Sugar Addict


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I am TERRIFIED.

I am your class A sugar addict and I don't know how I will get through the next 30 days without falling off the rails.

Is anyone else a sugar addict here? How did you keep on track? What if I can't do it? I really want some of those paleo pancakes that's been banished!

HELP!

-- Kirralee

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Hi Kirralee & welcome to Whole30

 

My first words of advice would be to relax, take a deep cleansing breath and focus on all the fabulous food you CAN have, rather than what you can't.

 

Then I'd say to make sure that you build each of your meals to match the recommended meal template, making sure you eat enough to keep you feeling full for 4-5hrs, avoiding the need to snack.

And then I'd say that fat is your friend. Ignore the fat you use for cooking as most of it stays in the pan, and be sure to add another serving of fat to each meal.

If you're genuinely hungry between meals - that is you're not just looking to eat out of habit/boredom - then have a snack made up of at least two of the three food groups, so preferably protein & fat, or protein & veg, veg & fat.

Take it one day at a time, ask as many questions as you need, and if you're eating out ask a few more.....

Oh, and did I mention that you should breathe?  ;)

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My name is Sara, and I am a sugar addict. I did an very successful (dare I say, easy?) W30 in October. I felt so good that I was determined to continue. I was not derailed by Halloween, but when I re-introduced *something* (I'm not sure what) all brakes were off! I am still a sugar addict. It may have been wheat that flipped the switch. I had no noticeable reactions to anything I re-introduced, but I lost all control at some point, and could not stop eating! Honestly, sugar addiction is like alcohol addiction for some of us. You have to learn your triggers and avoid them for life.

 

I think white rice and wheat are more problematic for me than a little sugar. I could probably have a not-very-sweet cheesecake or flourless, dark chocolate cake for a birthday and not be derailed. A small slice of "real cake" would probably be a disaster.

 

So, after debating whether I ever want to "diet" again, I restarted W30 yesterday. Or Whole365. Or WholeLife. It's not just 30 days, it's a lifestyle, because it's the only "diet" I've been on where I could eat when hungry, lose weight, and feel fantastic.

 

Kirralee, you can do it! But you have to be committed to the slow reintroduction and very cautious. I think I'll be taking notes of everything that happens when I have something off-plan. Good luck!

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Thanks for your help everyone! 

Onto Day 2 now. Haven't been de-railed yet but my mind keeps wondering to substitutes and compliant cakes and cookies I could make. SO BAD  :wacko: 
I'm already finding I'm enjoying my food a lot more. I think it may be because I'm doing a lifestyle detox at the same time. In the morning I wake up, drink 2 glasses of water & green tea, make breakfast, sit outside and eat, do some gentle yoga and then wash dishes. Only after I've done all of that will I check my phone, my to-do list and start my day. 
Learning that making time to stop and eat is so important!

Finding that I HAVE to snack though. Every 3 hours I am ravenous. Is this normal? 
I'm only eating a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit as a snack but I have to eat something otherwise I know I'll end up grabbing a cookie or packet of chips!

Also... black english breakfast tea? Yay or nay?
I'm assuming herbal tea is fine?

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For any tea, read the ingredients -- you'd be amazed how many have soy in them, not to mention stevia. There are many herbal teas that are fine to have, and others that have something non-compliant in them.

 

If you're ravenous every three hours, I'd wonder what your meals look like. Are you having 1-2 palm-sized portions of protein (that's the length, width, and height of your palm) or if eggs are your only protein, as many whole eggs as you can hold in your hand? Are you having 1-3 cups of vegetables (aim for 3 with most meals, and you may need more if you're having raw leafy green stuff, as it can wilt down as you chew and doesn't always keep you satisfied)? Are you including 1-2 thumb-size portions of fat, or a heaping handful or two of olives or coconut flakes, or 1/2 to a whole avocado, or occasionally a small handful of nuts -- in addition to your cooking fat?

 

Ideally, your meals will last you 4-5 hours at a time. If you are truly hungry between meals -- like you could eat something bland like steamed fish and broccoli -- try to have a mini meal of protein, fat, and vegetables, or at least two of the three. Avoid fruit on its own as it can cause blood sugar spikes and drops, and can leave you hungrier later and craving sweets.

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when I re-introduced *something* (I'm not sure what) all brakes were off! I am still a sugar addict. It may have been wheat that flipped the switch. I had no noticeable reactions to anything I re-introduced, but I lost all control at some point, and could not stop eating! Honestly, sugar addiction is like alcohol addiction for some of us. You have to learn your triggers and avoid them for life.

 

I think white rice and wheat are more problematic for me than a little sugar. I could probably have a not-very-sweet cheesecake or flourless, dark chocolate cake for a birthday and not be derailed. A small slice of "real cake" would probably be a disaster.

 

For some people, grains are worse than sugar. They have a similar impact on blood sugar (which is one kind of trigger), but they are also different in a number of other ways, like digestion, nutrition and allergen/reactivity/inflammation/hormones. This is why so many things are eliminated on Whole30, so you can see what's noticeable.

 

If you feel better on Whole30, something might be making you feel bad on your normal days, just at a level that's hard to identify. It could be something very specific too (wheat), rather than a large group (grains). It's good to know the order of what's worst too. Is wheat worse than rice? same? what about corn? is brown rice any better/worse?

 

I can tolerate some sugar (although lots of processed high fructose is a bit iffy - agave nectar and high fructose corn syrup) but dairy (cheesecake) and grains (real cake) would throw me right off. Some things are more sneaky than others, I thought I was okay with dairy for a long time, but I'm always healthier, happier, with a more robust immune system and more in control of hunger/energy/mood when I don't eat it at all.

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There is no such thing as a compliant cake/ cookie substitute. All such things are just as against the rules as the real thing.

I'm a sugar addict too. I've done 4 complete rounds of whole 30 and many more totally compliant days in between. I do 3 good sized meals, no snacks. Fruit and nuts only as part of a meal/ as a condiment. Never after or between meals. No coconut lattes, no nut butters etc.

My most successful whole 30 in terms of cravings was round 3 where I elminated fruit and nuts completely.

You can do this!

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I am having such a hard time with this because I seem to crave carbs and sugar in the morning more than at any other time. Before Whole30 I was a dedicated oatmeal eater. I would have oatmeal every morning with fruit, nuts and maple syrup, sigh. So, because of this, breakfast has been super tough! I usually have to be at work around 6 a.m. so I don't really have much time to make delicious eggs and veggies (I normally make this for lunch or dinner). I am a vegetarian so breakfast gets tough. Any ideas? I cannot live without fruit and nuts I don't think. I am an avid runner so the sugar fruit does provide my body wants so badly. I also miss chocolate! Sigh.

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You only crave carbs & sugar in the morning because that's what your body is used to, and that's exactly why you should be feeding it protein & fat instead - to break that sugar burning cycle. Would you give a screaming toddler that bright blue bubblegum ice cream with rainbow sprinkles they were throwing a tantrum for? I think not  ;) 

By feeding your body fruit & nuts continuously you are providing a constant supply of glucose and thereby denying your body the chance to tap into it's fat stores for fuel - and if you keep it up I hate to break it to you but there will be no fat adaptation.

If you don't have time in the morning for cooking be sure to cook enough the night before so that you have left-overs which just require re-heating, or cook a batch of egg/veg muffins on a Sunday to last you through the week... or a frittata that can be sliced into wedges.... Blended veg soup & hard boiled eggs....

Absolutely anything you can eat at meals one & two you can also eat at meal one, so just be sure to have plenty of prepped food on hand.

And chocolate will still be there 30 days from now.....  B) 
 

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I am having such a hard time with this because I seem to crave carbs and sugar in the morning more than at any other time. Before Whole30 I was a dedicated oatmeal eater. I would have oatmeal every morning with fruit, nuts and maple syrup, sigh. So, because of this, breakfast has been super tough! I usually have to be at work around 6 a.m. so I don't really have much time to make delicious eggs and veggies (I normally make this for lunch or dinner). I am a vegetarian so breakfast gets tough. Any ideas? I cannot live without fruit and nuts I don't think. I am an avid runner so the sugar fruit does provide my body wants so badly. I also miss chocolate! Sigh.

 

I just want to give you a virtual hug because I am still missing my oatmeal like crazy on day 21. I was relying on oatmeal multiple times a day, though, so this reset was needed. I promise it does get more appealing to eat protein (meat for me) in the morning. I'm still working on fat. You can do it.

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Completely fell off the wagon this weekend. Basically went on a sugar binge! 
Feeling terrible and like the size of a house. Very worried that I've put on all the weight I've lost in 6 months in just 2 days  :( 
Very quickly losing the confidence to be able to see this out. 
THIS IS NOT EASY  :o Hopefully it's worth it  :) 

Definitely 100% no snacking then?

I can do it  :D  :wacko:

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Completely fell off the wagon this weekend. Basically went on a sugar binge!

Feeling terrible and like the size of a house. Very worried that I've put on all the weight I've lost in 6 months in just 2 days :(

Very quickly losing the confidence to be able to see this out.

THIS IS NOT EASY :o Hopefully it's worth it :)

Definitely 100% no snacking then?

I can do it :D:wacko:

Here's the thing about the no snacking rule, people sometimes seem to think it's about being hungry and just dealing with the Hunger or suffering through it, but it's really not.

We don't want you to be hungry. We want you to get to a place where you are eating enough at meals that you don't even think about food for 4-5 hours, because you're just not hungry. Until you get to a place where you get your meals composed in a way to do that, if you're hungry between meals, it's okay to eat. Just have a mini meal of protein, fat and veggies.

Seriously, if you're eating enough at meals it's so much easier to not eat between meals, and you're less likely to have cravings. It's not necessarily super easy, but it's a whole lot easier if you're setting your meals up correctly.

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Completely fell off the wagon this weekend. Basically went on a sugar binge! 

Feeling terrible and like the size of a house. Very worried that I've put on all the weight I've lost in 6 months in just 2 days  :( 

Very quickly losing the confidence to be able to see this out. 

THIS IS NOT EASY  :o Hopefully it's worth it  :) 

Definitely 100% no snacking then?

I can do it  :D  :wacko:

 

Girl, I feel ya. But trust me . . .you haven't. Today's a new day.

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When you do fall off the wagon, it's worth thinking about the steps that got you there, so you can get something positive out of the experience.

 

We all have different triggers for behavior we'd rather avoid. Mine is tired + hungry + no compliant food = disaster. Eating to the template helps keeps my blood sugar nice and stable, having prepped food helps me have something compliant to eat quickly and making sure I get enough sleep and don't skip any meals keeps me away from tired + hungry.

 

For snacks, I like a mini meal (protein, veggies, fat) rather than a 2-element-combo and I find keeping fruit out of my snacks works best for me (I still have fruit with meals) so it doesn't poke my sugar dragon.

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I'm going to address "my mind keeps wandering" to all the sweets you aren't eating, because that seems to pinpoint the start of your derailment. I'd guess your sugar issues have as much to do with this angel/devil game you play in your head as much as the physical cravings.

So start filling your head with alternatives. For me, it's recipe hunting. I will take new ingredients or old favorites, and look up every possible method to prepare them. I used to not be able to even look at recipes that called for a sweetener, but now I can do those substitutes with no problem,

The point is, there are so many recipes out there that can become your new daydream food, your mind doesn't have to even compete with the sweets that you know will make you sick.

Make no mistake, after a binge weekend followed by getting back on track, your physical cravings will return. But I think if you can tackle this mind game you have going with yourself, you can win this battle.

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During my Whole 30, I used to watch the Triple D.   Diners, Drive-Ins....you know the one.  I pretended I was eating by osmosis or surrogate mouth stuffing of whopping boatloads of food.  It was actually fun until I snapped back into focus.

 

That was a long time ago.  I started reframing my relationship with food.  I didn't focus on food or eating.  I began engaging and identifying myself with activity/people rather than food thoughts. 

 

I started asking myself where I wanted to be 10 years from now.  What would life look like and how would I sustain it.   Nothing in the short term of on and off,  yo-yo, pingpong rebound would get me there.   

 

I did not confuse compliant foods with compliant binge eating.  Just because you can plan for a cycle of binge eating does not mean it's not a binge. Cycles of thrill eating of carbs/sugar followed by massive cardio and over-restriction....it's so important to break these cycles.

 

Your Whole 30 is reasonable restriction.   You will learn what normal portions are without counting calories or measuring.   Thought patterns always precede old behaviors and lifestyle choices.  

 

Two positive takeaways from a Whole 30 are boundaries and portions.  Your tolerance for cravings and indifference to old trigger foods is a muscle that will grow stronger with use.  It may take longer than 30 days but you can reframe your relationship with food.  

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No matter what life may bring our way...boy/girlfriends dump us,  family members pass and favorite pets...we have to get out of bed in the morning and continue to pick ourselves up with love.

 

Our family and friends need us and we need them.   People matter more.   So do you.

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