6

votes

How can I wean myself off of sugar?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 12, 2011 at 2:52 AM

Hello, I'm new to the Paleo lifestyle, and so far I'm not having much success. After a week attempting to eat healthy I feel like I've gotten nowhere and it's utterly depressing. I love meat and vegetables and know that I can live happily on a paleo diet, I'm just having an extremely difficult time giving up my major vice- sugar. Even after a good day of egg whites, green salad and grilled chicken, I'll ruin everything with a 1000+ calorie sugar binge.

I'd love nothing more than to cut out sugar for good. I'm 23, female, and currently about 40 lbs overweight...in the last year alone I've gained 15 lbs from frequent binges on sweets. I don't eat fruit, dairy, bread or pasta, but I can't resist candy, chocolate or baked goods. My eating habits are making me miserable but I feel I'm powerless to sugar! I feel disgusting and I know it's ruining my body. How can I move past this? Did anyone else have problems excising sugar from their life and how did you overcome it?

Thanks for your support, K

ETA: Wow thanks so much everyone for the quick responses! It's all so helpful and making me excited to really give Paleo an honest go.

Regarding my fat intake, I suppose those were poor examples of a "daily" diet. I do eat grilled chicken and salad, but I'm not afraid of fat- red meat, bacon, butter, coconut milk and nuts all have a place in my diet. However I do agree that I have been a bit saddled by the previous low fat dieting trend. My parents raised my siblings and I on a rather low fat diet (assuming it was most healthy, based on "experts" advice at the time), so I have an inclination towards low fat foods. SOme high fat foods, such as egg yolks and avocados I avoid simply because I dislike the taste, but I also feel like I instinctively choose lower fat foods because for so long I've been told that's the "right" thing to eat. Yet, I'm fat. SO obviously it's time for a change.

I'm going to try giving up sugar cold turkey, and replace any snacks with paleo-friendly options. I'm also going to work on upping my daily fat intake and measuring how I feel. Again, thank you for all of your insight and hopefully I'll have good results to report back.

3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on January 11, 2012
at 02:16 PM

eat the whole egg! and get some fat!

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:07 PM

Should say to stay on topic here that this is a MAYBE once every 3 months or so. I am having trouble cutting out the sugar completely myself altho I am doing much better. Probably helps that I absolutely HATE the taste (and aftertaste) of all artificial sweeteners and stevia. People have made some really good suggestions here that I am going to try myself.

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Yeah, I was thrilled when I found that the Coke for the Latino market is still made w/real sugar - sometimes a girl just wants a rum & Coke, ya know? ;p

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:32 AM

+1 for all else though. Fats are the sub for carbs.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:32 AM

+1 for all else though.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:31 AM

"Trying to cut out all sugars AND fats is probably nearly impossible." It is impossible, because it leaves nothing but protein as your macro-nutrient source, leading to "Rabbit starvation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation

Medium avatar

(572)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:56 AM

"switch to drinking only sodas made with real sugar, they cost more and you can not drink as much" This is what I do for my hubs. He's a huge soda guy but I don't buy it for him anymore. I do occasionally pick up a few of the Cokes from the Mexican section of the grocery store.

Medium avatar

(572)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:52 AM

Maybe? :) My husband eats like a 12 year-old. I shouldn't say that though because I think most kids eat waaaaay better than him. Haha!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:05 AM

Are you married to my husband too?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:09 AM

my=much **oops**

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:08 AM

This is my experience also. Cold turkey is the way to go, and doesn't take as my time. Do a total house clean out before you start. I used coconut butter when I had bad cravings, and that helped a lot.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 13, 2011
at 02:00 AM

@Minnie - I went 5 years without a single soda in my early/mid 20s. Then one day at work after walking by the same vending machine that I had walked by for years, I thought "I want a Mountain Dew". I drank three 20 oz MDs in 10 minutes! Other than switching to diet, I haven't stopped since. I'm no different than an alcoholic. I'm very vexed by this :-(

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 13, 2011
at 12:23 AM

I don't typically drink fizzy drinks anymore, but I do love me some La Croix. Coconut La Croix? I must keep my eyes open for that. It sounds delish!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 13, 2011
at 12:15 AM

I completely agree with this (and I love how you phrased it: "enjoy the hell out of some Larabars")! I come from a background of binge-eating as well, and knowing I can enjoy a banana with almond butter or a Larabar or some dark choccy (70% dark is my vice) whenever I want it keeps me from feeling restricted and binge-y. Congrats on your breakthrough, grrleigh! That's awesome! :)

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 12, 2011
at 07:36 PM

They drug tested you?! Hah, that brilliant.

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 12, 2011
at 07:32 PM

Last year I was in my skinny trousers - feeling awesome - when I thought I would try diet coke. I remember sitting in nandos thinking I didn't want water and hey it has no calories. I think this is the exact moment I took the wrong path and it lead me into a summer of carbs/sugar that I am still trying to turn back from even after kicking diet coke to the kerb. It set binges off. Pah! Artificial sweetness, it's not to be messed with.

3558d8feb56bc681144f87e67140f885

on July 12, 2011
at 05:48 PM

This is so funny! Soda water is my new "candy" now. I like to squeeze some lemon or orange juice into it and there ya go. It's really helping!

3558d8feb56bc681144f87e67140f885

on July 12, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I agree too. It's rough, I'm pretty much right there with ya on the sugar addiction.

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on July 12, 2011
at 02:01 PM

Yeah, I never personally chew aspartame gum. I usually just get the xylitol, but I understand it could be too expensive for some. The point is that the gum is just an intermediate step towards complete sugar elimination. I think a couple weeks of aspartame (again, you could get the cinnamon flavored gums and avoid aspartame) is worth it to rid one off sugar permanently.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on July 12, 2011
at 11:56 AM

I agree. If sugar is an issue, you have to go cold turkey. It's going to SUCK but you can do it!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 12, 2011
at 09:37 AM

Diet soda has aspartame in it, it's poison(neurotoxin). Also GMO corn "citric acid", artificial colors and other crap.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 12, 2011
at 09:36 AM

sugar free is bad idea, aspartame is poison. Please do research this is bad advice!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 12, 2011
at 08:58 AM

Diet soda is horrible it's loaded with aspartame which is neurotoxic! IT's worse than corn-sugar regular soda but they are all poison. But excitotoxins like aspartame are the worst, stop drinking diet soda before it's too late!

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on July 12, 2011
at 06:42 AM

Talking Rain flavored water is also good. We also bought a SodaStream - and while my partner is still 'zero-cola' addicted, he makes it half-strength. I really like making my soda water with lime/lemon/orange oil flavors, or BITTERS.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:56 AM

+1 - Like this. My hardest thing was stress eating...prowling around the house, reaching for the frig, grazing. When I made the rule that whatever I ate, if I ate at these times, HAD to be protein/fat, it helped immeasureably, because sometimes i just had to eat.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:54 AM

+1 -When we can find good, healthy subs it sure helps sometimes!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:53 AM

+1 - Your description is what worked for me, only I extended it way longer than 2 weeks to begin with, but 2 is probably good for most folks. Very much agree with the nuts, seeds and fruit comments. Can be a read danger zone for some of us.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:51 AM

+1 - might help. Has helped me in the past. HOWEVER, I can't do aspartame as my "sensitivity" is that within minutes of chewing the stuff I am stomach growling hungry, even if I just recently ate. It makes me want to graze all the day long...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:49 AM

+1 - I think there is more than one way - depends on the person.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:47 AM

+1 - Lotsa good stuff here. :)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:44 AM

@Aravind: Yes, I read Dr. Deans blog with her diet soda "admission" the other day. Hats off to her too. We are real people and we all have struggles. Acting like perfect, super/superior ppl isn't helpful to anyone.These things can grab you at anytime during the journey. 2 years ago, I had a helluva time getting off Crystal Light White Peach Tea mix. I'd never had it b4, tried it and I was "gone" for about 8 months with the stuff. Hooks, hooks everywhere...And then I began wanting sugar-free candy and I've never even been a candy eater...There's ALOT to what Guyenet says in my book!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 04:16 AM

+1 - LaCroix waters were my "savior" when I went cold turkey in 99. I HATED drinking water and I wanted that carbonated burn as well, Had been drinking diet drinks - not alot, but pretty much daily. I still drink them in the summer and now they come in a coconut flavor too!

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:38 AM

It's not answering your question but there is no reason to eat egg whites, Eat the whole egg! Egg whites are some twist of the fat-phobic culture of the past 20 years. Dont fear dietary fat and cholesterol if its from real food sources.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:32 AM

Fruit isn't junk. Eat it (and a lot) if you need something sweet. Eat it first! Don't wait until the point in which you are ravonous and binged up on excess "protein and fat" that you were told online it would satiate you and didn't. The sweet fruit will stop the craving (if you eat enough) and the calories will still be low. 5 oranges 300 cals. Big deal. Eat 5 more just because you can and still be in a calorie deficit ;) Binging on meat & fat and chased with process junk... 1,000s of calories and you went a step backward in health and weightless! Don't have to believe me though, just try it.

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 12, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Thanks mem. Sometimes I feel like such a hypocrite when I find myself getting all preachy with Paleo when I am consuming this toxic stuff so liberally. I guess I am in good company with Dr Deans - http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.com/2011/07/primal-docs-and-whole30.html

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 03:29 AM

Katie, what is your living situation? Are you able to control what foods are in your home environment?

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 03:27 AM

+1 to Katie for a difficult question. I, too, look forward to responses.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 03:26 AM

@Aravind: =1 and hats off to you for radical honesty which can only help many others!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 12, 2011
at 02:59 AM

I have been addicted to soda since childhood. Until age 25, it was regular soda and then switched to diet soda. At age 42 and in spite of an otherwise highly paleo compliant diet, I cannot kick this habit - 2-3 liters per day (not a typo). I have no other significant sweet tooth, but I am powerless over the soda. I really look forward to answers to your question. Congrats on your first question!

D1c02d4fc5125a670cf419dbb3e18ba7

on July 12, 2011
at 02:58 AM

I have been addicting to soda since childhood. Until age 25, it was regular soda and then switched to diet soda. At age 42 and in spite of an otherwise highly paleo compliant diet, I cannot kick this habit - 2-3 liters per day (not a typo). I have no other significant sweet tooth, but I am powerless over the soda. I really look forward to answers to your question. Congrats on your first question!

  • D6a4b4f53ab5b378bd16879692d5a81b

    asked by

    (50)
  • Views
    8.7K
  • Last Activity
    1429D AGO
Frontpage book

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

23 Answers

best answer

12
724f0f45eb53919b8c617c3c1ec5fbc5

(830)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:16 AM

I don't think you can wean yourself off gradually, I think you have to quit the sugar entirely, cold turkey. No artificial sweeteners, nada.

Meanwhile, you've got to eat plenty of protein and good fat, and some low-carb, low-sugar vegetables. Skip the fruit until you've got a better handle on your blood sugars and insulin response.

Egg whites and broiled chicken are low-fat and low-calorie - without a lot more fat in your diet you're going to continue to be starving hungry all the time, which is just a set-up for another sugar binge.

3558d8feb56bc681144f87e67140f885

on July 12, 2011
at 05:46 PM

I agree too. It's rough, I'm pretty much right there with ya on the sugar addiction.

1ec4e7ca085b7f8d5821529653e1e35a

(5506)

on July 12, 2011
at 11:56 AM

I agree. If sugar is an issue, you have to go cold turkey. It's going to SUCK but you can do it!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:09 AM

my=much **oops**

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:08 AM

This is my experience also. Cold turkey is the way to go, and doesn't take as my time. Do a total house clean out before you start. I used coconut butter when I had bad cravings, and that helped a lot.

7
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on July 12, 2011
at 03:37 AM

The most important thing I can recommend as you are making the switch - yes, cold turkey is best - is to never allow yourself to go hungry. When you are hungry is when those cravings for sweets usually turn up. When you have had plenty of food, especially fat, you will feel satisfied. If you start to crave sweets, eat something else that is satisfying to your hunger instead. It will be hard for about three days as your body uses up its stored glycogen, but then it will become very easy to pass up sugar as your body switches over to fat burning mode. So: go cold turkey, don't let yourself go hungry and tough it out for about 3 days until you switch to fat burning mode. That's all it takes to conquer the cravings.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:47 AM

+1 - Lotsa good stuff here. :)

7
15d83f76aaa6b0e38d662c20c6e097ad

(1012)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:17 AM

Cold turkey is in my opinion the only way.

For chocolate, switch to 85% dark or higher!!

The other thing you need more of is FAT!! Egg Whites are horrible!! You need the yolks to get you the necessary nutrients, and your description of egg whites, salad, and grilled chicken is not Paleo!! Cholesterol is your friend.

Steak, Bacon, Whole Eggs cooked in bacon fat or coconut oil, avocados, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds all good sources of fat!!

Please visit my facebook page and check the notes section for Foods I Eat, as well as my results. Fat is what you need to replace the carbohydrate sugar fix!! You won't be hungry, and your cravings will disappear!!

Tim http://facebook.com/bigtimsprimaljourney

5
E17addea7e1019a6cdbaec44f0b12728

on July 12, 2011
at 04:25 AM

I switched over to paleo Jan 2010 and was crawling the walls in NEED of SUGAR! Shocked how addicated I was. I remember getting up in the middle of the night and going to the store to find the fruit with the most sugar... dried dates. I allowed dates, bananas etc in the 1st month. As I started to feel and look better it was easier to tighten the reigns in and drop the fruit.

Then again, quitting cold turkey isn't bad advice. (But maybe instead of giving up completely, fall back on a fruit)

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:49 AM

+1 - I think there is more than one way - depends on the person.

5
Df37dee1b45f564770863d8a74016cbe

(1035)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:49 AM

I had the same problem at the beginning. I can't just inch away from sugar. As long as I eat any sugar, I will crave sugar. Finally solved this problem by eating thin slices of cold roast beef each time I craved sugary treats. That might work for you. I cooked a big roast beef each weekend, sliced it thin, and had it available in the fridge for quick snacks during the week. Plain, or with a little mustard and butter, it was very satisfying to eat lots of roast beef instead of sugar, candy, cookies.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:56 AM

+1 - Like this. My hardest thing was stress eating...prowling around the house, reaching for the frig, grazing. When I made the rule that whatever I ate, if I ate at these times, HAD to be protein/fat, it helped immeasureably, because sometimes i just had to eat.

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:38 AM

I agree with all responses above. It's best to quit cold turkey and, for a while, avoid fruits and starchy veggies. If you eat enough fat, as in cook your chicken in bacon fat (and eat the bacon too) etc., you'll still crave sugar for a long time but you won't be physically hungry which helps your odds if you keep all junk out of your house.

After a few weeks I started eating a little fruit--which aggravated my cravings at first--and now it's my daily dessert without causing problems. I'm 4 months in and I still have days where I think I'd love some junk food, but by now spring water tastes wonderful.

5
8de01c6943c12ddc4e0d870e9aa1e7c7

on July 12, 2011
at 03:29 AM

get la croix soda water. it's probably partly the carbonated burn that you crave in a soda. i know that's my deal. try it. it won't suck entirely. and oh yeah, do that other stuff people wrote above.

3558d8feb56bc681144f87e67140f885

on July 12, 2011
at 05:48 PM

This is so funny! Soda water is my new "candy" now. I like to squeeze some lemon or orange juice into it and there ya go. It's really helping!

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on July 12, 2011
at 06:42 AM

Talking Rain flavored water is also good. We also bought a SodaStream - and while my partner is still 'zero-cola' addicted, he makes it half-strength. I really like making my soda water with lime/lemon/orange oil flavors, or BITTERS.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 13, 2011
at 12:23 AM

I don't typically drink fizzy drinks anymore, but I do love me some La Croix. Coconut La Croix? I must keep my eyes open for that. It sounds delish!

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 04:16 AM

+1 - LaCroix waters were my "savior" when I went cold turkey in 99. I HATED drinking water and I wanted that carbonated burn as well, Had been drinking diet drinks - not alot, but pretty much daily. I still drink them in the summer and now they come in a coconut flavor too!

5
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 12, 2011
at 02:58 AM

You need calories. The meal you described is almost entirely protien and fiber, get some fat or healthy carbs(tubers, fruit etc.) in there.

4
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on July 12, 2011
at 07:16 PM

Having successfully quit smoking and sugar in my life (smoking was much harder), my advice is to 1) just give it up completely one day, 2) avoid things that are similar, and 3) if necessary, temporarily replace your bad habit with another incompatible habit.

The way I finally quit smoking (after about 10 tries) was to take up fairly serious bike riding, which is the third step above (i.e. totally incompatible with smoking). If you think that a 20 mile bike ride can be tough, try it after smoking a pack of cigarettes the day before.

For the sugar, you could try treating yourself with foods that are full-fat but without sugar. This should be about as satisfying as sugar and, overall, better for you. For example if you normally put a couple of scoops of sugar in your coffee, put 1-2 Tbsp of heavy cream instead. Cream has a slightly sweet taste and this makes it so you don't have to drink your tea or coffee black, which is way too much of a change for those with a sweet tooth.

I would also avoid sweet-tasting things that don't actually contain sugar, such as diet sodas or "Crystal Light" and that kind of thing. This will just keep your sweet tooth and will eventually lead to you cheating with the sugar.

For snacks or desserts, get full-fat but unsweetened greek yogurt, or the creamiest cheese you can find. There is a fromagerie in my area that has the most unbelievable imported French and Italian soft cheeses, this must be the ultimate indulgence, and is sugar-free. As delicious as it is, it is hard to eat a lot of this because it is so rich, and this is something to look forward to. Just don't eat it with any fruit or anything sweet.

Being comfortable eating fat guilt-free is probably one of the hardest steps for people to take on this diet, but also one of the most important. The fats can only be certain fats, and can't be combined with any sugar, but be 100% sure that they are good for you and will help you eat better.

Trying to cut out all sugars AND fats is probably nearly impossible.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:32 AM

+1 for all else though.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:32 AM

+1 for all else though. Fats are the sub for carbs.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on July 13, 2011
at 11:31 AM

"Trying to cut out all sugars AND fats is probably nearly impossible." It is impossible, because it leaves nothing but protein as your macro-nutrient source, leading to "Rabbit starvation" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_starvation

4
095ef76482234d3db444b77d7ed01c29

(2755)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:17 AM

Pretty simple... Just stop using it.

Meat, eggs, and green vegetables ONLY for the first two weeks. Actually, since it's so easy to go overboard on the nuts, seeds, and fruit... you may consider leaving them alone until you reach your weight loss goal.

Drinks...water is best. If you must, although they are not paleo, have diet sodas or better, still brew your own tea at home and use artificial sweetener. Hey, even using that little bit of "bad" stuff, you are making yourself healthier than you are now.

At some point in the first two weeks, you will feel like total crap for a day or two...brain fog, weak, tired... Then when this passes, your energy level will go up...off the charts. At work, about 10 years ago when I first started eating this way by trial and error and having never heard of paleo, primal, ancestral, etc... They actually drug tested me because my energy went up so much and they thought I must be smoking meth or something... especially with the rapid fat loss I was experiencing.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:53 AM

+1 - Your description is what worked for me, only I extended it way longer than 2 weeks to begin with, but 2 is probably good for most folks. Very much agree with the nuts, seeds and fruit comments. Can be a read danger zone for some of us.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 12, 2011
at 09:37 AM

Diet soda has aspartame in it, it's poison(neurotoxin). Also GMO corn "citric acid", artificial colors and other crap.

560821f3e7352455c3ebc2283d424f2e

on July 12, 2011
at 07:36 PM

They drug tested you?! Hah, that brilliant.

3
0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

on July 12, 2011
at 06:44 PM

I have a major sweet tooth as well, and I was able to go cold turkey for a month, but after a cheat day at a wedding (CAKE OM NOM NOM), I had to really struggle to get back on the no-sugar wagon.

I've found I do better overall and am a generally happy person when I just do LC in stead of VLC or NC. I still eat fruit on the regular, enjoy the hell out of some Larabars, and savor a couple squares of super-dark chocolate (try Lindt's 90%--it's off the chain) just about every night to keep myself from going paleo-postal. My weight loss has slowed a bit(it was never that rapid to begin with), but I've also upped my weight training and HIIT, and I'm seeing more muscle development, which is nice.

Honestly, you have to figure out what works best for you. I have a binge eating disorder, so coming to terms with the fact that is indeed okay to have something sweet on this diet--as long as it's not processed or fake--was a major breakthrough. Good luck!

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on July 13, 2011
at 12:15 AM

I completely agree with this (and I love how you phrased it: "enjoy the hell out of some Larabars")! I come from a background of binge-eating as well, and knowing I can enjoy a banana with almond butter or a Larabar or some dark choccy (70% dark is my vice) whenever I want it keeps me from feeling restricted and binge-y. Congrats on your breakthrough, grrleigh! That's awesome! :)

3
5d6a58590ba76136e8dc50c561c8ada2

(450)

on July 12, 2011
at 08:51 AM

All the suggestions are great here. There was awhile when all I had were meat and some greens in my fridge. If I got snackish or just wanted to eat, I would just eat a huuuge hunk of steak/whatever, even until the point of being quite full. At that point you really don't want to eat anything else. I was so scared I'd gain weight (one time I cooked and ate a huuuge pork chop at like 3am), but nothing bad happened, it actually probably helped me out.

So, if you're like me and you think 'oh, I can't eat/cook a whole meal right now, Ill just have this sugar snack instead', which leads to more and more trips back and forth to the fridge and getting small snacks, I'd suggest just going for it and cooking a whole hunk of meat right then and letting yourself eat the whole thing if you want/need something to chew on.

In fact I should take my own advice, as the bits of random nut butters/nut milk/nuts/snacks I've added back are ruining my weight loss, and reeally make me crave them/binge. vicious cycle :(

3
Medium avatar

(7073)

on July 12, 2011
at 07:37 AM

Read this book , it is fantastic and takes you through a 7-step program to help you come off sugar for good: Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen Desmaisons.

3
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on July 12, 2011
at 03:45 AM

I had to go really low carb to get off the sugar. ymmv.

I still have to be careful with fruit, dairy and alcohol, or things start getting sketchy again -- it's a slippery slope for me, unfortunately.

i'm for cold turkey all the way.

2
Medium avatar

on July 12, 2011
at 10:12 AM

I am starting day 16 today of no sugar and mostly no grains. Easing myself into all of this.

I'm feeling pretty good now - no horrible cravings although I just read that thread about pasta and felt a ping.

The first day or so I was a bit itchy and my hubs peanut m&ms were calling to me big time. I wanted them!

Instead I ate 2 pints of farmer's market fresh blueberries over the entire day. Not the best plan, but there it is. I didn't cave and have any m&ms though!

I even sat and watched my hubs eat a Dairy Queen the other night after the movies. Really didn't want one!

Left over steak sliced thin and sprinkled with sea salt is awesome as well.

Medium avatar

(572)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:52 AM

Maybe? :) My husband eats like a 12 year-old. I shouldn't say that though because I think most kids eat waaaaay better than him. Haha!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:05 AM

Are you married to my husband too?

2
F78bfa3ae7886d1ebdbcbc37c0a1b085

on July 12, 2011
at 04:10 AM

I"m new to Paleo also and love my gelato. Talk about a double whammy with the no sugar no dairy thing!

My saving grace has been a cold glass of coconut milk or unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly toasted. I snack on this and it feels like a treat and I miss the gelato less.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:54 AM

+1 -When we can find good, healthy subs it sure helps sometimes!

1
Ba6d1897de1cddf0bab312da3696bd39

on July 14, 2011
at 07:48 PM

Before going 100% Paleo, I suffered from terrible eating habits that were seemingly out of my control. I had cravings for sugar-rich and high-fat, high-carb foods that I couldn't resist, and I often found myself binge eating industrial foods. Pretty much everyone who I asked for advice from told me to quit cold turkey, but each time I tried this - and I tried it many, many times - my success would only last a few days, at most a week, before I succumbed to my cravings again. Cold turkey was just too distressing and exhausting for me. Interestingly, instead of going cold turkey, it was patient self-observation of my eating problem that allowed me to eventually overcome it. I used yoga, meditation, and other methods of cultivating self-awareness to make the switch to Paleo. If you're interested, I blogged about the entire journey on Paleoterran.com. Here's the link: http://www.paleoterran.com/journal/2011/6/10/becoming-paleo-part-1-the-yale-food-addiction-scale.html Good luck with your effort to ditch sugar!

1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 13, 2011
at 07:26 AM

I've done the tough it out cold turkey thing with sugar before, and it is rough, but it is doable. It seems to take about 3 days for the craaaaaavings to die down for me, somehow the habit seems to linger longer. I had a really good experience with some high end probiotics and digestive enzymes finally killing that little voice in my head that kept asking for sweets. The one my nutritionist gave me was called Theramedix DGX. I thought it was too expensive, but I also thought it worked, so I'm not complaining too loudly. If you shop around you could probably find something similar for less money. After that experience I'm now totally fascinated by psycho gastroenterology. I now wonder how many thoughts in my head are dictated by my gut?

1
776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on July 12, 2011
at 04:50 AM

I think sugar-free gum might be helpful. You'd be constantly chewing something sweet thus you wouldn't really feel deprived during a sugar craving. I used to go through a pack a day. You can buy Xlear Spry's xylitol gum if you're sensitive to aspartame. Also, most cinnamon flavored gum do not contain aspartame (like Trident and Stride).

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on July 12, 2011
at 09:36 AM

sugar free is bad idea, aspartame is poison. Please do research this is bad advice!

776cf39df980711e80fc02317eb64649

(892)

on July 12, 2011
at 02:01 PM

Yeah, I never personally chew aspartame gum. I usually just get the xylitol, but I understand it could be too expensive for some. The point is that the gum is just an intermediate step towards complete sugar elimination. I think a couple weeks of aspartame (again, you could get the cinnamon flavored gums and avoid aspartame) is worth it to rid one off sugar permanently.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on July 12, 2011
at 05:51 AM

+1 - might help. Has helped me in the past. HOWEVER, I can't do aspartame as my "sensitivity" is that within minutes of chewing the stuff I am stomach growling hungry, even if I just recently ate. It makes me want to graze all the day long...

0
A1774fb1fcb6c7a072a5e424544ef62e

(255)

on January 11, 2012
at 09:35 AM

I know this question was from a long time ago, but I just thought I'd offer my two cents' worth anyway.

I highly recommend going cold turkey. One day I was stuffing myself silly with Oreos, milk chocolate, apples and OD'ing on artificial sweeteners, and the next I went less than 20g of carbs. I went through severe carb withdrawal, and felt like death for about 3 days. On the 4th day, I suddenly felt a lot better, but still craved sugar and fruit.

I stuck with it for the next few weeks, with some "relapses" every four days or so (I would go binge on fruit/cakes/candy/other high-carb stuff). Gradually, the carb cravings decreased in frequency and intensity. The binges stopped, and I found myself growing more and more sensitive to carbs.

May I recommend that you also cut out artificial sweeteners along with the sugar? They only serve to make your sugar/carb cravings worse.

I can now have the occasional bit of cake and ice cream and "recover" from it easily enough, without severe carb cravings the other day.

0
02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on July 13, 2011
at 03:10 AM

Most people here will tell you to up your fat intake, but I'm skeptical of this solution. It's probably worth trying, but you hear of so many people constantly falling off the bandwagon with low-carb, and has anyone noticed that several prominent low-carb proponents are actually, er, still fat, or have regained weight?

I believe Stephan Guyanet, certainly no slave to the conventional wisdom, believes that, contrary to the Paleo coventional wisdom, low-fat diets can be just as effective as low-carb. Especially, I'm guessing, if you avoid wheat and the other NADs. A high-fruit diet, ala Castle Grok or Denise Minger, could work better for you than low-carb.

So you may want to try both ways. It seems like some people really enjoy eating low-carb, while others have a lot of problems with it. I haven't been low-carb for several months, and I have not gained weight, and feel pretty good, and I don't feel like I'm betraying myself whenever I eat some rice or fruit.

Like Grok of Castle Grok, I advise against eating a lot of fat if you go high-fruit. I think this is what caused GI issues with me a while back. That doesn't mean you have to be super-low-fat, but, if you eat a higher-fat meal, space it from a high-fruit meal by a few hours. So, for example, you could have a higher fat dinner.

Yes, fruit contains fructose, but I suspect Chris Masterjohn says, the toxicity of fructose is highly contextual. This probably means something like "Fructose in whole fruit, no problem. Fructose in Coca-Cola and Twinkies, problem."

I

0
Medium avatar

on July 13, 2011
at 01:52 AM

I grew up drinking sodas daily. When the soft drink companies changed from sugar to HFCS my intake sky rocketed - this was at the same time I end high school and entered college. I am an addict pure and simple and I have not had a soda in over 5 years. Here is how I did it. First, never buy and keep at home - always make yourself work to get one. Second, switch to drinking only sodas made with real sugar, they cost more and you can not drink as much. Third, Start giving it up for 40 days... that is you only goal and promise yourself you will be rewarded.

Stage three is the hardest and I worked on this stage for 4 years before I went 40 days and just didn't really want one afterward.

I drink no sugar drinks, only tea with caffeine... the next habit to break. I am also trying to give up the grains right now. I used the same method and this is the second year of giving up for 40 days and then a reward. My reward is a manicure/pedicure because it is a nonfood easily attainable treat that I enjoy and rarely partake in.

Good Luck!

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:04 PM

Yeah, I was thrilled when I found that the Coke for the Latino market is still made w/real sugar - sometimes a girl just wants a rum & Coke, ya know? ;p

E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on July 13, 2011
at 02:07 PM

Should say to stay on topic here that this is a MAYBE once every 3 months or so. I am having trouble cutting out the sugar completely myself altho I am doing much better. Probably helps that I absolutely HATE the taste (and aftertaste) of all artificial sweeteners and stevia. People have made some really good suggestions here that I am going to try myself.

Medium avatar

(572)

on July 13, 2011
at 10:56 AM

"switch to drinking only sodas made with real sugar, they cost more and you can not drink as much" This is what I do for my hubs. He's a huge soda guy but I don't buy it for him anymore. I do occasionally pick up a few of the Cokes from the Mexican section of the grocery store.

0
2f931662684a7747be36255c8b486228

(1049)

on July 12, 2011
at 08:05 AM

As for sugar: I agree, just throw it all away. But, I have personally noticed that when I use stevia, which isn't often, there is somehow something missing.......that little bit of happiness maybe. It just doesn't satisfy something because probably it doesn't trigger the same chemical responses other sugars do. It just seems to end on your tongue. That's fine with me. It makes certain dishes more palatable especially for kids, and I believe it does not lead to addiction. This is something I have been meaning to read up on (the why)...Will do so now..thanks for the reminder.

Another tip: I find when I get those odd cravings especially at the end of the evening I can replace them with other things..such as, foi gras (duck or goose liver - basically fat), or fermented pickles (salt).

Answer Question


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