As I discussed in last week’s blog, I’ve given up all things sweet, all things processed. Why? Because I’m an addict.
That may seem overly dramatic to call it that, but biologically, that’s exactly what it is. My brain gets a dopamine hit from sweet, processed foods, even if they are low or no carb. I seek out sweet taste and the comfort of a processed treat. I could be full to the brim on ribeye, but I’m going to still eat a huge hunk of chocolate or down a half (or whole) pint of keto ice cream.
I’m working slowly through a textbook called Processed Food Addiction. In the introduction, it has the following about the compulsive and impulsive nature of addiction that I’ve identified in my own dealings with sweet and processed food.
So here I am on day 8 of this adventure. Here is a day-by-day rundown of the first week.
I was surprised by how easy today was. I had several bouts of cravings, but none were strong enough to break my 30-day promise to myself. I had a big lunch of chicken and eggs, which kept me sated for a long time. It should have been an OMAD, but cravings hit me harder later in the evening. I ate around 9pm, which is way later than I usually eat, and I gorged myself on bacon and cheese. I felt icky all night and slept terribly.
There was a significant decrease in cravings today. I’ve gained a lot of appetite control. I’m eating much less food but staying satisfied much longer than I have in weeks. I didn’t eat late, but I still slept poorly.
Poor sleep makes me hungrier. Good thing exercise and cold showers help! I had fewer cravings today and stayed sated from my lunch. Again, this should have turned into an OMAD, but cravings hit me today. THREE TIMES. But I learned something really interesting.
The first hit was when my order of Rebel Creamery’s new flavors got delivered. I made this order several weeks ago, before I decided to do this experiment. It made me sad that I knew I wasn’t going to be able to eat it. Sad. I shouldn’t be sad or regretful about food.
The second time was when my husband ate some of his ice cream. I became irritable and sat by myself thinking about something I can eat for about 30 minutes. Burgers? Bacon? Note that I wasn’t even hungry. I didn’t end up eating.
The third time was in the evening when friends were over. They were helping me by eating through the ice cream. Once again, I became irritable. I was short with my husband. I wanted to shove something into my mouth (back to those burgers?). It lasted about 30 minutes before subsiding.
Today was the hardest, but I learned the strength of the addiction. One doesn’t have this reaction just out of a sense of desire. I was a little rage-filled even though I WANT to not eat it. My brain hasn’t caught up with it yet. These experiences solidified for me why I’m doing this in the first place.
Today has been much easier. I had to endure one last moment of irritability as my husband ate up the last of his flavors. But I haven’t been craving a lot. I haven’t been overeating. I have stuck to my feeding window.
I was generally hungrier today, but I think that’s because of PMS. I haven’t been craving more. Just want to eat more.
We were in Charlotte for a Queen concert (which was AMAZING), and had seafood and steak at a restaurant that was waaaaay overpriced and left us completely unsatisfied. We found a cheese shop and bought a few cool cheeses and meats, and took it back to the hotel. YUM. Today was a two-meal day.
Another hungry day, so I had two meals. Cravings came back a little strong today, but that could be because PMS and poor sleep from staying at a hotel. I still successfully stuck to my plan though.
Ta-dah! First day of my cycle today, which means improved mood, way fewer cravings, and more energy. Plus, I slept for 10 hours last night, so I’m feeling rad.
Later in the evening, some cravings did pop up, but this was more for peanuts. I don’t like to indulge in nuts too often because they’re too palatable and easy to overdo (plus most nuts have wicked bad omega 6 to omega 3 ratios), but I gave myself this one indulgence. I ate way too many peanuts after my eating window should have been closed, but I still avoided the sweets and processed stuff.
All in all, I was surprised by how easy it was to give up sweets and processed treats (and popcorn). I was doubly surprised by how much satiated I was with food when they weren’t part of my day. This first week showed me that this is going to be good for me and my brain and my health overall.
Starting on week 2 today. Wish me luck!
*Note: None of this is medical advice.