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How to Rewire Your Brain to End Food Cravings

How to Rewire Your Brain to End Food Cravings

I’m a food addict. We all are. Our brains are biologically driven to seek and devour high-calorie, fatty foods. The difference is that I have learned how to control those primitive parts of my brain. Anyone can do this if they know how.

In this article, I will share three steps to help you counteract those primitive parts of your brain that have you chasing high-calorie, nutrient-poor foods. But before you can update your brain’s biological software, you’ve got to understand why it developed in the first place.

Calories = Survival

The brain’s desire to binge on rich food is a genetic holdover from the days of hunter-gatherers. Given what scientists know today about our early ancestors it makes sense that our brains are hardwired to fixate on high-calorie foods.

It’s a survival mechanism. Eating as many calories as possible, whenever possible, allowed our ancestors to store excess calories as fat and survive lean times. That approach worked well for 2.4 million years, but today it’s making us sick and fat.

That’s because our brains haven’t evolved as fast as our food environment. The human brain evolved over 2.5 million years ago. And, with the exception of the last 10,000 years, people only ate animals they could hunt and wild-plants they could gather.

Imagine if you could only eat what you caught or picked! The variety of foods hunter-gatherers ate paled in comparison to the 40,000 different food items we can buy in the average big-box grocery store today.(1)

No cinnamon buns for them!

And whereas we have easy access to food 24/7, drive-thru meals were not an option for hunter-gatherers. Not to mention that hunting and gathering was hard work. Early humans expended lots of calories acquiring their food, so they needed to eat high-calorie foods to offset the loss.

The average hunter-gatherer got up to 60 percent of his calories from animal foods such as muscle meat, fat and organ meat, and the other 40 percent from plants.(2)

That balance between protein and carbohydrates in the diet is where the problem lies, but it’s not what you think. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap, but they are the single most important nutrient for long-term health and weight loss.

But I’m not talking about bagels and donuts. I’m talking about plant foods that more closely resemble what our ancestors ate. Hunter-gatherers ate fruit, tubers, seeds, and nuts. These are whole foods. They are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and disease- and weight-busting colorful phytochemicals.

They also take time to digest. Therefore, they raise blood sugar slowly, which balances metabolism and offers a steady stream of energy. Whole foods have all the right information and turn on all the right genes.

But the past 10,000 years saw the advent of both agriculture and industrialization. And, in the blink of an eye (by evolutionary standards), the human diet got turned upside down. Today, 60 percent of our calories come from things that hunter-gatherers wouldn’t even recognize as food.

The bulk of those items—cereal grains, sugary drinks, refined oils and dressings—are simple carbohydrates.(3) The primitive brain sees an endless supply of easy energy. Left unchecked, our bodies pay the price. The result is a two-fronted epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our country—what I call diabesity.

The Blood Sugar Cascade

When you eat simple carbohydrates, whether as sugar or as starch, they pass almost instantaneously from the gut into the bloodstream. Within seconds blood sugar levels start to rise. To counter the increase in sugar, the body releases insulin. Insulin is the key that unlocks the cells and allows sugar to enter. As sugar enters the cells, the amount of sugar in the blood declines and the body restores homeostasis.

An abundance of simple sugars in the diet goads the body into releasing more and more insulin. Eventually, the cellular locks get worn down from overuse. Like a key that’s lost its teeth, insulin loses its ability to easily open the cellular door.

The cells become numb to the effects of insulin. As a result, the body pumps out more and more of the hormone to keep its blood sugar levels in check. Eventually, this cycle leads to a dangerous condition called insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance—at the root of diabesity—causes you to gain belly fat, raises your blood pressure, messes up your cholesterol, makes you infertile, kills your sex drive, makes you depressed, tired, and demented, and even causes cancer.

Three Ways to Reprogram your Brain

Luckily there are ways to rewire the primitive parts of your brain by making good food choices. Here are three ways to get started. For more suggestions on how to wrestle control from your reptilian brain, see Chapter 15 of The Blood Sugar Solution.

  • Balance blood sugar. Blood sugar highs and lows drive primitive food cravings. If you get famished between meals, that’s a sign that your blood sugar is crashing. When blood sugar is low, you’ll eat anything. To better balance blood sugar, eat a small meal or snack that includes healthy protein, like seeds or nuts, every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Eliminate liquid calories and artificial sweeteners. Early humans didn’t reach for soda or fruit juices when they got thirsty. Sodas are full of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup. Processed fruit juices are awash in sugar. Try sticking with water and green tea. Green tea contains plant chemicals that are good for your health. And, last but not least, don’t succumb to the diet-drink trap. The artificial sweeteners in diet drinks fool the body into thinking it is ingesting sugar, which creates the same insulin spike as regular sugar.
  • Eat a high-quality protein at breakfast. Ideally, you’re eating quality protein at every meal, but, if you need to prioritize one meal, choose breakfast. Studies show that waking up to a healthy protein, such as eggs, nuts, seeds, nut butters or a protein shake (see my UltraShake recipe) help people lose weight, reduce cravings, and burn calories.

Ultimately, you may not control your genes but you do control what and how you eat. Since taking control and changing my diet, my brain no longer caves in to the cravings and urgings that seduce the reptilian brain. The most powerful tool you have to transform your health is your fork! Use it well and you will thrive.

To learn more, please see my #1 NY Times bestseller, The Blood Sugar Solution, now available in paperback.

Now I’d like to hear from you…

Do you binge eat?
Is your diet comprised of fast foods and sugar?
Do you drink soda and add artificial sweeteners to your beverages?

Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – but remember, we can’t offer personal medical advice online, so be sure to limit your comments to those about taking back our health!

Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD

(1) “What to Eat,” Marion Nestle, p 17
(2) “Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets,” L Cordain, et al American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 71
(3) “Plant-animal subsistence ratios and macronutrient energy estimations in worldwide hunter-gatherer diets,” L Cordain, et al American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000; 71

Mark Hyman MD is the Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, the Founder of The UltraWellness Center, and a ten-time #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

Comments (236)

  • I am doing your ultra simple diet this week! It’s the third time I’ve done it. I normally eat healthy and im not trying to loose weight, just be healthy. I have trouble with the pizza and Mac and cheese (that I buy I know) for my kiddos, and I binge eat that when I let myself, but your ultra simple plan is always on my mind. Thanks for the simple plan!

    • I always like to know who is funding the research that tells me that certain foods are OK for us to eat and drink. after all according to the tobacco companies smoking doesn’t cause cancer. However, so many independent studies show a correlation between smoking and cancers that I for one, wouldn’t take the vested interests word for it. Artificial sweeteners are just that – artificial. Better to try and stick with what is natural (and refined sugar is not natural once it has been refined).

    • Katie W – don’t buy pizza or mac cheese for the kiddos – they don’t need them either – the it completely gets rid of the problem!!! 🙂 My kids have accepted to get stronger they shouldn’t eat that stuff!!!

    • Katie. In reading your comment, I had to ask Why are you buying Mac and cheese and pizza for your children? Just think it might be worth exploring since you seem to have a good awareness on how those foods impact health.

    • Thank you, Dr. Hyman. I was happy to read your article this morning and it was very timely as I am trying to muster up the motivation to get myself back on track with my diet and exercise program. The information you share is so helpful to keeping my thoughts directed toward eating to live rather than living to eat.

    • I m not specifically calling you out because most of us are guilty of it, but when will we break the cycle. If it’s not good for us why do we buy it for our kids. Why can’t we as a nation understand that we are setting kids up for the same issues that we have when they get older. Maybe if our parents had this attitude we would not struggle as much. We have to break the cycle and I m convinced that it all starts with our kids…..well, maybe the food giants that bombard are kids with thier marketing.

      • My father had the heart attack of his life in 1977 and had to have a triple by pass. . He stopped all red meat, alpotatoes, pasta , rice. He lived until 80 when the damage from the pre ’70’s caught up with him. His father had died at 52 when there were no by passes or meds. Our children? Mine were raised close to my father’s “rabbit ” diet as we called it. They were okay until out on their own in their 20’s. It takes a disciplined cook to provide what is healthy and not have certain foods in the house. Don’t say our kids. This is a 3 generation old problem with fast food or easy Betty Crocker or other foods in the freezer section. . For those of us who have cardio in the family 3 -5 generations, healthy cooking is the way to go.

      • You nailed it. Its Marketing. The marketing is aimed at us parents as well.
        My daughter is an athlete. The only way I was able to get her to eat healthy is
        I ate healthy in front of her. Of course, when she wasn’t looking ha ha.
        In addition to Marketing, its my opinion that it is all about habits. Eating poorly, in my mind, is
        just as much a habit as biting your nails. You don’t know you are doing it until it is too late.
        What helped our family, we took a trash bag, threw away all the crap and stocked the house with fruits, vegies, etc…

      • I agree. My kids were raised on rice, beans, veggies and soy milk. When my oldest son got married, his wife said she had never met a man who drank soy milk. That’s just what he was raised with. If you’re raised on nuggets, juice, and mac & cheese, that’s what you’ll feed your kids when you have them. I was raised the same way, but I chose make a change when I grew up and took a few nutrition classes. Rice, beans, and veggies are much less expensive than processed food by the way.

        • Soy is not exactly a good substitute esp. for men. Google it so much info. out there.

    • I had a serious craving for various pepsi products, especially Moutain Dew. However when I read news that PepsiCo once partnered with a company that researched/developed using the cells of aborted babies, well that killed my craving right there. Even if the story has some doubts. The very fact that the question was raised was enough to kill any desire I had for Mountain Dew and it’s other drinks. So yeah it is possible to rewire the brain to end food cravings.

    • I have an Associates Degree in Natural Health and Nutrition, yet even though I have the knowledge, it’s still not always easy to eat healthy. I loved my chocolate and had to have sugar for my comfort food. I was totally addicted. After seeing so many people around me having the most awful health issues for the past several years, I decided it was time to get healthy because the longer I waited, the harder it’s going to be and my chances of getting an illness or disease are increased.

      Going within, I asked what is the healthiest way for me to eat and I heard the words “eat only foods from the earth.” I have been a vegetarian for about 30 years, and even though I didn’t eat meat and very little dairy if any, I still ate way too much junk (I was a major binge eater and had previously suffered from an eating disorder most of my adult life; fortunately, I stopped). Starting after Christmas, I limited my food to mostly fruits, vegetables, and nuts. If man made it, then it’s more than likely not good for you. Mother Earth knew what she was doing in giving us everything we need to survive.

      I also do not drink any pop, or use artificial sweeteners. I drink only distilled water (unless in a restaurant I’ll have iced tea) and herbal teas. I also stay away from high fructose corn syrup and check my labels religiously.

      One thing I started doing that really made a difference for me with sugar cravings is that I eat a tsp of honey mixed with a tsp of cinnamon 1-3 times a day. For some reason, this has really taken away my cravings for sugar. I have not had chocolate since the day after Christmas (and no desire to even though I HAD to have it every day previously and too much of it), and have had very little sugar (other than the honey).

      This is just what I do for myself; therefore, I am in no way telling anyone else what to eat or how to eat.

      • I have a terrible time controlling what I eat later in the day as food cravings seem to hit me hardest when I finally relax after the busy day. I only drink water and teas without sugar, and during the day I have no trouble limiting calories to mostly whole foods, eliminating wheat entirely as I am gluten intolerant. When I finally settle down in the evening to relax, my cravings hit me hardest and seem insatiable sometimes. I try to be sensible, but need more strategies for healthy snacks that can satisfy me. The gluten-free substitutes for wheat products are high in calories, but seem to be what I crave most, next to popcorn. What can I substitute that would satisfy me more?

        • I’m right there with you! I have no trouble during the day, eating the right things, drinking plenty of water, exercising, etc. But come 9:00 p.m…. look out! My craving is for nuts. I prefer mixed nuts, but usually only allow myself almonds… but even that doesn’t always suffice. Sometimes, I go to my next lower craved food, ice cream.

          If I could just not eat after dinner… I think I’d actually lose the weight. I’ve had a band put around my esophagus at the entrance to the stomach… but my stress levels cause me to frequently regurgitate my dinner, which is not good…

          I’m almost ready to accept that I’ll be fat forever, especially since I’m 69 already!

          If you find any good ways to manage those late-nite cravings, I’d be happy to know about them!

        • I find barley extremely satisfying. I boil it and boil some whole tomatoes and onions at the same time. Then I put the onions and tomatoes in the blender and poor on top of the barley with a tiny amount of salt to taste. I find it kicks cravings for anything bad. And it tastes really good if you add a few crumbled pecans on top.

      • Karen,

        I’m intrigued by your honey-cinammon solution to curb cravings! I have been a chocoholic for a long time …. in fact, I usually get my cravings for something sweet after school (I teach). Although I try to concentrate on what I’m doing, the thoughts and cravings for something sweet keeps interrupting my train of thought! I just ate 2 small bananas and 1 cutie orange, yet, chocolate or a cream filled pastry keeps calling me. I do try to eat healthy otherwise – don’t eat meat except for fish or sardines (for now), check labels and don’t eat anything w/soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, nor anything hydrogenated or w/maltodextrin etc. I also make my own almond or coconut milk or buy rice milk. I am in the process of trying to make a non-dairy yogurt as well. So you see, I am trying to ‘be good’ about my diet, but something happens after school hours and I crave the things I shouldn’t crave for. However, I think I will add some proteins to my fruit snacks and if the honey – cinammon works, I’m game to try it. I’d like to know what Dr. Hyman and others think about this sugar curbing solution of yours.

        • Combining protein with your fruit is a good idea. However, try to reduce the amount and type of fruit you’re eating. Most fruit (bananas, oranges, etc) has a lot of sugar in it and the body doesn’t differentiate much about where the sugar is coming from, causing your body to have insulin spikes and store the sugar as fat. Try reducing your fruit intake to no more than 2 servings a day. Berries (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) make a great choice of fruit since they are low in sugar and high in fiber. Also, try eating almond butter with celery sticks or with a few slivers of an apple when you’re craving sweets. It’s the perfect 4 pm snack and will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but it will help you make better food choices when you sit down for dinner since you won’t be starving! Good luck. Sugar is highly addictive and products containing added sugar should have warning labels on them!!

      • Karen- Your story sounds similar to mine. Just wondering how this last year has gone for you. Do you still use the honey and cinnamon? Any other tricks?

    • just read a story of how artificial sweetners are producing Multiple Schlerosis symptoms and after eliminating the artificial sweetners the symptoms disappeared….I am convinced without a reasonable doubt the convenience foods we have been duped into buying since the appearance of TV dinners are the culprit in our health decline…the ingredients list on prepackaged food reads like Frankensteins birth details…I want out of this game and I intend to go back to eating the old fashioned way, homemade!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Funny, but every RCT I’ve found concerning artificial sweetners and insulin says little or no effect! They may be bad for you, but not because they spike insulin. This appears to me to be the kind of bad science that Mat Lalonde talks about.

    • I have heard the comment about the artificial sweeteners before and from several different sources. I wish they would post where they get that info. But I do think it is not good for you. I use Stevia or Truvia. But I do notice that since I am eating ‘sweet’ things that my body seems to want more. It’s that addictive sugar thing I think.

      • Truvia really gave me tremendous craving for carbs. I just couldn’t figure out how I went from never thinking or craving foods to being obseced with it once again. I had marveled at what life was like not being at the mercy of thinking about food. Feeling deperatly hungry right after eating meals. And all of a sudden I lost that freedom. What had I changed? My daughter had talked me into baking cheese cakes with artifical sweetness and I was going through trying them. But truvia’s response in my body was the final awakener. I threw it out and am back to eating because of genuine responce to my bodies needs. Just saying……

        • Hi Lorraine, I hear what you are saying. In my investigating, I learned that if you can buy it at a grocery store, it is not pure stevia & is mixed with some other chemical. I immediately went to my Natural Food store & got pure stevia (no-carb type for me). I saw the difference the very next day. I threw out my Truvia.
          As for baking, I remember seeing Suzanne Somers on a shopping network selling a sweetener made with inulin and ???. That might be worth taking a look at for baking. Good luck in your battle against those carbs. I’m right in there with ya! Vicki

        • I find that if I brew stevia leaves like a tea and drink a cup or two every day, after two weeks my sugar cravings are dead. To be clear, it doesn’t satisfy the cravings, but it gradually stops them from happening in the first place.

    • Were those studies funded by the beverage industry? Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame block chemical receptors in the brain that convert certain proteins such as tryptophan into serotonin which helps us feel calm,happy and balanced. This is part of the mechanism that encourages people to continue craving food especially sweets. A study examining insulin would not detect that. However some Newer sweeteners have shown a spike because they contain small amounts of sugar. I can’t quite remember which one this is. I think it’s Equal.

    • I also have not seen any research to show that artificial sweeteners spike insulin. What I do know from personal experience is that they trick the body into thinking that it NEEDS sugar – they create cravings even when one is eating a low glycemic diet.

    • Insulin spike or not, diet sodas gave me nightmares. That junk effects your brain. Don’t drink them.

    • Funny you are reading and pronouncing “bad science.” I am being and doing. My first run-in with the artificial sugars was with diet pop back in the 1980’s. I was working out 6 days a week at the gym. After a month I had gained 10 pounds so I went in to see the club’s nurse again. She said my muscle mass had not changed much. Well, I wasn’t pumping iron, mainly walking and yoga stretching and calorie restricted diet. She asked about soda pop and well, sure, I’d even have a diet coke for breakfast. Stopped that and the weight did come off.

      I’m prediabetic and want to keep my morning fasting glucose at 85 mg/dl. I accidently bought a couple cases of a health food drink called Celsius. I hadn’t noticed the fine print saying Sucralose. My glucose has been spiking back up to 99 and 100 fasting with no other changes than 2-4 of those drinks a day. I’m thinking good science means a person needs to see how their readings change. It’s not always about what you read.

      • Great point Jaki! Thanks for sharing your observations,

        Nutrition Coaching Program

        • One anecdote, where insulin isn’t even measured, is a great point?

          Any chance the concoction also contained maltodextrin or the ilk?

          Still bad science.

          • Here’s one random article that suggests that sucrose and aspartame had similar effects on insulin.


            In this study, stevia had less of an insulin effect than did aspartame and sucrose, but in other studies, the two substances isolated from stevia seem to have opposite effects on insulin secretion. This can explain why some of the readers get an insulin response from stevia while some don’t.

        • Dear Nutrition Staff,
          I’m doing great, read the Blood Sugar Solution, and follow the plan 90% of the time. Haven’t lost any weight – which I still need to, but feeling great. And I will continue to live like this.
          I understand the cravings and what happens with the insulin, etc. But sometimes, life happens, and I have some sugar, especially now during and after the holidays.
          Is there anything I can do to minimize the effect of sugar in my body right after eating??
          Please let me know. Guilt is the absolute worse, but then imagining all the insulin floating around stresses me out even more.

      • Jaki, I totally agree with your thinking. We need to watch how things we eat or drink (even foods that claim to be healthy) affect our blood chemistry and decide for ourselves. It’s all about taking responsibility for what we put into our bodies regardless of who says what. History has shown science to be wrong time and time again and what is put on a label isn’t always truthful, the fact that MSG has over 40 different names now proves it. The FDA and USDA are all in for Big Business and only put on a plastic face for consumers. I have been keenly aware of what people say, what I do, and how my body will reveal truths to me. Dr. Hyman is one of the few doctors that I have come across who has never led me wrong. That is why I continue to read what he writes and know that I can trust him.

        • Yeah… let’s all go back to the 90’s and eat potatoes with Molly McButter on it. Science said that was good for you then… Science is the only truth? Science is the only thing that matters? Anecdotes are the starting points for a lot. Anecdotes (telling a real experience) are another way to observe your surroundings. People on this feed have asked for advice and they are using anecdotes to give it. Plus…. science said the original birth control pill was safe for women, it said tobacco didn’t cause cancer, it said margarine was GOOD for your health, it allows our produce to be covered in filth. I agree that it is important to practice good science and site properly and never claim something is scientific when it isn’t…but there is clearly a need for a rogue and personal investigation of how to take care of our health. Hybrid scientific/anecdotal is not a bad way to do it, especially when we as people have such diverse backgrounds that it is possible one person’s body could absorb and process things differently. And yes it is important to note which part of the information is anecdotal and scientific. But anecdotal information shouldn’t be dismissed either.

    • Artificial sweeteners don’t spike insulin, but they do cause you to crave more sweet things. Once the craving starts, you continue to want sweet foods and those foods then spike insulin.

  • I love this! I am using your suggestions from Ultrasimple Diet and Ultrametabolism alongside my nutritional cleanse program with wonderful results! I have become a snacker for sure and I feel so much better! I have even divided my morning shake up to two servings during the day and added more flax. What an amazing combination! Thanks for helping me to rewire my brain, Dr Hyman!
    Eileen Benthal

  • Is stevia considered an artificial sweetener? I bring packets with me to restaurants to use in tea. Stevia comes from a plant, though so does cyanide I suppose.

    • I believe that Stevia is an excellent alternative to sugar, without all the rotten stuff that comes with aspartame. I have a stevia plant at home, dry the leaves, crush and then add to recipes.

  • I’m not sure if the artificial sweeteners trigger the insulin response or not, but I find they do feed into the cravings for carbs when you use them. I use stevia in my green tea, or I should say “used”, because it’s natural and I was lead to believe it curbs the sweet cravings. I learned first hand that that was not true and I’m stopping now.

    I buy the Tazo Zen Green tea and it has a natural light sweetness to it from th lemon grass in it so I’ve found I don’t need to sweeten it.

    • I also used Stevia and stopped as it did trigger sugar cravings in me. I know it’s natural – have friends who grow the plant and use the leaves. However, since I started tracking how I feel after eating certain foods, I noticed that using Stevia in my green smoothies makes me crave sweet things. I cut it out completely, used Agave less and less and now get by fine without a sweetner. And my sugar cravings, while they still exist, are not nearly as intense.

      • I gradually weened myself off sugar years ago. I drink coffee and tea plain. I drink lots of water also. There are several studies showing that the artificial sweeteners are bad for us and that they spike insulin levels. So why do we insist on making our foods sweet? I eat fruit when I want something sweet. No juice because they are concentrated. My snacks are home made trail mix consisting of dried fruit, nuts and seeds. I also love chocolate but only buy the purist form that I can find, usually 90% which is good for me. The hardest thing is avoiding the stuff I am exposed to at work. I take a fresh salad almost every day but I am still tempted to eat some things that I shouldn’t. I find that if I visualize the fat on in my own body that I can usually walk away.. It is a struggle to eat healthy in this society but it is good to find others like us on sites like this who are willing to share. Good luck and thank you Dr Hyman for all you do.

    • Mary, what form of stevia were you using? If you were using the white powder or clear liquid form, that may explain your dissatisfaction with it. Try using the green powder and you may notice your cravings will go away because your blood sugar will stabilize.

  • STEVIA! How does the body react to it? I use stevia for every drink we consume at home, chocolate milk, yogurt smoothies, teas, even it goes into puddings. Please Dr Hyman, put out a thorough article on Stevia and the science behind your recommendation not to use it.

  • I am of Indian origin so rice and daal – yellow lentils are main food source. That has caused the entire Indian population diabetes. How can we eat our national food and skip diabetes. I did a vegan diet for two years lost weight but had 40% body fat and low vitamin D.
    What is the best diet for me?

    • Hi Neela,

      Thank you for sharing your dilemma with Indian food and diabetes. Your native food actually supplies some of the healthiest anti inflammatory spices and foods known to prevent inflammation and insulin resistance!Curcumin, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, cilantro, lentils, coconut and other ingredients in your pantry are as good as medicine! Not to mention, these foods are flavorful and fairly simple to play with in the kitchen. So the truth is, enjoy and celebrate your culture and watch your health improve. To learn more about how certain foods like those of your culture can be consumed with pleasure and towards health, check out:

      For a personalized nutrition plan, please see:
      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Team

    • Make sure to use brown rice (not white). The lentils are wonderful for you. Also make sure you are eating pleanty of fresh green vegetables.

    • My Mother gained 30 pounds trying a vegetarian diet while taking cooking classes to learn it, over a 3 month period.
      For some people, even rice or any starchy food causes weight gain. One can eat the yellow dal, and all the lentils in
      controlled amounts without the rice, just lots of vegetables and not gain weight. It can be hard to lose weight with
      so many carbs, but with high intensity interval training it can be done. I would recommend fish, chicken and turkey
      as your main proteins at supper, with the Ultrashake at lunch and a low carb breakfast like quinoa with 3 tablespoons of seeds or nuts to balance your blood sugar.

      Two weeks ago, after reading four of Dr. Hyman’s books, I finally cut out the top allergens in our diet – (wheat was already out as I’m Celiac), and four days after eliminating milk, I could breathe through my nose for the first time
      in years without using Sudafed. I am still amazed! What to put in my coffee was part of the reluctance to quit it,
      but someone mentioned coconut milk and it works quite well for a creamer. So Neela, try eliminating the top
      allergens too, as weight loss can be related to wheat, milk and other allergens too.

  • Yes, please, Dr. Hyman,

    do put out a thorough article on Stevia … as the previous writer requested…

    and also,

    please add information on Agave Nectar so we can have a medical view of them both.

    • I am very interested in this conversatiion, as I am obsese and my husband has recently been diagnosed as a diabetic. We are trying very hard to eat healthier. I am curious about stevia and agave syrup as well. Can you explain a little more about them, and how they affect our bodies please…..thanks!

  • What is the meaning of: “Your comment is awaiting moderation” at the bottom of our correspondence to you ?

    Shall we expect a response…or something else?

    • Hi There,

      Yes, you will get a response as soon as we can get to your comment. Thank you for your interest inn Dr. Hyman’s work and we look forward to hearing your feedback and comments soon!

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

        • Hi Daniel,

          Using honey in your tea depends on your ultimate health goals. If your blood sugars are stable, you are at your healthy weight and you feel healthy otherwise, moderate use of live honey is ok…But Dr Hyman would suggest omitting any sweetener if you are working with diabesity.

          For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • yes, great question about Stevia. . . When can we expect an answer about it? … I am especially curious about Stevia in the Raw since it contains Dextrose … Thank you for your time

    • Hi Debi,
      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Stay tuned for some more information on this topic!

      In good health!
      Lizzy Nutrition Coaching Team

  • What are the best nuts for consumption? Is it true that peanuts are not good for you?

    • Hi Jim,
      Thank you for your question re: nuts. Raw or soaked nuts such as almonds are great. Walnuts are an excellent source of healthy omega 3 fatty acids. We also suggest brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, pumpkin, hemp, sunflower and chia seeds.

      Peanuts are in fact a legume, not a nut. And for some they pose a risk for allergy or food sensitivity. We usually advise testing this by eliminating them from your diet for a few weeks. See how you feel. Then, reintroduce peanuts in several small portions for 3 days and observe how your body feels. If the reaction is less than desirable than perhaps you have a peanut allergy or sensitivity.

      Also, peanuts tend to be high in mold. If this is an issue for you it is best to limit intake or avoid.

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

      • Speaking of allergies… I grew up with a mother who never bought pre-made food except for very special things. I know how to and like to cook so that is not a problem. My problem is that I was tested for allergies when I was 12 and had a slight allergy to chicken. I also had very bad hayfever and during hayfever season I was told not to eat chicken or eggs until after a full week of hard freeze. One year Mother and I forgot that it was hayfever season and I ate chicken. Before dinner was finished, I had my telltale signs that I was having an allergic reaction. As the years passed, my chicken allergy became worse and we were able to determine that I was even more allergic to turkey and when we asked my allergist he said, “Of course you would be. It’s a bird isn’t it? You are allergic to all birds.” After having my children, my bird allergy has become life-threatening. I have had to go to the hospital 5 times when I ate a meal that had chicken or turkey in it and I did not know. Yes, I have anaphylactic shock. I also went to a camp where the canoe one of the adults and I were padddling had all our food for 10 days of camping. His daughter and another teenager decided it would be fun to “pretend” to tip us and actually sent our canoe and all the food to the bottom of the lake. We ate perch morning, noon and night for all 10 days. Consequently I still can not stand white fish unless its taste is covered with a ton of other things. I love tuna (chunk light preferred) and salmon. Needless to say, these two things make it hard for me to follow Dr. Hyman’s 6 week diet with all the chicken, turkey and white fish. I eat only lean beef and pork along with the tuna and salmon. I would eat beans twice or three times a week but my husband will not eat beans, they give him gas (give me a break). He had a gastric bypass and has very bad smelly gas due to his reverting back to his pre-surgery food habits, 6 or more 20+ oz Mountain Dews a day, up to 16 oz of peanuts a day, chips, pork rinds, salsa con queso, better cheddar sausages, beef jerky, Slim Jims, etc… He has the money and I can not do the grocery shopping. I might not buy his favorite snacks. Anyway, HOW do I follow Dr. Hyman’s plan?

        • HI Carmen,
          Thank you for your interest in Dr Hyman’s work. For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • Dr. Hyman,
    I finally get it! I visited you @ your office several yrs. ago. I lost over 30 lbs. in a very short time but decided after a long cruise that I could take over. Wrong!
    I have continued to follow you over the yrs. but the light just now came on.
    Having soooo many health problems, I decided Not to have any foods other than what you suggest. I have given up all gluten, absolutely NO stevia or Any sweets other than low glycemic fruits.
    I have lost 11bs. in one month. More than that, 2 pant sizes.
    The beauty of it is that I have taken control of my insulin resistance. I dont want sweets & I was a sugarholic! I thought tea and stevia was ok for me but it absolutely was not!
    My pantries are totally cleaned out & will forever remain that way.
    I will no longer live on the poison foods that man prospers from!
    Thank you Dr. Hyman for working so hard to better our nutrition.
    (started with your “Ultrametabolism” Phase 1 to detoxify. I fill up fast & never crave foods.)

  • I bought a copy of the book yesterday from Amazon and I sent in my order number (proof of purchase) for my free gifts. I could download the sugar report and the recipes, but the website for the download of the first hour of the PBS special was “unavailable”. I figured that the offer had expired; but in this article you are still offering this download. If this offer is real, will you please help me get my copy? Thank you.

    • Sure Sal we can help you with this. See your email please.

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • Hi! Thanks for all this great info.
    I’d like to share that I have tried several different diet or substitute sugar sodas.Diet Coke (along with all other diet sodeas) and Zevia made with stevia both spike my glucose readings the same way as sugar. I have tested several times and it is always the same.
    I also found that Dr. Hyman is right about maltitol found in diet candy and foods spikes my blood also.

  • I am usually on a structured and balanced path throughout the day with my eating habits. However, when it comes around 3:00 PM through 7 PM is my heckish time. By the time I leave work and head home and face with my second job of responsibilities, I want to eat the fridge. That’s when my binge starts, from tasting things to sampling this and that and I don’t think I sit down to eat a meal because I’m making sure everyone else in the house is fed and I am multitasking all the time and not giving any thought probably as to what I’m eating. sigh…

    • Hi Rita,

      Thank you for writing in and sharing your concerns about the afternoon munchies. It sounds like maybe your lunch might need a protein makeover? Afternoon and evening blood sugars benefit from having a protein at lunch such as lentils, chicken or fish (sardines are quick and easy over a fresh salad!) coupled with a moderate intake of complex carbohydrate, or “slow burning” carb. such as sweet potato, veggies, 1 piece fruit or 1 serving of a whole grain such as quinoa. (keep it around 1/3 to 1/2 cup). Eating refined, processed carbohydrates such as those found in breads and other flour products (like pasta and pastries) send insulin rocket high and when our blood sugars come down, we crash. In order to get back to normal, we crave more carbohydrates and so the cycle continues. So help yourself off the wagon by eating a balanced lunch and then 2-3 hours later, take another small meal or snack with a good source of protein- a handful of raw almonds and a small apple. When you eat, pay attention to the tastes, colors and sensuality of the meal. This act is a form of nourishment as much as the nutrient intake component of eating!

      For more information, please see

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

    • Hi Rita,
      A handful of almonds and some raw veggies like celery and carrots really help me out at times like these. Eat the almonds first, as they take quite awhile to chew; the protein and fats help with the hunger pangs. Then nibble on the veggies. A yogurt based dip like Tzatziki is great with them, too.
      Eating fresh, unprocessed and home-cooked food that is low GI helps me control many of my fibromyalgia symptoms much better than prescription medications. My body craves broth based soup, so I make two or three pots of it each week, and this is our lunch or supper many days. Low cost and healthy, too!.

  • I would just like to tell people if you get off ALL SUGAR for just three days, your cravings will go away. I have been on the ulta-mind diet for almost a year(no dairy, no sugar, no gluten) and cannot believe that I no longer think about food the same way and I want to eat healthy by choice(I OWN A BAKERY AND CAFE, so it is amazing) However I still drink one cup of coffee with a artificial sweetner (all my toxins in one cup) and that has not seemed to bother me. I have lost about 45 pounds or more, I eat alot but only the good stuff and am never hungry. Thank goodness I am a red wine drinker and dark dark chocolate lover, because that made the adjustment easier. I also make lots more vegan salads and soups for my cafe which has brought me new customers. Thank-you Dr. Hyman!!!! plus my results have encourged many more people. I first got your book at Kripalu after taking the rewire your brain workshop.

    • There is something very potent about three days abstinence from sugar. Experimenting on myself, I observed a remarkable quieting of sugar cravings over 20 years. Now I observe the same in clients on a regular basis. Ironically patients come in and tell me about three days–without my asking. As we learn more about cravings, do you understand what is the mechanism? Is this an impact on insulin response? maybe linked to gut microbes? Impact on gut receptors and communication with the brain? What have you pieced together?

  • I also am interested in Stevia. I eat it on my oatmeal. Is 5 grain oatmeal a good choice for breakfast?

  • I was thrilled to receive this article in my inbox! My biggest issue is related more to gluten. I am SUPER addicted to breads and such! Here’s the rub: I have tested gluten intolerant, and I’ve actually made it worse over the years. I KNOW I shouldn’t have it and I know I don’t feel good when I do, yet I keep returning to it for various reasons. I’d really like to do a better job of avoiding it so I can feel better and hopefully lose weight as well! Does Dr. Hyman have any other tips that could help?

    Thank You!

  • Lizzy, last week Dr. Hyman did a webinar prior to the release of his book. That night, I asked a question about symptoms of tingling, burning and numbness in feet and lower legs. he recommended a supplement but I did not understand what he referred to. I just received his new book in the mail and I don’t see anything in regards to a supplement for this type of issue. I am beginning the Blood Sugar plan with three friends in 10 days but at the moment, this is a real concern for me in trying to exercise and just walk until my sugars are in control.
    Thank you,

    • Hi Rick,

      Have you tried Magnesium Citrate- 150 mg twice/day? This might help and will also be spoken about on the BSS. Give it a try and if it doesn’t help we are glad to work with you via nutrition coaching. You get 1 month free upon signing up! please see:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • Dropping starch from the diet (and of course sugar, since they’re essentially the same thing) completely eradicates the compulsion to overeat. No cravings ever.

    It’s time to tell the truth, as many doctors finally are, and admit that the whole “healthy whole grains” thing is a complete failure. There is not a high enough starch to fiber ratio in grains, not to mention nutrients. Vegetables have far more fiber to non-fiber carbs than grains do, and far more nutrients per gram. Also they’re loaded with structured water if you eat then raw.

    Grains are an emergency food for humans, not a staple. I have completely reversed all of my inflammatory problems by cutting all starch from my diet. Brown rice was the absolute worst.

    The lack of desire to overeat was just a bonus to getting rid of grains.

    • If you’re pre-hypertensive, don’t cut out all the carbs so quick. I transitioned to hypertensive when I cut them out. Almost all the good sources of potassium are in starchy or sugary fruits and vegetables. It’s almost impossible to get the recommend 4 plus grams of potassium without eating a couple of potatoes, oranges, banana’s, tomatoes, etc. Potatoes are the easiest as they come with 844mg. Two of them gets you almost halfway. I try to keep in the spirit of the diet by eating a decent amount of protein with the carbs to slow the sugar spike. Haven’t seen a weight gain after putting them back and my blood pressure is actually in the normal range now.

  • Do you have any info on menopause? I look my worse ever! I work out 5 – 6 times weekly & eat healthy. I know my metabolism has slowed down since I have hit the 50’s. I need to lose 10 – 12 lbs & I just can NOT seem to lose it! Do I have to be super strict on my diet in order to get where I want to be? Is there anything I should avoid in order to lose it? I have even avoided processed foods & if I do eat any, it’s very sparingly.

  • Dr. Hyman, what are your thoughts on The Paleo Diet? The reason I ask is because I see a remarkable similarity between your recommendations and those of Loren Cordain, Mark Sisson, Rob Wolf and other Paleo authors. A diet consisting of lots of organic vegetables, limited fruit, grass-fed meat, wild fish, hormone and antibiotic free poultry, cage free organic eggs, and healthy omega-3 fats. The complete elimination of grains, dairy, sugar, and other processed food. You also argue it for the same reasons i.e. what humans evolved to eat. Your exercise recommendations (weight training, high intensity interval cardio) are also in line with the Paleo lifestyle. I’d be very interested in what you have to say about these other authors works. The Paleo approach is very controversial. Many of us who believe in it have been labeled nutcases. But I think having someone like you on our side would go a long way to making this lifestyle more accepted by the mainstream.

  • I find it hard to believe that people are still recommending snacking given all the hard science that demonstrates the opposite is true. We don’t need to be thinking about food every minute of every day! Snacking keeps insulin in your bloodstream, thus preventing glucagon and leptin from doing their jobs to keep you thin and energized.

    So here we are, telling people for the last 50 years to eat high glycemic, eat high sugar in the form of starch (whole grains are only marginally less starchy than white flour) and do it every few hours. Crazy!

    I am 59 years old, I eat only a substantial healthy meal twice a day and have never felt better, my bloodwork has never been better. My weight is terrific after quickly dropping almost 40 lbs of fat and not an ounce of muscle. My BMI went from 33 to 10 in less than 6 months, with no increase in exercise at all, and with a net increase in calories from clean animal fat and protein.

    Now I’m starting to build muscle with resistance training – the first time I’ve been able to do that in 23 years. In fact, it’s the first time I’ve been fit enough to work out at all in 23 years. I’m back to working full time as of last May, and have recently taken a new job with more responsibility. In short, after 23 years of chronic illness, it’s GONE. I’m healthier than ever.

    I made ONE change. I finally got rid of the grains. I was already gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, soy free, nightshades-free, peanut free……etc etc etc. none of it worked. Sugar and starch free, that’s what worked.

    I can’t wait to get my telomeres measured, I know they’ll be longer. My hair is getting thick again. My skin looks younger. My joints are in better shape. I move like a much younger person, and next year I’ll be younger still.

    We’ve got to stop lying to people just because what we’re saying sounds sensible. Observational studies with confounding variables are not good science.

    • When it comes to snacking and perhaps food in general, I think we have to stop and why we’re eating. Recently I started reading up on the practice of intermittent fasting. It goes against a lot of what we’ve been told. Instead of eating every few hours, you actually go 16 hours without food. So if you had dinner the night before at 8pm, you wouldn’t eat anything until 12pm the following day. At first, I thought there’s no way I could do that. But there are days where I wake up and I’m just not hungry. Yet I still eat breakfast because I feel like I’m supposed to. So it’s the same with snacking. Sometimes you’re hungry, but a lot of times you’re not. So should you still snack just because it’s been 4 hours since your last meaL? I think people have allowed the practice of eating every few hours to cause them to become hostage to food to the point where they’re always thinking about it. I may give intermittent fasting a try and see how my body responds. I have a feeling I won’t be able to go 16 hours without food. But I do believe in using hunger to gauge whether I really need food. I also plan to be better about giving into hunger. A lot of time, it just passes and you feel fine. It’s hard to imagine prehistoric man did a lot of snacking or obsessed over breakfast. If you treat food as a scarce commodity, it becomes more rewarding to have it and not something you have out of habit or sticking with a routine.

      • Just wanted to say, sometimes when I’m out running errands and I get hungry, I chew 10-20 chlorella tablets, and they completely balance me out, and I’m not hungry for a couple more hours. “snacking” can be what you make it…. I don’t think Chlorella tablets will affect my blood sugar. they are pure green and protein.

    • Amy,

      I love your comment. It is precise with a little revolted tone at the end… which makes me guess that you surely have a scientific spirit… It made me smile because I also guessed you may have a kind of quick-tempered personality when comes the time to judge somebody you believe to be not very transparent… (to take a politically correct word used frequently these times)… in his purposes. You are dedicated to find and tell the truth about any article that approaches the theme of nutrition with no wit of respect for the human mind.

      But, each person has the right to express his own point of view. All people in this world are on the road of the Truth Quest on a specific moment of their life, even at the ever last one. Many persons need more time to come to a rise…

      We all must remember that hunters-gatherers were certainly picking autochthonous grown plants such as nuts, grains and fruits on-the-go when they were on their wildly roads, weren’t they ? And so said, at anytime of the day…



  • Do you now how excruciatingly difficult to eat this way? There is no joy in eating. There is nothing to eat. I can’t afford organic food and to spend hours in the kitchen. My kids refuse as it is b/c I don’t allow processed food, trans fats, etc and home make as much as I can. It’s a constant battle at home with my kids and their overeating and wanting sugar. They get it outside the house if we stop making it and that’s worse. I keep trying to go off sugar and there’s no point in having coffee without a sweetener & cream. I lasted 2 seconds on the Ultra Mind Solution. Are you kidding?

    • Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your concerns about food and pleasure. You are correct, food is and should be a source of pleasure! Our brains are literally wired for pleasure. However, certain foods, such as those you listed and those Dr. Hyman spoke about, can actually hijack your brain’s governing system so that you are not in the drivers seat, the food is! This isn’t natural nor is it healthy. What we suggest is to eat foods which trigger our brains natural ability to boost pleasure endorfins and stabalize blood sugar to end the craving cycle. When our hormones are balanced and neurotransmitters are harmonized, we eat according to hunger signals and crave the foods our bodies evolved with- real, whole , fresh, unprocessed foods! And there ar plenty of sweet foods to meet our need for this flavor- fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains. Here is a game- the next time you eat, really pay attention to chewing your carbohydrate source extra thoroughly. You might notice that the longer you chew, the sweeter it becomes!

      For more information on how to create healthy kid friendly-recipes, see:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • In your new Blood Sugar book you give oatmeal a bad rap or at least do not recommend it. I understand the instant oatmeals but whole oats gluten free or Steel Oats served with Flax seed and sometimes blueberries, no sugar, seems like a healthy breakfast to me. It makes me feel satisfied. I bought your book because I would like to lose 5 or 10 lbs and belly fat is a part of it. Thanks Sandy

    • Hi Sandy,

      Great idea about the whole grain, unprocessed form of oats. In this program grains, even gluten free, might be restricted in order to achieve intended health outcomes. Whenever you eat a carbohydrate it is suggested that protein is included in order to slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream and decrease a spike in insulin. So, when the program is over and you wish to incorporate your whole oats into your daily grind, perhaps you might include 1-2 tablespoons of hemp, chia or pumpkin seeds or a small handful of raw almonds. Some people like making their oatmeal savory by including an egg over it, sort of like egg and toast… Other people like mixing some protein powder in the oatmeal. The choices are endless, but the goal is to always incorporate protein. This makes eating your oatmeal work for you and not against you!

      For more nutrition related info, please stop by nutrition coaching. Remember, you get a bonus month!

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • I eat a largely whole foods diet consisting of fresh vegetables and fruits, limited dairy and small amounts of lean meat (almost no processed foods, sugar, etc), excercise daily, have no hunger/food cravings, snack sparingly on seeds and nuts and cannot lose weight!. I’m a 75 y.o. male whose daily maintenance caloric intake computes to 2800-3200 calories yet consumes only 1200-1400 calories daily. Begrudging weight loss (1/4-1/2 lb/wk) requires a daily intake of just 800 calories or less. I’ve tried varying the caloric intake, increasing protein, etc (all of the usual suspects), but nothing works. Any suggestions?

  • I follow so much of what you recommend. I have dabbled with vegan for a year, vegetarian for a while, added back free range eggs, wild fish. Avoided dairy, added in raw cultured dairy. Avoided gluten. It all gets confusing! What do you think about whole grains? Yay or nay? I am referring to, of course, wild or brown rice, whole rolled oats, kasha, things like that. Diane

    • Hi Diane,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. We generally suggest eating whole grains, especially those which are gluten free if a person is sensitive or allergic to gluten. Depending on your health goals, the type and portion of carbohydrates might be restricted for a set time in order to achieve the intended outcomes. And under no circumstances do we ever suggest eating any white or refined and processed carbohydrates!

      What are your health goals? The nutrition coaching program is here to serve your specific needs. Find out more about this service here :

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • I do a lot of exercises at the gym everyday and my diet is not so bad. My problem is that I am anxious and I feel hungry all the time. When I leave the table after lunch I could eat all over again 5 minutes later.I am 45 years old and lately it has becoming harder to lose weight. I think about food all the time and when my next snack will be. I am above ideal weight( I am 1.65m and 63kg). I feel sad and unhappy and this makes me want to eat more. Can’t find the focus to follow diets lately. I am not getting into menopause yet, I have hipotyreoidism ( but controlled), a little high colesterol and normal blood sugar ( could be better). Any suggestions????

  • Oh my…. not one iota of pleasure left in the world. Might as well order from the 1-800 Hemlock site for the ultimate quick death. What replaces the donut? I just go outside and eat the local shrubs? Honest…our lives are incredibly hard. How can you expect people to give up the foods that provide comfort–the grains, the sugars, the butter. The ordinary person has no one to encourage them or support them; it is not allowed in our culture. Sweet food is the daily band aide.

    • Hi Phyllis,

      Thank you for your concerns about food and pleasure. You are correct, food is and should be a source of pleasure! Our brains are literally wired for pleasure. However, certain foods, such as those you listed and those Dr. Hyman spoke about, can actually hijack your brain’s governing system so that you are not in the drivers seat, the food is! This isn’t natural nor is it healthy. What we suggest is to eat foods which trigger our brains natural ability to boost pleasure endorfins and stabalize blood sugar to end the craving cycle. When our hormones are balanced and neurotransmitters are harmonized, we eat according to hunger signals and crave the foods our bodies evolved with- real, whole , fresh, unprocessed foods! And there ar plenty of sweet foods to meet our need for this flavor- fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains. Here is a game- the next time you eat, really pay attention to chewing your carbohydrate source extra thoroughly. You might notice that the longer you chew, the sweeter it becomes!

      For more information on how our mood is affected by our food and how our mood prompts our food choices, see:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • When I give up all sweeteners except stevia, I crave sweets a lot less but still not entirely. When I eat no sweets, sweeteners, artifical or natural, I do much better. Stevia still makes me crave sweets even though I do not get sugar rushes form it.

  • Where does STEVIA fit in with regard to how it affects insulin?

    In this article, you caution that artificial sweeteners create the same insulin spike as regular sugar. I haven’t touch a diet drink in almost 2 decades, but have had sugar cravings I found difficult to deal with until I discovered Stevia. (I use the drops since they are easier to titrate.) Anyway, I thought I was doing fine with using Stevia, but your comment caused me to want to check with you on this.

    Please post a response as to how Stevia affects us – especially with regards to diabesity. (I love that nickname. It should become a registered word!


    Dave – up in Vancouver, Canada

  • Dr. human,
    I’ve been reading your tweets and this column faithfully for the last two months on my I pad.
    I was so looking forward to buying your new book when it came out last week.
    I am severe diabetic with macular degeneration. Disappointingly I could not read the print. About the only things I can read are on the advanced size of my I pad print.
    Dr. human, any chance an I book version will be available soon?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Dick,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Right now there are no plans for this but we will make note of your request. Please see the website for more information on the program and join a community so you can learn and explore all the Blood Sugar Solution has to offer! The website should be compatible with your vision as you can make the necessary font adjustments on your screen.

      In good health,

      Nutrition Coaching Program

    • For Dick, who is having difficulties with text and font. My mom was having some issues seeing some of her favorite, smaller print books. These were older books, not available in e-versions. There are several people around the country that will scan your favorite books for a very cheap price and turn them into PDFs for you (try google). This helped my mom a lot since she could then adjust the font to her heart’s content. They do cut the book so you wouldn’t have the hard copy but it only cost her $1-$3 dollar a book (plus media-rate shipping) and she can now enjoy her favorite books electronically. Just a thought. 🙂

  • I have used, tried, and quit many ‘methods’ of eating/living more healthfully. Last year I had a colonoscopy, endoscopy, and everything else you can imagine to determine ongoing health and digestion problems. Nothing. The main thing I have to do is eliminate, not add, to my diet. No dairy, gluten, sugars, caffeine, starchy veggies. No ‘food products’, not even salad dressings or mayonnaise. No fruit juices. Low salt only. When I stick to this routine my tummy is better. But my energy never gets better. I’m trying your nutrient dense recipes and supplement routine. I started last Monday. I’m hoping that something will help. I’m tired of being tired. All of my ‘tests’ come back normal, as your book suggests can happen. I’ve even had the doctor tell me “We’ve given you every test that is age appropriate”. I’m going back thru your new book, Blood Sugar Solution for a second round this week. Waiting and hoping, praying, for energy.
    By the way, I have, in cycles, raised my exercise activities, incorporated new methods, styles, types of exercise, but that doesn’t help my energy either. Tired in Torrance

  • I love the information you send! I follow the
    Diabetes Diet by Dr. Bernstein, I think you
    sent information about him.
    I also have told people at work about your
    simple 10 day diet, anyone can do anything
    for 10 days! It has helped some people with
    their wheat allergies. Thanks to you, I don’t
    use any prescribed drugs, much to my doctor’s

  • I do not eat or drink “junk”. I stick to whole foods including organic grass fed bison, chicken, salmon, turkey, tubers, cruciferous veggies and some fruit! Helps a lot with cravings, especially eating protein at breakfast! I also only eat quinoa as it’s high in protein as a “breakfast cereal”. Nuts and seeds and nut butters are also a huge part of my diet. I do not have problems with my blood sugar or cholesterol! What’s more – I don’t miss breads or pasta either!

  • I binge eat almost everyday but eat unhealthily only every so often. I used to be vegetarian but have been eating meat and eggs for over a year now and have always been a binge eater. I drink gallons of water and a couple cups of green tea a day. My binge will look like this: I can have an egg white and veggie omelet with a small bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal and soy milk for breakfast and I’ll feel full but less than an hour later I’m checking the fridge. I may make your protein shake after that or mix plain yogurt with berries or a handful of nuts or celery with almond butter, or eventually have all of it. Maybe an hour after that I’ll wrap a salad into a whole wheat tortilla with salmon from dinner the day before. An hour after that, I’m happy that I can start planning lunch. By this time, I have drank maybe four or five glasses of water. I have a physically active outdoor job that burns a lot of calories and I run or go to a gym to workout regularly. I am overweight but not gaining. I have tried so many ways to control my eating to no avail. Recently I’ve about given up and last month started buying candy bars and rootbeer every time I put gas in my car, a habit I never had before. I don’t do that anymore but am wondering why I can’t control my eating.

    • Hi Monica,

      Thank you for writing in and sharing about yourself. The reason why overeating occurs can be complex and is dependent on various factors. However, the most important nutrition concept is ensuring balanced blood sugars. When this happens, your entire body, especially the neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for regulating hunger and satiety, settle into a rhythmic cycle of eat/work/eat/work (or rest)! This rhythm allows the body to harmonize the hormones and acheive balance which we experience as healthy weight, good sleep, energy and happiness. One thing you mentioned in your food plan for the morning which caught my attention: food allergies and healthy fats. Perhaps you have a sensitivity to gluten, which can be highly addicitve and promote a ravenous appetite. Also, perhaps try eating the entire egg, not only the white AND also include a little avocado. In our bellies, a chemical called CCK is released upon eating healthy fat. This sends a signal to our brain that we have had enough and in turn, our brain recognizes that we are satisfied. This satiety is also a result of pleasure and enjoyment of our food- something that tasty fat brings! So no need to limit your fat intake, just choose healthy, anti inflammatory fats!
      Here are two excellent articles by Dr. Hyman you can explore:

      Also, check out Dr. Hyman’s latest book, The Blood Sugar Solution!
      For a personalized nutrition plan, please see:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • My daughter, Terri,has beenin pain for 5 years. Her Rheumatologist prescribed Prednisone, Lyrica, Methotrexate, Celebrex, Plaquenil & Terri is still in pain. She sees a Functional Medicine Medical Doctor & has done all he advised: Shakes, diet, everything & she is still in pain. Will you help her? I believe you can! PLEASE!!!

  • Sweets are my downfall. I have craved them for as long as I can remember, whether they be fruit juices, fresh fruits, candy or desserts. Diabetes runs in my family so I’ve tried to control sweets with processed sugar and tried satisfying my sweet cravings with fresh fruit or the fruit smoothies from your Ultra Simple book. It works for the most part, but chocolate cravings occasionally get the best of me, but a lot less than in the past. My husband and I have found that we no longer need to take tylenol or advil daily after following the guidelines in the Ultra Simple book and cleansing the toxins from our bodies. Cleaning out the pantry, cabinets and refrigerator and buying fresh as much as possible has really helped. Belly fat seems to take longer to get rid of for me than for my husband, but I’m hoping if I stick to it long enough, I’ll eventually get down to a better BMI. We already feel so much better just by eating right and exercising. I also have to thank my aunt for introducing me to your Ultra Prevention book, which started us down the right path.

  • For the most part, I try to have protein at my meals because as Dr Hyman wrote “If you get famished between meals… When your blood sugar is low, you’ll eat anything” [I add] in sight. I feel better with protein. It too does break down to form sugar, but it takes a lot longer than starches/carbohydrates. My problem is the greens. It’s preparation, how to prepare it so I will eat it, and on a daily basis. I can eat foods repeatedly like I have 2 eggs daily, mainly with olive oil and onion sliced/diced sauted and I am fine. I feel good. Sometimes I have Italian squash diced or a baby bok choy, or 1-2 leaves of adult bok choy for breakfast with Salt and Pepper and dried onion flakes/minced onion. My morning is fine. It’s the rest of the day I have problem with on a daily basis. Once in a while I do fine.
    I am milk and its products intollerant, soy intollerant, problems with gluten, apple juice, spices, ground beef, most teas including green tea, sometimes tomatoes and citrus.
    I went on the dairyfree, gluten free “diet” for Ultramind Solution, the Ultrasimple Diet. I felt very good after. The next step was to go back and see the toleration point on the items. That’s where I found havic, disaster, and I could not get back on track. I am quite overweight. When I lose weight, it can be one pound to three pounds daily. When I eat the wrong things I can gain five to seven pounds in a day. Since I try to weigh daily, I have been able to be aware of the weight gains and losses, somewhat.
    Yes it is what goes into your mouth whether by fingers or by fork or spoon.
    Dr Hyman, I agree, if you are saying that Stevia is not good for us then what is?
    I have just seen the Blood Sugar Solution or Diabeasity on Channel 31 Saturday. I have to see it many times for it to sink in.
    Thanks for all your work in finding the source of ailments. I can see that with your growth and knowledge, it has helped your work in Functional Medicine, and with your taking the information to the people on Public TV, you are educating us to be our healthiest.

    • Hi Mary,
      Thank you for sharing a bit about your health concerns. It seems The Blood Sugar Solution would be a perfect fit for your health goals. The goal, of course as you know, is to get to the root of our health conditions. This program is an excellent tool to serve us in the quest to find sustainable solutions. And weight management is an excellent benefit!

      Check out:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • I am hungry every couple of hours. I eat all day long. I eat very healthy meals but I eat enough for 3 or 4 people. Of course I am oerweight even though I exercise [tennis] 6 days a week. I’ve tried your recommendations but I am still hungry. If I cut back a little [i.e., eat a normal portion of dinner] I wake up in the middle of the night from hunger. How do i stop?

    • Hi Deborah,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work and for sharing about your hunger. Often, when people do not eat enough protein and healthy fat, and/or consume too many carbohydrates than necessary the brain gets the signal for “hunger” even if we have been eating all day. So your best bet is to eat every 3 hours and always include a protein with your meal. This balances your blood sugar and promotes the proper tools for your body to regulate hunger and satiety. Also, the speed at which you eat has a lot to do with this regulation. Have you ever thought about what you are like while eating? fast? slow? present? distracted? Focus on mindfulness and receive more pleasure from each bite. I suggest you explore Dr. Hyman’s new book, The Blood Sugar Solution as it explores these topics very thoroughly and provides countless tips and resources for you!

      For more information, please see:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • Here’s my take on Stevia – based on my own experience. First of all, I don’t trust Truvia b/c it’s processed – I think they jumped on the Stevia bandwagon but it’s not pure Stevia. Read the label, for sure. Whether or not Stevia spikes your insulin, I think is irrelevant, unless you’re a diabetic. A few years ago I gave up ALL sugars in an effort to combat a supposed Candida problem. That included everything that ends with -ose (sucrose, dextrose, lactose, fructose and so on). So, yes, that included fruit. The point I’m trying to make is that I completely lost the taste for sweet foods. My taste buds completely changed. It was not something I expected but my cravings for sweet food completely diminished. Sweet foods and drinks actually seemed gross to me back then. Unless you experience that, first hand, I don’t think you can truly grasp that change in taste buds. Stevia didn’t exist then (or at least it hadn’t become mainstream enough for me to know about it). If it had and I simply replaced the “-oses” with Stevia – I don’t think I would have had such a dramatic and tranformative shift. Stevia is very sweet – I use it now when I crave sweet. AND there lies the problem. I’m craving sweets because I could, without guilt or remorse, add Stevia – a sweetener. It’s tricky – very much like a gateway drug in my opinion. It was very freeing (and sort of strange, really) NOT craving sweet food. I grew up with Captain Crunch and Hubba Bubba, after all. But as Stevia become more readily available I slowly started adding it to more and more foods (and drinks) and today, I can honestly say, It’s not nearly as easy for me to eat non-sweetened foods.

  • I have a question about milk. I knolw that store bought milk has all kinds of chemicals but what aboout raw milk. I was raised on a farm in Oklahoma in the 40’s and have included raw milk in my diet for all these years. I am 72, have no wrinkles and

    look quite young for my age and with the exception of a severe head trauma am extremely healthy. So the big question is Raw milk good or bad for you ? My breakfast is 3/4 glass raw milk, fresh blueberries, coconut oil and a raw egg.

    • Hi There,

      Thank you for your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Raw milk is a controversial topic in nutrition and depending on what you read or whom you ask, you’ll hear different feedback. Ultimately here with Dr. Hyman we suggest avoiding dairy for the most part as many people in our population do not have the enzymes necessary for digesting it efficiently. Consequently, dairy has hormones among other less desired constituents which are proinflammatory in nature and often impair normal biological functioning. To this end, we suggest most people avoid dairy. However, the best nutrition advice we get for our own unique health needs often comes directly to us from…ourself. So, your ability to tolerate milk and its raw form suggests that perhaps it works for you and your immune system agrees with it. However should your immunity become compromised it is prudent to air on the cautionary side and limit or avoid raw dairy.

      For more information on your personalized nutrition plan, please see:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Team

  • Thank you for the information. You are so right on so many issues, I am surprised at the missing points. The first one is the suggestion that we are who we are only since the last ice age, which ended about 12,000 years ago. The second is the lack of awareness of epigenetics.

    Epigenetics basically says that your environment, including what you eat, affects your life. Proof comes from studies of twins. The same genetics, different diet and environmental factors lead to different results.

    For example the study by Zhang Y, et. al. “Vitamin D Inhibits Monocyte/Macrophage Proinflammatory Cytokine Production by Targeting MAPK Phosphatase-1.” Journal of Imm, March 1, 2012; vol. 188 no. 5 2127-2135 shows that what you eat (or sunshine you get) affects your bodies response and ultimate outcomes.

  • What do you suggest for a little bit of caffeine in the morning? I don’t drink sodas, but I do like a cup of coffee in the morning. I like it with skim milk and honey. Is it a bit of milk and honey bad in the morning? I try to avoid the creamers and artificial sweeteners. Thanks for publishing this information.

    • Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for writing in re: caffeine. This is quite common and what we recommend is to ween yourself off the “need” for coffee by switching to green or white tea. You don’t even need honey or milk for this as the taste is unique and interesting by itself. Although we would suggest switching to unsweetened almond or coconut milk in lieu of skim milk! Eventually, if you must have coffee, it is suggested to enjoy it as a pleasure, not a necessity. Afterall, coffee itself, without any milk and sugar is chock full of antioxidants. The addiction to the coffee is what we want to break. Too much can create an inflammatory state due to the acidity and other abrasive constituents. Check out this video for more information on why we love greeen tea:

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • I would like to quit using artificial sweeteners because I believe they are chemicals and can’t be good for me. I don’t know if they cause me to crave sugar or not because I quit eating sugar 11 years ago when I had weight loss surgery (gastric bypass). I just refuse to eat it because it’s poison to me. I love your work because you talk about food addiction. Years ago when I had surgery no one talked about food addiction but I knew it existed and that’s why I’ve been able to keep the weight off. My favorite description of addiction is “Uncontrolled use despite negative consequences” and it certainly described my obesity. I have kept off my initial loss of 130 pounds since surgery after suffering for 30 years of obesity and crazy, horrible, damaging ways to lose weight. I am the healthiest I have ever been and I use your blog posts in my blog and my Bariatric Girl Facebook page. If people don’t think food addiction is real, look at the number of people who cross addict from food to drugs or from drugs to food. I am so grateful for your knowledge and I will continue to spread your incredible insight! Going to post your blog right now.

    • Thank you Yvonne!

      Keep up your great work and participation in helping others to get and stay healthy.

      In good health!
      Nutrition Coaching Program

  • Is there an alternative to green tea? It actually gives me headaches. I thought I was imagining it until I looked it up online and saw that other people have the same problem. Your thoughts?

  • Dr. Hyman, this article really did help me to understand the balance that I should be getting from my meals. I have been on the Blood Sugar Solution advanced program for 38 days and by the first couple of days, I have to tell you the cravings were gone. I have tried for about 4 years to stop drinking diet soda…but when I replaced my ‘liquids’ to nothing but water the cravings for a diet soda at 10am went completely away! Another great thing is that I have lost 15 pounds since 9 April. I have a blog up so that it will help me stay connected with this program. I want to make this way of eating my lifestyle! And be done with weight gain period.

    Visit me at

  • I have purchased Dr Hyman’s Combo from DPT on Mar 10 and I still haven’t received it. I hope to get started on some wt losing program ,but am anxiously waiting for the book etc. Why is it taking so long? Help me please! Send your answer to my e-mail.

    • Hello Mary,

      Sorry to hear that you are awaiting your order, please contact Customer Service at 800.702.2995.


      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • What type, if any, of nutrition bars would you recommend as an occasional snack between meals? Are there any without “Franken-soy” or sugar?

  • I achieved a wonderful set point for many years . However I went on a very high sugar/ carb binge day with a friend. (I was skating nicely before with just slight infractions now and then) Unfortunately even going back to my former healthy eating pattern, I am having a hard time achieving my previous goal. It appears a combo of alcohol, lots of chocolate, breads and pasta concentrations, and regular icecrem are lethal in my system. If there was a problem before,m I could easily rev up my exercise routine to compensate. It appears I can not exercise away a severe bad diet day. I am confident I will get back o my goal weight but it does seem ashamed that I can never really deviate too far in any given day which includes holidays where everyone else is able to splurge .

    If you have a suggestion, please reply to my email . Thanks

  • hi, my name is lupe; I gave up drinking sodas almost five months ago, I don’t eat candies or too much pasteries. My sweetener is estiva raw sweetener. and i only use it one to two packages a day. I eat lots of vegetables, two eggs every other day about two slices of whole wheat bread. I’m I was diagnose with diabetes about four months ago, I have under control, my average is one-twenty to eighty-five. I take a tablet (850mg) once a day. I’m also a heart victum. which makes hard to do too much exercise. even thought I gave up alot of foods and alot of pasta, I can’t seem to loose weight. as a matter of fact. I’ve gain weight. I try hard to loose it my weight is 212lb, what can I do to loose wieght?

  • I have been tired for quite sometime just feeling like I have a lack of energy. I have just recently changed my thyroid medication as my levels did change. I do take anti depressants. All my life I have been struggling with trying to loose the last ten pounds. I have gone with Dr. Bernstein and now with Dr Poon diet which is more long term trying to keep the weight off. I have shakes in the morning. I go swimming and walking. Eating nuts I have tried they just make me gain more weight. I have a cetain diet where I can’t eat shellfish but I try to get as much meat as I can. Its just very hard not to binge especially on icecream and pizza. I don’t drink any sugar drinks just water occasionally orange juice. I have lost about 5 pounds everything slows down when I just want to sleep. I know I have to keep a balanced diet I have been mostly eating salads this days, smaller portions at home and going out as they are deceiving, drinking lots of water and last but not least trying not to eat bread or pastas which really throw my weight off I am at 140 and 5″2 Is there something more that I can do? Or is it CHRONIC or in MY GUT ?

    • Hi Jess,

      You are correct- it might be more than what you can see…Sometimes there are hidden imbalances which can promote cravings or limit weight loss. If you re interested in working with one of Dr Hyman’s nutritionists online please see: Together you can work to fingure out the best way to handle your cravings and find some metabolic harmony.

  • Is that a way I can try out the councelling as I bought the book in a store and then bought another for a friend. I’m trying to start but in the meantime, just eating more sweet carbs and coffee.
    : )

  • Boy, where do I begin? I think in some ways i am one of the best educated “big” girls on the planet. At the crux f this is my emotional eating and what I call lack of motivation – that is to get off the couch. But I hurt, my knees hurt, my back, sometimes the fatigue and pain is all consuming. It has been a doug h year and I keep telling myself that if I could just lose the 30 or so pounds to get me below 300, yes I told you I was a big girl, things would get better. Somehow I have lost and gained those 30 pounds 10x over these last few months. I am exhausted with the effort and discouraged. I don’t want to lose weight to be skinny – I want to lose weight to regain my energy and health. I have taken the quiz and my results show me that I need all of the supplements – I would if I could but can’t afford the long list of supplements that have been suggested. Where do I begin?

    • @charlotte. I do feel your pain. I was dealing with similar concerns.
      Dr. Hyman has some excellent information, that will lead you in the
      right direction. You also, will have to read, research, and listen to and
      Learn your body’s likes and dislikes.

      I will send you a message on your website, ok?

  • I’ve lost 60 lbs over the past three years. I’ve been trying to lose the last 10 lbs for the past year and have routinely failed 5-7 lbs in and regained. I’m not sure why I’ve had such trouble but I think its tied to graduating college and handling the stresses and changes of adult life.

    I find myself binging every 1-3 weeks. I know what I’m doing, I know I should stop and yet I don’t. I keep punishing myself/my body because I don’t think I deserve to be at a healthy weight and I don’t believe I can actually get there. I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with this process and now I’m afraid if I ever lose those last 10 lbs I won’t be able to maintain or view my body in a healthy way.

  • Dear Dr. Hyman:

    I’ve seen you on tv and read some of your articles. The one thing that shook me up was your reference to Alzheimer’s Disease being Diabesity. I don’t understand what happens in diabetes that makes these two diseases similar, please explain. My husband died of Alzheimer’s Disease and complications of Diabetes. What really brought me to your website today was a question I have not been able to find an answer to and that is studies of Stevia never mention studying the effect of that sweetener on the brain. Some people have had adverse effects about hypoglycemia but nothing is in print about the brain.
    If you have some info on that subject can you send me an email to a link I could use. I have looked in and of stevia.

    • Hi Bea,

      So sorry to hear about your loss. We would be happy to share more information with you and help you better understand the connection between Diabesity and Alzheimer’s as well as current research on stevia. For personalized attention please connect with the nutrition coaching team at:

  • I am very happy to have come accross your site. Myself and my children have been going through a food battle. I have a 3 year old and 15 month who have both been struggling with food. Our doctors are baffled, and I was too until this past June. After getting off medication for colitis I began having reactions to food such as gluten, dairy,eggs and sugar. Before maing the chage I could not lose weight and I retained water everywhere it was so frusterating. What my girls have been going through I now understand. They have intolerances as do I to many foods, if given just a little their bodies seem to be able to manage. Accidently give too much and they are up all night in pain. It usually takes a few days but when it happens it is awful. I have been combing the internet looking for resources and material to better understand. I find it very frusterating to be so limited food wise but hope in time I stop missing what I once ate and drank. I will do anything to help my children. I am hoping things will begin to level out, eating should not be a struggle.

  • I eat fine all during the day, but at night when everyone is asleep, I want to eat the entire house! I will start out with something healthy, like veggies and fat free dip, then it just snowballs into eating everything in sight, even though I’m not hungry!

  • I was told I have high insulin levels, ( nothing was said about my sugar levels), and given two different types of medication, One was Victoza, which after reading the side effects decided not to take them. I want to lose the weight and not become a full diabetic. I don’t know what to do. Should I see. An endocrinologist ? Help!

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • stevia sucks, it absolutely raises how sweet you want everything to be. the only way to get the carb and sweet cravings under control is to get into how food tastes by itself without inundating everything with any kind of sweeteners. the only sweetener i ever engage in is raw honey, and it does not take a lot because i dont take stevia so my brains desire for sweetness is not destroyed by the stevia, it honestly is this way, it absolutely SUCKS!!! eating protein at every meal is another absolute truth. i am a vegetarian which is a bit challenging, but i find that almond butter in a protein smoothie is great. beans and legumes. combining things for protein etc works fine. vegetarians need dha and epa. cant get those in the diet and it is not a huge hassle to take omegazen supplement from marine algae oil. it is good for your brain and has zero mercury. i am a vegetarian because killing animals is not good for your heart. the practice is demonic if you were to spend one day in a chicken processing facility, you would get it for sure. or a beef processing plant. or even a free range ranch- ask yourself this= would you throw your dog on the barbecue? of course not. but what is the difference between your pet and a cow? they both are bodies inhabited by a spirit soul. its called selective love= i love MY pet but dont care about any other animals because we think animals are a bag of mindless chemicals when in fact you know your pet is a person with a personalitly. that is due to the presence of a spirit soul inhabiting that animal body and there is also a person inhabiting that cow body. once you really realize that your perception and your heart changes. i dont want to put my pet on the barbecue grill nor any other animal body for this simple but profound fact. think about that

  • Will the 12 week course be ready for Jan? I would like to do it for the first 3 months of 2013. I have 18 lbs to go and my waist is to big.

    Thank you

  • To the artificial sweetner discussion, Years ago I used to drink 3-5 diet sodas/day and I was developing bladder infections repeatedly. (I was also not loosing any weight) Finally my obgyn asked me if I drank diet soda, she convinced me to stop drinking them. I did and I haven’t had a bladder infection since, that was over 15 years ago. However, when that was going on, it was very bad for my overall health because in response to the bladder infections I was given antibiotics which have other side affects in your body. I wish I had known then what Dr. Hyman teaches. I also wish I had listened! Instead, I’ve had to learn the hard way.

  • I had been feeling extreme fatigue for years and was then diagnosed with prediabetes. I read the BSS and started the program 2 1/2 months ago. There was an immediate change for the better and my bs dropped to well within normal. I also dropped 4 sizes. The problem is that I still have cravings starting in the evening. It doesn’t matter how well I eat during the day. I try to snack on nuts and seeds and a small piece of dark chocolate, or yogurt and fruit. I am not hungry durig the day, but I eat something anyway every few hours. My cravings for carbs and sweets have largely disappeared except when I am very tired. Artificial sweetners are a problem because I don’t like the taste of drinks without sweetners. I would be very interested in learning more about the science behind xylitol, truvia, etc.All in all, I feel better than I have in years, and I love being slim again, but my life seems to revolve around food. Any ideas?

  • Regarding artificial sweeteners— I haven’t seen any studies about these substances actually raising insulin levels, but I’m convinced they increase your craving for carbs and sweet foods.

    Aspartame is definitely a central nervous stimulant– a friend with a seizure disorder would always get into trouble when she used the sweetener and would be more likely to have seizures. I find when I use Splenda that I feel on edge, as if I’ve consumed too much caffeine.

    I agree with Dr. Hyman’s ideas– avoid artificial sweeteners, stick with real food.

    I appreciate Lizzie’s comments– wonderful to have a knowledgeable compassionate person response to those posting —

  • I have always had had fast metabolism and could eat anything. Now at 50 I feel like I never have much energy. I am trying to reduce the sugars I eat (I do get lots of cravings). As I work through your book I am hoping to see if i need any (missed) medical attention and start on some of the diets provided. The information seems to make so much sense.
    Thank you

  • Since February this year I have made dramatic changes to my diet. I have completely given up pop, switched to stevia (for now, but looking to lose that as well), dramatically increased my intake of vegetables, particularly greens, eat far more organic foods, have eliminated 90% of the gluten and dairy I used to consume… I am looking forward to starting the Blood Sugar Solution and seeing even more improvements in my health!

  • I found elimination of sugar and sugar substitutes from the diet best.sweeteners spike cravings for more sweet things. eat apples when the urge for sweets hit.

  • Most diets including yours advises to eat protein. I have kidney stones and my urologists advises me not to eat a lot of protein. It’s difficult to lose weight without eating protein. I was on a high protein diet and got two huge stones requiring surgery! Do you have suggestions on how to process high levels of proteins?

    • Hi Tammy,

      You need to work with a trained professional who can guide you towards the appropriate protein intake for your needs.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • I am still not understanding the problem with xylitol (birch sugar). It has a glycemic index of 8,(very low) and is not a “fake” sugar, and the glycemic load of 2 teaspons is equal to the glycemic load of 4 tenths of an ounce of an apple. It just doesn’t seem like this would have a significant impact on insulin levels. I use this much, or less, in my protein shake, and with using theses shakes for some meals my calorie count is down and I am loosing weight. Somewhere I read about artificial sweetners lowering metabolism, though don’t know if this could pertain to this “natural” sugar.

    • Hi Vicky,

      Dr Hyman suggests not using xylitol as it can wreak havoc on normal digestive function, create uncomfortable gas, lower metabolic function and interfere with normal hunger and satiety cues. This interferes with metabolism and impacts hormones. In addition, any added sweetener perpetuates the viscous cycle of cravings and addiction regarding sweets. Because people with diabesity require getting off sugar to improve insulin function, we highly recommend refraining from all forms of sugar while healing. This includes xylitol and stevia.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Is there anything I can I do through nutrition too lower my White Blood Count? Already had test and do not have CML.

  • Thanks do much for your work Dr H!….

    I probably have read 25+ books on health & weight loss over 2 decades BUT
    they did not work BECAUSE I did not stay loyal to any health program more
    than 2 weeks before cheating & binging on SUGAR, FAT & more SUGAR.

    This was my addiction whenever I felt bad emotionally…which was often. I hated myself & my life

    Yes my personal life was a wreck……. 2 marriges to abusive cheating men so I must be a glutton for punishment as well as pizza + 4 kids.

    One rainy day about 2 years ago the simple truth hit me like a TON of BRICKS…….. My oldest dear beautiful daughter asked me why I took care of everyone so well while treating myself so terribly.

    She told me she wanted to be proud of me at her graduation, her wedding & with her futire kids ect… and that I was worth so much to her and so many others. She also begged me to set an example for her sisters who were mostly on the wrong paths.

    So the truth is my problem was not about dieting or exercise… was about SELF WORTH….
    I had never been feeling I was worth it so there was no way I was ready to make a change on the outside.

    So I cried for a long time hit bottom & decided that it was time to divorce hubby # 2 and for a deep change from the inside….I prayed to God & meditated and decided NOW was the time to live better to be a better mother & that meant taking care of myself becuase I was now worth it & they needed me.

    I dropped 5 dress sizes the next year now that I ate to nourish my body & not to cover up my emotions of a bad life.

    This grandmother now teaches yoga and hikes mountain trails & loves life!

    You can too but you must start on the inside.

  • Is it possible to eat low fat peanut butter on whole grain bread for a lunch or snack?I feel it fills me up. I can’t seem to get rid of craving for chocolate. I have also been trying to give up diet soda but am having an incredibly difficult time. Also , how can I find the nutrition coaching?

  • The only way I managed to control my cravings is doing some form of intermittent fasting. I have been doing this for years and in my opinion for me it is the best way to control cravings. For me it means eating only a soup such as chicken broth or vegetable juice or even just an apple for lunch 3-4 x week and nothing else so I am essentially fasting until evening meal on those days. I feel much more balanced. eating even healthy stuff has always had a tendency to set the cravings off. It would be interesting to have this topic covered.

  • Dr. Hyman,

    Not only am I a food addict, I am an emotional eater, with a teenager in the house. I am very regimented and strict with my diet all day. My problem comes at night, when I sit down to relax, this is when I binge …… And usually not on good food 🙁

  • I have high insulin levels and high cortisol levels. I am not hungry until 2 PM when I force myself to eat. I do not use artificial sweeteners . I drink black coffe, water and unsweetened tea. My body craves sweet/ salty food from 8-10pm. It does not matter what I eat for dinner. No one has given me an answer why or how to deal with this. My a1cs are normal. I would appreciate any insight you can give me.

    • Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Your question and constellation of symptoms represents a complex medical condition. Questions regarding conditions like these cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I stopped drinking diet sodas after volunteering at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Hospital after Operation Desert Storm. We believe that many of the Vets had liver issues after consuming large amounts of diet soda that had accidentally changed by the extreme heat.

    Apparently if you set a pallet of this stuff out in the extreme heat and let ii simmer the artificial sweeteners change their chemical properties, and you have a very different product.

    Since we can’t be sure of our food supply chain, this experience put me off drinking anything with aspartame.

  • Thank you for all your efforts to improve our health, Dr. Hyman. I am one of those sugarholics. Started life on formula with condensed milk and Karo Syrup and sweet desserts were a staple at lunch and dinner and snack times growing up. Luckily didn’t get hooked on sodas – we had koolaid back then. I gave up all sugar for a year and a half at the beginning of my teens when I was begining to add extra pounds but for a reason unknown to me I got sucked back into the habit and have never been able to break it since. In the last few years I connected with the Weston A Price folks and learned that fat fears are unwarranted when you are eating healthy fat. Actually plenty of fat, around 60-70% is what has helped to reduce sugar cravings. Now I eat a low carb, grain free, moderate protein and high fat combination and am getting good results. I buy all my meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from local, organic farmers, fish directly from Alaskan fishermen. Eliminated all vegetable oils except olive oil, avacado oil, sesame oil for salads. I use lard (from pastured pigs local farmer) for cooking with heat. Make my butter from raw cream from local farmer who raises their cows on pasture. Fat is what definitely makes the difference. Gives you steady energy and satiety that lasts for 5-6 hours.

    • Hi Shirley–I had the same early history with sweetened condensed milk for formula and constant sugar while growing up and have come to similar conclusions about good ways to eat. I appreciate Weston Price’s approach, too. I am hoping to undo some health challenges with better choices. Now if I could only convince one of my teenagers to make good food choices! Thanks for writing!

  • Hello, I want to suggest to all these people who have trouble losing weight or who have a lot of fatigue, that they could be hypothyroid. It is incredibly common to have this issue, and you can test within the normal range yet still have hypothyroid symptoms. You may need to take some natural thyroid such as Nature-throid in this case, but first get all your thyroid levels tested and not just TSH. You may also have some adrenal fatigue or food sensitivity. I felt prematurely old before cutting out gluten grains and dairy and soy products, plus react to yeast and alcohol. You may also want to look at eating meat that has not been fed GMO grains in addition to of course hormone and antibiotic free. Good luck!

  • I need lots of inspiration and this site is very helpful. I started running in May and ran in three races in December. I am over 50 and feel pretty lucky to be running and not get injured. I run 4 times a week, 2-4 miles each time. I swim and do yoga on the off days. I have lost 15 pounds but still need to get 20 off. I started eating only meat one meal a day and that seems to help. So I am thinking having more no meat days is the way to go. Is that right? I will use nuts, yogurt and cheese instead.

  • Great article and reminder of our body’s evolutionary roots and how far astray we have come in our current food supply. Just a couple of comments. Refined oils are not carbs (they are altered fats). And, even though it seems like there is tremendous variety now in the the grocery store (40,000 products), there is very little variety–most processed foods are really only a combination of a few foods–dairy, soy, corn, wheat, and sugar (and refined fats). Our ancestors often ate smaller amounts of a much bigger variety–whatever could be gathered or hunted in season (and not just beef, chicken, and pork).

  • I hope Dr. Hyman and Dr. Robert Lustig are friends. I heard him on Science Friday last week, talking about his book Fat Chance, also how to beat obesity, diabetes, etc. Dr. Lustig says if you are reading a label don’t buy it, whatever it is. I use sugar very rarely, mostly at the holidays. This past holiday I used stevia for all sweetening. I didn’t notice any particular reaction to it, and the food tasted great. I am going gluten free, which I think is helping me to feel healthier. And I am losing weight.

  • I try to cut down on my sugars, whites etc. I am eating much better, but still have a way to go. I try not to punish myself but comment myself when I have a good day.

    Love vegetables raw and cooked, fruits and nuts and scout the store like Trader Joes and New Seasons for new and special whole foods like barley, farro and quinwah.

  • Another great article from Dr Hyman! Even though I’ve been learning about nutrition for years, your books and CDs have been amazingly helpful in getting my health on track. Crowding out the bad stuff with healthy nutrient-rich choices really seems to be the key (of course eliminating toxic substances, anti-nutrients such as HFCS, artificial sweeteners and trans-fats). My cravings have decreased significantly and I’m feeling better and better (which is saying a lot given chronic health issues of 16 years). I have been inspired to become a health coach myself and empower others to take responsibility for their lifestyle choices.

    Dr Hyman, thank you for leading the diabesity protest on behalf of all Americans!


  • I do not drink soda drinks. Once in a great while I might have a ginger ale when I’m sick. Mostly I drink water. I like lemon in my water. I also drink green tea (Twinings…brand name) with lemon. I like this brand very much. I am a nervous eater. If I have a hard time with things around me (stress) then I eat more because of running energy that I have and not knowing how to resolve that stress I will eat (emotional eater). Or if I’m unhappy about something I might eat chocolate. I don’t go to the fast food places to eat. I will pick a nice restaurant to eat at. Unfortunately I don’t digest fibrous foods well…like veggies and fruit. So mostly I eat starch and protein foods. When I’m at home I might try a fruit or veggie but never with good results. I don’t like eating like this but I have enteritis in my intestines and I don’t have much choice. I was a high fiber eater before but not now. I am starting now to look at gluten free foods. It seems I digest this bread better. Thank you for all your videos Dr. Hyman. I like listening to them.

  • Mark —
    Good article. Your recommendations are similar to those in THE CORTISOL CONNECTION DIET, by Shawn Talbott — he talks about 3 things: cortisol control, blood sugar control, and what he calls thermogenisis — upping your metabolism.
    Cortisol is our main stress hormone — it instructs the fat cells, especially those in the belly, to grow in size, to expand. Control cortisol by controlling your stress, eating right, and exercise.
    Blood sugar control — pretty much what you say.
    Regular exercise is the main way to boost your metabolism, since muscle has a higher metabolic rate than fat (burning off excess calories is secondary: you won’t get slim just from exercising.)

  • Today was a strange food day for me — and I ended up exhausted this afternoon. I ate yogurt and a banana for breakfast, forgetting that I was to have breakfast with a group at church. There, just to be a part of the group, I ate about a third of a pancake and one two-inch sausage, plus a cup of coffee with cream and sweetener. For lunch, dark-meat backed chicken with skin, a big salad and a half baked potato with rosemary/garlic olive oil. This is all more than I usually eat.

    Mid-afternoon I crashed, with no energy left. So what was going on, other than just eating somewhat more than usual. My energies have been so great this week otherwise, and I got plenty of sleep last night.

    I’d like to spot what I’m eating that causes this for me!

  • Great article! I have a question about women with severe PMS or PMDD and carb/sugar cravings. I know many women (myself included) who eat very healthy whole food choices all month until PMS hits and then have INSANE cravings for sugars, bread, potatoes, etc. I don’t even like these foods, but will have unbearable cravings for them for several days each month.
    Do you think this is related to blood sugar instability?

    • Hi Bree,

      These hormone-induced cravings could be due to blood sugar instability as well as nutrient deficiencies. You should check out Dr Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution for a detailed plan on how to rewire your brain and body to not only end these cravings but have improved premenstrual symtpoms and menstruation regularity. Please see

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • What about rice and rice flour? Is porridge a good idea , of. Ground millet or oats, for diabetics? Please clarify?

    • Hi Suvi,

      Dr Hyman suggests that if you are diabetic you completely remove ALL grains and flour-based products from your diet for at least 6 weeks.Please see Dr Hyman’s The Blood Sugar Solution for a thorough explanation on what to eat and what not to eat if you are diabetic.

      For more personalized nutrition advice, Dr Hyman’s nutrition coaching team would be happy to work with you on an individual level to help you reach your goals. To work with the nutrition coaching team please go to: OR call (800) 892-1443 to get started.

  • thank you for another amazing article.
    I am so determined to kick my sugar cravings and addiction.
    I just started a juice cleanse – today is day 1 and I am currently on drink#4 … Once I finish the juice cleanse I plan to kick my diet into high-gear with more nutritious meals and juices.

    Thank you!

  • i have been following dr.hyman and his nutritional guidelines for years. i follow a strictly paleo diet and avoid all grains. i also am a fan/supporter/proponent/enthusiast of the weston a price organization and nutritional guidelines. there is a wonderful book, “THE DIET CURE” BY JULIA ROSS that uses amino acid therapy to break the cravings to sugars and carbs. it is truly amazing!!! from a nutritional perspective, most of dr.hyman’s recommendations follow julia ross. the difference is adding these amino acids to help break the cycle of craving sugar/carbs. it’s not a gimmick and it isn’t something you have to take forever. read the book!!!! it will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!! 🙂

  • I am 53 years strong and follow a very nutrient dense diet. I was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos Auto-immune disorder and know that my health has to be my main priority. It already was, and I have followed a clean, organic, varied diet for 25 years. I want to remain strong, and vital well into my 100th year! I have started adding fresh juices to my morning made of organic plant based protein powder,(Sunwarrior) parsley, lemon and lime fresh squeezed juice, spinach, apples, chia seeds, flax seeds, avocado, pineapple and berries. It is energizing and alkalinizing. Exactly what my body needs to start every day! The rest of my day is 4-5 meals, lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. I need my strength, and energy levels to be high as I am a personal trainer and teach bootcamp classes. Hormones right now are a bit unbalanced, but getting that right too.

  • In 2004, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes after ten years of trying to figure out what was wrong–had all the “classic” symptoms, but was so active my blood-work never reflected it. Suspect that I was probably pre-diabetic since 1990. Even in my early 20’s, after eating a cookie, I’d “crash and burn” after about 1 hour.
    Long story short, I simply quit eating junk–no fried foods, fast foods, no sodas-artifical or not, etc. Have been eating 3 healthy meals per day and 2 snacks. Mostly “whole” foods. For example, breakfast is usually 1 soft or hard-boiled egg, 1 piece whole grain toast, a pat of whipped butter, apple or banana & water.
    I write down and track my eating and exercise in order to be accountable to myself. Yes, its tough and can be a total bitch, and yes, sometimes I drive to the store and buy a chocolate bar or eat pizza…but it isn’t “mindless” eating anymore and I am healthier now than I’ve ever been. It’s just a life-long struggle and I take it day by day, sometimes hour-by-hour.

  • In my opinion, reprogramming your brain is pure fiction, it may work short-term only. A person who is genetically skinny may think that it is possible, but those of us whose genes predispose to weight-gain will know better.

  • As a Registered Dietitian myself, I am interested in reading the studies related to artificial sweeteners raising blood sugars to the same extent as actual sugar. Can you please list the article titles/authors or post links to these studies?
    Many thanks!

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. This blog was posted a year ago and we do not have access to the citings.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Dear doctor my personal experience with coconuts showed increase in blood sugar levels on eating dishes via ice coconut . Am of Indian origin

  • Eating “healthy” foods, in the right quantities, at the right times does not take away food cravings. Food cravings can be (and usually are) psychological or habits that need to be changed. Food is physiological and biological. Diets make people fat. Fact. They instill rules and must do’s and don’ts. They instill fear and panic. Rules to eat the “right” food at the “right” time in the “right” amount or the “right” combo of macros and the worst….eat several small meals or every 3 or 4 hours. Enough. Eat what you desire when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Your body will naturally and eventually want what it needs and shed pounds if it needs to. Trust your body. It will lead you down the right path.

  • Hello. i am type ii diabetic with migraine and other issues. currently taking tegretol among other med and it makes me crave sweets and cars like you wouldn’t believe. could diet alone overcome this side effect. ?

    • Hello Heather,

      Thank you for your message and your interest in Dr. Hyman’s work. Questions regarding medical advise cannot be answered in a responsible manner via the Internet. Please consult with a medical professional in your area.

      Wishing You the Best of Health!

      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • I wish I’d known of this while my kids were young, I would have made different choices. However, I do pass this info on to them and now that my daughter is expecting her first, she will apply this to her own children. I try to eat healthy, limiting chemically processed foods. I do well until I have to work, then I become ravenous for a day or two. I work night shift and even though I bring my own food, after the first night, I am starving!!! I eat and still feel hungry! My stomach growls and it actually hurts until I do eat something. That may hold me for an hour or so, then it starts again. And I do eat stuff like Greek yogurt, and other protein sources. Once I’m off for a day or so, then it’s ok again. I’m hoping to get off this shift by fall

  • I have seen so many weight lost programs over the years. They never target food as your enemy. That is what caught my attention when I heard we were killing ourselves by what we eat. After reading the Blood Sugar Solution cookbook I decided to get busy living instead of all those years I got busy dying.

  • It would be useful to provide more emphasis on high glycemic foods and their identical impact on blood sugar like straight sugars. Rice, pasta, breads (anything made with wheat flour), etc are common high glycemic foods that’ll spike blood sugar and insulin. Our DNA was not formed when there was refined flour of any type! And the breads our ancestors ate were flat because they only had low gluten grains back then.

    Some people like to make a smoothie, but put in way too much sugary fruits to make it taste ‘good’ like a desert and not enough fiber, so this can also be a source of on-going sugar addiction. I slow the sugar uptake of my monring fruit bowl by taking my daily several TBsp coconut oil right before, which as medium chain fats also provides plenty of calories which won’t get metabolized and stored as body fat. With coconut oil you’ll in turn lose appetite & eat less – with no effect on cholesterol.

  • Hi, very glad of your sites, thanks! Hypothyroidism in 27 years; feverles infection, Tchernobyl nuclear rain over Finland -87, a stressful time caused it. Diabetic 2 father and granny. Hypoglycemic easily, avoid sugar rising products, so for long time, since over 15 years don’t eat bread and pastry products. Therapist and studied a lot of nutrition. But my weight is like fixed the same, even I live almost only by eating sallads with nuts and vegetables of own my own garden now in Italy.
    Can my insulin sensitivity be cured. How to go down some kilos; cellulites on upper legs from teen ages: 163cm/65kg, ideal 58-60kg.
    Have not been under 60kg since childbirths: years -71,-73,-79. Thanks!
    ‘Fresh nonna 65’

  • With the recommendation to eat carbohydrates, what about the acrylamide that forms when carbohydrates are baked/roasted/fried at a temperature over 250 F. degrees? Does Dr. Hyman caution against eating whole grain baked goods and/or baked sweet potatoes/vegetables due to the acrylamide content? Thank you.

  • Hello,
    I am wondering if it’s possible for a thin person to acquire type 2 diabetes? I think most diabetics are overweight, but am just curious……..

  • I like the idea of nut butter for breakfast. I’ve been eating almond butter with fruit in the morning which works for me because it doesn’t require much prep work. Otherwise I won’t keep up with it!

  • I have found that eating protein at every meal (including snacks) is the best way to stop cravings. I also try very hard not to have unhealthy foods in the house. If they’re there, I’ll eat them! Finally, daily smoothies for breakfast (including lots of vegetables and nuts and seeds) get me started on the right foot.

  • Hello! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to
    him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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    for enjoyment, since this this web page conations in fact fastidious funny stuff too.

  • I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage! Keep up the very good works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll. bgaceddedebc

  • I have to admit that I was a little skeptical at first about the whole idea of being able to “detox” yourself. I read your book “10-Day Detox Diet” and decided to give it a try. My doctor wanted to put me on medication for type 2 diabetes, but I refused, stating I would lose 10% of my body weight in 6 months. I started out at 194, and on my own, before reading the book, I was able to reduce to 184. Then I hit the plateau.

    Happy to say that after 10 days on the detox diet, I lost 7 lbs and 3.5 inches off my body. So many compliments and
    comments! So happy! Am going to continue following the plan for another 60 days to see what happens. Thank you for writing this book, Dr. Hyman!

    • Hi Angela,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story! We’re so glad to hear that you are on your way to better health!
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Dr. Hyman, I always love your articles and Facebook posts and I have listened to you on special health summits as well. All of this info is so useful and I really try to put it into practice in my daily life. I was not able to follow your 10 Day Detox, but I did find a naturopath medical clinic and have been on a Detox program since 07/07/14 and today i8s 08/23/14 and I plan to continue on this journey for a while. My Detox program is a process gentle elimination of toxins, lowering my blood sugar, and utilizing a high protein low starch diet (Paleo / Ketogenic Diet) very similar to yours, and under doctor’s supervision. The Detox has helped me lose 11 points on my liver enzyme test and that I know represented pain and fatigue. I had severe pain and fatigue at the start of the Detox. My conventional medical team told me not to worry about my fatty liver. Oh, that will resolve with diet and exercise. Diabetics know how hard it is to resolve anything and we need extra care and extra focus and a specialized diet and supplements to get anything done. After all, with Diabetes we can get brain fog so easily and our bodies just do not cooperate with standard treatment. But fortunately for me, I am a health investigator. And I investigated quite a bit of medical research available today on the subject of diabetes and co-morbidities of morbid obesity. I conclude that as I have been told by my doctors: The loss of 5 or 10 pounds helps you to breath better. The loss of 50 pounds helps you to lose some co-morbidities such as diabetes, hyper tension and high cholesterol. This information was hard earned because I have gone through pre-operative testing and counseling for a weight loss surgery, but then my insurance company refused to pay for the surgery. I have consulted with an Oriental Medicine Doctor about my weight and metabolism; as well as Naturopath doctors; and as well as my conventional medicine team. These are difficult problems, but fortunately with your help and the help of other Functional Medicine Doctors and Naturopaths, we all have a chance at surviving and overcoming these difficult health problems.

  • Winter time is frustrating for me. Around November, I start compulsively consuming more calories. I crave sweet foods. I try to talk myself out of it, but nothing seems to work, especially when I become distracted by long work days, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. The office is always stocked with bowls and bags of treats, and I seem to be in auto-pilot when my hand reaches into them constantly. Its like I’m in a trance, watching myself eat, and I don’t realize I’ve done it again until I’m getting ready for bed, giving myself the same tired speech that I’ll put an end to the cycle when morning comes. It never works!

    Why does this happen every year? I stretch the limits of my waistband each winter season, then lose a few pounds in the spring/summer, only to start the cycle again when winter comes back. I like to run 2-3 miles a few days per week, but it doesn’t seem to put a dent in the cravings. At best I break even and can at least still barely fit into my pants for another week. I feel like I’m living on the edge of having to update my wardrobe by an increased size, and I want to avoid that at all costs!

    There must be a secret to stopping this nonsense. I’m willing to try anything to try to break this cycle. However, just telling myself to stop eating is not cutting it.

    • Hello Berth,
      You are not alone in your sugar cravings for which willpower just doesn’t work. Eating a diet that optimizes blood sugar and insulin function is the key to eliminating sugar cravings for good. We encourage you to consider following the 10-Day Detox Diet program for the best results. Please visit for information about our January challenge.
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

      • Dr Hyman, thank you for your reply to Berth. This is similar to me as well. While I am 5’0″ and up until mid Dec. was 99.8# … I wanted desperately to stay there all winter but, then today I find myself at 103.6#. Shorter days, not much activity after work and boredom are my culprits. I exercise in the mornings intensely but, after that almost nothing. So excited to read about your 10 day plan.

  • Dr. Hyman i read the article regarding craving!! its very interesting but i still couldn’t find answer for my own problem. I’m 27 years old. 108lb, i work out regularly and try to eat healthy. protein, fruits, veggies, no protein drinks or any other drinks, just water and sometimes coffee, but recently i started to crave just raw unsalted nuts and dried fruits (sugar) like dates, figs +++, all kind nuts you can actually find in my kitchen cupboard. i don’t know whats wrong with me , i ve constant head ache and always feel dizzy and not only that second time happened to me already i lost my period. it happened last winter i was getting period every 3 month, when i went to the doctor and did all the blood work + thyroid check up, everything was fine, now it started again. i don’t know if there is any help for me… any tips and suggestions will be helpful

    • Hello Maia,
      Thank you for your interest In Dr. Hyman’s work. Unfortunately he cannot provide you personalized medical advice in this forum. In order to provide you the proper care you need we hope you will seek the attention of a local qualified Functional Med practitioner soon. To locate a doctor near you who practices functional medicine like Dr. Hyman, go to and scroll down to where it says “locate a practitioner” and enter your location. Progress accordingly from there.

      You can also make an appointment to be a patient at Dr.Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, MA. Please go to:
      Wishing you the best of health,
      Dr. Hyman Staff

  • Thank you, Dr. Hyman, for you valuable information presented in an easy to understand way.
    Best wishes for a healthy 2015.
    Cathie Lippman, MD

  • There seems to be some controversy within the nutrition and health literature as to where to look for a general guide to a healthy diet. How does one understand the different recommendations that arise from the two different sets of data, the one from studies of what our ancestors ate (are these studies really trans-geographic?), and the other what relatively poor, still living cultural groups of people who have limited access to professional allopathic medicine but still tend to live a long time eat most of the time (Greek small-holding subsistence farm islanders and Okinawa island fishing villagers?) Of course, it seems that people in both data sets had, and have now, a much more physically strenuous but less stressful lifestyle, i.e., stress is experienced most often as momentary, not chronic. With all these different scientific studies out there saying more or less different conclusions about what to eat, how is a lay-person to figure out for themselves, a good balanced diet, and integrate this with their own lifestyle? A lifestyle which also and hopefully is healthy in itself?

  • I started the 10-day detox yesterday – so far so good!!
    Unfortunately I am sick so if I cannot avoid antibiotics, do I just extend the number of days I detox? Also I don’t have much of an appetite, what do I do if I’m really not hungry at meal times?
    Many thanks

  • Thanks for re-publishing this article. My husband and I have followed your plan for about 6 months. We have each lost over 20 pounds and most of our belly fat. We are now eating a more healthy balanced diet and are committed to this new eating habit. Alcohal is a problem for my husband during the holdiays so this was a good reminder.
    Thanks for giving us a “life altering” eating plan.

  • So many people struggle and just need a solid dietary information reset. Thanks for being a leader in speaking the truth about diet and nutrition. I myself am on a journey back to my ideal weight. I hope to help others in this area someday. I follow your information and the blood sugar book is great. Thanks Dr. Hyman!

  • I’m a sugar/ junk food addict. I love it! I have found that following 2 eating rules, I can eat what ever I want. Following these 2 rules also seems to cancel many obsessive cravings for empty calorie foods and all those sugary treats I love. I still enjoy eating junk food, and sugar treats, but I eat far less following these 2 rules. Following these rule, my weight drops to about 115 pounds which is the low end of my normal BMI (I am a 44 yr old female, 5’5″ tall). Before starting this program, my weight was 145 (I was 29 yrs old) I have never been an obese person. I am active (don’t sit much), but do not do planned exercise. Ok, here are the 2 very simple rules.

    1. Rule #1-Eat only when you are hungry. My rule of thumb is 3 strong stomach growls. Congratulations, you are now at 0% full. You may eat what ever you want!
    2. Eat whatever you want, enjoy and savor every bite, but…Rule #2- stop when you are 80% full. When you start out, you will need to eat slow, and monitor your fullness after every couple bites. When you have been doing this for a while, you will no longer need to be so vigilant.

    You must follow both rules to be successful.

    These rules take planning. If you want to eat dinner with your family each evening, or you’re meeting a friend for lunch, you will need to plan your eating earlier so that your stomach is growling for that timed eating event. For example, my stomach will growl around 10am most days. If I am having lunch with a friend, I will not eat at 10 am so I can eat with my friend at 12 pm. I call this planned delayed eating. Delayed eating is not the same as skipping a meal allowing yourself to go hungry for more than a few hours. Don’t do that, it is a recipe for failure.

    I have been doing this for 15 years with good success.

    Here are some things that have surprised me:
    1. I don’t obsessively crave junk food and sugar. I can say no to the offered cookie or piece of cake.
    2. I leave food on my plate most of the time. When I’m done, I’m done.
    3. If I try to only follow one rule and not both, the cravings and anxiety returns, and the weight comes back.
    4. I seem to only need 2 meals a day
    5 I still enjoy sweats, but am now happy with just a bite of dessert after a meal instead of the whole piece.
    6. Since I don’t eat much anymore, I tend to choose a more balanced diet.

    I hope this has been helpful to someone.

  • I train my brain by looking at maximum sugar recommendation (25-100 gram per day). however I limit my maximum intake by 50. i think 25 is just unrealistic. after that,I always count whatever sugar I eat. after a year, I think my body automatically knows when I should stop eating. sometimes I got craving to eat cookies, candies, ice cream, but only for the taste. after some certain amount, my body just sent me a signal to stop and I just follow it.

  • Hi, I agree that low carb helps control food cravings. Here is something that I think needs looking into. I underwent general anesthetic a year ago for hip surgery. The next day and closing in on a year now my food cravings (substantial, binge-eating type cravings, over many years) disappeared. I have not gotten the operative report for the anesthesiologist, although I plan to. I have looked online for similar experiences and not had much luck. Nowadays even if I eat something that was on my craving list, I am sated and stop eating after a normal portion. I do not crave food and certainly do not crave the go-to foods I did before, such as ice cream sandwiches. If cravings can be turned off instantly, what does this mean? It seems like someone should do some research in this area. Thanks, Plesah Wilson

  • I forgot to mention I have lost 25 pounds without even trying and am still dropping weight, albeit more slowly.

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