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sugar/carb addiction. HELP!

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  • #16
    I too struggle with a severe sugar addiction. When I first went Primal, it was like the hardest two weeks of my life and then it got easier.

    For that first 2-3 weeks - be very strict - no sugar or processed foods. Don't forget - that even restaurants will brine their chicken in a salt/sugar solution and almost every sauce has sugar in it. Those things can be trigger foods - so go without. Be diligent aboutmking sure hidden sugar doesn't get in your food.

    Even though for losing weight, lower carb is advised, while you are breaking the sugar addiction, I don't think low carb is necessary - eat sweet potatoes, berries, etc to help you get through. Yes, its still sugars ... but its not the same as white sugar/corn syrup/and white flour - lower glycemic impact - doesn't tend to trigger sugar binging. No honey, agave, etc either.

    You need to treat white sugar/corn syrup /white flour like a drug - at least at first. Not even one bite. In time, it will become much easier and you may be able to incorporate them into cheat meals following the general rule that a small percentage of your life can be non-primal.

    I also suggest you find emotional/social support. There are lots of great groups like OA and Smart Recovery. I personally don't like OA because I have a hard time with the "higher power" thing - so Smart Recovery is a non-regiious option. You may also want to consider therapy.

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    • #17
      ^^some people are suggesting no fruit - unlike me. That is totally valid too - see what owrks for you. For me, it was okay - and what made me able to actually stick to plan for the first month or so. But it is definitely a valid point that for some people, fruits etc wouldn't be that good.

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      • #18
        If you're craving something it's either an addiction, or else it's something you need.

        When I gave up eating meat I got terrible meat cravings for the first month. Then they went away, and I didn't miss eating meat (though I would dream about it). Now I eat meat and I realise that, even though I didn't have cravings, my body adjusted to the lack of protein in other (detrimental) ways.

        My point? There's nothing wrong with carbs. If you want fruit or potatoes, eat them. I aim for balance now.
        "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

        In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

        - Ray Peat

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        • #19
          Thank you all for your advice. And by the way, when I say more so than others, here's a typical sugar binge: 2-3 donuts, box of cookies, 2 candy bars, etc. You get the point. I'm not talking about eating too much fruit or a candy bar here and there. But I do certainly appreciate all of these advice. I will continue to take your suggestions as I continue the primal transition.

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          • #20
            it's a hard habit to break, but if you think of it like any other addiction, like drugs or alcohol, and tell yourself that "no, just one little bit WILL hurt me" then you'll figure out alternatives. If you feed the dragon, it gets bigger. So just don't feed it. It can take up to 4 days to get over the initial sugar withdrawal and icky feeling, but it does end. As soon as you give in to that craving though, it's another 4 days to get clean again.

            When I was first starting out I found that going with something completely opposite of sweet helped me a lot, and it has worked for a lot of other people. Have pickles, or olives. Always have something easy and healthy to reach for instead of something you should be avoiding. As someone above said, if you don't have it in the house, you can't eat it.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Crossfitter View Post
              Thank you all for your advice. And by the way, when I say more so than others, here's a typical sugar binge: 2-3 donuts, box of cookies, 2 candy bars, etc. You get the point. I'm not talking about eating too much fruit or a candy bar here and there. But I do certainly appreciate all of these advice. I will continue to take your suggestions as I continue the primal transition.
              Hey Crossfitter,

              Believe me, I understand how you feel. I used to have the most horrific BED. At the worst stage I was binging twice a day: think a jar of nutella with a tray of cookies and a tub of ben and jerrys for breakfast. (I won't even say what Id eat at night..!)

              Anyway, my point was that restricting macronutrients directly led to the binging. It started when I went veggie (age 18). Going low carb made it the worst it's ever been. I had BED for 13 years: binging at least once a week for that whole period of time and now... I don't I never thought I'd be able to say that I stopped doing it, but I did, and I got over it by allowing myself to eat what I needed, and continuing to do so.

              I know it seems impossible that it's that simple, and of course there;s more to it than that, but that's the essence of it!
              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

              - Ray Peat

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              • #22
                Personally nuking the cravings with vlc ketogenic for a month followed by slow reintroduction really worked. Like hitting the reset button for your taste and cravings. Set to factory default

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                • #23
                  Are you actually doing Crossfit and also trying to restrict carbs and calories? That might be your problem right there.

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                  • #24
                    I doubt many of us are addicted to "sugar" or "carbs." What are your cravings? Cookies? Potato chips? Brownies? Ice cream? Cake? Many of these foods are higher in fat than carbs, but why are they considered carb addictions or sugar addictions? Take a spoon to a bag of sugar. Take a spoon to a bag of flour. See how far you get with each. People are generally addicted to the fat/sugar/starch combination. Those are our three sources of fuel, so when your brain gets a dose of all three combined in one single item (like a chocolate chip cookie), it goes into overdrive and demands more, even if you're full. It's an evolutionary thing - your body preps for the long winter by eating well when food is readily available. For us in modern times, though, that long winter never comes.

                    IMO the best thing you can do is start separating your fats, sugars and starches. I try to follow these rules for myself in general:

                    1.) Always make protein the center of every meal. It is the most filling and least fattening macronutrient.
                    2.) If you are eating a particularly fatty meal, avoid significant carbohydrate consumption.
                    3.) If you are eating a particularly carb heavy meal, avoid significant dietary fat consumption.

                    It's tough to overeat potatoes, but it's easy to overeat a loaded baked potato topped with butter, sour cream and bacon. Know what I mean?
                    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Crossfitter View Post
                      here's a typical sugar binge: 2-3 donuts, box of cookies, 2 candy bars, etc.
                      This is more a fat binge than a sugar binge. All those things: donuts, cookies and candy bars - contain more fat calories than sugar calories in general. The primary source of calories is fry oils, butter/vegetable oil and cocoa butter/hydrogenated fats, respectively. It's the fat/sugar/starch combo triggering your overeating. Just try to separate your fats and carbs. You're overeating when you mix the macros.

                      You can also try creatively readjusting your tastes if you're having trouble separating. Learn to kill a cookie craving with a buttered sweet potato, or a steak and some fruit. Your body is really just craving the fats and carbs, so do your best reallocating them to healthier sources.
                      Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                      • #26
                        There is a lot of research of the addictive properties of sugar combined with fat.

                        I think a lot of what people saying si right - when you eat nutrient dense food, you may find some of your cravings go away.

                        That said, I think people are also minimizing what can actually be an addiction. i totally believe with health eating (getting nutrients, replacing slow carbs with nutritious carbs) etc.

                        One of the things that helped me with binging was not being so scared of health fat (i.e. fat from high quality meat sources, avacodas, coconut oil). Eating enough fat definitely helped with binging and feeling satiated.

                        But what also has helped me immensely - was therapy. I do recommend therapy or going to some support group in addition to eating primal. Eating primal will definitely be a tool - but I don't think primal alone is the cure for someone with a life time of food addiction.

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                        • #27
                          I love stevia. It's hotly debated, some believe it primal while others don't - I am going with PRIMAL because it definitely helps jazz up black coffee or butternut squash - and it curbs a sweet tooth any day of the week!

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                          • #28
                            I cut everything out for a month although its REALLY hard finding where those sneakily added sugars and wheat are. I found cravings subsided after 2/3 weeks but before that eating an awesome steak and veg meal seriously helped the cravings. But after my month is up, I'm looking forward to attempting some paleo baking.

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                            • #29
                              I have had no cravings for months until now. Was just away for a few days and had some difficulty with getting as much meat and low carb as I am used to. So then found myself binging on my favourite old English candies. Acks... I just can't put them down. Home now aware that I am going to have to do a whole 30. Seems hard right now. I know how you feel, but we just have to stick it out for a while and the monster will go back into its black hole.... Eating what you want works for some people but for me as soon as I eat sugar (my English candies tend to be Dolly Mix and Jelly Babies, almost pure sugar) I am scouring the drawers and kitchen for more, have to eat the whole bag and out wanting them the next day. With it out of my system for a period of time I am totally in control.
                              Last edited by Silvergirl; 06-22-2013, 07:48 PM.
                              Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                              Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                              Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                              • #30
                                Honey, if you find yourself binge eating, you may have an eating disorder. Not uncommon in the least in the paleo community.

                                Or just let yourself eat what you want, when you want it, in reasonable amounts, and then you won't binge as much. Just a thought.
                                A Post-Primal PrimalPat

                                Do not allow yourself to become wrapped up in a food 'lifestyle'. That is ego, and you are not that.

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