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  • Sugar and Alcohol... connected?

    I have noticed that, in my 6 month old Primal life (one of which was a Whole30), as I drop the sugars out of my diet that alcohol tastes really appealing to me. I have never, ever been much of a drinker - I only drank socially, as in the office Christmas party, or my MIL offering a glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner, or perhaps a best friend's birthday grill party (which would, being honest, end up in a rollicking tipple). I so good as never went/go to bars and only infrequently go out to dinner to any place where I would want to drink with dinner.

    But now I could really get into a glass of wine (or three) with dinner each night, or perhaps a mixed drink every evening. It feels kind of like my body has the same sweet tooth, just with an emphasis on the liquor because I won't feed it white sugar or grains any more.

    Are the two connected? Has this happened to you in your Primal journey?

    (Don't know if these facts matter, but I NEVER drink beer (have had only one bottle in my 45 years, just to try the taste) and there is zero alchoholism in the family (even extended family). I am on/take zero drugs (prescription, OTC, street, or otherwise). Family life is really stable.)
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

  • #2
    sounds like your body likes the carbs *adjusts internet expert glasses*

    or else you've become possessed by the spirit of an alcoholic
    beautiful
    yeah you are

    Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
    lol

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    • #3
      Sounds like a craving. You could try increasing carbs in general, that might mitigate it.

      Read this article: Dessert Demons in Disguise | Whole9 | Let us change your life. I think it applies to alcohol as well.
      Depression Lies

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      • #4
        Not sure what is going on but alcohol is not a carbohydrate.
        Alcohol & Carbohydrates: Five Myths
        It is something you should watch though.
        Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
        PS
        Don't forget to play!

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        • #5
          "Rollicking tipple". I love it when people use a colorful phrase like this.

          I think that alcohol and sugar are linked. Go to an AA meeting sometime. No alcohol but plenty of coffee and sugar. When my alcoholic ex-husband gave up alcohol and smoking he sat on the bed with a huge pile of cookies and just snarfed them all down in a frenzy. That was his first night's coping tactic. Interesting he didn't snarf down hot dogs or broccoli.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            I think we sometimes trade one addiction for another. Ask a smoker if they're going to go on a diet and quit smoking at the same time, and you'll almost always get NO for the answer. Why? Because part of smoking is shoving something into your mouth and when it's not cigarettes, it will be something else like food.

            So maybe your brain is looking for something that made it feel as good as sugar used to do. Even though distilled spirits aren't carbs, one thing they share with sugar is the hangovery feeling you have the next day. Which is basically a crash from the high.

            Anyway, not sure if any of that makes sense.
            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

            B*tch-lite

            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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            • #7
              I notice I can't drink AT ALL anymore, since it just makes me want to eat sugary carbs. When I was a kid, my alcoholic dad would try to stop drinking, and would sit on the sofa, wolfing whole boxes of See's Candy, and smoking. So I believe sugar and alcohol ARE related. It's easier for me to stay Primal if i avoid both.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
                "Rollicking tipple". I love it when people use a colorful phrase like this.

                I think that alcohol and sugar are linked. Go to an AA meeting sometime. No alcohol but plenty of coffee and sugar. When my alcoholic ex-husband gave up alcohol and smoking he sat on the bed with a huge pile of cookies and just snarfed them all down in a frenzy. That was his first night's coping tactic. Interesting he didn't snarf down hot dogs or broccoli.
                Originally posted by Calibunny View Post
                I notice I can't drink AT ALL anymore, since it just makes me want to eat sugary carbs. When I was a kid, my alcoholic dad would try to stop drinking, and would sit on the sofa, wolfing whole boxes of See's Candy, and smoking. So I believe sugar and alcohol ARE related. It's easier for me to stay Primal if i avoid both.
                Interesting... From the recesses of my brain comes a little memory about recovering alcoholics needing some rigorous supplementation, can't remember what exactly, but that it helped tremendously with that craving for alcohol. I have had a serious depressive episode in my life, and was overjoyed to find that avoiding refined sugars with the Primal helped with mood problems more than I would have ever suspected. I am starting to suspect that I might need to consciously limit my alcohol consumption, just so I don't fall into that trap to satisfy whatever brain chemical thing is still lingering, and your stories give me some direction.

                Thanks!
                I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bloodorchid View Post
                  sounds like your body likes the carbs *adjusts internet expert glasses*

                  or else you've become possessed by the spirit of an alcoholic
                  OMG, I would willingly be possessed by whatever vodun Orishas are floating around New Orleans just to get my hands on another mint julep made locally... You might just be right!
                  I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoanieL View Post
                    I think we sometimes trade one addiction for another. Ask a smoker if they're going to go on a diet and quit smoking at the same time, and you'll almost always get NO for the answer. Why? Because part of smoking is shoving something into your mouth and when it's not cigarettes, it will be something else like food.

                    So maybe your brain is looking for something that made it feel as good as sugar used to do. Even though distilled spirits aren't carbs, one thing they share with sugar is the hangovery feeling you have the next day. Which is basically a crash from the high.

                    Anyway, not sure if any of that makes sense.
                    It does to me. To help with the candy bar habit and going Primal and all that, I have some dark chocolate, around 83%, daily. 6 months ago it was a bar a day. Now it is down to around a third or a quarter bar daily on average, because some days i actually forgot it, and then a few days ate a half bar... that kind of thing. If I told you all the sugar nonsense I am totally guilty of in my past, you would faint from sugar shock just standing near me.

                    I will ruminate on your post - thanks for the advice!
                    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC

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                    • #11
                      For me? Yes: the two are definitely connected. I'm a binger both ways and interchangeably, but I then eat or drink to excess. So, say, a craving for alcohol can be overcome by eating sugar/carbs and vice versa. Of course, the emphasis here is on vice. Now, if I'm in a happy place I don't crave and I don't binge on either substance: I can eat and drink socially, normally, but as soon as I lose my internal sense of balance the self-destruct button gets pushed.

                      I cannot quite imagine living dry forever, but I have maintained dry spells of many months.
                      I like badgers, books and booze, more or less in that order.

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                      • #12
                        The only thing that helps me not crave a huge, carby dinner when I don't drink is lots and lots of glutamine. I take 3G daily.

                        I've read that those prone to sugar (or booze) are lacking in it, and this time it is really helping me not want a drink as soon as I get home from work (and by drink, I mean 3-4 beers, or a bottle of champagne, or a couple gin martinis). I wonder if it has something to do with glutamine repairing the gut, and/or the brain, who knows. But it helps.

                        And yeah, my family is littered with functioning alcoholics, and by that I mean people who can quaff a fair amount of booze every single night and do fine the next day (albeit suffer from a thick waistline)

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                        • #13
                          I just watched Dr. Lustig's video called Sugar the Bitter Truth
                          Sugar: The Bitter Truth - YouTube
                          and he explains how fructose and ethanol (alcohol) are both mainly metabolized in your LIVER...so perhaps that is the connection?

                          Start the video at 51 minutes to get to ethanol info!
                          Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                          http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Crabbcakes View Post
                            Interesting... From the recesses of my brain comes a little memory about recovering alcoholics needing some rigorous supplementation, can't remember what exactly, but that it helped tremendously with that craving for alcohol. I have had a serious depressive episode in my life, and was overjoyed to find that avoiding refined sugars with the Primal helped with mood problems more than I would have ever suspected. I am starting to suspect that I might need to consciously limit my alcohol consumption, just so I don't fall into that trap to satisfy whatever brain chemical thing is still lingering, and your stories give me some direction.

                            Thanks!
                            The book "Depression-Free: Naturally" was originally "7 weeks to sobriety" or something like that. It talks about supplementation (especially with amino acids) to overcome addictions (alcohol...and maybe pot?) and recover from depression.
                            Depression Lies

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                            • #15
                              As a recovering binge eater, I strongly suspect that alcohol & sugar feed similar addiction centers. I don't know what's going on. I do know that when I was in college, I chose not to drink, b/c I had a strong suspicion that I would not be able to control it. Within five years, I was a raging sugar addict with a big time binge problem.

                              Then a few years ago, I learned that the reason I knew so few relatives on my mother's side ofthe family was b/c so many of them had died in the 50s & 60s of alcoholism.

                              Also, the person who started Radiant Recovery for sugar addiction actually started by working on alcoholics. She found a much higher success rate treating them with her diet (which, unlike most of its time, didn't shun fat and welcome lots of protein, morning, noon, & night), and she found that it worked for sugar addicts, as well.

                              So I've often wondered if an alcoholic could use the same tactics I used to beat sugar addiction. I'd be willing to place a large bet that it would work.

                              The best place in the world to be is a former addict who now has no inordinate cravings for anything. To be someone who can now imagine living forever without XYZ substance and being happy. That's such freedom.
                              Last edited by MamaGrok; 01-04-2013, 12:15 PM.
                              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***

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