3

votes

Coffee causing uncontrollable sugar cravings akin to drug addiction!

Answered on December 11, 2014
Created December 03, 2012 at 12:59 PM

I've been on Leangains for 6 months and have leaned out below 8%.

About two months ago I started drinking coffee again after a very long time, to burn fat.

I've also been free of any junk food or sugar for more than 18 years. Seriously. My willpower is high. My sisters call me the food nazi. I can be in a fasted state and watch folks eat deserts and feel no problem abstaining.

About a month into the daily coffee routine (which I THOROUGHLY enjoy btw) I had the idea to reward myself with my childhood favorite, ice cream, on my birthday.

Fast forward a month, I've had the most unbelievably strong and completely irresistible cravings for ice cream you can imagine!

The cravings come at night, even after a huge meat and or carb meal, and i visit the store multiple times eating 20 or more ice cream pops! Thousands of calories !!!

I've tried my best to stop, knowing its undoing all the effort to lean out (I've gained an inch of fat at the waist).

I continue to be strict otherwise. I rationalize its carb backloading, but know full well all that fat and sugar is killing me.

And, I'm allergic to cassein and whey so my mucus explodes and i dont sleep well at all.

When the urge comes, it's like a cocaine binge or something . I want to stop even as I walk to the store! And I literally can't. Just writing this makes it start!!

It's happening 3-4 times a week. My friends and family are all shocked because I've been so effortlessly strict about diet for years! I smoked cigarettes in high school, and at a pack a day level, quit cold turkey in one day effortlessly because I rationalizes it was just stupid. This is way worse!

I was diagnosed with ADD as a child. I know dopamine levels are not properly regulated in me, and I seek stimulation in life on a regular basis. This has always equated to traveling and sports, not food.

I've read coffee spikes, then causes a massive drop in dopamine at the end of the day. Perhaps this is my body trying to jack it up again. I've also read that ice cream cravings can actually be akin to cocaine cravings (and I've never had a drug problem either).

I'm not sure what to do. I seriously love my coffee ritual, I seem to need to look forward to it. But I KNOW coffee has both brought on and exacerbated this problem.

I figure if I quit coffee, at some point the cravings for ice cream will go away. Today I had no coffee. No headaches, but I craved the taste and mental fun of it. And, as its just now night time, after dinner, I'm craving ice cream HARD.

Has anyone felt this way, and can anyone shed some light on this?

UPDATE: I tried chromium glycinate yesterday. I always take 200mcg daily, but based upon some recommendations on the forum concerning sugar cravings, I took 1000mcg spread out over the day. Result: it occurred to me MENTALLY many times at the normal evening time of craving onset, but the PHYSICAL need was not there. It's as if I reasoned I'd like it, but the biochemical, undeniable urge was absent or at least greatly hollowed.

Monday I had no coffee, and the cravings were the same at dusk for ice cream. Yesterday, Tuesday, I drank my coffee but none after 12pm, and took the 1000mcg chromium. No cravings.

I've ordered phenylalanine DLPA, tyrosine, and glutamine to experiment with too.

Updates to follow.

UPDATE: Incredibly interesting. Been taking 1000mcg chromium chelate daily. I'm noticing all my depression and feelings of emptiness that I have been compulsively trying to fill with spending, stimulation, hunger, eating out, cravings, subside. Zero desire for ice cream since! Gone! I feel a sense of peace and even satisfaction at existence. Zero cravings.

Frankly before I was constantly obsessing on hunger, cheating on leangains, eating out, tea chocolate and coffee (before I started drinking it), trips, etc, anything to constantly stimulate,gratify, and distract myself, and it just evaporated.

Is early to tell, but this feels life changing. It's not like a percieveable false high or masking as other drugs, not a high at all, just normalness. Of note I think it's keeping me awake at bedtime, so ill try and get my dose in earlier.

See this study, which I read AFTER I had been taking chromium, and already noticed these things:

http://chromiumconnection.com/research-papers/Treatment%20of%20Depression%20with%20Chromium.pdf

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 04, 2012
at 11:24 PM

See above edit. Tried chromium and it seems to help.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Wonder how much the cortisol-coffee issue affects my personal quest to rid myself of those handle deposits?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:35 PM

Interesting. I was drinking coffee for a month with NO cravings, then on my birthday I had the idea for ice cream, tasted it, and boom the cravings began. Incidentally, I had no coffee or anything yesterday, and the ice cream cravings came at night as usual (but I resisted :)

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:32 PM

Geez you two, im on Leangains and I'm tryin NOT to eat sugar or any sweet things, not find a healthier way to indulge!!!!!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:23 PM

I've always had some back fat that won't go away. And yes I'm always in cortisol-fight or flight mode from a stressful childhood. Skipping breakfast is supposed to raise cortisol too, but that and Leangains has leaned me out more than ever before. My blood sugar has always been outta whack too; it's what led me first to VLC paleo and now proper timed use of carbs. It's controlled now. I've no problems with the fast; woulda been impossible before. Coffee makes me happy and look forward to the day; don't need it for energy. It's a drug for sure. I've read tyrosine and phenalalanine help.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:16 PM

Super response. Honestly I love my coffee ritual so much, mentally, it's hard to give up both coffee AND this ice cream thing!

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 03, 2012
at 05:04 PM

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-2/136.pdf here's an interesting paper I found regarding adenosine and alcohol. Caffeine will throw your adenosine receptors and sensitivity all out of whack.

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on December 03, 2012
at 03:00 PM

I was kidding, I think the "anything-only" diet is a ridiculous concept. Ok Japan... I second the idea of making your own frozen treats sweetened with fruit only. Also avocado and coconut milk blended together is heavenly, frozen or just blended with ice.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:23 PM

try supplemental l-tyrosine instead. It will not mess with cortisol or blood sugar, will increase focus and fat burning.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:22 PM

...and I can't imagine the fat burning affect of coffee is really all that great, especially when considering the cortisol spike and blood sugar control issues that typically accompany its consumption.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:19 PM

If you're below 8% body fat and still have love handles then your a) cortisol or b) blood sugar control is out of whack. Coffee is known to mess with both of those things. JUST STOP. Find a new morning ritual. One of my morning rituals is to shave, and I use a straight razor, that can take a good 15-20 minutes depending upon how meticulous you are. Find a new ritual besides coffee- and one that is not doing your body damage.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Make your own ice cream, freeze overripe bananas without skin, then blend them. Or, buy frozen strawberries (or apricots), thaw just a little and blend with coconut milk or cream (don't think there's whey or casein in pure cream). No sugar needed.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Will power wise, that is. Damn iPhone.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Coffee used to make me jittery and jacked for all day. I hit it hard for a month and poof that stops and in sleep fine. Will lower wise, I can quit coffee. I just a) love the ritual and b) want the fat birning. It's the ice cream binge I can't quit. I've had my few party nites in college with the white lady, and could leave her alone anytime. This is unusual for me, to have cravings overpower me. My calories are lower. Maybe too low. I've wanted to get thru those handles that remain tho i can see veins in my abs!

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 01:59 PM

When I binge, I eat till I feel sick! Is there such a thing as ice cream diet or are you kidding? I'm actually rationalizing it as carb backloading. And as for quality, I live in Japan, and while Tokyo has amazing sushi, ice cream quality sucks.

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on December 03, 2012
at 01:46 PM

...or experiment with the "ice-cream only diet" the latest fad sweeping through the weight-loss community. Like the Potato diet only way tastier. When the thought of one more bite of ice cream makes you want to hurl, you're done.

  • Size75 avatar

    asked by

    (2417)
  • Views
    11.7K
  • Last Activity
    1166D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

5
0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I once entertained the idea that I couldn't quit drinking until I quit caffeine. The two inverse roller-coasters just fit together so perfectly; big spoon & little spoon.

I mention this in the context that I see [compulsive, destructive, non-social] drinking as largely a sugar based impulse. And when I would attempt to quit drinking without having quit caffeine prior I would end up switching to sugar-binging at night.

Quitting all three (alcohol, caffeine, sugar) definitely seemed to go hand in hand, at least in cultivating consistently stable neurochemistry, which I'm sure is a necessary part of the rehabilitation from any substance (a la the Mood Cure).

Edit to add a bit more:

Chemically speaking, caffeine is going to act on your adenosine receptors more than dopamine. However, adenosine is known to be a neuromodulator, so it could theoretically be throwing off the entire balance of things. If your natural neurochemistry tends to be dopamine-sensitive, I wouldn't call it unreasonable to assume that reward center to be getting thrown out of whack through messing with your adenosine function.

Here's an interesting paper I found regarding adenosine and alcohol: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-2/136.pdf. From that paper:

In the CNS, adenosine modulates the release and, in some cases, the breakdown of several neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine, serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and glutamate.

...

In addition to preventing the release of neurotransmitters, adenosine can diminish the postsynaptic cell???s response to those neurotransmitters.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:16 PM

Super response. Honestly I love my coffee ritual so much, mentally, it's hard to give up both coffee AND this ice cream thing!

0d0842381492a41b2173a04014aae810

(4875)

on December 03, 2012
at 05:04 PM

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh21-2/136.pdf here's an interesting paper I found regarding adenosine and alcohol. Caffeine will throw your adenosine receptors and sensitivity all out of whack.

3
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on December 03, 2012
at 01:45 PM

Hey, dude. First off, that sounds rough. Are you sure it's just coffee? There have literally been no other substantial changes in your life? Are you restricting calories too much? There could be many other possibilities other than just drinking coffee.

That being said, I cannot drink coffee. I mean, I do, occasionally, but I'm literally anxious and wired for the next 48 hours. Nothing affects me so horribly as does coffee, as I can take pre-workout supplements with twice the caffeine and feel fine for the rest of the day and sleep at night. Certain drugs too, of which you've mentioned, seemingly have no lasting ill-effects. So, just personally, coffee messes me up. I suggest just stop drinking it. If your will power is so strong, why don't you just stop?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Will power wise, that is. Damn iPhone.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:22 PM

...and I can't imagine the fat burning affect of coffee is really all that great, especially when considering the cortisol spike and blood sugar control issues that typically accompany its consumption.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:05 PM

Coffee used to make me jittery and jacked for all day. I hit it hard for a month and poof that stops and in sleep fine. Will lower wise, I can quit coffee. I just a) love the ritual and b) want the fat birning. It's the ice cream binge I can't quit. I've had my few party nites in college with the white lady, and could leave her alone anytime. This is unusual for me, to have cravings overpower me. My calories are lower. Maybe too low. I've wanted to get thru those handles that remain tho i can see veins in my abs!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:19 PM

If you're below 8% body fat and still have love handles then your a) cortisol or b) blood sugar control is out of whack. Coffee is known to mess with both of those things. JUST STOP. Find a new morning ritual. One of my morning rituals is to shave, and I use a straight razor, that can take a good 15-20 minutes depending upon how meticulous you are. Find a new ritual besides coffee- and one that is not doing your body damage.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 04, 2012
at 11:24 PM

See above edit. Tried chromium and it seems to help.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:23 PM

try supplemental l-tyrosine instead. It will not mess with cortisol or blood sugar, will increase focus and fat burning.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:36 PM

Wonder how much the cortisol-coffee issue affects my personal quest to rid myself of those handle deposits?

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:23 PM

I've always had some back fat that won't go away. And yes I'm always in cortisol-fight or flight mode from a stressful childhood. Skipping breakfast is supposed to raise cortisol too, but that and Leangains has leaned me out more than ever before. My blood sugar has always been outta whack too; it's what led me first to VLC paleo and now proper timed use of carbs. It's controlled now. I've no problems with the fast; woulda been impossible before. Coffee makes me happy and look forward to the day; don't need it for energy. It's a drug for sure. I've read tyrosine and phenalalanine help.

1
3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on December 03, 2012
at 01:42 PM

I can't shed any light on this. I guess you already know that coffee seems to be part of the issue. So drink a coffee substitute or tea. But I am stuck on the detail "20 ice cream pops". My friend, if you are going to be addicted to ice cream, at least go for good ice cream, like a nice dense little tub of Haagen Dazs or Ben and Jerry's... or better yet, Coconut Bliss. http://coconutbliss.com/

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:32 PM

Geez you two, im on Leangains and I'm tryin NOT to eat sugar or any sweet things, not find a healthier way to indulge!!!!!

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on December 03, 2012
at 03:00 PM

I was kidding, I think the "anything-only" diet is a ridiculous concept. Ok Japan... I second the idea of making your own frozen treats sweetened with fruit only. Also avocado and coconut milk blended together is heavenly, frozen or just blended with ice.

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 01:59 PM

When I binge, I eat till I feel sick! Is there such a thing as ice cream diet or are you kidding? I'm actually rationalizing it as carb backloading. And as for quality, I live in Japan, and while Tokyo has amazing sushi, ice cream quality sucks.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 03, 2012
at 02:15 PM

Make your own ice cream, freeze overripe bananas without skin, then blend them. Or, buy frozen strawberries (or apricots), thaw just a little and blend with coconut milk or cream (don't think there's whey or casein in pure cream). No sugar needed.

3bc294cb7745a5e99612ff886ca00101

(1186)

on December 03, 2012
at 01:46 PM

...or experiment with the "ice-cream only diet" the latest fad sweeping through the weight-loss community. Like the Potato diet only way tastier. When the thought of one more bite of ice cream makes you want to hurl, you're done.

0
300f88fcf3eefc37c93cea1da126b1ac

on December 11, 2014
at 02:04 PM

This is an old post but I am curious what happened?

I have the same problem - whenever I drink anything with caffeine I later get strong cravings for sweets. Also, the caffeine makes me depressed (it was a long time until I found out that it was caffeine and not any other problem in my life) and I can feel that it's still in my system for 3-4 days after consuming which is unusual for most people.

So, I just had to stop, it was very hard as it gave me so much energy and enthusiasm for communication and work. It was worth it though - I now feel a steady energy throughout the day instead of a strong rush in the morning and then a crash in the evening. 

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on April 17, 2014
at 12:11 AM

IMO, you're addicted to the sugar and so used to having it with coffee that you associate the two. You might also be drinking crappy coffee. Hint, the ones that rhymes with Harbucks or Pumpkin Morenuts, or what's served at the urine-colored-arches isn't good quality coffee - it's burned and tastes bad. Ditto for office supplied k-cups or bags.

A good quality coffee is drinkable black without anything else and tastes awesome. For example, if you have a Blue Bottle Coffee Company near you, try one of their single origin espressos - it's amazing stuff. For home use, try Ruta Maya organic, or any 100% Kona, or other real coffee.

Indeed sugar is extremely addictive. Robb Wolf in one of his early podcasts mentioned that he had an ex-crack addict tell him once it was easier to quit crack than sugar.

There are things you can do. Carb backloading is fine, but avoid actual sugar, stick to things like rice, sweet potatoes and the like. Whenever you get a craving, take a little bit of L-Glutamine powder (not as pills) - it's an amino acid that makes it past the blood brain barrier and fools your brain into thinking you ate something sweet and quiets the cravings. Alpha Lipoic Acid (or R-Lipoic Acid) can also help quiet cravings.y

If you really must, get a smooth coconut milk (I used the canned stuff by La Cena), and use a teaspoon of xylitol with a teaspoon of real vanilla extract, but I usually go for black, or bulletproof coffees (I have the BPs near black, without butter, just straight up MCT oil and BCAAs for IFs.)

0
519ae0ce7b1410079b0b967a2642f4ec

on April 16, 2014
at 01:25 PM

I get the ice cream cravings, and just this morning, wanted some sugary stuff within minutes of drinking coffee. Two websites I can recommend: http://www.naturalnews.com/012352_caffeine_coffee.html and www.geneenroth.com

0
8fe85374c5996cb676da3a42209e5ce4

on December 03, 2012
at 06:25 PM

I would bet coffee has nothing do with it. I go on and off coffee with no effect on my cravings. If I have one bite of Ice Cream or sweet choclate I feel insane with cravings. I can drink alcohol or even get drunk with no next day cravings for it. If anything I don’t want it. It has to do with biochemistry everyone has different triggers. You may have fructose sensitivity. I would not eat any fruit for a bit, Get all you carbs from starches.
More on fructose. http://theprimalparent.com/2012/03/31/ibs-depression-skin-fructose-malabsorption/

Medium avatar

(2417)

on December 03, 2012
at 11:35 PM

Interesting. I was drinking coffee for a month with NO cravings, then on my birthday I had the idea for ice cream, tasted it, and boom the cravings began. Incidentally, I had no coffee or anything yesterday, and the ice cream cravings came at night as usual (but I resisted :)

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!