“The Sugar Cravings Are Gone Now”

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Would the health care system ever advise an alcoholic to drink alcohol at least six times a day and take pills to suppress the cravings?

No, hardly. But when it comes to eating disorders the standard of care often seems to be just that sick.

I got an email from Carolina Falini, who tells her story of how she became free from her sugar addiction and eating disorder when she did the opposite of what the health care system advised her to do: 

The Email

I was so happy to read another story about eating disorders. I myself have been through something similar, but with a binge-eating disorder.

I’ve sought help at several different eating-disorder clinics to get my life back, but all the doctors did was to remind me to eat six carbohydrate-rich meals daily and to take antidepressants, as they suppress hunger. They repeated time after time how my eating disorder and constant cravings were caused by a lack of carbohydrates. I didn’t eat enough processed carbohydrates and the brain can only use processed carbohydrates, so when I didn’t get enough of those I’d binge eat.

I started to increase my intake of processed carbohydrates and I just felt more and more hungry, more and more sugar craving and more and more jittery.

After I had taken a course in nutritional physiology at the University of Lund, Sweden, I realized that all the information they had fed me was false.

A few months ago I started an LCHF diet and now the sugar cravings are gone. It was a tough battle, I have to admit. I felt like a drug addict on rehab. But after two weeks my sugar cravings were gone. Thanks to LCHF I’ve regained my sense of satiety. I now feel full after eating. Something that is a normal feeling for a normal person, but that I hadn’t experienced in 10 years.

I now have a life. I don’t dream of sugar and cookies and I’m no longer locked up in my apartment eating 5 big store-bought cakes, and then just 30 minutes later opening a package of crackers. I’m not staying home in agony over having managed to stuff myself with 15,000 empty calories. And now, three months later, I can even have a piece of a “sugary cake” on festive occasions without getting sugar cravings and without binge eating.

Thank you for your wonderful blog. It has really helped me with my motivation to cope with the first horrible week of LCHF.

Sincerely,

Carolina

Comment

Congratulation, Carolina, to your successes!

It’s bizarre and a disgrace that people with eating disorders receive such bad advice from the health care system. How can you advise someone with an addiction to INCREASE the intake of the very thing the person is addicted to?

Especially as more rapidly digested carbohydrates not only feed the cravings, but also increases the risk for weight gain, more anxiety, thus worsening any eating disorder problem.

The cornerstone when it comes to recovering from addictions is to get away from what triggers the addiction. You don’t tell a gambling addict to log on to internet poker at least six times a day. This would be a disastrously bad treatment.

When it comes to the possibility of having a piece of a “sugary cake” on festive occasions: be very cautious. If you have a latent addiction this can clearly be risky. Many learn this the hard way. I myself stopped using the moist Swedish form of snuff five years ago and haven’t taken any kind of nicotine since then. None. Zero. Not because I’m good, but because I don’t dare to.

In any case, LCHF seems to be an excellent first-line treatment for addiction to all kinds of carbohydrate-rich foods. Just as with all other types of addictions, where the basic principle is to get away from what you’re addicted to.

It’s not always easy to avoid large amounts of carbohydrates and it’s not always enough to break away from a sugar addiction. But it is a necessary first step. Hopefully this will soon be realized within the health care system.

Do you have any experience in this area that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below.

More

LCHF for Beginners

Previously on addiction

More success stories

“LCHF Challenging Health Care’s Poor dietary Guidelines”

PS

Do you have a success story you want to share on this blog? Send it (photos appreciated) to andreas@dietdoctor.com, and please let me know if it’s OK to publish your photo and name or if you’d rather remain anonymous.

29 comments

Top comments

  1. Lori Miller
    Here you go. http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

    If you're vegetarian for ethical reasons, consider how you're treating the animal that is you.

    Read more →
  2. Welldun
    I guess Evander Holyfield's ear is now safe...
    Read more →

All comments

  1. Louise
    Well Done! How awful that you were given the wrong advice!
    I, too, am a binge eater & sugar addict. I have gained about 75lbs in a couple of years and cannot seem to shift any. I am exhausted all the time but my cravings for sugar are out of control. I am a vegetarian so the majority of my diet is processed carbohydrates....not sure what else I would eat without them! Any tips would be gratefully received! :)
    Replies: #2, #3, #4, #6
  2. Zepp
    You can start emediatly to eat a vegetarian LCHF!

    http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/vegetarian/a/Low-Carb-Vegetarian-Die...

  3. robert
    Why are you vegetarian? It can't be for health reasons, as that doesn't seem to work for you.
    Advice: honestly reevaluate your food choices and see where that takes you. Maybe you can replace some of the processed carbage with nuts (more fat). Only eat real food. If it comes in a box, don't eat it.
  4. Lori Miller
    Here you go. http://www.dietdoctor.com/lchf

    If you're vegetarian for ethical reasons, consider how you're treating the animal that is you.

  5. Andrew
    As somebody who has struggled with junk food cravings and overeating my whole life I can attest that it is indeed similar to addiction with cigarets and alcohol!
    Thankfully i'm at a good weight for the time being! However I find this article misleading because cravings for junk food may get better but rarely go away completely unfortunately much like with other addictions! :(
  6. Mitch
    My tip would be to read your own comment and actually think about what you wrote.
  7. Richard
    I would agree with Dr Andreas advice about being very cautious about a single piece of cake - sometimes it is not a problem (though it might give you a headache from the sugar rush), but other times it can result in falling off the wagon and it does not take many weeks to regain, say, 20 pounds ... and each cycle of LCHF is not as effective as the first as you are now partially adapted and it is no longer the metabolic shock to your body that produces such good results the first time around.
  8. Galina L.
    I used to be a food addict before without being particularly interested in refine carbs and sweets. For some people even wrong "real food" could be problematic.
  9. Shiwani
    Thanks for sharing this informative post and keep it up!
    For more details, Please visit our website@ http://findo.in/
  10. Tina
    The easiest way to take part fully at festive occasions is bringing your own low carb treats (such as a plate of fingerfood or even a stevia cheese cake if it has to be something sweet) - and then stick to that and offer it to others.
  11. Tyrannocaster
    The surprising thing for me in Carolina's email is the point that she had been told to take antidepressants, as "they depress hunger". Everything I have ever read states the exact opposite, and anecdotal stories certainly seem to bear out the idea that people gain weight on them.

    The person who is having problems with sugar while trying to be a vegetarian should at least read Lierre Keith's "The Vegetarian Myth".

  12. Joey B
    Mike Tyson is a vegan now!?
    Just learned that a few days ago quite shocked!
    Reply: #13
  13. Welldun
    I guess Evander Holyfield's ear is now safe...
  14. Vicente
    I agree with Andreas: I don't eat bad carbs because I am strong, I don't eat them because I know I am weak.

    Congratulations Carolina

  15. Laura
    Well done Carolina, I have just finished my second week and I am amazed at how much weight I've
    Lost and I'm thrilled that I no longer feel like a slave to sugar.
    I am in the Army and it scares me how little our doctors know about nutrition, always forcing us to carb load for energy when it is complete rubbish; I have never felt better!
  16. Jo tB
    Louise, I agree with Tyrannocaster, please read "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Keith. All your vegetarian protein sources like beans and lentils are still very high in carbs (and so converted to sugar in your body) It will not control your sugar cravings and so you are in a catch 22 situation. Your body sees sugar, no matter from which source, and act accordingly.
  17. Kristy
    I agree with doctor, I know that if I have one cig then I would be back smoking a pack a day :( it's been 2 1/2 years without nicotine. I have stopped sugar... So hard!!! I make a date to have sugar and totally look forward to that day. When the day comes, the food does not taste like what I remember. Lol my cheat day is every couple of months on special days.
  18. Wesley
    I can vouch for her. I have been experiencing the same thing. Since February of this year I have dropped 62 lbs. I'm half way to my goal weight from 316lbs Ive been experimenting and yes I can have a piece of cake or whatever occasionally without the sugar cravings. This time I decided to push the bar a bit and do a few days of occasional sugary stuff and yes, I got the cravings. It took about 3 days to return to normal. Although everyone is not the same. I hope this helps - don't ever give up, its such an amazing feeling to have you appetite to return to normal. Good luck everyone!
  19. Jenny
    I started LCHF and am on day 15. I lost 7.8 pounds and then three days ago gained back 8 pounds and haven't lost any more. I am short, only 5'1 and now weigh 204.8. I have a long way fto go. I use Myfitnesspal to keep track of everything and try not to go over 1200 calories also. If I go over that I gain weight but I don't want to go any lower either. My macros are set at 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. Why am I not losing any more? I feel great and am not craving sugar at all. Any ideas or suggestions?
    Replies: #20, #21
  20. robert
    Good to hear you feel good.

    My suggestions: 1) be patient, give it more time to work. 2) If you haven't done it already, make sure to have a wide variety of foods / recipes at hand. Bland food will ultimately lead to boredom and too many cheat days.

  21. Galina L.
    My recommendation is to drop most of your dairy and eat only 2 - 3 meals (without snacks in-between) within 6 - 8 hours window, never eat anything close to your bed time.
  22. Jenny
    Thanks Robert and Galina for the advice! I guess I am being impatient, having so far to go in my weight loss journey. I have found lots of great recipes online so I am not bored yet. And yes, Galina- I do probably over do the dairy. I eat a lot of cheese and sour cream. I will cut that way back and see what happens. Thanks again!
    Reply: #23
  23. Galina L.
    Good luck, Jenny! If you get too hungry between meals, try to drink green tea. I also want you to check http://gettingstronger.org/2010/11/learning-to-fast/.
  24. Jenny
    Galina, thanks for the link- it was extremely interesting and I am going to give the fasting a try! Keep an eye on these posts and I will let you know how it goes.
    Reply: #25
  25. Galina L.
    Sure, I am subscribed to the links, so I will not miss your update.
  26. Jenny
    Galina- I did a 'short' fast and dropped 1.2 pounds! I am on my first day of a 3 day fast and will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the wonderful advice!
    Reply: #27
  27. Galina L.
    I am glad you found my information interesting, but was taken aback a little bit by the news you decided to attempt a three days fast without much of an adaptation. Maybe 16 hours fasting period during the day and /or 2 separate fasting days a week would be more reasonable at the beginning. I think it is important to remember that all our activities to normalize excessive weight are perceived by our body as an undesirable starvation and may sent stress signals to your body. In order to make permanent changes in your weight you will have to make permanent changes in your diet you will be able to sustain for years to come. For better or for worse diets work till followed. I also want you to check out another blogger http://itsthewooo.blogspot.com/2014/08/endorphin-system-amplification....
  28. Inna
    Reading this story I felt like having its light version. Fortunately I wasn't administrated to any medical treatment, maybe just because my obsession with sugary food haven't gone so bad and lasted no more than a year. But of course there were episodes of stuffing with junk and shame, and this was just poisoning my life. One of those days I've accidently googled lchf.ru (which contains some translated articles from here) and decided just to give it a try for a month. After two weeks I realized that that was the best decision in my life. 3 months of lchf has gone by now as well as 6 kilos of body weight. Thank you, dr. Andreas and whole lchf-community, for giving me freedom and bizarre sensation of touching my collar bones (and sorry for my bad English).
  29. Emily
    I wonder if you can help me. I am better than I was years ago, but now I am "grown up" I can still overeat on carbohydrates... porridge, wholegrain breads and even rye crackers and oat cakes. For me, it's often hormone and stress related and when I reflect I can remember drinking a bottle of sweetened medicine when I was very little! I have felt almost addicted, and will keep eating and eating until the packet has gone. I haven't yet signed up but curious about the low carb approach although managed a day and felt awful. My frustration is that it's healthy stuff, not doughnuts or cakes, but seeded bread, pinhead oatmeal....and in large quantities when my mood is low.

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