1

votes

Intense sugar and chocolate cravings every few days?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 12, 2012 at 2:16 AM

I'm just starting out, and my diet is very good otherwise ( I even try to limit my fruit servings every day because I've always been such a sugar addict) but these sugar and chocolate cravings lately have been really getting me. If I indulge and eat a "real dessert", I feel horrible and zapped of energy. Should I try to fulfill these cravings in other ways, like dark chocolate and eating more fruit (maybe it's a deficiency issue?) or should I ignore them and try to go cold turkey, since it might just be my old addictions rearing their ugly heads?

I really want to be make paleo work, but I'm finding this issue to be a real struggle. Thanks!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 13, 2012
at 07:46 AM

That's under the assumption that sugar causes or worsens diabetes. Fructose was used in the past to treat it. I remember my diabetic relatives eating bananas without issues.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 12, 2012
at 10:29 PM

It could if she were diabetic or allergic. Just sayin'. ;)

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 08:28 PM

I'm not sure why calcium is not a concern, people have said paleo is higher in fat-solubles and lower in anti-nutrients so you need less calcium and while that may be true it may not be true for everyone, considering Danny Roddy recommends an intake of 5-7g of calcium daily and Masai are close to that. Some paleo diets are really low in calcium if you don't track it. Chocolate might indicate need for many other things (manganese, copper, saturated fat) and I really doubt a magnesium supplement is a 'healthier' alternative since many people have reported having stomach aches from it.

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on August 12, 2012
at 08:00 PM

@Korion - I answered your comment above, it was too long to put in a comment block.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on August 12, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Yes, when I came off it I felt so good that the addixction had gone, that there could be Easter chocolate all over the house and I didn't want a single bit of it after a life time of cravings. I am so disappointed I gave in to it again. I must get rid of it again. I can wean my self off it by eating loads of pecan nuts and raisins (sugar really) 1000 calories at ime but that's useless for my weight loss and my new boyfriend wants me to lose 14 pounds which is fine, I want that.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on August 12, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Yes, and cacao has a product in it akin to speed, amphetamines, in the cacao off the tree so actually it is not a great product although natural (it's terribly bitter so no one of right mind would eat it in the wild) for anyone unlses they want to go hyper and manage without food for a few days. It certainly does not lead to stable blood sugar for sugar addicts. I have no caffeine in theory - cured the 8 cans of diet coke addiction years ago - so any chocolate at all whcih has caffeine in it is bad for me. I know what I must do and that is just not have any chocolate whether normal or 70%ever

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:13 PM

i agree with you...sugar is never needed and in fact it is basically poison. we all grew up thinking sugar is okay in moderation but really all it does is hurt us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:11 PM

cacao also has caffeine...that might be part of why it gives you energy rather than the sugar content. try eating unsweetened chocolate and see if it has the same drug effect.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:54 PM

And why isn't it possible that she got deficiencies due to the paleo diet? As far as I know, a diet of meat and veggies is not particularly high in calcium compared to the SAD, very high in phosphorus, and sugar seems to protect against that : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1221903 Cravings don't have to indicate a deficiency either, it can just indicate a sudden need for the nutrient.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:46 PM

What is this, a concentration camp?

C0c839648b31512515daaffe8e4e9ad1

(468)

on August 12, 2012
at 12:42 PM

This is also not bad with yogurt instead of coconut butter.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:52 AM

Or, and raw bitter greens with every meal.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:52 AM

That't definitely sluggish liver! It means your liver is craving a stimulant. 1. Add milk thistle 2. Add active live probiotics twice per day. By them in refrigerated section.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:31 AM

I totally agree about the sugar. I'd say have NONE for at least 30 days. Not because it is soooo bad for you or anything (if it is a treat), but because if you can do 30 days without it, you'll likely feel better and have a better handle on your cravings.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on August 12, 2012
at 02:32 AM

I'd say eat both! Some people would say you shouldn't consume sugar, if you agree, then at least eat chocolate.

C250cd5da05ca54ad3133630ff614573

(175)

on August 12, 2012
at 02:31 AM

I'd say eat both! Some people would say you shouldn't eat sugar, if you agree, then at least eat chocolate.

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12 Answers

3
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:15 AM

I've always been a fan of "suck it up and go cold turkey" when you're starting. If you have any deficiencies, you had them because of you previous diet, not the switch to paleo. So you already had them and were living with them. Kill the sugar demons, then once that's under control work on filling in the gaps if you have any.

I've noticed a trend on PH in the last couple of months where people are becoming very permissive and excuse making for adding more sugar back in. It's reasonable to add more starch and such if you need the carbs, but sugar is never needed. That doesn't mean having a little is bad. If you really want a treat, I'm not going to say you shouldn't. But during your transition (a month or so), you need to be strict to kill the demons.

Editing to add answers comments below:

@Korion: The calcium argument has been answered countless times before, I won't go there now. Calcium is not a concern on paleo at all.

But to answer the general deficiency question: I'm not 100% sure that any suspected deficiency wasn't caused by paleo, but I'm reasonably confident that it wasn't. Calorie-for-calorie a paleo diet is much more nutritionally sound than any SAD diet. Plus, with a SAD diet, you don't absorb many of the nutrients because the bioavailability is bad. However, even if the switch to paleo was less nutritious, Ang is just starting out, so there hasn't been enough time to actually notice any possible deficiency. And if there was a deficiency (Mg is the only one that shows up with chocolate cravings), it could be managed much healthier than binging on chocolate and or sugar (like a Mg supplement!). That's why I suggest that we get everything else under control first, let the gut heal, kill the sugar cravings, then start tweaking.

If you've eaten SAD for your whole life, a couple of extra months of tweaking paleo isn't going to be a big deal. It's all about perspective. SAD is terrible, paleo with a deficiency is not as bad, then paelo all tweaked is good.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:54 PM

And why isn't it possible that she got deficiencies due to the paleo diet? As far as I know, a diet of meat and veggies is not particularly high in calcium compared to the SAD, very high in phosphorus, and sugar seems to protect against that : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1221903 Cravings don't have to indicate a deficiency either, it can just indicate a sudden need for the nutrient.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:46 PM

What is this, a concentration camp?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on August 12, 2012
at 08:00 PM

@Korion - I answered your comment above, it was too long to put in a comment block.

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:13 PM

i agree with you...sugar is never needed and in fact it is basically poison. we all grew up thinking sugar is okay in moderation but really all it does is hurt us. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 08:28 PM

I'm not sure why calcium is not a concern, people have said paleo is higher in fat-solubles and lower in anti-nutrients so you need less calcium and while that may be true it may not be true for everyone, considering Danny Roddy recommends an intake of 5-7g of calcium daily and Masai are close to that. Some paleo diets are really low in calcium if you don't track it. Chocolate might indicate need for many other things (manganese, copper, saturated fat) and I really doubt a magnesium supplement is a 'healthier' alternative since many people have reported having stomach aches from it.

61f9349ad28e3c42d1cec58ba4825a7d

(10490)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:31 AM

I totally agree about the sugar. I'd say have NONE for at least 30 days. Not because it is soooo bad for you or anything (if it is a treat), but because if you can do 30 days without it, you'll likely feel better and have a better handle on your cravings.

1
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on August 12, 2012
at 08:06 PM

I wonder if you are eating enough protein?

I just know that for me, I no longer crave sugar or carbs ever, anymore, now that I eat enough protein.
When I changed my diet to less carbs and sugar and high amounts of protein and saturated fat it really helped to have 4 mini meals per day of about 28 grams of protein. That's higher protein than I am eating now but it really helped cure me of my carb and sugar cravings.

How much protein are you eating?

1
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:59 PM

I'd eat some chocolate and some fruit, Ang. Please don't take the supplement route. It's gonna hurt your wallet, and it's hard to stop taking pills. 2-3 oranges and some chocolate are not gonna kill you, I'd say they'll probably make you more healthy.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 13, 2012
at 07:46 AM

That's under the assumption that sugar causes or worsens diabetes. Fructose was used in the past to treat it. I remember my diabetic relatives eating bananas without issues.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 12, 2012
at 10:29 PM

It could if she were diabetic or allergic. Just sayin'. ;)

1
7278560e76901ded4081022b54c6e165

on August 12, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I find when I have cravings, eating fat helps stifle it. Almonds do well too! I doubted it myself but hey it does work. It go and find something relaxing and distracting to do. Sitting also helps the cravings as well.

1
5f3e1f803d7a9b8704bb11cda26bcf9a

on August 12, 2012
at 04:01 AM

I agree that breaking the sweets habit is very important. After a point, you do not crave it anymore. You can ween by consuming small amounts of berries when you just can't stand it since these have low sugar and don't effect your liver. I have a great recipe for chocolate sweets n' berries that is uber paleo: Get some raw coconut butter (not oil)-you can find this in some stores in the same area as peanut butter. Get some powdered Cacao (I use Navita's) and freeze up some blueberries. Put a couple of TBs of the coconut butter in a bowl and microwave for a few seconds to soften it up-add a heaping tsp of the Cacao--(not too much or it will be bitter) Mix-it becomes a fudge. Drop in a handful of the frozen berries and stir-the coconut butter will harden around the berries. EAT. You will be glad you did....(and it doesn't raise your blood sugar!)

C0c839648b31512515daaffe8e4e9ad1

(468)

on August 12, 2012
at 12:42 PM

This is also not bad with yogurt instead of coconut butter.

1
2336245491a87ee15d4fb8f8f8283909

(1173)

on August 12, 2012
at 03:29 AM

So, if you are having sugar cravings and feel horrible if you eat a dessert...have you thought about fructose malabsorption? Google it.

0
1a6072f1b8c1ded97e2e2ade617fa021

(171)

on August 12, 2012
at 09:23 PM

I'm newly paleo going on for almost a month and I find the best way to deal with sugar cravings is allowing myself to eat more fresh fruits like berries or peaches, even though they contain sugar its much better than allowing yourself to eat processed sweets. If the fruit just isn't curing those cravings try eating a few dates, dried apricot or even a piece of coconut. That always does the trick for me.

0
14e1dbdd25db00d2c9db36d6a695f6cb

on August 12, 2012
at 09:14 PM

Ang, I've been posting recently about my own sugar cravings and struggle. I agree with others in that it helps to eat more protein and fats, BUT: if you're like me, once you get it in your head that you NEED the chocolate or whatever, no amount of knowledge about how sugar will make you feel fat/terrible/jittery, etc will take the craving away. That's where it really feels like a drug addiction. For me, if its chocolate I really want, having a piece of fruit is nice, but the chocoate desire still lingers.

I just ordered a product that is supposed to help with neurotransmitter issues (dopamine, specifically, as well as others). It's amino acids and vitamins in a combo that helps boost usage/production of dopamine. I mention this because I am curious if my uber strong cravings have to do with some deficiency in my brain. I know its another supplement, but maybe in combination with eating clean paleo and lifestyle things that naturally increase dopamine I can get a handle on this?? There are a number of supplements out there that help with cravings and are dopamine related, I started looking at SynaptaGenX but it's quite expensive, so I am gonna try Crave Control from Integrative Psychiatry, its about a third the price.

And lastly, for me having just a little of something sugary totally triggers me...I have a hunch that going totally hardcore with absolutely no cheating might be the way to go, though isn't the right approach for most people?? I think about recovering addicts....they probably wouldn't do very well on their recovery if they had their drug "in moderation" or "just a little taste"....

0
76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:09 PM

it takes a while to kick sugar but once you do you won't experience cravings unless you consume it. then when you consume it, you will have overwhelming drug-like cravings and you will remember why you stopped eating it.

i don't do sugar and rarely do fruit. as a result, plain foods started tasting great and i now love plain yogurt, unsweetened baking chocolate, unsweetened tea/coffee, and bitter foods. when you can cut sugar out you will feel so much freer. it really is a slavedriver and you are better off without.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on August 12, 2012
at 05:39 PM

Yes, when I came off it I felt so good that the addixction had gone, that there could be Easter chocolate all over the house and I didn't want a single bit of it after a life time of cravings. I am so disappointed I gave in to it again. I must get rid of it again. I can wean my self off it by eating loads of pecan nuts and raisins (sugar really) 1000 calories at ime but that's useless for my weight loss and my new boyfriend wants me to lose 14 pounds which is fine, I want that.

0
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on August 12, 2012
at 03:19 PM

I have similari ssues. I came off sugar a few years ago and was certain I would never backtrack and I lost the urge, felt better and was so proud of myself and then I lapsed. It started with buying cacao on a chocolate plantation in Panama and went on from there .. down hill.

Now I am back eating heathily and lost a bit of the weight except somenoe said eat dark chocolate. of course chocaholics, sugar addicts like I am carry really do that at all - it's lal or nothing. Also 70% cacao keeps me up all night as its ingredients are like speed. So I moved on to my daughter's daily milk chocolate .. okay just 200 calories but after a few days one bar was not enough, then I moved to 3. It's like alcohol or cocaine for many ofu s. You just cannot even have a small amount.

What I would like is that she doesn't have it in the house but I just had to go out to buy 2 new packets to replace those I ate of hers so had to have 2 more bars from that.

I think going off it altogether either slowly or immediately is best (radiantrecovery.com - sugar addiction suggests slowly build up to it).

For me it is as if I take a drug. I achieve huge amounts. I have business ideas. I feel marvellous. I think I am much more affected by chocolate even 70% (in fact I went on to the noraml chocolate because the 70% with lots of cacao is what gets me bouncing off roofs and wanting to save the world). I obviously need to avoid it all.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on August 12, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Yes, and cacao has a product in it akin to speed, amphetamines, in the cacao off the tree so actually it is not a great product although natural (it's terribly bitter so no one of right mind would eat it in the wild) for anyone unlses they want to go hyper and manage without food for a few days. It certainly does not lead to stable blood sugar for sugar addicts. I have no caffeine in theory - cured the 8 cans of diet coke addiction years ago - so any chocolate at all whcih has caffeine in it is bad for me. I know what I must do and that is just not have any chocolate whether normal or 70%ever

76211ec5301087de2588cfe3d6bccba9

(1178)

on August 12, 2012
at 04:11 PM

cacao also has caffeine...that might be part of why it gives you energy rather than the sugar content. try eating unsweetened chocolate and see if it has the same drug effect.

0
36104744e791a2ba9569fec927b09404

on August 12, 2012
at 02:51 PM

I've been eating Paleo for 8 months now and sugar has been the most difficult part of it for me. It has taken me 6 months to cut 95% of the sugar out of my diet. I'm still working on the last 5% but the good news is that it's a relatively effortless/low-pain process in comparison to willpower, thought it does take much longer.

My focus has been a balance between trying very hard to resist sugar and not pushing myself too hard to the point of hating the new diet. I remember taking inspiration from Angelo at Latest in Paleo when he said it's important to ENJOY being Paleo. If you get too hard on yourself about everything and start to hate it, you won't continue it and you won't be happy. So consider taking your time with the changes if that helps you keep your sanity when letting go of life-long habits/addictions, like sugar has been for some of us.

So, every day, I'd try to postpone sugar as long as possible and make it hard to access it by not keeping it at home. I did not guilt myself over having sugar, but reminded myself how well I did by going as long as I did that day without any. Small gains. Honestly, having one sweet a day didn't prevent me from having huge benefits from the rest of the changes I was making. If I had more discipline then cold turkey might have worked fine, but I just wanted to let you know that it's not the only way, and that slow weaning can work too.

Also, if you are a fan of sour candy, a great alternative is granny smith apples with lime juice poured on them.

0
46f6b440a524a0af9e24501ae72bea77

on August 12, 2012
at 03:01 AM

I love dark chocolate. Anything 70% and higher. I relate to sugar cravings. I have ate a bar a day for the past week. 55-70% dark chocolate. So higher in sugar. Now I feel good, I'm gonna go 85-90% this week. Slow and steady. Listen to your body. Fruit works for some. For me it makes me eat more. So I rely on dark Choco.

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