Here's an odd one: I've read many comments where alcohol craving is reduced, but none where it's increased. I switched to a low-carb/paleo diet some months ago and have lost about 25-30 lbs and feel much better (with improving blood chemistry too). However my alcohol consumption (red wine) has increased a LOT - typically half a bottle a night now, when I used to average maybe a couple glasses a week. The timing was almost immediately after I changed my diet around.
I suspect this is a 'cheat' mechanism, as a way to consume more sugar, like I used to do with cheese. But why wine? I have zero craving for all my old indulgences such as pasta and pastries and ice cream - but in the evening I'm pouring a glass or three no matter what I promised myself earlier.
It's not a "huge" problem - I'm not falling down or driving drunk, and I don't have weird personality shifts (ok, I do get a little 'happy'). But it definitely impacts my sleep, and what I can accomplish for myself if I'm up late.
Any thoughts, suggestions, different ways to think about this? I feel like a little bit is fine - but for some reason I'm going too far.
We'd probably need to know more about your diet now, your diet before, and how long you've been adhering to a Paleo-type diet. This would give us a clearer picture of where your metabolism stands at the moment.
Are you doing VLC with a low body fat %? If so, you should increase your carb intake in general to curtail cravings, and this should take care of the physiological cravings for the wine.
Wine contains significant amounts of sucrose whereas beer and liquor contain very little unless added (often HFCS is pumped into liquors). Sucrose is a glucose bound to a fructose. The body will separate the two in the small intestine. Fructose has been shown to be addictive, and it is almost exclusively absorbed by the liver, being that the body metabolizes it as it would a toxin. Addictive and toxic is not the best combo, but they often come hand-in-hand. The fructose itself does not lead to an insulin response, but the glucose that came with it will. If you are consuming almost no carbs except for your wine, perhaps your body (often smarter than yourself) has associated your continued wine intake -- not your discontinued ice cream and pastry intake -- with its only available source of significant glucose, the "better half" of sucrose. Have you had any other particularly sweet or starchy things since you starting consuming more wine?
My tentative suggestion based on the info available is that you should add some insulinogenic carbs earlier in the day like starch, perhaps 75-150 g, and see what happens to the wine cravings. If they don't go away, maybe you just really, really like wine. That, or I'm a bad diagnostician.
I would stop drinking alcohol(sugar) and smoke pot instead.
Reasons why: 1. Can sleep 1 hour after the pot high wears off 2. Not toxic to the body like alcohol/sugar 3. No sugar in it! 4. No crash/hang over 5. No craving(munchies can be negated by consuming glucose/fat before/after getting high)
There was another similar post a few hours ago - the gal was breastfeeding... anyway, I don't have the time to check to see if your name is the same...
But! Either way - you mention 'some months' on Paleo - I found that especially when I am exercising, I do want some type of carb - I just ensure that I do it in the best possible manner. Post-workout sweet potatoes or yams (microwaved, then fried in coconut oil) really hit the spot. I found that about 2-3 months into Paleo - I too missed carbs. I think it's your body's way of saying, "Hey, wait a minute - I could handle your strange new eating for the first few months - 'hoping you'd go back to eating a SAD... but, you're still at it. I want my high sugar - high carb goodies!"
You also might try dark chocolate (as close to 80%) or coco nibs (virtually no sugar) with almonds or walnuts. A buzz is a good thing - as a complete non-drinker for many decades - I know that I have to find other things that make me veg a bit and just enjoy life (to counteract my more productive moments). Look at the things that make you happy - that are not alcohol related - and accentuate them in your life.
I tend to agree that any craving for anything carb (whether alcohol, sweets, breads, pastas, etc.) is simply a craving for the glucose that the drink/food ultimately becomes. Also finding a protein or a fat that is particularly satiating BEFORE you get the cravings - might tend to weaken the 'attack.'
This happened to me too.
I don't keep wine in the house anymore. it became a real compulsion. I went from a glass or two here-and-there to at least two glasses a night, sometimes up to a bottle. [Health issues aside drinking up to 5 bottles of wine/week gets pretty spendy.] That continued for a couple months. I was still eating some carbs then. I finally cut the wine, (and all grains/most carbs) in january. Perhaps unrelatedly, my coffee intake increased at that time, the same way, proportionally. It doesn't really make sense, but i feel like it's related. I'm trying to cut back on the coffee now. I wonder what will pop up?
I'm now PMVLC. (pretty much very low carb).
it's radical, but, fwiw, in my case, i kind of suspect Candida..(?).. shrug.
Wine goes to the brain and gives you some happy. It's a way to consume more alcohol, not more sugar. It moderates the big Paleo life change and helps you cope with loss, in this case the foods you have given up. But you say you have no craving for old indulgences, so this may not be your issue. Stress relief and escapism are thought to be two of the major reasons for drinking alcohol. How's your stress level?
It probably doesn't help that some Paleo authors seem to have a soft spot for alcoholic beverages.
Thank you for bringing this up. I would guess this happens more frequently than it would appear from the questions posted here.
If I want to avoid eating or drinking something, I have to keep it out of my home. I tend to be so moderate with moderation that it's totally absent.
I've found I crave alcohol for three days after I consume more than one glass. You might want to test how long the cravings last, which will help you monitor and enjoy your consumption rather than worrying.
very common issue I hear from patients daily when they go paleo......they crave booze a lot less. Has to do with down regulation of the dopamine tracts in the median forebrain bundle and due to sensitivty increases in the CART enzyme system in the brain that help limit reward behavior.
I'm not endorsing binge drinking, but....
Since going Paleo at the New Year, my liver seems to be incredibly efficient in processing booze. Since I don't drink beer anymore, I polished of 1/2 of a fifth of vodka on Saturday and woke up essentially with no hangover at all. A couple times earlier in the year when I also was drinking straight distilled liquor, I drank like a fish and woke up in the morning just fine.
In my youth and drinking benders, that would have been a 1-2 day hangover. Go figure!!!
since on the paleo diet you no longer consume Milk which is vitamin D enriched so you D consumption would come only from direct exposure to sunlight. There is some research claiming that vitamin D contributes to mood, that lack there of contributes to depression. Depression of course goes hand in hand w/ alcohol consumption.....
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