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Sugar Woes

Answered on March 23, 2014
Created March 23, 2014 at 2:29 AM

Hi all,

I've been adjusting to paleo over the past two months and so far I love it. I've had very little issue giving up grains, legumes, and dairy (except for butter and occasional goat cheese) because I have strong sensitivities to all of these food groups and experience strong effects (headaches, abdominal pain & bloating, general yuckiness) if I indulge. However, I'm having significant trouble with sugar cravings. I'm limiting my sweet treats to plain almond butter (Justin's) and 86% dark chocolate, but I find I can't control myself. Instead of eating a piece or two of dark chocolate, I usually end up eating the whole bar...which I often dip in gobs of almond butter. I'm trying to get leaner, so I've been tracking my calories and fat/carb/protein ratios for the past few weeks...once I get going on the sweets I'll eat about 800 calories before I stop.

Does anyone have any suggestions for banishing (or moderating) sugar cravings? Is there anything else I can try that might not trigger my binging?

Here's a little more background on my diet. I'm 5'9", 142 lbs, with 19% body fat. I usually eat about 1800 calories daily and I try (but often fail) to keep my carb intake under 100g. Here's a typical menu (minus the sweet binges I've described above).

Breakfast:

3 eggs

2 cups veggies

1 tsp butter

1 serving fruit (usually berries or citrus)

Lunch:

Big salad with 6 oz protein (usually salmon or chicken)

1 tsp olive oil

Avocado

3 cups lettuce and veggies

Dinner:

8 oz protein (grass fed beef, chicken, or fish)

Sweet potato or squash (on workout days)

2 cups veggies w/ butter

Snacks:

If I'm hungry between meals, I'll usually munch on a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit....The sweets binging usually occurs in the evening after dinner.

Any suggestions about my cravings and my diet in general are greatly appreciated.

Eb1b16df32293421e477bace7a72a36d

on March 23, 2014
at 03:30 AM

By the way, besides the chocolate party you mentioned, your diet seems fine. As your body and habits adjust to this new way of eating, you might find that your need to snack decreases which should reduce your cravings for sweets. I've definitely found I can go much longer between meals and my cravings for junk have been greatly reduced now that I've been eating a paleo-like diet for a few years.

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3 Answers

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8fc1d7a8dc2318f960450a0de632bfe6

on March 23, 2014
at 09:47 PM

I have the same problem and for me the only way to cope is to eliminate them. At first I hated this idea. YOLO, after all. But, it was pretty miserable for me to CONSTANTLY be over eating on these things (almond butter and dark chocolate are two of my favorite things, and despite being relatively healthy, they certainly aren't calorie free!). Now I just keep basically all junk food out of the house and almost always stick to a completely sugar free diet. Once in awhile I'll have something sweet when I'm out or at a birthday party, but since I'm limited to just one serving in those situations, it's fine.

0
B5fb873f94766774e49a6f9d533a3223

on March 23, 2014
at 06:11 AM

Try to drop 1/2 spoonful of L-glutamine on your tongue when you get these cravings, it should help curb them.

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Eb1b16df32293421e477bace7a72a36d

on March 23, 2014
at 03:20 AM

Short answer:

What worked best for me was not having any of my favorite junk food in the house to prevent the temptation.

Long answer:

I have the same problem with ice cream. It's pretty much my only non-paleo-friendly vice. I don't seem to have a dairy sensitivity, but ice cream has a ton of sugar in it and dairy has been shown to be quite insulinogenic, so I'm trying to cut it out. I've found if there's ice cream in the house, I'll eat it, so the only thing that has worked for me is not having any in the house.

Another thing to think about, is that we are creatures of habit. A lot of our cravings come from routine (some people go as far as calling it an "addiction"). When there's a big tub of ice cream in the house, I make a routine out of having some every night after dinner. It becomes a habit, and when it runs out, my habit tells me to buy more. The only way to break the habit was to stop buying ice cream. When I don't buy ice cream, I don't eat it. Simple as that. :)

I don't have the same problem with dark chocolate, but I'm careful about how I serve it. I take a square off of a bar of 85% or 91% dark, put it on a plate, put the bar away deep in the cupboard, and pour a nice glass of coconut milk. The bar itself comes nowhere near the couch. :)

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