I have heard from some people that after eating paleo for a while, cravings for processed crap and sugar go away, however, everyone still talks about cheating, and recipes for paleo (insert name of baked good here).
So, which is it? Are you eating paleo and always fighting cravings and/or cheating a lot or are you okay and passing the bakery counter/ice cream section without a twinge?
PS I am currently locked in the house trying very hard not to go out and eat an entire ice cream cake right now. grrrrrrrrr!
Different people are different. Some people crave sugar, others bread, and others think "meat, veggies, tubers, fruit: okay" and are done. If you persist, it'll get better. And if you don't persist, it'll get worse. So just keep at it! Try to learn about your individual issues and see what works for you. Calling a friend? Eating a paleo treat? Reading Primal Blueprint and all the other paleo books, both for inspiration and for scientific reasons not to binge? Going ketogenic? Try whatever you think might work and if the cravings are still uncontrollable, try something else.
I complied extremely poorly in my first year of (attempted) paleo, e.g. a pint of ice cream several nights per week. Over time, I found which tricks worked for me and which didn't. For example, nuts are a paleo binge food for me, and binging on paleo foods entices me to binge on other foods. I'm sure for others its the reverse, and nuts are the solution. For me they are a problem.
I found intermittant fasting to be amazingly useful in this regard. By not eating until noon and not eating after dinner, I've trained myself to combat urges 16 hours per day, and that helped teach me how to comply the other eight. Also, most of my binging was done at night, and not eating after dinner prevents that. I brush my teeth right after dinner and I don't want the hassle of having to brush again!
I still fall off the wagon now and then, for sure. But over time this happens vastly less frequently, for vastly shorter durations, and with vastly less intensely.
Yes they do, or at least you can turn the craving towards a nice juicy steak or a bowl of strawberries with coconut milk or some other luscious paleo goody (not paleo junk food). It can take a while to retrain your tastebuds, although not as much as some think.
IMO cheating encourages cravings. Just get rid of the crap.
The cravings changed when my taste buds changed. Everything tastes better, so now I crave a date dipped in almond butter or a bowl of blueberries. Or crab meat. Or a steak. And the cravings aren't as intense, its more like my body knows it needs it rather then I being obsessed with cupcakes, which I really really was for a while there.
After I made the transition into paleo (from regular LC), I was still kind of obsessed with pizza (which I rarely ate before) and brownies (which I ate all the time). So I ended up giving myself one scheduled "cheat day" a week to deal with it.
As time has gone by, and I've been eating well >80% of the time, my cravings dwindled--in part because actually eating that stuff on my cheat days made me feel so lousy afterward. I still reserve one day a week as a cheat day, but lately I haven't felt any desire to cheat anymore, so I haven't. I don't even have any interest in "paleo" substitutes for those foods.
I can now go shopping and walk past tables full of pastries and cakes, or stand in line at the checkout amidst all that candy, without giving any thought to buying it. I can be ravenously hungry and 30+ minutes from home and still pass by pizza and fast food joints because I know I've got something better waiting for me.
When I do still get the rare craving for junk food, it's nowhere near as intense as it used to be, and I can easily satisfy it with something else. I couldn't do that before--I was totally run by my cravings. So yeah, for me the cravings (or at least the ones that matter) really have gone away.
For me it was a choice…I am simply ready to stop eating what
s hurting me..I want to feel alive and to do that it means not eating sugar, wheat and dairy…FOR NOW…I didnt tell myself never again, I will reintroduce ONE of those things when I feel mentally prepared to do so and after I`ve done enough homework…I will not add any of these things when I feel out of food control…if I never feel ready to add them back..so be it…I want to control my food and not have food controlling me…
For me the cravings went away when I was ready to give myself to something that was bigger than sugar…I gave myself the gift of life…
Yeah I know...I said no dairy and this whole thing sounded cheesy…but it`s the Truth…you have to just, be ready to change..I had finally had enough. Truth
As someone who had a raging sweet tooth, I can testify that the cravings pass. I used to bake a lot, we always had a sweet treat for afternoon tea on weekends (brownie, millionaire's shortbread, that kind of thing) and I used to 'need' something sweet after our evening meal (usually dried fruit). Since going paleo I rarely get sugar cravings and my sweet tooth is barely there. It probably took a good few weeks for this change to take place. I baked today for first time in 4 months... But the great thing now is that when I do have something sweet ('paleo' or not) I'm satisfied by a much smaller amount than in per-paleo days.
Stick with it! It will get easier.
I never crave cake or sweets but I do sometimes indulge in high cocoa chocolate or a cheesecake (but I don't eat the base). Mostly I treat myself to creamy food whic isn't exactly paleo but better than SAD.
It definitely gets easier in time. 2.5 months in and I no longer want to go through every drive through I pass. I make sure I take time to eat or drink bulletproof coffee before leaving the house. One morning I was running super late and decided to drive through and get two sausage egg McMuffins. I only at the sausage and eggs and threw the English muffin and plastic cheese away. I don't know if it was the questionable oils they use or something in the sausage, but it was NOT a good day.
We are having friends over today for a birthday celebration. One is not Paleo and the other is only newly Paleo. I am making a lemon poppy seed cake with coconut flour, eggs, honey, baking soda, lemon zest, and poppy seeds. It makes 12 servings and each serving only has 1.5 teaspoons of honey. It is divine and I don't consider it a cheat for my family. I won't eat any, which takes huge amounts of willpower, but I am getting better about it and can actually go to bed without thinking I NEED something sweet.
Hang in there. It will get better!