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:
asked byanimaleater (2417)
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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.
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?
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/
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.
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.)
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
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/