General Diet Plans and Questions - Is sugar really addictive? Opinions needed...

09-25-2013, 12:29 PM
I did strict - STRICT - paleo for 5 months. Started by quitting sugar cold turkey (no ketchup, no dressings, not even iodized salt). I felt no different in terms of mood. I may have had withdrawal, but I don't remember.

I stopped doing paleo because I'm approaching the process a lot differently - no diet plan, just intuitive/normal eating. I generally choose not to eat grains as they cause me digestive problems as does dairy, although I still eat both from time to time. I have celiac disease, so absolutely no wheat.

However, I don't limit sugar consumption anymore. I don't see the point if my mood doesn't change and my weight seems unaffected. My "diet" is mostly paleo, minus the attachment to perfection. It just is what it is. Because I don't eat many grains, it's a natural consequence that I don't eat much sugar (since it's loaded into so many cakes, brownies, cereals, etc). I have been on this same plan for about 10 months.

However, as the pounds come off, I get this tension in my throat which is asking for a candy bar - a full-on Snickers attack. I could be a commercial. Meditate all I want, that sensation is there. Could this be sugar withdrawal even though I haven't strictly gone off sugar? (Or maybe I'm not eating it and I just don't realize it).

09-25-2013, 01:41 PM
Great question. I don't need a study to tell me that I'm an addict. When I crave something, it's hardly ever meat or broccoli. I usually crave foods that are very high in glycemic index and the more of those that I consume, the more I want them and I don't think I"ll ever be able to quit. I've included some interesting links.

I think it's complicated. Sugar is also how we were rewarded as children (for some people). You got a boo-boo? Here's some ice-cream. For other people there's an insulin response that happens so when they consume sugar, they get that energy burst and then the slump which makes them crave more sugar. Also, I believe that we have yeast colonies in our bodies and they feed on sugar. When we stop, they die off and that makes us feel sick so then we want more sugar.

Some people can have a little sugar and eat it in moderation. If you can do that, then it's ok to have that Snickers bar once in a while but for others (like me), having that bar will trigger me to binge and that is always followed by depression and physical illness. You have to do what's right for you.

To get more info on sugar, you might want to check Robert Lustig's videos on youtube. They have some really great info.

09-25-2013, 01:53 PM
luckymommy, this is an interesting point: "Also, I believe that we have yeast colonies in our bodies and they feed on sugar. When we stop, they die off and that makes us feel sick so then we want more sugar."

I wonder if that's what's happening to me since I stepped up my efforts a couple of weeks ago.

09-25-2013, 01:59 PM
I get what you're saying with paleo and the attachment to perfection. This is partly why I'm hesitant to identify as paleo, because I'm not perfect. I cheat. I allow dairy. I call it "as primal as possible".

As for sugar, I believe it to be addictive for me. Refined carbs too. I can eat a half salmon fillet and get the full signal when I'm supposed to; But I've been known to eat an entire extra large pizza and go looking for more. So do I crave it? Not usually. But when I eat it, I can't stop.

Sugar cravings are usually a blood sugar fluctuation, at least in most of what I've read. Here's a little more info on that: