5

votes

Kicking the fruit habit

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 03, 2011 at 3:50 AM

So I've been paleo for a little more than a year, now, and it's done great things for me.

I'm looking to step up my game a little, though, and amongst other things this includes drastically reducing my fruit intake.

My addiction to fruit is the last vestige of my sugar habit. I still love ice-cream, but I can satisfy myself with a bite every few months and live. Problem is, I've replaced my love of ice-cream with copious quantities of fruit. My primary go-to is some sort of berry, usually blue berry, but I'll eat almost anything and I'm not able to moderate myself.

Today, for example, I had a pint of blueberries, about a quarter of a small cantaloupe, a mango, and then 20 oz of a mixed fruit salad. That's pretty typical, though it doesn't happen every day.

I need and want to cut back. Has anybody had this problem? What helped you control your fruit intake?

C1c86f42410cd4788bd9c5cf801dcd8f

(2246)

on May 25, 2011
at 09:34 PM

Yes, been there. The best I can do is not buy it. If it is in my house I eat it. If it doesn't get there I just don't want it. Also leaves to if I decide to get blueberries or some other berry when I go out I only buy 1 pint at a time, and I only go shopping once/twice a week.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on May 25, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Laura, the only problem is you're not eating enough fruit. Eat it until you're happy and satisfied. Fruit might be the best part about your diet.

E0b0d94cebef8ed2371d02ec2ecb5461

(94)

on February 06, 2011
at 03:13 AM

Number 1...Jesus, so elegant, so simple. The rule I knew but did not know...thank you.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on February 04, 2011
at 03:25 AM

WOW, that's a hell of a lot of fructose.. I haven't eaten that much in the last 2 years. Fatty liver anyone? You need to get a handle on it, cold turkey may be the way..

Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

(1579)

on February 04, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Since you don't know how you will feel without fruit, I would cut it out completely for a month or so and then assess how you feel. Then add back what you want. I think berries are the easiest to process. Once you have it out of your diet, and have plenty of other stuff to snack on...you won't crave it.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on February 03, 2011
at 08:22 PM

See Stephan Guyenet's (Whole Health Source) posts on potatoes. I eat them several times a week.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 03, 2011
at 11:41 AM

Cold turkey followed by self experimentation, always my goto.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 03, 2011
at 11:40 AM

I'd say ...health ... It's the best reason. Less fat is just a glorious side effect.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 03, 2011
at 11:39 AM

Potatoes are only bad with a damaged insulin sensitivity. The poisons mostly in the peel. And generally best for post workout, we have alot of potato threads out here on PH.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 06:47 AM

But I thought white potatoes are worse for hunger/blood sugar. At least for me they definetly cause me to be hungry. I love sweet potatoes though I eat those and feel quite satiated. Plus white potatoes contain lots of toxins! And I agree with low-fructose fruits those are far less addicting

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 06:19 AM

I think white and green tea work well for diminishing appetite too. I seem to eat less bananas when I drink organic green tea. I have a banana addiction sometimes I eat 4-6 bananas a day.

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13 Answers

5
82166cc32b6cf26de33b69f58fb583b1

on February 03, 2011
at 04:10 AM

Yes, I had exactly the same problem. Actually I think it's two separate problems. The first problem is a craving for the food even when you're not eating it. With me, it took about two years for the cravings to stop completely. They get weaker with time. In the meantime, the only solution is will power. Just say no.

The second problem is not being able to stop once you've begun eating. Even today (four years later) if I sit down with a two pound bag of cherries, it's hard to stop until the bag is empty. With other fruit I can stop -- but not cherries! :) Ice cream is similar.

The way I handle the second problem is, I generally don't eat the food at all.

Edit: People may think, what's so terrible about eating a pound or two of fruit a day? In my case, it causes visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat to grow. This didn't happen until I passed the age of 45 or 50.

Another edit: Another thing you can do is make sure you're not craving fruit due to a need for particular micronutrients.

4
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 03, 2011
at 05:01 AM

My instinct for you is to say, just go cold turkey. Go for a week or more without eating any fruit and get your carb only from veggies and avoid very sugary veggies. Of course, eat meat and protein as you please. SOunds like right now, you are still a sugar addict, but have just replaced your sugar intake with a more healthy type of sugar. Always be wary of anything you can't stop eating. Even with meat, I can go all day without specifically craving it. It takes me maybe 24 hours before I start to feel the urge strongly. But fruit and sugar can easily become an addiction that must be met multiple times a day in quantity. Once it reaches that point, you are an addict. The best way to stop addiction is cold turkey, assuming your health will allow it (not low blood sugar probs, etc). The cravings will be strong at first, but usually abate after a few days. Down the line, you may be able to get away with just eating fruit only once per day, like say only at lunch, and only eating less sugary fruit. But that will be something you'll have to experiment with and see if you will be able to moderate yourself or not.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 03, 2011
at 11:41 AM

Cold turkey followed by self experimentation, always my goto.

3
21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on February 03, 2011
at 04:14 AM

Try substituting fruit herbal teas! I love guzzling fruit tea. It makes you full because of the the effect of volume on satiety (see Barbara Rolls' research on this) and is about as neutral a drink as you can get. No calories, just some fruit skins and leaves.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 06:19 AM

I think white and green tea work well for diminishing appetite too. I seem to eat less bananas when I drink organic green tea. I have a banana addiction sometimes I eat 4-6 bananas a day.

2
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on February 05, 2011
at 03:48 PM

1 Never grocery shop hungry

2 Don't buy any fruit

3 Toss or compost any fruit already in house

4 Don't eat the fruit that isn't in the house

5 If you're tempted while eating out, don't eat out for a while.

Substitute what ever other foods/not-foods you're avoiding.

E0b0d94cebef8ed2371d02ec2ecb5461

(94)

on February 06, 2011
at 03:13 AM

Number 1...Jesus, so elegant, so simple. The rule I knew but did not know...thank you.

2
92549e74c37aed4d5930b22e910dcf22

(382)

on February 03, 2011
at 06:28 PM

Ever read the book "Lights out"? It, and other books, talk about how to effectively add fruit in to ones diet in the most Paleo friendly way possible. Our ancestors didn't have a grocery store where fruit was available 24/7, it was seasonal. Depending on where you were in the world depended on how much fruit you would get in on a yearly basis. I would suggest pick a couple fruits you absolutely love (non-processed, no canned anything in syrup) and find out when they actually would be available in your neck of the woods. You'll find our bodies still have a natural rhythm to them and it might just help curb your cravings and help burn off those last few BF%s which is probably your goal.

Think of it as periodization, it works.

2
Medium avatar

on February 03, 2011
at 04:23 AM

I'd say replace it first with sweet potato, then replace sweet potato with normal potato. Or, if that doesn't work, at least switch to low-fructose fruits such as raspberries and strawberries.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 03, 2011
at 06:47 AM

But I thought white potatoes are worse for hunger/blood sugar. At least for me they definetly cause me to be hungry. I love sweet potatoes though I eat those and feel quite satiated. Plus white potatoes contain lots of toxins! And I agree with low-fructose fruits those are far less addicting

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 03, 2011
at 11:39 AM

Potatoes are only bad with a damaged insulin sensitivity. The poisons mostly in the peel. And generally best for post workout, we have alot of potato threads out here on PH.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on February 03, 2011
at 08:22 PM

See Stephan Guyenet's (Whole Health Source) posts on potatoes. I eat them several times a week.

1
Bd271299b2d4d9b2e3da9c252fef058c

on February 03, 2011
at 08:37 PM

I vote for quitting cold turkey. In 'Why We Get Fat', Gary Taubes compares quitting sugars/carbs to quitting cigarettes- it is addictive, so even just a little feeds the addiction. I've found this to be true, personally. I'll go thru about a week of cravings and low energy, but the payoff is worth it!

0
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on May 25, 2011
at 08:03 PM

It might have to do with vitamin C. One thing about a Paleo diet, especially heavy in meat and eggs and low in fruits and veggies, is that you aren't getting a lot of vitamin C.

Every day at lunch time I crave red bell peppers. I can visualize them in my mind starting at about 11:15am. My routine is to get a salad that is about half red peppers. I am sure this is because of lack of vitamin C.

You might be getting the same thing with fruit. One thing I ate a lot of pre-Paleo was fruit, especially apples and dried fruit. Having given that up I have probably given up my main source of vitamin C.

I have started taking 500-1000mg of vitamin C supplements after meals, but am looking for a way to work more of it into my diet. Until I find fresh adrenal glands at the supermarket, I'm looking for other ideas...

0
3c997ffae3db9464325b96979346d9e9

on May 25, 2011
at 07:58 PM

As I've suggested before try increasing (significantly) your saturated fat intake (coconut oil, lard , tallow) and this can have the effect of reducing all craving for carbohydrates including sweets (as in fruit). The body makes the saturated fat it needs from carbohydrates if you're not supplying it and that may be related to the cravings. Saturated fat intake has a terrific sating effect and you will have a constant, slow burn of energy for many hours.

0
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on May 25, 2011
at 07:37 PM

Hi, Laura. I'm sorry you are struggling with fruits. The taste of sweet begets wanting sweet things to eat. Eating that much fruit is a lot of carbohydrate, which raises the blood sugar, which triggers an insulin response, which makes you hungry. It is a vicious cycle. Just like those who eat cakes, cookies and candy.

Fruit is not necessary. Normal blood sugar is necessary.

Dr. Richard Bernstein's book, Diabetes Solution, explains this far better than I could.

Reading his book gave me the courage to stop eating fruits, and inspired me to keep a really clean food plan, for life.

Dr. Kurt Harris recommends reading Dr. Bernstein's book. I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Harris, so I read Dr. Bernstein's book. Dr. Bernstein's own story, how he came to control his own blood sugar, as a type I diabetic, his way of achieving normal blood sugars, how he has helped thousands of people achieve normal blood sugars, all of it, inspired me so much. It was one of those rare books that changed my life.

There is a nice interview of Dr. Bernstein here. An audio interview:

http://www.diabetesdaily.com/edelman/2010/03/interview-dr-bernstein-on-low-carb-diets-treatments-politics.php

Here is one of his telecasts. Hope it is still online:

http://www.instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=18758784----

Dr. Bernstein is giving one of his telecasts tonight at 8 PM CST:

http://www.instantteleseminar.com/?eventid=19381665

Here are parts of his book online:

http://www.diabetes-book.com/readit.shtml

There is also a talk he gave to the Nutrition and Metabolism Society on youtube.

ETA: Here is Dr. Michael Eades blog article, A Spoonful of Sugar, on how much carbohydrate is needed to maintain a normal blood sugar and what eating too many carbs does to your blood sugar:

Whenever I give a talk and make the statement that a normal blood sugar represents less than one teaspoon of sugar dissolved in the blood, I’m often met with scepticism. It really is true, however.

Let’s go through the calculations so we can see exactly how this plays out. First, we need some basic measures. one liter (l)= 10 deciliters (dl) one gram (gm) = 1000 milligrams (mg) one teaspoon = 5 grams

According to the American Diabetes Association the line between a healthy fasting blood sugar and a pre-diabetic fasting blood sugar is set at 100 mg/dl (pronounced 100 milligrams per deci-liter). A fasting blood sugar of between 100 mg/dl and 125 mg/dl earns a diagnosis of pre-diabetes, and a fasting blood sugar of over 125 mg/dl is diabetic.

So how much sugar is 99 mg/dl, the highest fasting blood sugar you can have and not be diagnosed as pre-diabetic? Let’s figure it out. We know that a typical human has about 5 liters of blood, so we need to figure out how much sugar dissolved into this 5 liters of blood will give us a reading of 99 mg/dl.

Since one liter contains 10 deciliters we multiply 99 mg/dl by 10, which gives us 990 mg, the amount of sugar in one liter. Multiply the 990 mg in one liter times 5, the number of liters of blood in the human body, and we have 4950 mg of sugar. If we divide the 4950 by 1000, the number of mg in a gram, we get 4.95 grams of sugar.

Since one teaspoon contains 5 grams, the 4.95 grams of sugar in the blood of a person just short of being pre-diabetic equals a little less than one teaspoon. If you run all these calculations for a blood sugar of 80 mg/dl, which is a much healthier blood sugar than the 99 mg/dl one that is knocking on the door of pre-diabetes, it turns out to be about 4/5 of a teaspoon.

If you run the calculations for 126 mg/dl, the amount of sugar in the blood of someone just over the line into the diagnosis of diabetes, you find out that it is 6.25 grams, or 1 1/4 teaspoon. So, the difference between having a normal blood sugar and a diabetic blood sugar is about a quarter of a teaspoon of sugar.

What really gets kind of scary is when you look at the amount of carbohydrate in, say, a medium order of McDonald’s fries compared to the sugar in your blood. Remember, it is the job of your digestive tract to breakdown the starch and other complex carbohydrates, which are nothing more than chains of sugar molecules, into their component sugars so that they can be absorbed into the blood. An order of medium fries at McDonald’s contains 47 grams of carbohydrate. 47 grams of carbohydrate converts to about 47 grams of sugar, which is almost 10 teaspoons. So, when you eat these fries you put 10 times more sugar into your blood than that required to maintain a normal blood sugar level. If you figure, as we did above, that one quarter of a teaspoon is all the difference between a normal blood sugar and a diabetic blood sugar, the 10 full teaspoons would be 40 times that amount.

Since your metabolic system has to work very hard indeed to deal with the sugar load from an order of fries, imagine what it has to do when you add a large soft drink, a hamburger bun, and maybe an apple turnover for dessert. When you see the long lines of cars in the at the drive-through window and the long lines of customers at the counter inside, you can see why the incidence of type II diabetes is skyrocketing?

Hope this helps some. All the best to you. :)

0
7df8f3cc7f1475c3ecbbd4a4feb87d04

(514)

on February 05, 2011
at 09:02 PM

If you're not ready to completely go the cold turkey route, you might go cold turkey on most fruit but still allow berries. Or only buy one or two pieces of fruit at a time. Just give yourself rules that make sense for your situation. If you live near a farmer's market, pledge to yourself that you'll only get a few fruits/berries at the market every week and nowhere else. And learn to love your veggies - cucumbers, dill weed, celery and lettuce can taste surprisingly sweet when they're at their freshest.

0
Ea776df66c8277321b167e2ee3f22574

on February 03, 2011
at 08:43 PM

I'm trying to wean myself off sugar/fruit (the last piece of my paleo puzzle!), so whenever I have a craving, I (try to) drink a glass of water or have a spoonful of coconut oil. I think sometimes my body craves sweets when it's not getting enough nutrients/fats from other areas.

0
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on February 03, 2011
at 04:17 AM

You say you "need and want" to cut back on fruit. My question is why? What are your goals with paleo?

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on February 03, 2011
at 11:40 AM

I'd say ...health ... It's the best reason. Less fat is just a glorious side effect.

Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

(1579)

on February 04, 2011
at 12:47 AM

Since you don't know how you will feel without fruit, I would cut it out completely for a month or so and then assess how you feel. Then add back what you want. I think berries are the easiest to process. Once you have it out of your diet, and have plenty of other stuff to snack on...you won't crave it.

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