Ask Leyla: Help! I fell off the low-carb wagon


| By Leyla Muedin MS, RD, CDN

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Help! I fell off the low-carb wagon

Q: Recently I emailed you that I had decreased my carbohydrate intake significantly but developed a new obsession: nuts, cheese, and seeds!

Well, my co-workers threw me a going away party and guilted me into eating cake (they were fully aware of my restrictions). That one event restarted a chain of reactions and now I have returned to eating large amounts of processed foods and my carb cravings have returned. How do I get back on track? I am so ashamed and disgusted.

A: Don’t be ashamed and disgusted because it doesn’t serve you. Even those with the best intentions can fall off track from time to time. What’s important is that you get back on program so you can undo the shackles of cravings and false hunger.

Just like alcohol and drugs, sugar and refined carbohydrates can create the same intense cravings for more. Sugar, as described by many practitioners, “is a recreational drug.” And addictive for many! So you must treat it as such. Going cold turkey is the best choice.


You wouldn’t tell an alcoholic that it’s okay to have a couple of drinks now and then, would you? Therefore it’s not okay to have a cookie here and there if you’re addicted to sugar and other refined carbohydrates.

Look, you’ve been here before. After the initial few days of carbohydrate withdrawal, your energy and mental clarity will return and your cravings will diminish significantly. Taking L-glutamine can help. Research shows L-glutamine diminishes sugar cravings and even cravings for alcohol (sugar’s proxy).

Remember, it’s less important that you fell off the wagon. Nobody’s perfect. But now is the time to get back on.

To your health!


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