Skip to main content

Going no or low sugar - thoughts?

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.10.2010

If you’ve gone no sugar or low sugar, please chime in here, because I could use some advice. I’d like to go low sugar. Partly because my friend Dineen’s husband did it and lost a ton of weight, and partly because I’m wondering if I have insulin resistance, which is forming an evil trifecta with my possible thyroid problems and premenopause.

I found out a few weeks ago after talking to my mom that both sides of my family has had thyroid problems, and I’m pretty positive I’m in premenopause because of various symptoms, the most painful of which are migraine headaches on the second day of my period every month like clockwork (and I never had a migraine in my entire life before October last year). If I do have low progesterone because of the premenopause, that would contribute to the possible thyroid problems.

I have ordered supplements to help with the premenopause, but I was reading that it is often hard to treat low progesterone if you are insulin resistant. And one symptom of insulin resistance is carbohydrate cravings. If by “cravings” they mean "she turns into a rabid dog at the first whiff of French fries," then I might have some carb cravings.

I don’t know for sure if I have insulin resistance, but I also know that going low sugar isn’t a bad thing, especially since I am trying to lose weight.

So when you go low sugar, do you cut out all fruit and dairy too? Most of my dairy intake is from nonfat milk and low fat yogurt, which helps my digestive tract. I’m okay with going low fruit for a month or two, and I don’t drink fruit juices in general.

Any advice or tips?


  1. Camy—welcome to my world! I get HUGE hormone headaches during my cycle thanks to “the change.” I also often get very nauseated.

    I have been sugar free for two years on this go-round. (I’ve done it several times before because I know that my body just can’t handle sugar.) First of all, the carb cravings do lessen over time. But if you’re as messed up as I am, there are some things you just have to avoid completely because if you have even one bite, you just keep going till it’s all gone. I’ve had to accept the fact that for me, there is no such thing as eating sweets “in moderation.” And potatoes and rice are a real downfall for me too. I try to avoid them, but I don’t always succeed!

    I don’t have any refined sugar at all, or anything with high-fructose corn syrup. I don’t have dairy except for occasional cheese and a little bit of half and half in my tea. For fruit I mostly stick to berries. I do have 2-3 teaspoons of honey or agave nectar in my tea every day, but that’s the only sweetener I use. Of course, a couple times a year I cut out all dairy, fruit, and even the agave nectar to do a candida cleanse, because I have ongoing candida issues.

    Based on the multiple times that I’ve given up sugar, I’d say that things should get a lot easier after the first month at the latest. Sadly, I have never lost my taste or desire for sweets, but I have learned to focus on the things I CAN have that I enjoy, like nuts (in moderation, of course!)

  2. Dear Camy:

    I found out about my sugar issues totally by accident! My husband and I decided to lose some weight a few years back, so our doctor had us do a cleanse (Isagenix) and then South Beach.

    The first week was hard because it was no carbs and no sugar. But after a couple weeks I realized that not only was I losing weight, my headaches were gone too. My daughter has sensory integration issues, and once I took out the sugar, she was a completely different person!

    So ever since, I've tried to keep my sugar intake low. I use Raw Sugar - before it's refined - and honey for sweeteners. I'm still getting used to Stevia.

    I know now that whenever I have sugar, I'm gonna crave carbs too. It's a vicious cycle.

    Here are a couple of resources that I hope will help:

    Potatoes Not Prozac by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD.


    Suicide by Sugar by Nancy Appleton, PhD - that talks about Homeostasis and how sugar throws it off. I believe you'll find that the migraines are caused by not enough minerals (because sugar blocks them) in your system at the time of your headaches.

    I hope this helps.

    Good luck with the bad sugar!


  3. Hi, Camy,
    I went cold turkey on sugar (and all refined carbs) when I was diagnosed with diabetes five years ago. It was tough at first, but I got used to it within a few months. I did not give up fruit or dairy, but I don't eat fruit alone; I always try to eat it with protein (nuts work well) to slow down the rise in blood sugar. Fructose is not poison to your body the way glucose is.
    I do use a little Splenda in my coffee and sometimes indulge in sugar-free chocolate or ice cream--I never lost my chocolate cravings. :) But I'm not even tempted by most sweets these days. Sugar is an addiction for some of us, and it's worth the effort to break it.
    Try to go with whole-grain, high-fiber carbs as much as you can, and your carb cravings will likely diminish.

  4. I was nearly no sugar for several years. Then I allowed myself some Christmas goodies and I've been off the wagon for a year and a half and struggling to climb back on.
    For me it's pretty much all or nothing. If I just go low sugar then my cravings don't die. The only way to get rid of them is to starve them. No sugar.
    For me that means refined white sugar or HFCS. I still use honey, agave, fruit, and will eat things that have cane syrup because it's not refined. Those things don't seem to trigger my cravings.
    I felt better. I stayed at a constant weight, no matter what else I ate.
    I really want to get back there, but it's SO hard this time!
    But after a week or two off it really does get easier.

  5. You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for the tips!

    I'm relieved to hear I can still use a little honey and agave. I'm not a huge sweetener person, but I do like a little honey with my yogurt every morning, so it's good to know that eventually I'll be able to add honey back into my diet.

    I'm also glad to hear some of you still are able to eat berries. I was worried I'd have to cut out all fruit.

    I'm sad to hear the cravings don't really go away, but I'm glad to hear that it does get better eventually.

  6. Camy,
    When I was off sugar I didn't have any cravings.
    Sometimes I would make a conscious choice to have a little something. Very rarely. And then the next day I would crave a little, but I would fight it off and be good as long as I didn't eat any more sugar.
    My problem was the last time I gave in I had more than a little something and then I didn't fight the cravings, I just kept giving in.

  7. Seriously??? NO cravings when you're off sugar? Wow now that's encouraging! Thanks, Kay!

  8. I use very little sugar. I have surprised myself by not craving chocolate anymore. I've always been a big bread eater, love it, love it. I eat very little bread now and it doesn't bother me to not have it. I have thyroid problems and I fight with my weight. I do feel better not eating sugar and bread, but I do use honey some. You can do it girl!

  9. I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis (autoimmune thyroid problem) and have been borderline Diabetic II for 45 years. I gave up fruit juices like you and am not trying to remember to have a protein when I eat fruit. My problem is not so much giving up sugar but how to find a diet that is both diabetic and lacto ovo vegetarian friendly.
    I can find vegan diets that are good for diabetics but I don't want to give up eggs and yogurt.


  10. Camy:

    I'm with Kay. I didn't have cravings after a while. As long as I didn't have carbs, I didn't crave sugar...and as long as I didn't have sugar, I didn't crave carbs.

    To be honest, after three weeks, I didn't crave chocolate anymore either. That is HUGE for me!

    Good luck!


  11. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences, guys! You all are really encouraging for me!

    Kathy, I love bread too! I hope the bread cravings will start to go away soon. :(

    Carol, I've read about Hashimoto's. And in combination with diabetes, that's really tough. Can you just tweak a diabetic vegan diet to include eggs and yogurt? I can't give up my yogurt, either!

    Loretta, that's really great to know about chocolate! I guess there is hope for me! LOL


  12. I need to go on a no sugar diet now but just can't get myself motivated with all the projects I have going on at this time. I can't make it without my sugar fix.
    Congrats on staying true to your diet and hope your cravings will to away.
    I was dx with hashimoto's in 1956. I have been on synthroid ever since. It seems my thyroid was destroyed and have been taking synthroid replacement tabs.

    Hang in there Camy, you can do it.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  13. I need to go on a no sugar diet now but just can't get myself motivated with all the projects I have going on at this time. I can't make it without my sugar fix.
    Congrats on staying true to your diet and hope your cravings will to away.
    I was dx with hashimoto's in 1956. I have been on synthroid ever since. It seems my thyroid was destroyed and have been taking synthroid replacement tabs.

    Hang in there Camy, you can do it.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  14. See a doctor, Camy. A blood test revealed a dangerously low B-12 deficiency for me. It can uncover your thyroid issues and lead to treatment. I've been low carb, off and on, for the past seven years, since my first bout of gestational diabetes. I've gone completely no carb at times but find that too difficult for me to maintain and my weight loss jump starts then stalls. Low carb is slower for weight loss but more steady, I find.

    I rarely do fruit and when I do, I try to low glycemic ones like apples, pears, or bananas. Each person is different. Grapes are low glycemic but they make my blood sugar crazy.

    I stay away from starchy foods, like processed stuff, rice, pasta, and potatoes, even the brown or whole wheat varieties. That works best for me whereas you may have different results.

    I recently learned, from my doctor, that I need to reduce my nut/peanut butter intake because that has been interfering with my weight loss efforts. High protein but also high fat. A doctor who is well-versed in women's and weight loss issues can walk beside you step by step to help you achieve your goals.

  15. Misskallie--wow, 1956? That's amazing!

    Patricia--thanks for the tips! I'm also avoiding peanuts right now because I read that it might complicate thyroid function. The supplements I'm on also include telephone consults with a nutritionist, which is one of the reasons I chose this program. If the supplements don't work, I'll give them a call. So far they seem to be working fine--I had a lot of energy yesterday and I do today, too!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts

Laura’s Apricot Shell Shawl knitting pattern

I usually have a knitting project in mind when I write it into one of my books, but Laura’s apricot-colored shawl just kind of appeared upon the page as I was writing the first scene of Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 4: Betrayer , and it surprised even me. I immediately went to my yarn stash to find a yarn for it, and I searched through my antique knitting books to find some stitch patterns. I made her an elegant wool shawl she could wear at home. The shawl ended up tagging along with Laura into the next book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 5: Prisoner , where it imparts some comfort to her in her trying circumstances. The two stitch patterns are both from the same book, The Lady’s Assistant, volume 2 by Mrs. Jane Gaugain, published in 1842 . A couple excessively clever and creative knitters might have knit these patterns in the Regency era, but they would have only passed them around by word of mouth or scribbled “recipes” to friends or family, and it wouldn’t have been widely use

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Keriah’s Pyrennees Shawl knitting pattern w/ @knitpicks Palette

Why I knit this shawl: I wanted to knit the sunset-colored shawl Keriah was wearing in chapter 5 of my book, Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 2: Berserker , so I looked for an antique pattern that might have been used during the Regency era. This one caught my eye, even though it was published in a knitting book a few decades later than the Regency era. The Spider-Net border pattern was most definitely in use in the Regency period, but it’s also remotely possible that the Alice-Maud stitch and the lacy border stitch patterns were also in use during the Regency, being passed on from knitter to knitter via hand-written receipts, by verbal instruction, or with knitted sampler squares (like how many Shetland lace patterns and Bavarian cable patterns were shared). My/Keriah’s version of this shawl would have been lacy but warm because it is knit with fingering yarn on small needles. Since Keriah was cold, I think she would have grabbed this shawl rather than something more elegant and airy.

Narrow Escape contest for January!

I’m so excited because my January Love Inspired Suspense, Narrow Escape , is now available! Here’s the back cover blurb: KIDNAPPED IN BROAD DAYLIGHT Arissa Tiong and her three-year-old niece are snatched off the street by members of a notorious drug gang. Having lost her police officer brother to a drug bust gone bad, Arissa knows the danger she's in. But she has no idea why they want her. Desperate to protect the little girl, Arissa escapes and runs straight to Nathan Fischer. She knows the handsome, weary former narcotics cop hasn't told her everything about the night that ended her brother's life and Nathan's career. But he's all that stands between her and dangerous thugs who are after something she doesn't even know she has. This is the 4th book in my Sonoma series , but each book is stand-alone. The hero is Nathan Fischer, who had a minor role in the 3rd book, Stalker in the Shadows . To celebrate, I’m giving away 10 copies of Narrow Escape ! Her

New contest!

I haven’t had a contest since October! Here’s new one just in time for Christmas. I’m picking 3 winners to each be able to choose 10 books from my Christian book list! And yes, that list includes my books! 1) You get one entry into the contest when you sign up for my email newsletter at . If you already belong to my email newsletter, let me know! 2) You get a second entry into the contest if you Like my Facebook page: . If you already Like my Facebook page, let me know! 3) You get a third entry into the contest if you join my Goodreads group: . If you already belong to my Goodreads group, let me know! 4) You get a fourth entry into the contest if you follow me on Twitter: . If you already follow me on Twitter, let me know! 5) You get extra entries into the contest if you get someone else to join my email newsletter. Just email camy {at] c

Toilet seat cover

Captain’s Log, Supplemental Update August 2008: I wrote up the pattern for this with "improvements"! Here's the link to my No Cold Bums toilet seat cover ! Okay, remember a few days ago I was complaining about the cold toilet seat in my bathroom? Well, I decided to knit a seat cover. Not a lid cover, but a seat cover. I went online and couldn’t find anything for the seat, just one pattern for the lid by . However, I took her pattern for the inside edge of the lid cover and modified it to make a seat cover. Here it is! It’s really ugly stitch-wise because originally I made it too small and had to extend it a couple inches on each side. I figured I’d be the one staring at it, so who cared if the extension wasn’t perfectly invisible? I used acrylic yarn since, well, that’s what I had, and also because it’s easy to wash. I’ll probably have to wash this cover every week or so, but it’s easy to take off—I made ties which you can see near the back of the seat. And

Chinese Take-Out and Sushi for One

Captain’s Log, Supplemental My agent sent me an article from Publisher’s Weekly that discussed this incident: Chinese Take-Out Spawns Christian Controversy And here’s also a blog post that talks about it in more detail: The Fighting 44s This is Soong-Chan Rah’s blog: The PCS blog In sum: Apparently Zondervan (yes, my publisher), who has partnered with Youth Specialties, had put out a youth leaders skit that had stereotypical Asian dialogue, which offended many Christian Asian Americans. In response to the outcry, Zondervan/Youth Specialities put out a sincere apology and is not only freezing the remaining stock of the book, but also reprinting it and replacing the copies people have already bought. I am very proud of my publisher for how they have handled this situation. The skit writers have also issued a public apology . (I feel sorry for them, because they were only trying to write a funny skit, not stir up this maelstrom of internet controversy. I’ve been in youth work long enou

Year of the Dog serial novel

About Year of the Dog : A month or two ago, I remembered an old manuscript I had completed but which hadn’t sold. It was a contemporary romance meant for Zondervan, titled Year of the Dog . The book had gone into the pipeline and I even got another title ( Bad Dog ) and a cover for it, but eventually my editor at the time decided she didn’t want to publish it, for various reasons. She instead requested a romantic suspense, and so I cannibalized some of the characters from Year of the Dog and thrust them into the next book I wrote, which was Protection for Hire . Honestly, I didn’t take a lot from Year of the Dog to put in Protection for Hire , aside from character names and a few relationship ties. I was originally thinking I’d post Year of the Dog as-is on my blog as a free read, but then it occurred to me that I could revamp it into a romantic suspense and change the setting to Hawaii. It would work out perfectly as (yet another) prequel to the Warubozu series and introduc

Wasabi Wednesday – Year of the Rat mug

Captain's Log, Stardate 01.09.2008 Get free short stories and info on exclusive book giveaways when you subscribe to my newsletter! The winner of Abandoned Identity by Tamara Tilley is Amanda Congratulations! Blog book giveaway: To enter to win today’s book, leave a comment on this blog post, giving your name and saying you want to enter. International readers are welcome to enter! Please leave a WORKING email address or website where I can contact you (please use this format with the brackets--you [at] something like that to prevent spammers from trolling for your email address). Please make sure your email address works—I’ve had several winners where my email to them bounced and I couldn’t get hold of them. It is the winner’s responsibility to check to see if you won and to email me if you haven’t yet heard from me. You have a week to comment--I'll pick a name out of a hat on Wednesday, January 16th. (BTW, you can post a comment and NOT enter, too.) Doing s

I’m a Book of the Year winner!

Captain's Log, Stardate 09.22.2008 I won first place in the Debut Author category of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year awards! Here are all the winners! Debut Author Sushi for One? (Camy Tang) Zondervan, editor Sue Brower Bayou Justice (Robin Miller writing as Robin Caroll) In Between (Jenny B. Jones) Contemporary Novella Finally Home in Missouri Memories anthology (Deborah Raney) Barbour Publishing, editor Susan Downs Moonlight & Mistletoe in A Big Apple Christmas anthology (Carrie Turansky) Remaking of Moe McKenna in Race to the Altar anthology (Gloria Clover) Historical Novella Love Notes in Love Letters Anthology (Mary Davis) Barbour Publishing, editor Rebecca Germany Beyond the Memories in Missouri Memories anthology (DiAnn Mills) The Spinster & The Tycoon in The Spinster Brides of Cactus Corner anthology (Vickie McDonough) Lits Splitting Harriet (Tamara Leigh) Multnomah Books, editor Julee Schwarzb