|I, personally, do not have much of a sweet tooth. But the first time I went on Phase One, I had the most vicious craving for a chocolate bar I had ever experienced in my life. Soda – something I had given up years before I’d ever gone on Phase One – all of the sudden seemed irresistible.|
Cookies and cakes – things I’d never desired before – were all that I could think about. And it wasn’t just sweets, either. Things like pasta, bread, and even tortillas all made my mouth water. I had never consciously desired any of these foods before in my life.
Part of the sugar cravings I experienced (and no doubt many dieters have experienced, as well) were undoubtedly psychological. After all, you always want the things that you tell yourself you can’t have. But carb withdrawal is definitely a real, physical phenomenon. And with the way most Americans have some type of sugar addiction or carb addiction, it is nothing to take lightly. Add carb withdrawal to the flu-like feeling of the Herxheimer reaction – the feeling of flu-like symptoms that is result of fungal “die-off” once Phase One is begun – and the first few days of dieting can be quite the unpleasant experience.
There is very little most people can do to prevent a Herxheimer reaction, especially those people that are very toxic or very infected with fungi. This, unfortunately, is something you will probably have to endure. But take heart – there is a light at the end of the tunnel! While most people report feeling especially crummy for the first few days of Phase One, they also report feeling better than they’ve felt in years a few days later. This doesn’t necessarily mean any and all pathogenic fungi have been iradicated, and it is certainly not a green light to return to the way that you used to eat. But it is definitely a sign of progress. Continuing on Phase One is always recommended, but the duration varies from person to person, according to their own personal health and goals.
While a Herxheimer may be inevitable, there are a few foods that you can keep around to help combat the initial carb cravings. These are some things that have helped me and some other people that I know:
Berries are one of the few fruits allowed on Phase One. If you can find ripe blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries, these are a great option to have in the fridge, readily available. Frozen berries are the next best option, and you can easily blend them up with plain yogurt for some semi-sweet relief.
Berries are allowed on Phase One because of the potent anti-fungals contained therein and the relatively low sugar content. Berries can get contaminated with fungi, so it is imperative to keep an eye on them. Wild picked berries as opposed to conventionally grown berries will have stronger anti-fungal properties and proportionately more nutrients, and are often available at certain stores specializing in health foods.
Nut butters, such as almond, cashew, walnut and coconut, have a slightly sweet flavor that went a long way towards helping me fight my sugar addiction and carb cravings. They are very caloric, so you need to be careful, but they are so loaded with protein, good fats, and healthy nutrients that you shouldn’t feel too guilty about indulging a little. Mix in some dried, unsweetened berries for a twist.
Stevia and Xylitol
I, personally, am not a fan. But these to Phase One friendly sweeteners are good choices for when you’re craving sugar.
Quinoa has the consistency of rice. It is one of the more recent foods allowed on Phase One. Quinoa is remarkably healthy, and may be a good substitute for rice or potatoes, if you are used to those foods being part of your meals.