craving sweets like crazy. help?

Answered on April 10, 2014
Created April 08, 2014 at 4:03 AM

hey folks. i am going to keep this quick. i have been on paleo for a month and a half now. i love it. i feel wonderful. however, i am craving... and i mean craving sweets. a slice of pie... cookies... chocolate... i saw organic peanut butter cups and almost lost it. is there something i can make even like some kind of shake to take care of this sweet tooth? i just had an apple and a lemon thinking it would fix it. well it didn't. i don't know if this is mental or what

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5 Answers


on April 10, 2014
at 04:40 PM

I am a recovering sugar addict. Here are my secrets for dealing with cravings:

Avoid temptation in the first place. For my kids I try to only keep snacks in the house that I don't like or buy them in very small amounts.

Really stay away from grains. They turn to sugar in the body and act like sugar making you crave more. Stick to paleo and don't be a paleo plus rice, milk and other foods that raise blood sugar and make you crash.

Lastly and most importantly: when you hear that craving come on, simply ignore it. Don't engage and don't give it any meaning. If you engage and start to wrestle you will just end up giving in or being miserable. Pretend it is your worst enemy being an idiot and instead of arguing with that idiot you are simply going to tune it out. They can keep yapping but it will have no impact on you.


on April 10, 2014
at 12:25 PM

When I am undernourished / underfed I also crave carbs and sweets, for me it is usually chocolate, or nuts or nut butter, or sometimes ice cream. I think as long as the food is paleo or mostly paleo, it's probably ok to eat, but you don't want to get a lot of your daily/weekly calories from things like chocolate or almond butter.

This probably means you are simply not eating enough or are missing some key nutrieints. I find that the paleo diet decreases my appetite to the point that I can pretty easily skip meals or just eat a snack instead of a meal. But this always catches up to me and I'll be terribly hungry at 9pm sometimes.

One thing that helps me is to have a big breakfast, like not just an egg but a 3 egg omlette with vegetables and some fruit. Another is to have 4 meals a day, I will have a small pre-dinner at 4-5pm before having actual dinner at 8pm. Also eating a big salad at least once every other day, including a huge pile of vegetables plus olive oil, olives, other fat sources, etc. helps. All of the food is paleo and the portions are a little smaller so I don't think I'm overeating, but sometimes I have to make a point of eating a little more.

I entered everything that I ate into FitDay for a while and realized that my paleo diet was pretty low in a few nutrients such as zinc, magnesium and manganese, so I made it a point to eat foods that are high in those things (shellfish and nuts are two good sources). Organ meats also have a huge amount of nutrients and you should work those in at least once a week if you can.


on April 10, 2014
at 06:37 AM

@raydawg and @paleot thanks for your replies. i actually went to the store tonight and i bought some organic dark chocolate. its 15g of sugar for 12 squares. i sucked on one square like candy (got a nice organic mint flavor) and my craving went away instantly. i am going to try and up my magnesium intake too i am not sure i get enough of that. i will keep what you both said in mind though! thanks a bunch. 15g of sugar is a lot... but when i read that was for 12 squares and i just sucked on one square i felt a lot better. the only sugar i consume is from fruit. i got some good grassfed butter too so i will try and cut some of that up too



on April 08, 2014
at 10:50 AM

I like the idea that if you're craving something, you should eat it. Your body knows what it wants / needs, occasionally more so than your nutritional plan. (Granted, I've never really craved much sweets or had issues with hunger or weight, so the philosophy works well for my diet.)

Get some chocolate and some nut butters, and enjoy yourself a little treat. Even a cookie is fine. But, not 2-3 cookies everyday. Make the healthiest organic paleo looking treat you can come up with. The more fat you can work into it, the more satiating it will be, and the less you'll feel addicted / compelled to keep eating. (or at least, that's what I find.)

If you gradually move yourself into a better diet, I think you'll feel less withdrawal type symptoms. Cold turkey at a few weeks in can be difficult, especially if you're throwing in sudden calorie restriction / exercise on top with some stress present. If your goals aren't set too high and you're otherwise healthy, 80-90% Paleo adherence seems perfectly fine to me. Although, if you can avoid those sweets and feel good about that, more power to you.

Reading more about carb backloading, it seems like the occasional insulin spike on an otherwise medium-low carb, low GI diet isn't so bad. It's not something I would really do on purpose, but an occasional dessert (using the most nutritious ingredients you can come up with) after a hard days work once a week or so doesn't look so bad if you're really craving it and feel good about it afterwards.



on April 08, 2014
at 10:25 AM

You're probably going through the low carb flu. Raise your fat intake a bit and see if it goes away. (I usually cut a slice of grassfed butter from the fridge, the way you'd slice a cheese and eat that.)

If not, you can do a few things. Get some L-Glutamine powder and whenever you get a craving for something sweet, have a teaspoon of it - it doesn't taste sweet, but it will cut the cravings.

You can also supplement with Alpha Lipoic Acid which can help with the cravings and transition as well.

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