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Cut Down Fruit to Cut Sugar Cravings?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 31, 2012 at 10:55 PM

I've been eating paleo for a couple weeks and am already noticing a difference in my skin, ongoing stomach/reflux/digestive problems, fatigue, and general mood. I cut out all dairy, which I think helped me a lot, and I cut out diet soda (easier than I thought considering how much I was drinking). I'm eating a lot of eggs, meat, veggies, and fruit. But I'm still having HUGE sugar cravings. All afternoon it takes all my control to not drive to the store and buy the snacks I used to be eating. Is this normal after two weeks? I'm wondering whether I should cut out all fruit to curb the sugar cravings, or whether it just takes more than two weeks to stop being desperate for all the artificial sugary food I was consuming before. Here's a typical day:

Breakfast: Black coffee, 4 eggs scrambled in mac nut oil with some veggies mixed in, 4 slices turkey bacon, a banana smothered in almond butter.

Lunch: Can of tuna mixed with a chopped avocado and some cider vinegar, 1 cup blueberries mixed with chopped pecans, some carrot sticks and broccoli florets.

Afternoon snack: Another handful of blueberries and some salted almonds.

Dinner: Large protein portion (usually grilled-- a hamburger, pork chop, steak, or chicken breast), a cooked or grilled vegetable, and maybe some raw vegetables with zucchini hummus. Then a plateful of sliced strawberries.

What's the verdict? I'm only eating one serving of fruit a meal, but I'm thinking maybe I need to cut it out for awhile because after I eat the fruit is often when I want more sugar. Or should I just stick with my current diet for a little longer and see if the cravings go away? Or increase my lunch meal so I don't get hungry in the afternoon, which is mostly when I get the cravings (and why I eat more blueberries in the afternoon)? I'm actually not usually very hungry at dinner time now, which is new to me, and makes me think that I'm already getting sufficient calories during the day. (I should also mention that I only weigh 125).

10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on June 01, 2012
at 10:21 AM

Enough fruit (namely the sugar) can slow down the process of your body entering ketosis and could actually be enough for you to never get to that point. Ketosis is essentially the point where your body starts recognising your fat as fuel. I'm not saying to give up fruit indefinitely but just to gice up sugars long enough to flip your burn cycles. Fruit and sugars are still needed to some degree for weightloss and body maintenance but for a month or so it's good to step back.

24035108d75b8a21260605fedb5b5ba3

on June 01, 2012
at 03:28 AM

thanks, i'll try that.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 31, 2012
at 11:44 PM

What damage can fruit do?

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on May 31, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Been there done that. But eating whole foods like starches, etc... give me almost no cravings (the cravings that are left are pure psychologically) while minimizing my carb intake drives me insane. They say that it's a myth men think about sex every seven seconds but if I can think almost every second of the day of carbs or junk food, I'm almost starting to doubt it ;)

24035108d75b8a21260605fedb5b5ba3

on May 31, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Thanks! Sweet potatoes is a great idea. I guess I was thinking that I needed to be low carb for awhile to get over my serious sugar addiction but maybe I am going too low carb.

24035108d75b8a21260605fedb5b5ba3

on May 31, 2012
at 11:12 PM

Ok thanks, I'm definitely planning on sticking with it! Just wasn't sure how fast people typically stop craving old foods. I used to keep a box of (very sugary) cereal on my desk and snack on it all day instead of set meals, so it's definitely a change for my body to get used to this new way of eating.

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6 Answers

3
956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on May 31, 2012
at 11:11 PM

You may crave carbs simply because you need more carbs. At the moment you're eating (V)LC while definitely not being overweight. I had the same problem you have, I was thinking about all the foods I could go buy and checking the opening hours almost constantly to know how long I still got to get there or how long I still had to hold on. That went away after adding sweet potatoes and white rice every now and then + the occasional piece of fruit after work outs (easy to take with you, etc...)

So you can add in some sweet potatoes and see how that goes or you can sit this one out. Your mileage may vary and it might work out in a (few) week(s). The longest I kept to my Cordain Paleo version was 22 days and the foods I bought then were absolutely delicious. The next day I bought them again and I didn't like them, they were extremely dry, not tasty at all and it made me wonder if I needed the extra carbs (and calories) and not the foods themselves + other Paleohackers pointed me in that direction. I'm definitely better of now. Still not where I want to be but at least my skin isn't peeling off big time, etc...

Good luck and keep up the good work.

956bcad1d462d433a4e1e22f6e3355d5

(1191)

on May 31, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Been there done that. But eating whole foods like starches, etc... give me almost no cravings (the cravings that are left are pure psychologically) while minimizing my carb intake drives me insane. They say that it's a myth men think about sex every seven seconds but if I can think almost every second of the day of carbs or junk food, I'm almost starting to doubt it ;)

24035108d75b8a21260605fedb5b5ba3

on May 31, 2012
at 11:15 PM

Thanks! Sweet potatoes is a great idea. I guess I was thinking that I needed to be low carb for awhile to get over my serious sugar addiction but maybe I am going too low carb.

1
F31d10b54b31428e189d9b771bf7b1d1

on June 01, 2012
at 12:08 AM

While raw juice fasting, fruit juice more than anything else would make me hungry. If I do just raw veggie juice, I get no hunger attack. According to the biochemistry, the fructose first goes to the liver (or is caught by and processed in the liver) and is turned into fat. It does not satisfy.

0
85178e006119b00322a2401c494dd3a4

on June 01, 2012
at 12:38 AM

I've found that the more sweet things I eat, the more I crave sugar. But another important factor I've found is the timing of when I eat something sweet.

Pre-Paleo I would always have a sweet dessert after lunch or dinner - a cookie, or a granola bar, or whatever. Now, I find that if I have something sweet immediately after a meal, it seems to intensify that craving after subsequent meals - sort of like I'm "remembering" I like desserts after a meal.

So maybe try confining fruit to between-meal snacks rather than eating it immediately after a meal (like the post-dinner strawberries).

24035108d75b8a21260605fedb5b5ba3

on June 01, 2012
at 03:28 AM

thanks, i'll try that.

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 31, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Yes it works. Do not eat any fruit or artificial sweeteners for 1 month. No pseudo fruits either. Only meat, green vegetables, and starch.

0
10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on May 31, 2012
at 11:37 PM

I cut out fruit for the first month and upped my fat intake and noticed the sweet tooth dissappear. Tablespoon of coconut oil at every meal for that month. Essentially your body will see fat as the new fuel and forget all about sugar. I never get sugar cravings anymore at all (though I do eat berries for the antioxidants). I don't get persuaded by pastry or juice or candy or any of it anymore. If you feel the need for a sweet take a tbsp of coconut oil and wait 15 minutes and if you still want it go for it. Paleo isn't meant to be a prison- part of paleo is that we have animal instincts and needs. If you're really craving it go for it- but recognise the value of what it could be doing to your body. As long as you know the power of the damage food can be doing you can train your brain to eventually give it up.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 31, 2012
at 11:44 PM

What damage can fruit do?

10cadc0a2dff90c849c6d088832be324

(741)

on June 01, 2012
at 10:21 AM

Enough fruit (namely the sugar) can slow down the process of your body entering ketosis and could actually be enough for you to never get to that point. Ketosis is essentially the point where your body starts recognising your fat as fuel. I'm not saying to give up fruit indefinitely but just to gice up sugars long enough to flip your burn cycles. Fruit and sugars are still needed to some degree for weightloss and body maintenance but for a month or so it's good to step back.

0
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on May 31, 2012
at 11:03 PM

You might find your sugar cravings get worse if you cut out the fruit. Also two weeks is not long really, you might find it gets easier after a little more time.

Congratulations on the improvements already, they should be motivation enough to keep you going

24035108d75b8a21260605fedb5b5ba3

on May 31, 2012
at 11:12 PM

Ok thanks, I'm definitely planning on sticking with it! Just wasn't sure how fast people typically stop craving old foods. I used to keep a box of (very sugary) cereal on my desk and snack on it all day instead of set meals, so it's definitely a change for my body to get used to this new way of eating.

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