1. Okay, yes, that's messed up but answer me this: Why the craving for sweet stuff? When I was 265 pounds, all I could think of was sweets. Every moment my mind wasn't thinking of something else it was thinking of sweets. If there was any kind of sweet in the house I knew it and it was all I could think of.


  2. Bernardo
    I know sugar is particularly evil and has it's own craving mechanism. Don't know exactly, but Robert Lusting's presentation on sugar really shows it's very similar to alcohol and can cause addiction. That is the fructose part of the sugar. The glucose is there to make sure you are still hungry after consuming it.
  3. Gary, I guess at that stage you were relying on a lot of carbs for your fuel. You'd have eaten, seen a big peak in your blood sugar level, then after your blood sugar levels would have crashed. This would be the stage where you'd need those bad carbs to raise your sugars - and so the cycle continued...
  4. It's kinda depressing there is a market for that. Not just that it's crap food, but that it's crap food eaten on the run, mindlessly. The last thing we fat folks (I've lost 117 lbs, but am still overweight and working on it) need is to have tools to help us eat on the run, mindlessly, and to eat BAD food--food that makes us hungrier, that's full of damaged oils, oversalted. Just bad. Car-eating is a bad, bad habit we have in this country. It's so immature, too. What? You can't go somewhere, sit down, take 20 to 30 minutes to an hour to sit, enjoy your REAL FOOD meal, slow down, relax, digest a bit, before heading to the rat-race again? Time to enjoy and ponder the goodness of food and life for a bit before work takes over again or chores or other demands?

    No wonder we have heart disease, strokes, cancers, and just a life lacking introspection and gratitude and wonder....

  5. FrankG
    @Gary... Tom Naughton in his Fat Head Documentary (and Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories) does a great job of explaining why you can feel hungry despite having just eaten... and especially why you feel motivated to eat fast-energy (sweet) foods... I've been there myself so I can sympathize. LCHF is the way to break this cycle.


  6. For Gary: I'm one who craved a fatted-starch, but I assume it's a similar thing--but with each person's distinct preferences. I didn't want a sugary cakey/candy treat. I wanted a FATTY-starchy one: pizza, lasana, mac n cheese, cheese n crackers, pasta n garlic and oil or sauce n cheese.

    I'm assuming the starch/sugars are the addictive properties. Once I stopped eating the sugars (starch), my appetite calmed down and the cravings passed.

    Sugars/starches make you want to eat more.

    That's why you don't hear people saying they just couldn't stop eating that chicken breast, one after another or broccoli stalks or tablespoons of olive oil. But you do hear that about constantly about fries, chips, cookies, crackers, pizza rolls, mini burgers, etc.

  7. Maybe the problem was I wasn't eating high fat. I'd low carb, get cravings like MAD and after a few weeks I'd break down and sugar binge, fall off the wagon, weight would start to creep up and I'd lose all discipline. After years of the rollercoaster I gave up, had surgery (sleeve) and now I'm about 90 lbs lighter and don't have 10% of the cravings I used to. Still there talking to me out of the corner of my mind but not like it used to be.
  8. Alexandra
    Gary.. I was like you, always hungry, always wanted sweet carbohydrates. Getting enough fat while going quite low on the daily carbs eliminated all my cravings and hunger.. I would say remember to eat until you are full and don't eat again until you are hungry... I routinely go 4 to 8 hours between daytime meals ( 2 or 3 meals per day and only a snack on rare occasions) and often have dinner at 4:00 P.M. and not feel hungry until breakfast the next day around 6:00 A.M. No hunger is LIFE CHANGING! 120 lbs down and about 20 to go!

    BTW.. it took me quite a while to figure out what feeling full meant, took some experimentation to work out when to stop eating.. the benefit is completely forgetting about food for most of the day. Hooray for that!

    Best wishes.

  9. Alexandra
    By the way, Doc. I really enjoyed watching your AHS presentation video.
    I am looking forward to meeting you on the Low Carb Cruise in 2012.
  10. @GaryLGreen, I noticed that when I started eating more fat, I not only craved starchy/doughy food less, but I lost weight more steadily and more rapidly. I made simple changes: I bought coconut oil to go alongside butter and bacon fat for cooking, I ate bacon & eggs more regularly for breakfast (4 times/week on average), I snacked on big pepperoni and the world's best pure pork hot dogs (local farmer's achievement), I ate huge steaks, I ate cheese at will. All this helped me crave pizza and bread, my favorites, much less. I didn't realise how much fat I needed to eat, because I hadn't weighed 298 lb before. This summer, after about 3 months, I have reduced to 278 lb, half of which I dropped after I eliminated sugar from cappuccino 6 days/week and started eating much more fat. Of course, I eat plenty of leafy greens, tomatoes and cucumbers.

    So to anyone eating LCHF (as the Swedes write it), I advise you never to deny yourself fat. Never. Your body knows how much fat it wants. If you're hungry, when in doubt, eat some fat. :)

  11. Tom
    Can I drink diet soda on a paleo diet? I cannot rid myself of soda!
  12. Funderaren
    Tom I dont think diet soda effect your diet directly, since a dietsoda is lowcarb. But it could stimulate your desire for sweets. And who knows what it does to your body in the long term.

    The best thing to drink on a lowcarb diet is actually water. Doesnt go more lowcarb then that.

  13. Mark
    Where can I buy that fry-holder? Does it come with a bigger ketchup cup?
  14. Sara
    Gary, both Robert Lustig and Dr. Eenfeldt have talked about the effects sugar has on insulin, and how it spikes hunger. (Although Stephan Guyanet seems to think high insulin helps you lose weight.)

    Other hormones may play a role in hunger and weight gain as well:


  15. I understand all about insulin, sugar, hunger.... I want to know about the addiction factor. I could be stuffed silly, not hungry and all, and I'd still be fixated on getting more sugar into me.
  16. moreporkplease
    Well, that's easy Gary:

    "Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward

    Our findings clearly demonstrate that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and -addicted individuals. We speculate that the addictive potential of intense sweetness results from an inborn hypersensitivity to sweet tastants. In most mammals, including rats and humans, sweet receptors evolved in ancestral environments poor in sugars and are thus not adapted to high concentrations of sweet tastants. The supranormal stimulation of these receptors by sugar-rich diets, such as those now widely available in modern societies, would generate a supranormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus to lead to addiction.

    Citation: Lenoir M, Serre F, Cantin L, Ahmed SH (2007) Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward. PLoS ONE 2(8): e698. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000698"

  17. Ah, now THAT I can really sink my teeth into. Thank you. In the Guardian UK I read an article by an ex-heroin addict talking about how much harder it was to kick carbs than heroin. Now here is something researched to back that up. Wonderful.
  18. damaged justice
    I think it was Dr. William Davis (WHEAT BELLY) who said that sugar doesn't make you crave wheat, but wheat makes you crave sugar.
  19. Amy
    To Gary and moreporkplease:
    I have personal proof of that very thing with myself. I juice vegetables everyday to get an extra boost of vitamins as well as my daily intake of veg. I have no grains or sugar otherwise. Most juice recipies call for an apple or pear for sweetness in the green juices. I noticed that when I included the fruit in my juices that I had extreem sugar cravings. I liken it to when I smoked and wanted a cigarete. It was that strong. Since the apple was the only sugar item I had been having it was easy to figure out the problem and I stopped useing the apple in my juice. The next day and there after I have zero sugar craving. I also have a strong family history of addiction.
  20. MFood
    to Gary. I started looking into the entire LC world, which I stumbled into because of Taubes and his NYT Sugar Toxic article. And on going through books at library found:

    The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program


    My first impression was that it would some stupid theory. On reading and trying the concepts, I found it brilliantly explained. All the LC writers don't seem to touch on this. Nothing in disagreement, as this is also about LC, just adds more to the discussion.

    1. there really IS an extreme addiction that some have to sugar. I found that I do NOT have this. but for others, such as you, it is real.

    2. there are issues of brain mood hormones(?) that you need to control. I was really suspicious, felt like pseudo science. I tried it, and WOW, explained all kinds of mood variations which I'd just taken for granted. Author worked with addicts, alcohol, drugs, and noticed similar symptoms.

    3. she has you do something as simple as protein first thing in AM. not skip breakfast. and NOT, in contrast to what some are saying here, go all day between meals. also, try some carb (potato) before going to bed, several hours after eating protein. huh? tried it. TOTALLY different mood the next AM. Plenty of deep dreams, just as described.

    Seriously go read this book. All the info is basically online for free, but I do suggest reading it.

    Another book on food palatable, etc, forget name, also mentioned people who just go insane when a couple M&Ms are on the table during interview. So this is real, and for those that don't have it, we just don't "get it".

    As for myself, I don't have any of definition of these cravings ... but, if I have good bread on table, will easily finish 1/2 a loaf.

    Again, I did not find these suggestions on Paleo, LC, LCHF, or others. They seem to just say LC and it should work. Or will mention, won't work for a few with serious cravings. This author DOES tell you how to deal with cravings. Mentions that you might go 6 more months with craving, then - "zaaap" wake up one day and notice is gone. People notice it happen, but can take up to a year of staying on this.

  21. Re: Cravings on low carb diets
    Lots of people who go on low carb diets begin to eat much more artificially sweetened food, I know I did. What I didn't know about artificial sweeteners back then is that they are between 300 and 600 times sweeter than sugar/sucrose, and we in effect are telling the brain this is what to expect in food value, and when the calories don't appear then we crave. I had to stop artificial sweeteners, with the rare exception of stevia, in order to stop the constant cravings. The brain did not develop with artificial sweeteners in the mix, so if you find that you are truly low carb but still craving, take a look at how much your diet includes artificial sweeteners. I had a serious diet Coke habit that was tough to break, but now I don't miss it.
  22. Milton
    For me, many candies and snacks fall into that category that brings to mind the potato-chip ad: you cannot eat just one. Having cut back on sugar and practically eliminated junk food snacks in exchange for a much healthier diet with plenty of meat, dairy and vegetables, I almost never get cravings for sweets. But if I start a bag of potato chips I'm probably going to eat a heck of a lot more than I had intended, and the same goes for a bag of candy.

    The former might have something to do with the high salt content, as I find it a bit easier to moderate my intake of nuts when they are unsalted. It's still much easier to stop eating salted almonds than it is to stop eating potato chips (especially kettle cooked... god I miss kettle cooked chips).

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