When are the Cravings Supposed to Go Away?


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Just curious--I know that doing a Whole 30 is supposed to change your food preferences. When does this generally happen? Half way through? Towards the end? I'm really enjoying the foods that I am eating, but I still crave all the junk every day too.

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As in go away completely? I don't think it ever does. There are no recovered alcoholics, only recovering ones. As long as junk food exists, we will crave them.

 

I think it gets easier though. I stopped longing for the effervescent fizz and cloying sweetness of Coke in my throat about three weeks into my Whole30...

 

...but there it is again. Damn it, I want a Coke!

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Some cravings never went away (pizza and chocolate!) but I pretty much lost the desire to eat almost everything else by the 2nd or 3rd week. I actually have more cravings for compliant foods (especially strawberries, grilled chicken and salad) than I do for the off limits stuff. 

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I think it is so dependent on your history, habits,  body, and the reasons you eat junk food.  Every person will have a different experience with regard to lessening cravings.

 

My experience after 3 years, 3 whole 30s, and 2 x 21 day sugar detoxes has been a bit of a rollercoaster.  At first I expected that my cravings would go away in the first few weeks and they did.  Score!  During the second half of my whole 30s I would experience little to no cravings and thought "Oh good!  That takes care of that".  Then my whole 30 would end and despite feeling committed to paleo eating afterward, my cravings would come back once the initial rush/excitement of the 30 days wore off.  My cravings are tied to emotions (eating to be social, eating out of boredom, eating to manage stress, etc) so as life went on and I was no longer on a strict program the cravings came back and took over once again, getting me pretty far from paleo for months at a time.

 

Through this I have learned that the cravings and emotional eating take much longer to heal than I ever thought they would and for me it is important to commit to a longer term plan. I have come to terms with the fact that I cannot yet be moderate with my intake of sugar in particular so I am avoiding it in all forms (except naturally occurring in fruit, but I still limit that).  I am about 3 months into this long-term commitment and I can feel myself beginning to get some distance from the reliance and the cravings.  I expect that there will be times when it will be harder than it is today and know it won't be a linear process.  My hope is that after a year or so of complete avoidance that I will begin to feel like I have a good handle on it and hey, who knows . . . maybe I will be able to be moderate one day.

 

I share this with you not because I think your issues or journey are the same, but to illustrate how individual this all is.  Self reflection regarding what is behind your cravings and what potential issues could be for you will go a long way.  In my experience, simply eating paleo for 30 days can only do so much - it will help your body begin to heal, but for many people it is a much longer process to get to where they want to be.

 

Those 30 days are still pretty powerful, though, and provide a solid place from which to start.

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When I don't eat sugar for a week, my cravings go away.

 

Key: Don't feed your cravings with a treat. Not fruit, not some SWYPO concoction, not nut butter.

 

If you're really, truly hungry eat a mini meal. Otherwise do something to distract yourself. Go for a walk, call someone ... don't sit in front of the TV, that seems to make it worse.

 

Sometimes when I just want something I will have a nice hot cup of rooibos tea, or a sparkling water with a lime wedge.

 

Like Amy, I still have trouble moderating my sugar intake. It's better for me to stay away completely.

 

When I do have cravings for something like a pizza, somehow I think I'll go ahead and indulge, but when the time comes I find I really don't want it enough to bother. Sometimes just thinking about it is enough. When I do indulge in non-Whole30 foods, it's usually not as good as I was thinking.

 

It may take a few rounds to totally beat your cravings. Remember this, the guidelines and suggestions (no smoothies, don't feed sugar dragon fruit, don't eat desserts even if they're just fruit, try not to snack, no SWYPO, etc) are really there to make your whole30 results the best they can be.

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For me, never.  I still crave sugar and some junk food.  It's slowly getting better, but I'm still eating very clean.  My whole30 ended almost 3 months ago and I still have cravings.  I think it's an individual thing.  Some bodies just like burning sugar.  I wish there was a magical formula 'if you do this for x amount of days, the sugar dragon will be gone'.  But I don't think there is.  Just hang in there.  Each time I resist a craving, I feel better because I don't get that sleepy, groggy feeling that always comes after indulging.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Day 9 and my craving for chocolate and sweets is intense! Pre-Whole30, I was pretty disciplined - I'd only eat a few 60% or higher chocolate chips when I wanted a bit of chocolate so I'm shocked at how strong the cravings are.  I was a big fruit eater before so it this contributing to it?

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Day 9 and my craving for chocolate and sweets is intense! Pre-Whole30, I was pretty disciplined - I'd only eat a few 60% or higher chocolate chips when I wanted a bit of chocolate so I'm shocked at how strong the cravings are.  I was a big fruit eater before so it this contributing to it?

 

When you reward a craving for sweets with something sweet you will keep craving something sweet. Try not to feed the craving and it should get better. Chocolate cravings can indicate low magnesium which you can get from dark leafy greens, oily fish, and other compliant sources.

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