Should sugar addicts avoid coffee, fruit, and fasting?


Can you eat fruits and practice intermittent fasting as a sugar addict? Do you need to quit coffee? And how to gain weight on a keto diet?

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

Fruits and intermittent fasting as a sugar addict?


I’ve been in recovery for alcoholism for seven years and a half years. I’m active in a 12-step program. I’m a double winner in that I also have a sugar addiction and compulsive eating problem. It’s been so much harder to deal with.

I found you indirectly after researching intermittent fasting. I’ve watched Dr. Fung’s video course on fasting and your video course on sugar addiction.

I was excited to try intermittent fasting but read later on your page that you don’t recommend it. Am I correct? I wanted to try daily fasting, not long periods of time. I know that wouldn’t work for me.

Also, I signed up for the Facebook support group and it says no fruits. I know they have natural sugars so do you suggest no fruits at all? I did Whole30 for 60 days and was able to give up processed sugars but still ate fruits. What do you think about this?

Thanks so much!

Hi Rebecca,

Congratulations to recovery, I have the same background.

My experience is that sugar addicts do not do well fasting, but I do recommend restricted eating, which is three meals a day and nothing in between. No snacking and the last meal should be before 6 PM and breakfast 7-8 AM. That is in a way fasting.

I see sugar addicts starting to binge-eat and also eating sugar/carbs as allowed foods during “eating windows” and after fasting, that will never work in the long run. Willpower does not work on a sensitive reward center and the brain.

When it comes to fruit I see some doing OK with that for a while but it is ‘sugar’, and the risk for overeating is high and which leads to relapse. I see that berries work better, i.e blueberries and raspberries but again that can be triggering for some too.

Remember, we have very sensitized brains and bodies so therefore we need to follow advice from sugar addiction trained professionals if we want to stay ‘drug free’ in the long run. Do listen closely to your body.

Wish you great recovery,

Do I need to quit caffeine?

I read in Food Junkies that caffeine can be a trigger for food addiction. Tea really helps me abstain from carbs so I only want to give it up if I have to. How do I know?


Hello Susan!

We’re all biochemically unique so for some people caffeine causes stress and sleep disturbances and therefore cravings and relapse in processed foods. Others are not affected.

I do advise people who drink coffee to cut down to about two cups a day, or none if it is a problem, of course. The last cup should be around noon to 1 PM due to the fact that caffeine blocks our bodies’ natural sleep hormones. Sleeping well is one of our bodies most important healing factors. I advise you to listen to your body and act according to what it “tells” you.

Great recovery,

How to gain weight on keto?

Hello there!

Thank you for your time. My partner and I are both underweight as we start keto. We’re both doing this lifestyle due to some health issues that both of our healthcare practitioners said keto would be a great lifestyle for.

Our question is with everything we’ve been watching and reading, the main target is weight loss. We actually both need to gain weight. Any suggestions for this?


Hello Nikkis,

You are right, most people starting keto do it as a tool for weight loss. But I do have some client’s that are sugar addicts and have starved a lot because of binges and now they are eating keto, using that to develop a healthy lifestyle but they need to gain weight.

It is of course individual what we suggest but the first thing we recommend is to increase fat and protein together. The second thing is to add veggies and sometimes it has been necessary to add a small amount of some starchy veggies, for example carrots and sweet potatoes and such. I advise you to try this and if you need help contact a specialist in the matter. First of all read this article.

Wish you good health,

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Earlier Q&A

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