‘Should I measure my portions as a sugar addict?’

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Should you weigh and measure your portions if you’re a sugar addict? How do you follow a keto diet if you’re addicted to cheese? And can you eat sugar again after you’ve upregulated your dopamine receptors on keto?

These questions are answered this week by our food-addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:

Should I weigh and measure my portions?

Hi,

I have a sugar addiction and notice that food plans for food addicts involve measuring and weighing all foods. Should I do that with keto? If so, what are the portion sizes I should aim for per meal?

Thanks,
Christina

Hi Christina.

Many of my clients have problems with overeating, even on low-carb and keto foods. Overeating is a process addiction caused by sugar addiction. Measuring portions is great for learning how to eat a normal portion. Overeating, even on keto food, causes problems with the biochemistry and may well trigger cravings. The best is to contact a professional for a tailored food plan. I recommend my colleague David Wolfe, a dietitian and sugar-addiction counselor. If that is not possible, join our Facebook group Sugarbomb in your brain. There you’ll find a starter food plan.

The tricky part is establishing your personal “fuel mix,” i.e., the balance between protein, fat, and carbs (here, veggies). But you need to start somewhere and get used to weighing and measuring and then adjust if too hungry or too full.

As sugar addicts, we need to collect a large toolbox with many other tools, not just changing the food. I recommend that you read Dr. Vera Tarman’s book Food Junkies to understand more about this. I hope this is helpful.

Take care,
Bitten


How to follow keto if you’re addicted to cheese?

I have a sugar addiction and keep relapsing. But now that I have started using Diet Doctor, I have found that I have a cheese addiction. How do I do a keto diet without triggering my cheese addiction? I find that I eat meals and then keep eating extra cheese. Plus, I relapse to sugar often.

Candy

Candy,

You describe the nature of addiction, and if you want to recover, you need to learn much more than just changing what you’re eating. That milk products trigger sugar addicts is well-known. Most of us can handle butter and ghee, but not cheese, heavy cream, yogurt, and sour cream, and we need to remove these foods from our diet plan. Otherwise, it will lead us back to sugar, flour, and processed foods.

I advise you to seek help. My colleague David Wolfe, a dietitian, is running groups at triggerfreenutrition.com. Secondly, join our support group on Facebook. I also suggest you read Dr. Vera Tarman’s book Food Junkies to learn more about addiction and the brain.

The more knowledge you have of sugar addiction, the better your recovery will be. It is a tricky illness.

Wish you an excellent recovery,
Bitten


What happens after you’ve upregulated your dopamine receptors on keto?

Dear Bitten,

I have a scientific question that has been bothering me for a while.

Once I have upregulated the dopamine receptors in my brain after a full year on the keto diet, will I not be addicted to sugar anymore? What happens if I eat sugary foods once?

Many thanks for your help!
Robert

Robert,

Don’t take that first bite. We know from neuroscience research and years of experience that addiction is a chronic illness. Once a sugar addict, always a sugar addict in my opinion.

I have worked in this field for many years and have seen this happening. Some think they have control over their sugar intake, only to relapse into eating like before (and often worse — like compensating for the time without sugar). Some sugar addicts never recover from a relapse like that.

The nature of addiction is a loss of control, and it’s frequently irreversible. We call this “addiction memory circuit” and “euphoric recall,” which means that the reward center will want the drug (here, sugar) again and again. I advise you to join a support group and read the book Food Junkies.

I wish you excellent recovery,
Bitten

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