Sugar. None... forever and ever??


Elleon

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So I apologize in advance... this post does not take the one day at a time approach.

I completed a Whole 30 August 29th (started July 31st) and felt like I made amazing progress as far as energy and just general approach to life. I don't have a scale but my body composition changed favorably, same clothing size but less squishy (super technical right). I'm at the top end of my healthy weight range with a good amount of muscle, but have gained about a pant size over the last couple of years and could stand to relose it.

Also, toward the end I saw significant gains in my Crossfit WODs and in my running performance.

However... my day 31 consisted of a total porkfest. I convinced myself that eating birthday cake for lunch would be a great way to really test what gluten, sugar, and dairy do to me. Please keep in mind I have known since late 2010 that I'm severely gluten intolerant and likely celiac (have not had testing done).

And now fast forward a week and I am completely, totally back to being a sugar fiend. And feel like shit. And don't want to work out AT ALL... negotiating with myself to quit Crossfit, which until recently I loved. WTH?

Super fail.

Even during the Whole 30, I felt like I was creating some extra wiggle room for myself as far as the sweets went - lots of sweet potatoes, a fair amount of fruit. Particularly sweet potatoes after dinner, justified with "well I ran five miles today". Hmmm.

I guess my question is this: for some of us with big time sugar reactions/addictions, is there a possibility that post Whole 30, there will be no "okay" level of added sugars? That it might be out forever?

Have any of you experienced this, the total forever elimination of sweets?

Again, sorry if this post rambles a bit... it's just tricky. Most of the people in my life either have little to no sugar issue or have a sugar issue but haven't made much progress with it. I need some Whole 30-er wisdom here please :).

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I'm glad your post came at a time when I'm struggling with caving into eating some kind of sugar, and I'm only on DAY 6! I know it's been said that the first two weeks or so are the hardest, but if you can stick with it, it's well worth it. I don't know if I can handle it. Seriously. I'm trying not to think about it. I read that if you're craving sugar, you should probably try to skip the fruit b/c it will keep you wanting sugar. Ugh. I don't know if I have enough willpower to do this.

If you're struggling after you've completed the program, I don't know that there's much hope. I have the same question as you. No sugar? Ever (other than natural). If I completed the program, I'd be afraid to have sugar for fear that it'll bring me back to square one. Food shouldn't be this difficult.

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You're right about food not needing to be so difficult.

I think we are all individually accountable for our decisions. That being said, the food industry makes it really fracking hard with over sweet flavors and ridiculous additives. And viewed through the lens of processed-food-isn't-food, it seems like the added sweeteners might be something I have to commit to never eating again. Oi.

As to your cravings - I had cravings most of the program and a horrendous extinction burst around day 21 I think. After that things were much much better.

It was going back down the rabbithole after my Whole30 that reinvigorated the cravings. Foods that looked gross last week are now enticing, if that makes sense.

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Don't feed the monster. Seriously.

Consider this: Sugar/wheat are like heroin for many folks. Can an ex-addict get high every once in a while without becoming addicted again? Perhaps a few can. As a former wheat/sugar/cheese addict, I know that I simply cannot indulge in those things anymore without consequences, both physical and mental.

The only time I would even consider eating sugar or wheat again is if it is an incredibly unique experience, like traveling to Paris. Or a once-in-lifetime dinner at an exclusive restaurant. I'd enjoy a dessert or a croissant/baguette, then go on with life without wheat/sugar.

I NEVER bring wheat or sugar into my home. I cannot be trusted with it. If I catch my mind wandering toward picking up a gluten-free goodie at the grocery store, I say to myself, "Oh yeah, that's right! I don't eat that stuff anymore."

A while ago I read something on a celiac forum. They said that being celiac/gluten intolerant and not eliminating gluten entirely from your diet is like having a skinned knee and continuing to fall down on that same knee. It never heals.

Be good to yourself. Stay away from those poisons.

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This is purely my story, so take from it what you will!

I was a super sugar fiend...like cups of sugar in yogurt or on oatmeal and a whole box of cereal, half a cake or a whole sheet of frozen cookie dough kind of sugar fiend. I'm not any more. I never thought I could live with small amounts of sugar in my life because it always started this super sugar fest. For me, it's not exactly the sugar, it's the rule that there's no sugar allowed that makes me eat and crave physically mass quantities of sugar. All of the "eat fat" kind of rules when I had cravings didn't work for me...I'd just eat a pile of eggs with avocados and then want dessert :)

The greatest thing to happen to me and my sugar addiction/habit/craziness is Melissa's F-off scale. Seriously, it's so basic but it cured years of disordered thinking and eating for me. http://whole9life.com/2010/12/the-healthy-f-off-scale-version-2-0/. You pick some foods that you love, you eat them and nutrition, people, cravings, everything can F off because you're eating some amazing thing that you love. I never thought I could have small amounts of sugar ever and I never believed this could work but it did. The world doesn't have to be all or nothing. To be honest, I was scared....sugar made me go crazy but the reality is I like sugar and I didn't think I could ever go 100% without it forever because eventually, somewhere down the line I'll blow it. It doesn't have to be like that! At first, of course I went crazy and sugared out but I gave it time... I trusted the F off scale and let it do the work for me. It did! I eat dark chocolate now...for real, I can eat a few squares and be good, I never ever ever could do that before :)

Good luck!

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I'm totally in the same NO SUGAR FOR-EV-ERRRR boat as you.

A few days after my 2nd Whole30 was over on 8/30, my parents took me to a casino as an early birthday celebration. My only option for a meal was a giant buffet and I was starving. I ate like 3 different kinds of cheesecake. I also drank a lot of wine. When I got home, I devoured an entire bar of 90% dark chocolate and multiple spoonfuls of homemade canned preserves/fruit. 4 days later I'm still bloated, achy and suffering from skin issues (I posted about my cool new sugar?grains?dairy? rash just yesterday).

I think I should've went longer with my Whole30 like I did with my first round...it was more of a Whole45. I don't remember diving headfirst into a sugar binge then. Perhaps you (we) just aren't ready yet?

Now, I'm back on the Whole30 wagon...I'm too horrified to do anything else!

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Yep, I'm a permanent sugar out of my life person, too. I've had it out of my diet for more than a month at a time, had a small amount and next thing you know, I was eating total garbage uncontrollably.

Another thing I realized was that each time I tried to quit again, it was harder to quit. The cravings got worse each time. After the August Whole30, I decided that I was not going back. I don't think that's suffering - I think what sugar does to me is suffering. I don't miss it now, even though I still have cravings now and then. I know exactly what will happen if I eat it and it just isn't worth it anymore.

Really, the longer this health experiment goes on, the more I realize that these little crappy food treats we allow ourselves aren't really worth it to me. I'd rather just feel my best all the time anymore these days.

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And here I thought I was unique, with my sugar battles and binges. HA! Seriously though, it's nice to hear how others deal with sugar post-whole30. After my first (back in March) I really thought I could moderate consumption of treats, but it just led to eating like crap for months at a time and feeling awful. This time (just finished August 30th) I think I'm okay with just not reintroducing sugar. I've been eating primarily whole30-compliant foods since then, with the exception of cream in my coffee, a small serving of bleu cheese, and bacon. I still have cravings for cookies and ice cream, but I try to push past them. I've cut back on fruit and snacking between meals. Today when lunch time came around (I'm a cook, and kind of have to eat before the lunch rush begins or I don't get a chance) I wasn't very hungry yet. I think that "fat adaption" thing is finally kicking in! :)

The toughest part for me is that those around me don't understand the "sugar is addicting" thing. If I talk about the possibility of never eating sugary treats again, people just look at me like I'm crazy. "Why do you have to be so all-or-nothing?" "Moderation is the key." Ahhhh! But like Adagio said: can heroin addicts shoot up in moderation? Can alcoholics drink in moderation? No. I try to explain what it does to me psychologically but it's lost on them! Paleo diets are not mainstream AT ALL where I live--it's like the majority of Wisconsinites see obesity and poor diet as an inevitablity.

Anyway, I'm going to make an effort to not bring sugar back. So maybe we can all stay strong together??

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Alyson - I've heard the same thing. People say things like, "You have to have a cheat meal to feel sane, it's just not healthy to be all or nothing." It's really funny, because the people who have said this to me have a family member who was an alcoholic and has to be all or nothing... I just think maybe that's a reflection of the person not realizing how sugar is impacting them. ?

My mom has a coworker who quit sugar entirely a while back. She said it took her 3 months before she stopped having random cravings, so there's hope! I know when I quit dairy (because I found out I was allergic to it and it was causing me health issues), it took me a few months to mourn it and move on. I really craved it for a while, but eventually that stopped.

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I don't have this issue with sugar, but I sure do with grain based carbs. A few crackers can send me into an eating binge for days. And it all makes me soooo sick. I'm not sure that I want to live without ever having a carnival fried dough ever again, but the price for that has always been really high. I will probably introduce dairy in some small form after my whole 30, and I'll definitely add coffee and alcohol back in in some form as well. I could take or leave sugar so I might have some coconut milk ice cream and maybe a bit of really dark chocolate on occasion. But I'm going to have to cseriously think about never ever having any grain items ever again. Especially the comforting sort like the homemade dinner rolls I make for the holidays. That's my heroin and I can either accept it and heal or not accept it and keep opening the wound. And to be honest, I'm not sure that I have the resolve to heal yet.

As far as other peoples experiences or opinions, you just have to do what you think is best for you. Most people don't understand how we can add so much fat to our diets without having instant heart attacks either :)

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Thank you so much for all of the responses. It sounds dramatic but it feels like consuming sweets can literally reduce my overall potential for... everything. It makes a lot harder to go out and do great things feeling like a weakling or failure, you know?

And it is nice to know I'm not a total weirdo for eating straight up jam hehe. Oh it has happened.

So I will start another Whole 30 tomorrow, and odds are this will turn into a Whole 30+. And hopefully the three months to minimal/no cravings timeline is accurate because I can do three months.

This isn't cancer fighting hard, but damn it takes some determination. I quit smoking years ago and quit drinking hard alcohol earlier this year (and likely will quit even my occasional cider if it is going to push me over the edge)... I can quit this too.

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I completely understand. I cut sugar out of my life about 6 months ago (prior to even hearing about W30). But, the thing is, fructose is the addictive part of sugar. And fructose is in almost everything! At first, I just didn't have fruit. Then tinned tomatoes, then I realised I needed to cut out beets and sweet potatoes and carrots. Then nuts and most recently, during my whole 30 I absolutely binged on coconut and a few days later, tahini. All because of fructose.

I feel like I'm going crazy. I've re-set my W30 because of the bingeing (even thought they were W30 'approved' things)... but I seriously wonder what I'm going to eat for the rest of my life! I don't care about weight or health even - for me it's a mental health issue. I get so angry and anxious and overwhelmed if I have ANY fructose - even a few teaspoons of tahini or coconut cream. It's like my brain is getting more and more sensitive. And withdrawal takes a good few days even from having the tiniest bit. But when I'm off fructose I feel sooooo calm and sane. I have no idea what is going on, or whether I can even do this long term. Right now I'm 2 days fructose free and CRAVING hard. I've been a horrible grump all day. I have no idea if it will work to keep going like this. I mean, I can pretty much only eat greens and meat (I'm mildly allergic to eggs). Surely you can't live like this forever? (I am booked in to see a shrink to work on stress/anger management, I but the appointment is a few weeks away). Giving up sugar was easy compared to this!

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I too, have other food sensitivities. I recently learned that my body does not like stone fruits. I was very sad, as I love stone fruits. So I ticked off yet another food that I have to eliminate. I give myself time to mourn. Then (I know from experience,) I have to go on with life.

I think that the best thing to do if a food makes you sick in some way and you have to eliminate it - keep concentrating on what you CAN eat, and learn to prepare those things well.

Remember, it's only food. It's fuel for the body and it produces enjoyment when we eat it, but then it's gone. It's not that darn important in the scheme of things. Good health, family, friends, hobbies/interests, helping others, etc. - now THEY are important. In our pleasure-seeking-at-any-cost, instant-gratificiation world, it's easy to lose proper perspective. Yes, it sucks that we cannot eat anything we want, that we have certain food addictions, but who said life was going to be easy and pretty and perfect all the time? Facing tough things in life makes you a real person.

I'm preaching to myself here. But I know that many of you can relate. ;)

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I'm finished today, & will add back some keifer tomorrow. Can take it slowly, I believe, since the whole deprivation thing wasn't so hard...the good thing about getting old (64) is that time goes so quickly, you can endure anything for 30 days!!

What I don't understand is that the book suggests beginning by adding back dairy. Then it gives as examples "...have yogurt in the morning, some cheese in the afternoon, and ice cream after dinner." (p. 220) Seriously? I can add sugar back immediately? It's not something I test out like the others? What did others do?

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I did Whole30 in July and August. I'm not 100% compliant now:

Some of the meat I eat has a trace amount of sugar used in curing - like bacon and deli ham.

I use a small amount of heavy cream in my coffee.

Other than that, I plan to follow Whole30 as closely as possible forever.

Other than the aforementioned sugar used for curing meats, I did not add sugar back into my diet. If there is a special occasion, like a rare dinner at a top tier restaurant, I may indulge in a special dessert. But it must be a very hight quality food, and well worth the indulgence.

We all have to do what is right for us individually after Whole30.

If a person is a sugar addict, or is sensitive to dairy then re-introducing those foods will most likely have a negative effect. I personally don't see the point in it, because I'll end up right back where I started.

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I finished my W30 on Monday and did fine until Friday when I fell off the wagon spectacularly. And I'd been reading this thread and thinking, oh, I can have a little sugar. Ha ha ha. Pride goeth before a fall. Sugar was, of course, the root of my demise. So I am going to do a reboot - not 30 days, but this week at least. And I will think carefully about whether/when/what kind of sugar when the time comes again.

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I finished my W30 on Monday and did fine until Friday when I fell off the wagon spectacularly. And I'd been reading this thread and thinking, oh, I can have a little sugar. Ha ha ha. Pride goeth before a fall. Sugar was, of course, the root of my demise. So I am going to do a reboot - not 30 days, but this week at least. And I will think carefully about whether/when/what kind of sugar when the time comes again.

^Yep. I'm only on day three of a second round and am amazed at how much better I feel off the sugar - not just physical well being, but mental acuity and emotional balance as well. Life just feels nicer hehe :).

And @marynelle, if you already know that dairy is an issue I'd say skip reintroducing it. Unless you want to firmly nail down exactly what your response is to dairy alone. But yeah, I don't really get the ice cream reference, either. I'd personally go sans sugar to judge the effect of dairy.

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Induldged a bit too much this weekend. Sigh. Up until this weekend I worked as a chef in a coffee shop restaurant (just started a new job yesterday). Anyway, there was this huge art festival in town, which meant everyone at the shop had to work Saturday and Sunday; we normally don't serve lunches on the weekends, but of course we set up during Art Fest to take advantage of all the tourists :)

Of course I felt like a zombie after working all day Sat and Sun...sandwiches for lunch (granted, it was our Apple-Jack Turkey Panini: fresh, homemade foccacia bread, turkey, apple butter, bacon and colby-jack cheese....oh man), wine with friends and Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked ice cream--the best flavor EVER--Sunday night right before bed. Ugh. I realized I was doing that auto-pilot eating thing...but did it anyway.

But I didn't beat myself up about it as much as I normally would have, and yesterday I went back to whole30 eating (with the exception of cream in my coffee) and felt really good about it.

CaseyD--Three months before cravings went away?? Yikes. But I believe it. I guess in the long run that's not really too bad, if it means releasing the sugar demons for good. Thanks for the info!

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I came here looking for JUST THIS sort of post tonite because I am experiencing some WICKED cravings this week, today is my day 15. I'm not eating a ton of fruit, usually just one piece per day, never more than two, I am craving cheese more than sugar, but anyway, I'm scared about life after the 30....and i think I'll do well to just stay away from sugar real or artificial. i was a splenda girl before this, never more than 3 tsp a day,most of which went in my coffee with heavy, pastured, raw, jersey cream. I'm rambling......thanks for sharing, because I am struggling tonite.

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There is a candy jar in the office as I leave school every day....I used to grab one piece every day on my way out of the building. Some days it was a Take 5 bar, some days a caramel...whatever. It was EVERY DAY. I wasn't even hungry! So, back to school now and not doing a whole30, but trying to be "good". Managed to avoid the candy demon for a week...but the second week of school was back to the old routine...UGH. Stupid. Useless fuel. Doesn't even taste that good! UGH.

We have committed to a second whole30 beginning Monday (we paid big bucks for a Craft Brewers Festival/Tasting to support our local Public TV station on Saturday and plan on enjoying all of the delicious offerings!) I know that sugar is a slippery slope for me. It's easier to avoid it than to try and have it "sometimes".

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I have the hardest time with sugar out of the Paleo/Whole9 "don't eats." I do occasionally let myself eat some sugar (important birthdays, holidays) but I've learned a few things...

1. I just have to accept that I will crave sugar intensely for three days after I eat it, with sugar being almost the only thing I think about for the first two of those days.

2. I am super-vulnerable to falling into all kinds of bad food habits (more sugar, binging on all kinds of things, alcohol) during those three days. I think of this time period as similar to my immune system being down, except it's my sugar-withstanding (sugar immune?) system that is down.

Is it worth it? Honestly, I ask myself that every time. In reality, it probably isn't worth it... except I don't want to say never because I feel a sense of desperation when I say that. Now I know about those three days and I prepare myself to tough through them.

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Bron - do you have fructose malabsorption? Or, is it more of a matter that when you cut out all that stuff, effectively you're 0 carb-ing it, and that is why you feel better? Either way, it might be wise to pinpoint which it is. If it is fructose malabsorption, it could be beneficial to understand what you should eat instead. Or, if it's that you are noticing large improvements on a ketogenic diet, it is important to understand how to eat a therapeutic keto diet correctly, as you can miss some key nutrients just cutting all carb foods out.

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I'm so glad I came across this thread. I finished my first Whole30 less than a week ago. Day 1 off the plan I ate chocolate and white bread. Was fine for a day but had some cravings ...I was looking for sweet tastes though, ie. making special trips to the fruit and vege shop to pick up some fruit (when I haven't snacked for a couple of weeks). Then yesterday I ate out with a friend who I haven't seen for a long while, she is someone who loves her food ...1 wine down, a vegetable tart (not so bad maybe), shared a lemon curd dessert and then......got chocolate and chips on the way home after stopping to put some fuel in my car. This is an old habit of mine to get junk food on the way home from various places. I hate these old habits.

That was last night and this morning, I have a sore throat, sore eyes, headache, feel hungover. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who falls into this type of trap with sugar. I've been tossing up whether to do another Whole30 straight away, part of me doesn't want to but at the same time I never woke up feeling like this during this time.

The thing I didn't like about the Whole30 is feeling like I was different to people around me.....few people I have contact with eat like this and few can believe that I would choose to eat like this long term. BUT, eating well and being a bit different, having some challenges with eating out has got to better then feeling like this.

What I'm thinking is that I start a Whole30 today, commit to it again for a whole lot of good reasons.

Wish me luck people. By the sounds of the posts of other people here I have a couple of days of not feeling so good ahead of me. Hopefully lots of water and fresh veges will help.

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