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Dammed SUGAR!

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  • Dammed SUGAR!

    Searching for sugar cravings turned up a TON of posts, so I thought I would add yet another. So far from what I've read, sleep habits and mood levels seem to trigger adverse responses in my body (stress, cortisol production, etc). As a result of this, my body craves sugar, like some type of damn drug addict. Most of what triggers a sugar binge are more emotional things, depression, lack of sleep, and stress. So it's logical to think that if I can control those triggers, I would be able to control the binges/cravings.

    Without going into too much detail, the biggest part of my stress is my work schedule. When I work nights (because of family reasons) I am usually up for 18+ hours a day, with a 2 hours commute both ways. Part of the sleep problem means that late at night I'm falling asleep behind the wheel, and the first instinct is to stop and grab a coke and junk food to get a sugar dump and help get me through the drive.

    Even when my blood sugar levels are in good shape (when I'm eating within primal guidelines) I still get cravings. What is acceptable to eat to help curb the cravings- are the coconut snacks and primal recipes good alternatives to the soda & candy bar? What about coffee? I drink it black, on the regular. Caffeine isn't so much a crutch because it takes a LOT of caffeine to see a result, but a cup of coffee when I wake up early in the morning is just enough to get my day started.

    So basically my question is this- are almonds/nut better to reach for or are there carb concerns with dumping a couple handfuls of nuts as a late night snack? Will I still see the body fat/weight loss occur with higher fat & protein levels if I'm keeping my carb limits between 50-75 grams a day? Lastly are the primal "dessert recipes" especially the coconut balls and the primal energy bar a good substitute?

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by jvaldezjr; 04-10-2011, 10:03 AM. Reason: adding tags

  • #2
    ummm nuts vs. coke and a candy bar? Definitely a better choice.

    I would skip the primal desserts for awhile until you have carb and sugar cravings under control. Let the sweet tooth die down. You'll be amazed. I find most DARK chocolate too sweet now. A candy bar would be disgusting to me now.

    I know there are people who caution against too many nuts but I found nuts and plain yogurt got me through the worst of the craving cycle. Once THOSE are under control then you can back off the nuts if you feel you need to.
    MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7


    • #3
      The Coke and candy bar HAVE to go. Those are anti-Primal health killers.

      Nuts won't be a problem in moderation. You already know the top priority, the stressful schedule you mentioned.

      I had a lot of weight to lose and a lot of issues to work out at the same time. I had a crazy schedule too, for a while. I would snack on walnuts, and I never did give up Monster Energy low-carb. I know that is probably a big violation, but not as much as a sugar soda would be, and they will keep you awake! I still lost 120lb.


      • #4
        Sugar is not the issue. This schedule will kill you, it's unsustainable over the long term. And from someone that works the midnight shift I'd say to cut way back on the caffeine. It diminishes the quality of what little sleep you are getting.
        Wheat is the new tobacco. Spread the word.


        • #5
          As I learned the hard way (took me better than five years to figure this out), there is no avoiding the self-perpetuating cycle that sugars (even supposedly good things like fruit/starchy veg) lead to if you are stressed and don't get adequate sleep, both of which absolutely lead to strong sugar/starch cravings. Get the sugars out of your diet and the cortisol will improve, as most likely all other aspects of your health. Nuts are very tricky: raw only, and only about a 1/4c once or twice a day. Things like boiled eggs and sugar free meat snacks are the way to go. Also, for insulin sensitive people, which you may be, caffeine and artificial sweeteners can raise blood sugar and cause cravings. I hope things improve for you.
          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


          • #6
            IvyBlue said:
            This schedule will kill you, it's unsustainable over the long term.
            Thus the life of a narc cop. Judging by your handle, I'm guessing you're in the family as well. What's worse is the night shift schedule rotates every week. Day shift for 4 days, night shift for 4 days. Really screws up the circadian rhythms. Yes I agree, the sugar MUST GO. I'll try cold turkey for a couple weeks and see how that goes. I'll also start packing a few hard boiled eggs and bacon for the drive home and see if I can substitute. I don't think I'm that insulin sensitive, if at all, and I don't have a problem with Caffeine, it just takes more to get a noticeable effect, but I didn't know about the sleep connection, so I'll switch to green tea at night as see how that goes.

            To kind of put things into a little more perspective, I've been following Primal guidelines with eating (exercise has been some crossfit type workouts, distance runs or rows, and yoga a couple times a month) since January 1. I've lost 32 pounds as of last Friday, so I know I'm on the right track, I just need to clean up some bad habits that I let creep back in.

            Yea most Dark Chocolate is real sweet, I eat around 82%-85% bars now, and it's usually a square or two every other week. The primal snack recipes helped me get through a long afternoon, and helped with my fat/protien intake when I would be short. Lately though I have been coming up way short on my protien and fat levels that I'm finding it hard to fill.

            Thanks for the advice, this primal journey has been working overall, and the first approach to health that I've been able to stick with.


            • #7
              I saw a news that mentions about melatonin. This is a hormone that is produce by our body. This hormone also makes us feel drowsy. A news that actually alarming. Mayors in two New England towns are attempting to put a stop to the new craze sweeping the land, the scourge of melatonin brownies. Melatonin isn't a craze inducing narcotic, but a hormone that is naturally produced by the brain that makes individuals drowsy. However, the concern is over the packaging and the marketing. Melatonin is being put into desserts that are conceivably being marketed to children who should only take very small doses. The proof is here: New England towns looking to ban melatonin brownies.


              • #8
                Coffee is bad. What about starchy vegetables? Potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, rice cakes even? At least those are Paleo 2.0


                • #9
                  I had a nasty coffee habit rekindled. But, I'm doing what I can to control it, at worst. I remember when I first got onto the Primal Blueprint, I found a need for coffee non-existent.
                  If you have a problem with what you read: 1. Get a dictionary 2. Don't read it 3. Grow up 4. After 3, go back to 1/ or 2. -- Dennis Blue. | "I don't care about your opinion, only your analysis"- Professor Calabrese. | "Life is more important than _______" - Drew | I eat animals that eat vegetables -- Matt Millen, former NFL Linebacker. | "This country is built on sugar & shit that comes in a box marinated in gluten - abc123