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Have you won the long war against sugar addiction?

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  • Have you won the long war against sugar addiction?

    I really need some guidance. Or support. Or something. I'm not referring to those who used to like sweets, but learned they should go primal, promptly quit, and never had another bite. I'm not referring to those who had some trouble getting off sugar, but increased fat & protein, and had no trouble quitting.

    I mean, if you obsessed over sweets, binged on sweets, LOVED sweets, couldn't imagine living without them, and then quit, and then months (or a year) later found yourself bingeing again, then increased fat & protein, went totally primal, kept no sweets in your house, surrounded yourself with healthy choices and healthy people, and then months later found yourself bingeing again, but finally, at long last, won the battle against not just sugar, but against the sugar *cravings*, and have stayed that way for over a year ... you're the one I need to hear from.

    I'm drowning. I went sugar-free three years ago eating real, whole foods, and by dramatically increasing fat & protein. I dropped grains and stayed solid for a few months, then drowned again. Then after 9 months, did it again. Stayed very, very low-sugar for nine months, then went primal all the way & no-sugar, and most cravings died away, but every few months, would find myself spiraling into cravings again, and giving until till I had a few terrible binges.

    I lose weight as long as grains and sugar stay out of my diet, but while grains no longer tempt me, sugar won't leave me alone. I'll do a 30 day challenge and then go craving-free for a few months, then something slips in and suddenly I'm drowning again. I did an anti-candida whole 30 (no fruit, nuts, sweet veggies, etc., basically nothing but meat, eggs, & green veggies) and collapsed three weeks in b/c of incessant intense cravings.

    I need help! "Just do it" doesn't work, never has. I've done anti-candida, GAPS, 100% primal, all of it. Two weeks, three weeks, 30 days, 60 days - no matter how long I stay "clean," eventually the cravings start creeping back in and do me in. Check my journal - it's been going here for almost a year and a half and documents 40lb lost (and ten regained during a six week series of weekend binges this spring) even while beating back constant cravings, and falling and rising and falling and rising again.

    I'm so tired and beaten down. Is it possible to get rid of irrational cravings for sugar forever? Not just get to the point where you can "just say no" constantly all day every day, but get *rid* of the cravings and live a normal life where sugar doesn't yell at you all day long?
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

  • #2
    Well by sugar are you including fruit and tubers? Because I think that a life with no fruit would suck. I can live without ice cream, candy, honey, maple syrup and anyother "sweet" but I think a little fruit as a treat is perfection.

    As for the rest of it, dark dark dark chocolate seems to slay sweet cravings like nothing else for me.
    The more I see the less I know for sure.
    -John Lennon


    • #3
      I got off of sugar about 15 years ago by following my allergist's recommendation: taking chromium picolonate. It's been so long that I don't recall the exact protocol, but the supplement took away my craving for sugary stuff. And I have never looked back, even passing up birthday cake and the like, which used to be irresistable.
      Live your life and love your life. It's the only one you get.


      • #4
        Magnesium and the Brain: The Original Chill Pill | Psychology Today


        • #5
          Sorry honey. I wish I had a magic life buoy. Do you know what triggers the Binges? How do you react to them? Do you beat yourself up and figure why bother? You say you have tried eliminating all sweet and starchy things. Have you tried eating some of them, like starch vegetables? Good luck. I hope someone has an answer to give you.
          Ancestral Health Info

          I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

          Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.


          • #6
            No matter how many times I walk away, the sweets always get me back. The good news is that I no longer really crave non-primal sweets. The bad news is that left unchecked I could and would really get out of control with honey, maple syrup, fruit, etc.

            I'll be very interested to see the advice given here.
            Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )



            • #7
              Originally posted by MamaGrok View Post

              I'm so tired and beaten down. Is it possible to get rid of irrational cravings for sugar forever? Not just get to the point where you can "just say no" constantly all day every day, but get *rid* of the cravings and live a normal life where sugar doesn't yell at you all day long?
              This. I want to know the answer to this as well. Mamagrok, I know exactly where you're coming from. I have dealt with sugar cravings for years and years and never been able to fully banish them from my life. Case in point, I've been eating strict Primal for almost two months (no dairy, sugar, anything bad) and today I lost it. The drowning description is a good one. I'm at a loss for how to deal with these cravings once and for all.


              • #8

                I am just starting my journey, but having the same issues. I am 1 month into my candida challenge, hanging on by the proverbial skin of my teeth. Not a day has gone by that I haven't craved sweets, from fruit to cheesecake to pancakes dripping with real maple syrup. My only cheat has been the communion grape juice at church, but it has been HARD. I know that if I ate "just a little" I would end up eating a whooooooole lot of fruit, I have been known to eat an entire cantaloupe or a carton of berries at a sitting, and still want more. Even "safe" vegetables aren't immune from causing me cravings. If I eat sauteed onions (not high carb, but not low either), I have to eat an entire plateful.

                One thing that has helped so far is Vitamin C supplements in the form of ascorbic acid. 1/4 teaspoon dissolved in a shotglass of water curbs my cravings almost instantly, although not 100% satisfied. Today I tried doing a no-carb breakfast (4 eggs and a pork chop), followed by a no-carb lunch (Bee's egg drink from her anti-candida site, it's basically eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, coconut oil, and hot water, actually quite tasty), followed by a dinner with meat, eggs, and veggies. Today is the first day my cravings have been so minimal I didn't even think about them until after my veggies at dinner. I think if I limit my carbs to later in the day, maybe I can help keep the cravings down, we'll see how it goes from here on out though.

                Not sure how much help any of that is, just know you're not alone in this, I'm fighting it too!


                • #9
                  Absolutely no advice to offer here, but just to say, you are not alone! I can eat super clean for days, weeks even and avoid grains and bread and pasta and all that. But then I cave into this sweet tooth and end up eating (not at all proud of this) a whole package of really horrid cookies. Like not even good cookies. It's kind of like when I tried to quit smoking years ago. I didn't really want to stop smoking. I knew that smoking was killing me and a terrible habit, but just couldn't quit. Then one day, I just stopped. And I never smoked again. I keep thinking that at some point that's going to happen with sugar but it's not. The very big difference here of course is that smoking is considered by most to be a filthy habit but saying no to someone's home baked cake is like slapping them in the face. Oh well. Good luck to us and hoping to hear some great advice!


                  • #10
                    I smoked cigarettes for 12 years of my life and gave up no problem! drugs, alcohol..... can take them or leave them. Addiction to any of these has never been a problem for me.
                    Sugar though? I would often battle with a desire to eat an entire bag of lollie's in one sitting. The thing that has helped me deal with this is admitting to the addiction and allowing myself to eat 85% organic dark chocolate daily (12g of sugar in 100gm, so 30-40gms doesn't yield much sugar). It's a replacement as such, and in 6 months of doing this and eating primally I have only fallen off the wagon and sugar binged once, whereas pre PB it would be a once or twice weekly major sugar overdose. Dont know if this will help you, but try the daily chocolate and see.


                    • #11
                      Well, you know I haven't won anything. But I have had better success lately from two things- adding in some primal carbs to keep my serotonin up (low carb was the reason I went downhill with mood and cravings after going primal, but I know you have issues with eating any carbs so maybe not much help), and secondly I book called "Eating Less" which has some strategies which I have found can even head off a binge when before I wouldn't have been able to. The combination of some new ways of thinking and getting my food closer to what I want it to be, plus 5-HTP which I am still taking (though I hope not to need it long term, I didn't need it until I went low carb) has really helped. I have even had kids size chocolate bars in my wardrobe and didn't eat them all, just had one or two a day!

                      I know some peeople have had success with The Mood Cure and similar but I didn't notice any changes from adding in the recommended supplements, except for 5-HTP.

                      For me, it is a jigsaw puzzle and the pieces include primal food, Radiant Recovery, psychological stuff like the Eating Less book, 5-HTP, getting enough sleep and so on. I haven't found a fix it, but I have made progress and I try to be content with that, though when I am trying not to cry because of how hard it is to drag my bulk up a hill with my plantar fasciitis, admittedly it is hard to stay positive.
                      Gluten intolerance and hypermobility syndrome

                      Eat food. Mostly real. Enjoy life.

                      Health, energy, wellbeing, vitality, joy, LIFE! Health At Every Size

                      "Do not ask what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
                      Harold Whitman


                      • #12
                        I believe I won the sugar addiction, but it took time. I love to bake. My friends and family always asked me for my cakes, cookies and other pastries that I would come up with. The bad thing is when I baked, I also sampled the goods. If I ate one cooke, then I ate 5 cookies. It's like an alcoholic that cannot have even one drink or the binge begins.

                        I had to give up baking in order to truly give up the sugar. I may at some point go back to it now that I feel like I have my weight and cravings under control. However, on special occasions, I will indulge in some ice cream or some other non-primal sweets. Maybe at most, once every couple months. I think that I need those little indulgences to remind me of what I enjoyed, and it also puts me back on course with my regular diet.


                        • #13
                          I cannot say that I have won. You can stand on the head of the snake, but you cannot kill it. When I get the addictive foods out of my diet they pretty much leave my mind. For me there are no treats because then I've got to wrestle that snake again, and that can take years. I think if one is having issues there may be an addictive food or addictive food-related behavior still in the mix. And, Overeaters Anonymous.
                          “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
                          Blogging at


                          • #14
                            No, and neither will you. At most you keep the door shut against it knowing that if you even turn the knob a little, or are under unusual stress, it will come bursting in on you. I started a blog to discuss what a challenge sugar/sweet is for those of us who are indeed sugar addicts: It took me a long time to get there, but I accepted that I can't have sugar, artificial sweeteners (they keep your brain craving), high sugar fruits, or starchy vegetables. There's a spectrum and some people can eat sugar with no effect, others can have in occasionally, and there are people like you and me who can't have it. The parallel to alcohol is perfect since both work on the same part of the brain. What I have achieved is acceptance. This is my lot in life; but it could be a lot worse.
                            All the best.

                            I was a sugarbaby; meaning since I was born I was given lots of sugar, and ate lots of processed foods, especially sweets until I was into my thirties. Most people in the west were/are sugarbabies.

                            “How does today’s youngster educate his sense of taste? By submerging it in a sea of sugar from the time he gets up to the time he goes to bed.” W. Root and Richard DeRochemont, Eating in America (1976)


                            • #15
                              Thanks, all! I woke up to 13 responses and am so heartened by the support, even if it's not very hopeful as far as some day losing the cravings, lol. I will respond to all the great posts later, gotta run the kids to swim practice! Thank you!!

                              Advice from any former alcohol or drug addicts is appreciated, too, b/c I know you know better than any whether it's possible to lose the cravings - I do think diet can help with it - but one reason sugar is more difficult is b/c it's socially acceptable to say "I'm an alcoholic; I can't have even a sip," but not to say, "I can't have even one bite of that cake you baked just for me" and family members just don't understand "please don't bake me the cake you know I love; I'm an addict and can't have even one bite." It's hard for *me* to understand and accept!
                              5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                              Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                              Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                              Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                              ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***