and cottage cheese only make me want more more more creamy, sugary things, too! I avoid them pretty well now, but i never knew anyone else had this. Damn. Cool.

245c53790116339bcc79fb789f6f9c9d

(744)

on March 05, 2010
at 01:07 AM

I also experience this, also from conventionally raised chicken breast. I notice that my blood sugar will often actually go high for aprox 8 hours after I eat a ton of protein, and that's what I always ascribed the carb cravings to.

F5652c7726ee903e9f55945bdf377d06

(90)

on March 04, 2010
at 04:03 AM

Boy, can I relate to this! There were days when I could down an entire brick of cheese, and then I'd crave carbs and sweets like mad!

78b9161a401f16b9611fe4e639b0b856

(200)

on February 21, 2010
at 05:58 PM

I'm with Naomi on this one - I just hit a mjor backlash tonight. The problem is I combo'ed my new habits with the old ones and now I feel sick. :P

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on February 15, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I do this but the tough part is when you visit family or friends and they stick some bread or an amazing looking dessert on the table!

Fa47fe5368e66325865f60a928609145

(961)

on February 13, 2010
at 06:14 AM

Doesn't work for me at all, I'd binge on the nuts first and then on the sugar anyway. Substitutes just make me more hungry.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 13, 2010
at 01:14 AM

I have done that as well, and it seems to work.

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16 Answers

12
7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on May 15, 2010
at 04:48 PM

You asked this quite a while ago, but one thing that I use sometimes that could work, if you're still struggling with this:

Promise to yourself that if you do cheat, it has to be the absolute best poison or nothing. No thin mints for you, you only compromise yourself with the finest culinary creations of chef fancypants at the town's most respected bakery/restaurant. Same for the ice cream, only the finest ice cream, you can make a list of the best sorts.

Now, I doubt that your family and friends get these best of the best treats on a regular basis. I'm willing to bet that most are not foodies and get inferior-tasting desserts that, rather than being slaved over by important chefs, have been processed by machines and minimum wage workers.

And that is not worth poisoning yourself with. So you'd have quite a bit less temptation with those standards.

10
6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on February 14, 2010
at 04:07 PM

If you're going to cheat, develop a cheating strategy in advance with less harmful cheats--higher in fat and lower in sugar than your current faves. Others have made great suggestions here. I like anything with heavy cream in it--coffee or tea with cream, berries and cream, whey protein powder with cream, etc. If you don't like "real" dark chocolate, start with a non-paleo chocolate such as Hershey's special dark or Dove dark, then gradually ramp up the cacao content as high as you can stand. Your tastes will re-adjust after a few weeks, and it will get easier to avoid the binges.

8
7f8d633c32b75ad7f9f148ceb6283866

(315)

on February 13, 2010
at 12:53 AM

Dr. Julia Ross recommends taking 500mg of L-Glutamine when you get sugar cravings. Just open the capsule up and put it under your tongue. If that doesn't work within 10-15min, take another 500mg.

I have tried this and it works for me.

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 13, 2010
at 01:14 AM

I have done that as well, and it seems to work.

6
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 13, 2010
at 01:15 AM

Best strategy is: Just don't buy that stuff and don't have that sort of stuff on hand.

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on February 15, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I do this but the tough part is when you visit family or friends and they stick some bread or an amazing looking dessert on the table!

4
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on February 13, 2010
at 03:04 AM

I have found my sugar cravings have been their strongest when I had not eaten for longer than I'm use to, or had engaged in more physical exercise or activity than my daily meals seemed to fuel me for.

I suspect that if you just eat something else high in fat like nuts or very pure dark chocolate, your craving will go away.

Overall, I think going cold turkey and staying off the sugars will prevent the cravings from coming back. People like having cheat meals, but in reality I think its like letting an alcoholic have a drink once a week. It just tempts them into going overboard.

3
1328347cd14542228470043aa6711dc8

on February 15, 2010
at 03:25 PM

I've found the high protein sources other than meat (eg, yogurt greek or otherwise, cottage cheese, regular cheese, nuts), trigger sugar binges. Cutting those out completely fixed it.

F5652c7726ee903e9f55945bdf377d06

(90)

on March 04, 2010
at 04:03 AM

Boy, can I relate to this! There were days when I could down an entire brick of cheese, and then I'd crave carbs and sweets like mad!

245c53790116339bcc79fb789f6f9c9d

(744)

on March 05, 2010
at 01:07 AM

I also experience this, also from conventionally raised chicken breast. I notice that my blood sugar will often actually go high for aprox 8 hours after I eat a ton of protein, and that's what I always ascribed the carb cravings to.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 06, 2010
at 01:06 PM

wow, nicole, awesome post! Creamy, high-protein yogurt and cottage cheese only make me want more more more creamy, sugary things, too! I avoid them pretty well now, but i never knew anyone else had this. Damn. Cool.

03331e628b0c3588b58723ffbde07cfd

(50)

on July 18, 2011
at 11:05 PM

i have had this for ages, but never really realised it was the cause until reading this. Thanks nicole

2
F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on February 15, 2010
at 02:04 PM

I've gotten rid of sugar cravings by eating enough fat during meals, and intermittent fasting. Once you've fasted for 20 hours a few times, it seems pretty easy to avoid sugar in your day-to-day life.

2
97af1caf30f029165abc783a20349c9f

(510)

on February 13, 2010
at 12:03 PM

More fat. Huge amounts to begin. It??ll level by. Or pure keto way. If you had a lot of sugar in your past you may need some B supplements. Those are waste away by sugar. Some people get rid of cravings with Vitamin B complex.

2
14ea92b81ba496f26229a0806a854228

on February 13, 2010
at 07:30 AM

Depending on how you feel about dairy, I've found that Extra Creamy Whip Cream is good to satisfy a small sweet tooth, especially with a bit of dark chocolate.

I think gum also helps keep it under control.

That being said, I think Patrick's advise is best: Use your judgment when you're shopping, not when you're craving - you can't eat what you don't buy.

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on May 15, 2010
at 05:02 PM

L-Glutamine does a nice job but it isn't a magic pill. I found allowing yourself a small ( read SMALL) cheat once or twice a week will help the other 5-6 days. I like very Dark choc- no alot of sugar in certain brands. Just do NOT do liquid sugar or HFCS in juices or such. Be careful with cheats- some never go back from them- others (like me) find a small cheat does wonders- with less and less cheats required over time

1
7cd98e6778c984411cafb941fc429c13

(304)

on May 15, 2010
at 04:50 PM

Eat some butter off the stick or chug some coconut milk.

1
3b9d42283fabc4465c3223f2e7ba469a

on February 13, 2010
at 08:19 AM

If you are not orthodox Paleo:

3oz Half and Half 1oz Heavy Cream Tiny splash of Vanilla

This alone will taste like a melted Vanilla milk shake. Delish and mostly fat.

A TINY beet of Stevia - if you like it sweeter - will sweeten the deal (I did 5 drops of liquid Stevia and it was WAY too sweet, and I like my sweets).

1
7f8d633c32b75ad7f9f148ceb6283866

(315)

on February 13, 2010
at 12:02 AM

Find a substitute food and have plenty of it around (for me, it's something high fat like nuts) and don't worry about over eating it.

I find I need to avoid it completely - no small cheats for long periods - not even a bite of something.

Fa47fe5368e66325865f60a928609145

(961)

on February 13, 2010
at 06:14 AM

Doesn't work for me at all, I'd binge on the nuts first and then on the sugar anyway. Substitutes just make me more hungry.

78b9161a401f16b9611fe4e639b0b856

(200)

on February 21, 2010
at 05:58 PM

I'm with Naomi on this one - I just hit a mjor backlash tonight. The problem is I combo'ed my new habits with the old ones and now I feel sick. :P

0
Medium avatar

(167)

on January 12, 2015
at 07:10 AM

Sometimes I cheat by eating 5 or 6 grapefruits all in one sitting. Or sometimes, I'll just eat a fat tablespoon of honey. 

However, I find that if I binge on something like ice cream, or cookies (Especially anything with gluten) then it takes way longer for the cravings to stop, and I'll end up binging two or three days in a row before I smack some sense into myself. 

One thing I've noticed is that eating something INSANELY nutrient-rich makes me feel way more satisfied and less likely to snack. I know that not everyone who does Paleo is okay with Juicing, but I feel like a quick, carrot-flavored nutrient delivery system curbs cravings like nothing else. 

0
2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

on June 07, 2010
at 09:32 PM

I find that when I really want to go on a binge, it really is just that I have low blood sugar. I tell myself - you're just having low blood sugar, and change the whole thinking of "I'm bad for wanting something bad for me".

What works REALLY well for me is to say, okay, I can have whatever it is that I want AFTER I eat something healthy, so that I can balance out my blood sugar. Most of the time, I don't have the desire for the binge after I've eaten. And then, if I still do, I eat MUCH less.

I also agree that if you are going to do it, do it with very high quality stuff (really tasty dark chocolate, for instance, not hershey's crap). And yeah, adding fat is a great idea to, as it will bring you to feeling full sooner.

0
92fc43dca91feaa96547db9d85fbc301

on June 06, 2010
at 03:19 AM

I've found the the "tough love" of the (free) Whole 30 program has helped out with my cookie/ice cream addiction tremendously. That, and cutting way back on the fruit, which for me seems to serve as a bit of a "gateway." Striving for squeaky clean paleo purity for 30 days has made it much easier to decline non-paleo foods. http://whole9life.com/2010/05/whole-30-v2/

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