I'm trying to get onto the paleo diet, but I am so addicted to sugar, I can't seem to go much more than two days. My brain feels listless and groggy. I regard sugar as a drug because when I do take some, the elevation in mood is huge. I find myself picking up and eating this sugar in spite of even my best intentions only five minutes earlier. And this has been going on for nearly a year! Any advice or suggestions?
I am SOOO like you!
But what I have learned (or tricked my body) to do is replace my sugar craving with "bad but good" substitute.
Like baked apples with cinnamon, honey, and vanilla. Since I don't usually eat bananas anymore I use that as a cheat... but it doesn't OVER do it, like cookies or brownies or breads/grains, and it kicks the craving...
Or find a REALLY raw chocolate (90-99%) chocolate with almond butter. Just look at the nutritional values and determine accordingly. Lindt makes a GREAT 90% chocolate and 2 squares are usually PLENTY. (actually found it at Target)
eventually you may end up craving the good sweet stuff rather than the other stuff...
Hope this helps!
Try to slowly but steadyliy lower your sugar dose. Cold turkey is not for everyone. Measure (!) the amount of sugar you take in today and decrease by 5-10% every day. Sure, it takes some discipline but I know many people for whom it has worked. If 5% seems to be too much try 2-3%. But a slow decrease should work.
Alternatively you could subsitute with Stevia and THEN decrease your dose.
Good luck and let us know if it works for you!
try quitting sugar beverages first... like soda, fruit juice, lemonade, ice tea, etc. You will find that once you cut these out your ability to totally cut out sugar is easier. Sugary beverages spike your blood sugar tremendously and cause no satiating effect.. the result is that a few hours later you have a huge craving for sugar.
Also, there are plenty of foods that can satisfy a sweet tooth that are better alternatives.. dark chocolate, fruit, my favorite treat: frozen bananas dipped in chocolate and covered in crushed almonds
Never eat something sweet that isn't also bitter or tart. Also, don't pair it with other addictive substances like dairy. As long as I follow these maxims I don't have binging or craving issues. What things do I eat? Some stevia-sweetened coconut milk ice cream, some very dark raw chocolate, tart berries + coconut milk shakes.
Sometimes I find that when I've succumbed to sugar/grains I must give myself three days to get over the worst of the continued cravings. Telling myself that I just have to be good today often helps (that ol' one day at a time kind of thinking). And yes, sugar is addictive. It is hard to give up, so know that your brain and body is fighting you and your good intentions. Making it a battle over "mean sugar" sometimes helps me -- I'm not going to let the sugar win the battle. I'll often carb up with more starchy foods to help me get through the three days.
This is a Weston Price Blogger who I like. I personally would add another step to her 4 steps which would include never having any of the sweet foods in my house period but that's just because it's something I HAVE to do but it's a fairly good post.
I was somewhat like you, even 1 year after going paleo. There were days were i would binge like crazy! Couple weeks ago i started taking some probiotics and the cravings are gone! Also getting enough sleep is pretty important to help control those cravings.
Just my n=1 :)
I have to say that I have much the same problem (although I find that my diabetes is a great motivator for cutting back on the sweet stuff).
Try going for a smaller dose sugar in somewhat-more-Paleo forms: berries, plums and apricots are fruit and should still be eaten in moderation, but they're smaller than apples or banana or pears; they'll give you that sweetness you're craving, but in smaller quantities. Picking smaller fruit of less sweet varieties is another way to trick yourself into lowering your sugar intake.
Dried apricots and other fruit might help too. I got gradually over my sugar jonesing via replacing modern sweet f00ds with fruit and dried fruit and then weaning myself off the dried fruit and moving towards smaller quantities of smaller fresh fruit.
Glutamine really helps control sugar cravings.
Also, last night I was at a party with a lot of temptations - so I purposefully stuffed myself full of meat (2 burger patties & 2 hot dogs) to make the cherry cobbler seem less appealing. It worked for me.
Make life a little easier on yourself and get rid of anything with processed sugar from your kitchen. Buy some of the things suggested above so you can satiate yourself in the meantime. Try and avoid situations where you will be tempted with sugar. If you have to get in the car and drive to the supermarket you will be less likely to cave than if you have something tasty (like a can of coconut milk and some frozen berries) sitting in your kitchen.
Post Sugar - Sugar Cravings 1 Answer
In the middle of a binge,how to stop! 20 Answers
Palpitations when eating sugar 4 Answers
Head Hunger & Giving up Sugar 5 Answers