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Why am I craving sweets all of a sudden?

by (185)
Updated about 6 hours ago
Created November 08, 2012 at 2:44 PM

This is driving me crazy!

I have been Paleo for 2 months and was never big on sweets pre-paleo. When I started Paleo, I was still not big on sweets and was not craving them much at all - just had a piece of 85% chocolate once a week if so and was fine with that. It seems like in the past couple of weeks, I am craving sweets ALL.THE.TIME. I have never been this "needy" about sweets in my life. What is up with that? I haven't been doing anything different with my diet than I did in the beginning, so what could be triggering this? I am NOT giving into my cravings, but it certainly is annoying to be thinking about eating a chocolate bar all day (even dreaming about it).

Since Monday, I have stopped eating fruits (I was eating 1/2 cup of strawberries a day). The cravings seem to have minimized, but are still there. What else can I do? If your answer is increasing fat (like it has been in other posts...HOW do I increase my fat intake? I already cook all meals with coconut oil and eat 1/2 an avocado about 4x a week). When it comes to fat, my options are limited since I live in South America and we don't have grass fed butter and things like that (I was lucky enough to find coconut oil at a naturist store).

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6
11204 · November 08, 2012 at 5:27 PM

This is why you are craving sweets. Too much exercise.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I work with a Paleo nutritionist, and will bring it up to her when I see her next week. I have also been looking into getting some bloodwork done, so before that I will talk to my Dr. and see if he can order full bloodwork for me that includes levels of important minerals.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 4:07 PM

It might be, though I don't eat bacon (I am still trying to be OK with all the visible fat...I'm getting there). I find that the saltiness makes me super thirsty, if anything.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Yes, I am doing CrossFit 4-5 a week :)

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442 · November 08, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Be advised its use simply helps you better manage the symptom. It's best to find the root cause-IMHO. Perhaps a Paleo-aware nutrition counselor or physician can help.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I have read good things about the L-Glutamine, I will try to look for some here, I hope I get lucky! Thanks!

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:58 PM

When I have chocolate, I eat a square or two and I am good for the day, even a few days too, especially if it is dark. I am still trying to lose some weight (about 3 kg to go), so I feel guilty eating it every day, though I suppose I burn enough calories during CrossFit and the chocolate shouldn't make that much of a difference. I'll look more into all that, didn't know all these cravings could mean a deficiency of something. Thanks again!

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424
2978 · November 08, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I eat a very small amount (about 1/2 an ounce) of chocolate every day, and never really want more than that. Don't mind a small treat so I just don't worry about it. I think copper might be the other thing that causes chocolate cravings? But not sure.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:44 PM

It is mainly chocolate, like 99% of the time. I have started taking a supplement of Magnesium Oxide (which I read is not easily absorbed, so that might not be doing the trick & I'll probably have to switch to Citrate) & Zinc. I eat tons of veggies, lots of greens so I will have to look carefully and see if I am missing something, though I doubt it. Thanks for the advice!

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:43 PM

It is mainly chocolate, like 99% of the time. I have started taking a supplement of Magnesium Oxide (which I read it's not easily absorbed, so that might not be doing the trick & I'll probably have to switch to Citrate) & Zinc. I eat tons of veggies, lots of greens so I will have to look carefully and see if I am missing something, though I doubt it. Thanks for the advice!

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6
11204 · November 08, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Have you been doing hard work or exercise?

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:41 PM

GREAT idea on the chicharron! I'll look into that, sounds delicious! (I have stopped eating in since being Paleo, but I'll be HAPPY to reincorporate it into my diet!). Thanks so much for the advice!

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424
2978 · November 08, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Apologies, now that I've read your comment more carefully, mine is basically the same -- didn't mean to repeat you!

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9 Answers

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8425f2fefc608f58a8cc0f2dcaa93341
3
381 · November 08, 2012 at 3:25 PM

If you are craving sweets, perhaps you should have some small, balanced amounts of dark chocolate and not cut out the strawberries. Perhaps your body is trying to tell you it needs something found in those foods.

As you are a woman, it could have something to do with your menstrual cycle. Some say that the craving for sweets has to do with the body's desire for iron or magnesium. Perhaps you could check those out.

Over-consumption of sweets is the problem. However, eating small and balanced amounts can help one to stay Paleo long term because they don't feel as if they are constantly denying themselves something they want.

I also live in South America. I have found that my best source of fat comes from making my own beef chicharrones. I go to the local market, buy beef fat for $0.35 a kilo, cut it up, and fry it out in a wok. I get delicious chicharrones and tons of wonderful beef tallow to use for cooking everything else. It's true that it isn't grass fed beef (that concept is completely foreign where I live), but it is the best I can do with what is available here.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424
2978 · November 08, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Apologies, now that I've read your comment more carefully, mine is basically the same -- didn't mean to repeat you!

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:41 PM

GREAT idea on the chicharron! I'll look into that, sounds delicious! (I have stopped eating in since being Paleo, but I'll be HAPPY to reincorporate it into my diet!). Thanks so much for the advice!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094
1
78422 · November 09, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Feeding more of the same carbs to address carb cravings is not the way to go.

Rather than chocolate try almonds (high in magnesium - and as Dragonfly suggested sweet cravings may suggest magnesium deficiency).

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab
1
32518 · November 08, 2012 at 4:23 PM

When we cut out grains, we lose a regular source of Magnesium.

Sweet cravings are in part linked to Magnesium deficiency.

Dark chocolate & seafood can remedy this. So can taking 400-600 mg of a Magnesium chelate supplement.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25
1
2302 · November 08, 2012 at 4:01 PM

It might be because of the saltiness of the fats/new diet...especially if you are eating bacon. The salty taste makes you want something sweet, hence the need for sweets. Not sure if this is your cure but could be a possibility :)

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 4:07 PM

It might be, though I don't eat bacon (I am still trying to be OK with all the visible fat...I'm getting there). I find that the saltiness makes me super thirsty, if anything.

Fce356005a83353009c11567c217a9bd
1
442 · November 08, 2012 at 3:51 PM

When I get these cravings, I pop the contents of an L-Glutamine capsule (500mg) under my tongue and ride it out. They seem to subside after about two minutes. Most often they occur when/if I forget to take my magnesium (magnesium glycinate) supplement the night before. Hope this helps.

YMMV.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I have read good things about the L-Glutamine, I will try to look for some here, I hope I get lucky! Thanks!

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 4:09 PM

I work with a Paleo nutritionist, and will bring it up to her when I see her next week. I have also been looking into getting some bloodwork done, so before that I will talk to my Dr. and see if he can order full bloodwork for me that includes levels of important minerals.

Fce356005a83353009c11567c217a9bd
442 · November 08, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Be advised its use simply helps you better manage the symptom. It's best to find the root cause-IMHO. Perhaps a Paleo-aware nutrition counselor or physician can help.

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424
1
2978 · November 08, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Are you craving chocolate in particular, or sweets in general? Because there could be other reasons for chocolate cravings -- frequently mineral deficiencies. If it's just chocolate, I'd start having a small piece of chocolate every day and go on having fruit too. And if you're not already doing so, I'd start taking a regular magnesium supplement and look into any other minerals you might be missing in your diet.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:58 PM

When I have chocolate, I eat a square or two and I am good for the day, even a few days too, especially if it is dark. I am still trying to lose some weight (about 3 kg to go), so I feel guilty eating it every day, though I suppose I burn enough calories during CrossFit and the chocolate shouldn't make that much of a difference. I'll look more into all that, didn't know all these cravings could mean a deficiency of something. Thanks again!

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:43 PM

It is mainly chocolate, like 99% of the time. I have started taking a supplement of Magnesium Oxide (which I read it's not easily absorbed, so that might not be doing the trick & I'll probably have to switch to Citrate) & Zinc. I eat tons of veggies, lots of greens so I will have to look carefully and see if I am missing something, though I doubt it. Thanks for the advice!

366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424
2978 · November 08, 2012 at 3:48 PM

I eat a very small amount (about 1/2 an ounce) of chocolate every day, and never really want more than that. Don't mind a small treat so I just don't worry about it. I think copper might be the other thing that causes chocolate cravings? But not sure.

58908e2a5be1d634e49c97da9f2558ce
185 · November 08, 2012 at 3:44 PM

It is mainly chocolate, like 99% of the time. I have started taking a supplement of Magnesium Oxide (which I read is not easily absorbed, so that might not be doing the trick & I'll probably have to switch to Citrate) & Zinc. I eat tons of veggies, lots of greens so I will have to look carefully and see if I am missing something, though I doubt it. Thanks for the advice!

333341321693f75612b31ae2f7adc03b
0
0 · November 13, 2012 at 12:09 AM

try chromium picolate, magnesium citrate or chelate and also something I read said that a craving for sweets can be helped by increasing your protein every meal. I've been having the same problem and the magnesium and chromium are helping me out a lot.

C7bbec207796aa3d82790fa975fd3f47
0
0 · November 10, 2012 at 4:57 AM

Are you stressed or have you been getting enough sleep? Both stress and lack of sleep will affect hormonal balances and you will crave sweet or high calorie food to compensate. Chromium picolinate is fantastic for helping with sugar cravings.

8fe85374c5996cb676da3a42209e5ce4
0
40 · November 09, 2012 at 3:00 AM

You might need to increase your fat intake and maybe take a good magnesium supplement

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