Kate's Blog

Sugar rush

I get lots of questions about sugar.
Alcohol has tons of sugar in it and when you take the booze away, our bodies can really miss the sweet stuff. People who’ve spent years skipping dessert can suddenly find they want to inhale pints of ice cream or steal sweets from children. Everyone wants to know if sugar cravings are ‘normal’. Is it ok to indulge a sweet tooth? How long for? And at what point do you risk turning into some kind of crazy, sugar-and-carb monster?
Now I’m no nutritionist, dietician or doctor. And I do not have a perfect diet. But over the past few years, through my own trial and error, I have learnt a couple of things about sugar and sobriety.
So, if you suspect you’re single-handedly keeping Haribo in business, here are a few points you might like to consider:

No1-min-min-min-minEating healthily will reduce your cravings for sugar and alcohol

I’m not talking about dieting – I mean nourishing meals at regular intervals. You should be aiming to keep your blood sugar levels stable. When they spike or crash it makes us feel lousy and we’re more likely to reach outside of ourselves for something to ease the discomfort (hello wine, hello pizza). It’s no coincidence that wine o’clock is around 5pm – the time of day when you’re the most hungry, tired and thirsty. So, eat enough to fuel yourself properly. Don’t skip breakfast thinking you can save the calories for a muffin later. It’s not worth it. 

No2-min-min-min-minA little of what you fancy does you good

If you get to the end of the day and you’re feeling knackered – and wine seems really tempting – then a sugar fix is not necessarily a bad thing. If it stops you drinking, then it’s fine in my book. It takes what it takes. Besides, eating sweets on your commute home or having dessert after dinner is quite different to starting your day with a chocolate croissant and caramel latte. A sugar explosion in the morning is not a good idea. 

No.3-min-min-min-minThink long term, not short term

You are not going to turn into a perfect person overnight, so if you do end up eating a lot of sugar, don’t worry about it. It doesn’t mean you’re going to replace one addiction with another. If you’re still mainlining ice cream in five or six months’ time then fine – you might need to do some work around that. But worry about it then, when you’re stronger and healthier, rather than now.

No.4-min-min-min-minLook at the bigger picture

Sugar and alcohol give many of us a hard time, but they are just two pieces of the puzzle that is your life. There are other things that you can do to make yourself feel better right now. Top of the list is get more sleep. This has to be one of the cheapest and easiest routes to feeling good. Take a multivitamin. Drink more water. If you’re in the mood for it, get some exercise. Most of all, be patient. Now more than ever, you need to be kind to yourself and manage your expectations. We love our quick fixes; alcohol and sugar certainly act fast. But sobriety is about the long game. You’re doing a really amazing thing right now, so hang on in there!
What are your tips for staying in control of your sugar intake? I’d love to hear them.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


11 responses

  1. Thank you for the weekly encouragement and inspiration…ive dranked for 18 yrs… And my New Years Resolution is to kick the bad habit for good… 51 days sober today… It’s been difficult to do but I’m determined to get well… Cause I realized having the need to drink all day every day is not healthy for me and as an act of love for myself I decided to do better…and yes I do turn to sweets for help and support and now I’m getting better with that to I’m learning not to depend on sugar as much cause it is harmful to my health…

    1. I found this to be true, i always used to say i didnt have a sweet tooth until i gave up Alcohol nearly 3 years ago. I was expecting to lose a lot of weight but i actually put weight on because I started eating sweet stuff lol I read a lot of books on this and the general opinion seems to be that the brain still craves the sugar it used to get from alcohol.

  2. I’ve been using essential oils to help calm cravings and even out my blood sugar. My favorites are lavender, stress away, joy, thieves, and gratitude blends. Heck, my passion has grown into a full time side gig now! So much nicer and more fulfilling than alcohol.

  3. Kate, your timing is always spot on. I’ve noticed this craving & agree that eating small amounts of healthy foods often is the best way to work through this. I am thinking it’s my body adjusting and also the fuel demand of winter.

  4. I love your what you are doing, Kate! I love that I have found a way to quit drinking through your motivation and encouragement, without my entire identity becoming about the fact that I don’t drink! Thank you!

  5. Thanks I needed this article! I am on day 60 of no alcohol and I am still finding that I want sweets all the time and I never liked sweet things before! I was always savoury not sweet, and now I want chocolate bars and ice cream and peanut butter and all sorts of desserts. It is interesting how it effects us all differently. I am very curious to know when it will subside, 2 months is longer than I expected. But for now I eat the sweets because since stopping drinking I’ve also been exercising way more and not consuming the calories of booze so i don’t care!
    sugar is bad but booze is so much worse

  6. Thought I could drink normally again but o no big mistake. Have just come offa 3day bender. And have had to go to the docs and ask for help.

    1. Christine, I hope your feeling better. Just put it all behind you. Take it as a lesson learned.
      Kimberly D

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