Discover more from Zachary Shakked
You're a Sugar-Controlled Zombie, Probably.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been eating virtually zero meat, dairy, and processed foods. I’ll indulge over the weekend, maybe some ice cream here, a burger there, but 99.5% of my meals and snacks are whole food plant-based. I’m also home-cooking everything, ensuring control over spices, salt, and oil. Aside from losing weight and getting less acne, there’s been one other side effect—zero cravings.
I’ve definitely gone through periods where I’ve eaten what any person would consider healthy—salads, meal prepped chicken, vegetables, the usual assortment. Even then, I’d still have cravings. Walking by a pizza shop would trigger this almost-primal thought “a pizza slice would taste so fucking good right now” or finishing up dinner, watching TV, and thinking “a pint of Ben & Jerry’s would hit the fucking spot.”
Now, I have literally zero cravings. Legitimately zero.
I gained about 15 pounds or so between September and April. Not terrible, few would call me fat, but I wasn’t happy about it. My biggest downfall was takeout food. I’d wake up really tired and crave bagels, so I’d order a half-dozen with a quarter pound of cream cheese and lox. I’d have 3-4 bagels during the day, grazing on them from sunrise to sunset.
Or it’d be dinner time, and I wouldn’t feel like cooking or there’s no food in the fridge, suddenly I’d crave something delicious. I’d pop open DoorDash, browse through all the tasty listings and pictures, salivating over each dish and the dopamine hit it’d give me. I’d order something, devour it quickly, and feel disgusting after. Every part of my rational brain would be thinking “this is a bad idea” but some monstrous, uncontrollable urge would tell that part of my brain to fuck off.
Simply by detoxing from added sugar, processed foods, and maybe … meat (not sure about that one), the irrational, primal part of my brain has been completely silenced! It’s an insane feeling. I have complete rational control over my food now. So if I open DoorDash, I see straight through the short-term dopamine kicks from all the greasy, salty dishes—my rational brain doesn’t see value in eating that kind of food.
It’s no secret that sugar triggers cravings, but what is a bit unclear is how much sugar is added to everything. I mean fucking everything. Go to the store, and try to find a yogurt with no added sugar. It’ll take you about 10 minutes. Go try to find oatmilk, cereal, anything without added sugar. It’s added to nearly everything. If you have cravings, you’re probably consuming added sugar in something. Even if you’re eating healthy, say a piece of grilled chicken with BBQ sauce—yup, that sauce is loaded with sugar. Ketchup is loaded with sugar. It’s in absolutely fucking everything. Pizza sauce? Probably.
I can confidently say this is the first time in my entire life that I’ve gone more than a week without a craving. If I had to estimate, I’d say 98% of America is probably having regular cravings.
Here’s the best part. It’s not that I completely ignore sugar now—I do love ice cream. I can have a meal that has added sugar without re-activating the craving cycle. It’s incredibly liberating.
An important question to ask yourself is what is driving your decision-making around food? Is it genuine hunger? Is it a genuine interest in tasting the flavor of a certain food? Or are you simply listening to your primal brain, against all rational thought.
Simply breaking the habit of daily added-sugar intake will fortify your decision-making around food. No sugar in your coffee. No ketchup on your potatoes.
I read some research that said your tastebuds will adjust over time. Basically, they took a group of people in a study, fed them low-sugar diets for a period of weeks, and then fed them candy and salty chips or something, and the participants found that the snacks were too salty and too sweet for their taste. This might explain why it’s possible to get used to drinking coffee without sugar—your tastebuds adjust after a few days. Here’s one study that looked at that with sugar specifically. My point is detoxing from sugar isn’t miserable, it just takes some adjustment.
Anyways, try eating no-processed foods and no added sugars for a week. You’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s a complete mind-fuck and feels like you’re living in a simulation. Don’t be a sugar-controlled zombie.