I finished the Paleo challenge a little over a month ago and I'm trying my best to continue. I keep waiting for my "sugar" cravings to go away but no such luck. Usually I'll crave fruit (dried or regular), a Lara Bar, smoothie or a square of dark chocolate. I get these cravings at least a couple of times a day and it's driving me nuts! Am I missing something in my diet? Should I not think twice about it and just eat fruit/dark chocolate when I'm craving? I'm not remaining on Paleo for weight loss so maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing.
Eat some bacon!
Seriously, I noticed that eating something really high in saturated fat (bacon or a bite of beef) tended to do more to satisfy my sugar cravings than anything else.
Once I got de-sugarfied, I noticed that my reaction to sugar changed. Things that were mildly sweet (fruit like strawberries or blueberries) started to taste really, really sweet. On the other hand, the high sugar stuff I used to consume now come across as almost unbearable sweet (I tried a sip of sweet tea recently and almost gagged; I couldn't believe how overpoweringly sweet it was--yet I used to drink it all the time).
You'll get past the sugar cravings.
My experience doesn't exactly match any of the above answers. After a full year off processed foods, with significant health improvement and weight loss, I'd say I have MORE of a sweet tooth than I had when I started. And I don't think it's a problem.
On SAD, I went for fatty/salty things like chips, fries, burgers, pizzas, etc., more than cakes or cookies although I ate some baked goods. I remember claiming countless times that I didn't have a sweet tooth even though I chugged many 2-liters of Coke. I made the claim because I usually ate too much food during the "meal" to eat any dessert.
Now I start my day with "sweet coffee" that has about 1 tbsp heavy cream and 1 tsp of honey per mug. I typically have 3 mugs each morning although when the morning temps get high here in southern Nevada I either shift to iced coffee or stop drinking it until fall.
If I eat solids at all (I practice modified ADF--alternate-day fasting) I have multiple pieces of fruit per day. On some days I skip either the "tear and crunch" raw vegetable meal or meat but I don't normally skip both and on the majority of the days I have meat, fruit and vegetables.
In addition to the coffee and fruit, it's pretty common for me to sense sweetness in beef and vegetables such as beets, carrots and sweet potatoes. Even red leaf lettuce tastes quite sweet to me compared to romaine.
So I actually sense and enjoy more sweetness now than I perceived or enjoyed on SAD.
Fruit is good. If you are not trying to lose weight, having 2 or even 3 (depending on the fruit) per day won't hurt you at all. Go for it. Fruits are vitamin packed stuff practically begging to be eaten, with their amazing colors and incredible flavor.
Just don't become some sort of frutarianist (yes, these people exist!) and you will be fine.
Eating fat always helps me get through my sugar cravings. When I was on my Whole30, Avocados were my best friend for the first 1.5 weeks. Anytime I would crave sugar I would take a slice or two of avocado.
If you give in and eat sweets, the cravings will not go away. You've got to fight them! And fat does help.
I've been fighting sugar abuse for around 18 months now, and I can promise you that giving in to it only makes it worse. Cold turkey is the only way for me to go, when I have the willpower to actually stop.
Recently, I've started having coffee with some cream(or coconut oil or similar) in it during afternoons, and this has helped quite alot.
What are you eating these days? Could you give us a sample of what you are currently eating? How often are you giving into cravings?
If you're VLC and aren't focused on weight loss, I don't think the occasional fruit will devastate your health. I'd maybe throw in some berries or sliced apples with your salad or something. Something small like that, paired with fat and protein might do the trick to satisfy you for the rest of the day/night.
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