The Wine Diet


Last night, I had an unusual dinner … Wendy’s french fries and a large chocolate frosty. I like the way the hot salty fries are cooled by the sweet bliss of the frosty.

I’m on a sugar detox diet, allegedly, but I fell off the wagon with a cookie here, a muffin there, and now I’m on the sugar overload diet.

Drinking wine used to take care of my sweet addiction, although wine itself contains very little sugar. Like diet drinks, it still seemed to satisfy my sweet tooth. Later on, sugary mixed drinks were my appetite suppressant, causing me to eat far less than I normally would for dinner. They even functioned as a meal replacement. And because the alcohol was nonnegotiable, I could bypass desserts with ease. I’ve found through experience, however, that I have to get rid of all sugar to be successful, just like with alcohol. I will never be a moderate sweet eater. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work.

I approach this addiction a lot like I did with drinking: I binge on sugar because I’ve come up with a plan, which will start tomorrow. (My plans always start tomorrow, rarely today.) Tomorrow, I will start my sugar shut-out for let’s say … three weeks. (And by sugar, I mean pasta and bread and white rice too.)  I know I’m going to go through sugar withdrawal — I’ll be tired and edgy for a few days, craving sugar in all my waking hours. And just like with wine, I have to binge to really prepare for the purge. I usually begin on a Monday, but because it’s a holiday, I’ve allowed myself an extra day of sweet indulgence.

It just so happens that Hip Sobriety has some perfect advice for the occasion:

Sugar Addiction in Sobriety: Why it Happens + 13 Tips How to Break it.

In one hour, when the doors open, I will be back at Wendy’s, claiming my final Frosty.

Wish me luck!

31 thoughts on “The Wine Diet

  1. Hi Shawna. I completely identify with everything you say. I too have swapped my alcohol addiction to a sugar addiction and like you I know I can’t “moderate” although I keep on trying. I need to address this and I know I will feel so much better if I do but it’s SO hard. I’m not sure how to get started. With alcohol I could see the impact on my life and I knew I had to stop before something went really wrong (probably a DUI) and everything crumbled. With sugar it’s more subtle – I haven’t lost any weight since I stopped drinking but I haven’t gained either. I feel ok. I exercise and sleep well and my depression/anxiety is stable (my antidepressants are working and I have no plans to stop them). Yet I have this nagging feeling about my sugar intake and I don’t know what to do. Tori xx


      1. Hi Anne

        523 days !! I was hoping everything would magically have fallen into place by now. Perhaps I am being unrealistic or is that just another excuse ? I really don’t know. Tori x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve found that after 4 or 5 days of no sugar, I stop having cravings and stop thinking about it. However, if there are a lot of sweets around, like when I visit my parents’ house, I’m in trouble. Just a few bites here and there and I’m back to binging on sugar. I will look into the BBC documentary. Thank you!


    1. Tori, I am right there with you. After years of thinking sweets weren’t that bad, I started reading the occasional article on how aging it is and how it is linked to dementia. When I first quit drinking, I didn’t care how much sugar I had — anything was OK at that point, as long as stayed away from vodka. But now, almost a year and half later, I’ve got to get a grip on this thing! I wish there was a book like Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind that would convince me to really want to quit. I watched a great documentary (That Sugar Film) that’s funny but very convincing in its case against sugar and what it does to your body. Maybe give that a try. I’d love to hear what you think.
      Other than that, I can rid the house of sugar because there are no longer kids at home. So really, I’m out of excused. So today is Day 1!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There’s no sugar in wine. That’s a urban myth. Wine is very low carb. Alcohol and sugar are not the same thing in the body.
    Make a small change. See what happens.
    Deprivation is a dangerous place for a person in recovery. Tread lightly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, I’ll be damned. It’s true. That fruity-tasting wine has very little sugar (unless you’re drinking dessert wine, which tasted like cough syrup to me.) Thank you for the clarification! I’ve updated the article to reflect what you’ve said. I gave up wine in favor of Cosmos the last two years of my drinking, so that’s where I really started pounding the sugar.
      Thanks, Anne!


      1. It is very low. Like a gram per glass, compared to close to 30 in a can of Coke.

        Less than would be in broccoli.

        I think I mainly find sugar makes me feel good…it’s usually a treat and so I feel indulgent. The mind is very strong.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for the links. It’s interesting to note that this sugar addiction may be due to a serotonin deficiency rather than trying to deal with your problems by swimming in in a vat of cream. Let us know how it goes…I ate 3 muller corner puddings one after the other last night so I don’t have ANY answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I googled Muller corner puddings and they look amazing! “With a crunchy topping the whole family can enjoy!” We don’t have those anywhere around here, thank God. ; )
      You’re right about the serotonin deficiency, and I need to add walking back into the mix. I’ve been using work as an excuse not to exercise, thereby lowering my serotonin. I think you might be on to something!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I understand the sugar addiction completely! About 8 years ago I started “eating clean” which meant cutting out all simple carbs ( white pasta, bread, sugar) and subbing in nutrient dense carbs. The plan is to combine lean protein with complex carbs at every meal every 2 to 3 hours – so 6 small meals per day. I wasn’t drinking back then so at least I didn’t have the alcohol hurtle to contend with! My blood sugar stabilized eating this way so I didn’t get the sugar cravings or blood sugar crashes. Very sustainable way to eat long term. Tosca Reno does a whole series of books with recipes on Eating Clean which I highly recommend. Right now I’m not totally following through because I’m still in the early days of sobriety and the chocolate bar is currently the lesser of the 2 evils! Wishing you best of luck and looking forward to hearing about your progress!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had been eating pretty clean myself, but the sweet addiction comes back just a few cookies at a time. I have been following a really low grain diet (Grain Brain diet), but I’m not adding enough fruit and veggies. I tend to get lazy and have the same salad with garden burger every day.
      I have been looking at Tosca Reno’s site and I’m impressed! I think I may give her a try and order a book. My own sugar purge went to hell in a handbasket because as soon as an emergency of some type comes up, I reach for the muffin. This week it’s been the failing health of my father and evacuating my kids from Florida. Solution to these problems? Cheesecake!
      I’ll have to start over later this week. ; )


      1. You must have been frantic evacuating your kids from Florida…. I would be gobbling down sugar too. And also your Dad’s failing health is a tough one to deal with. I was shovelling in the sugar last week because a challenging elderly relative was staying with me for a few days (my Dad’s sister). So my weight is now a pound up for each day of her visit. But the good news is that I didn’t drink boxes of wine through her visit this year like I did last year. A few nights ago I pigged out on cake&icecream and it really made my body feel horrible and I’m also blaming it for ruining a good night’s sleep. I felt poisoned by the sugar.
        Sending huge hugs to you as you navigate the aftermath of the hurricane with your kids – I hope all is well for them – and with your Dad xo 😘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is really funny! I got a kick out of it because I’m doing the same thing! I just ran out to get a frosty while telling my husband that I really need to stop all this sugar. I had a bunch in Raleigh because my parents had a Costco-size key lime pie in their refrigerator. I ate several pieces a day, plus most of the crust. And then we celebrated my husband’s birthday last night with our evacuees, which meant MORE brownies with ice cream. And I’m eating it like I am never going to have sugar again. Ugh!
        I am avoiding the scale completely because it has nothing good to tell me. I’d say a pound a day as well for a couple of weeks. BUT you are so right — there were no mini-bottles floating around in my purse to add to the occasional diet coke. And no Cosmos with dinner. It’s all good! 💕


      3. Well, those certainly count as emergencies. My thoughts are with you and your dad. Every day, I witness the pain and difficulty of aging parents. There’s no easy answers, for sure.

        I ended up developing metabolic syndrome when I went gluten free…from too much sugar. All of the “gluten free” processed items were all carbs. It gave me diabetes and fatty liver disease. Nothing like an abnormal liver MRI to get me moving and eating cleaner. But wouldn’t you know it…a few years later and I’ve gained back 10 of the 20lbs I lost. No doubt, sugar is addictive.


  5. I hear ya sista 😂🍧🍰🍦🍪🍫!!! I have a friend who has been chugging back maple syrup straight out of the bottle to get her sugar fix hahaha. I can’t have chocolate chips in my house or I eat them by the mug full. Good luck and keep me posted 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I sometimes eat protein bars when I want a sugar fix. They aren’t “clean” because they are highly processed and they have sugar BUT…they do have protein and vitamins&minerals. Some of them taste horrible but some taste like real chocolate bars. I like some of the Power bars and a brand called Combat Crunch.


  6. Yes, I resemble all of this, lol! I used to never get dessert–I drank my carbs. Not so any more. My sweet tooth is now out of control! I clicked on your link on Hip Sobriety and took down some notes. I’ll give some suggestions a whirl.

    Liked by 1 person

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