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Why do the sugar cravings always hit at night?

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  • Why do the sugar cravings always hit at night?

    And how do I fix this? It's driving me insane. I'm the perfect little Paleo angel during the daytime, but immediately after my dinner I feel like I'm going to rip off someone's head if I don't have something sweet. It's so bizarre. And it's really frustrating me because I'll have done well all day with no cravings and then BAM! It's almost like an anxiety attack. I cannot control it the craving is so strong.

    I've tried supplementing with glutamine but that doesn't really do much. I'm up to 2000mg after dinner with a 1000mg at breakfast and 1000mg at lunch.

    Any thoughts as to what's going on? I'm eating lots of fat. Today I had eggs and bacon, fajitas with guacamole, lettuce, sour cream (no tortillas, no beans, obviously) and for dinner pan-seared buttered unbreaded catfish with veggies and some coleslaw.

    It's so crazy because I did so well with barely no sweets the first month of Paleo just a bit of dark chocolate here and there....then it's been downhill ever since. Ugly carb monster reared its head, and now I can't get back in control it seems.

    Thanks for the help.

  • #2
    Dessert habit, maybe?

    How about forming a new habit (whether or not you have a history of eating nightly desserts) like going for a walk or doing flexibility work immediately after dinner? Listen to paleo podcasts while you walk/stretch/whatever.

    Another thing you can do is put a moratorium on eating after a certain time of day. For example, after 7pm you aren't permitted to consume ANYTHING but clear liquids like water or tea. The idea is to stop "bargaining" with yourself about what you can have instead of sweets. You're just not eating right now. Period. End of discussion. Go do something else.
    Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

    Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

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    • #3
      i can relate to this as i'd always been a nighttime binge/sugar eater... it's like you have a kickass/clean day and then at night, when you get settled in BAM! i honestly feel that it's more of a mental "thing" than it is a physical craving... if it IS indeed a physical craving, i have been reading about a lot of PBer's and Paleo's who have eaten a starch earlier in the day to help curb the sugar cravings... also, i have gotten past the nighttime craving stuff by doing exactly what BarbeyGirl said--stop eating after a certain time... my eating window is from 12 or 1pm to 7 or 8pm and that's it.

      good luck
      live mindfully.
      she's a Coconut Girl in a PRIMAL world... my PB journal

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      • #4
        you don't sound like you are eating enough vegetables, which is where you should be getting a lot of your vitamins. if your body is hungry for vitamins, it may send out "craving" signals because it needs more vitamins. try getting a juicer and juice a bunch of veggies (spinach, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, beets, anything dark or green) and drink this three times a day. taking a multivitamin will NOT help and is basically useless as the body can only absorb most vitamins from food.

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        • #5
          I have to agree with the above comments... set a window of time and just DON'T eat after that time. I started with 20 minutes after dinner, and I would eat chocolate, berries, nut butter, etc within this time. I came to realize that I'm just reinforcing the dessert habit, and I'm not actually hungry after a meal. Cravings are such a bitch. I stopped keeping chocolate in the house because I literally couldn't keep it to a minimum, I was eating a whole bar every night.

          Barbeygirl has a great idea, and I'm going to steal it! I really like that you replaced the dessert habit with a much healthier activity, something new to crave after each meal. The trick is doing it every single night until we feel like we aren't complete without it. This is how I often feel about the sweet-foods after dinner... like my meal and evening aren't complete without them. So messed up!
          simplyprimal.blogspot.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by chuckarie View Post
            you don't sound like you are eating enough vegetables, which is where you should be getting a lot of your vitamins. if your body is hungry for vitamins, it may send out "craving" signals because it needs more vitamins. try getting a juicer and juice a bunch of veggies (spinach, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, beets, anything dark or green) and drink this three times a day. taking a multivitamin will NOT help and is basically useless as the body can only absorb most vitamins from food.
            Sorry, but I STRONGLY disagree with this advice. Juicing gives you all the sugar (and a lot of nutrients) from the veggies, without the fiber they're supposed to contain. Bad idea for keeping carbs low, bad idea for avoiding insulin spikes.

            Eat veggies. Whole veggies. Not juice.
            Nightlife ~ Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm ~ Idaho's Primal Farm! http://inthenightlife.wordpress.com/

            Latest post: Stop Being Stupid

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            • #7
              Juicing gives you all the sugar (and a lot of nutrients) from the veggies, without the fiber they're supposed to contain.

              okay, use a blender instead then. and maybe making a primal smoothie at night instead of binging on sweets will help give you nutrients and satisfy your sweet tooth.

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              • #8
                Prime, I was/am the exact same way with chocolate and dessert, it is so terrible to feel unsatisfied and almost incomplete after a meal.

                Pre-primal I would look at the dessert menu first when eating out!

                I agree, the new after dinner habit is great idea.

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                • #9
                  It may be a dessert habit. I had one. In that case, fruit would be a less than ideal choice.

                  What I found was that being tired at night made me crave carbs.

                  In "Lights Out" this is theorized to be your body trying to provoke an insulin crash to force you to sleep, since you are up too late.

                  How much sleep are you getting?
                  Lifting Journal

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                  • #10
                    i use to have this problem, after i ate it was like other food was on my mind and i wanted it... how i fixed it, was making sure at meal time i was always eating something I WANTED as opposed to something i deemed 100% healthy good primal becase it left me wanting something more... for example, a chuck steak and sauteed greens is perfectly primal yummy meal, but then i would be thinking about coconut butter after i ate... because it wasnt the meal for dinner i had that i wanted it was the coconut butter. so at meal time i would eat what i knew i would be wanting after dinner as opposed to putting it off thinking i wouldnt need it or want it. after a few days i felt it wasnt the coconut butter anymore i wanted, but i wanted real food.

                    if that makes sense, make sure you arent saving your mind for food you should be eating when you want it. listen to your body
                    Get on my Level
                    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RobyRey View Post
                      Prime, I was/am the exact same way with chocolate and dessert, it is so terrible to feel unsatisfied and almost incomplete after a meal.
                      Same here, I was having dessert every night.

                      Something that helped me: cook enough food for three or four people, and after serving up your meal leave the soup pan/casserole dish/shepherds pie, whatever it is, out on the surface (covered so it stays hot). Don't consider it tomorrow's food just yet. After you've eaten, when the dessert cravings start to hit, go serve yourself another portion, and enjoy. Repeat as necessary.

                      Providing you can make tasty meals this should keep the sugar cravings away. You'll be so stuffed dessert will be the last thing on your mind.

                      Also, eat slower. I sometimes spread a meal out over an hour or two, eating slowly and intermittently. Keeps me satisfied afterwards.
                      Last edited by randallfloyd; 04-02-2011, 09:25 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I have a half cup of berries as my evening snack with either a Tbs of GF cream or coconut cream. That satisfies my life long craving for a bit of sweet last thing.
                        This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

                        Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
                        Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

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