Sugar, Diets and Early Sobriety

Let’s Talk About Sugar, Diets and Early Sobriety

The topic of sugar comes up all the time with women who are trying to stop drinking because they’re fearful of replacing an overconsumption of alcohol with food.

Common advice in early sobriety is to let go of your ‘food rules’, go ahead and eat the Peanut M&Ms, have dessert and don’t get too hungry. 

But a lot of women resist this advice.

Instead they try to combine their efforts to stop drinking with a new eating program or diet, only to find in a few weeks that they’ve gone back to drinking and are starting the whole process again. 

Dieting in early sobriety can sabotage your efforts to stop drinking.

  1. Hunger is a huge trigger to drink.
  2. Alcohol has a lot of sugar in it, so you’re going to crave sugar. You don’t want those sugar cravings to lead you back to drinking.
  3. You need to change your established ‘cue, craving, response + reward’ habit loop (where drinking is your primary reward). It’s OK (and often helpful) to have some of your new rewards be food.

There are also other reasons to stay away from dieting and I’ve got the perfect guest to talk about it all. 

Ingrid Michelsen Miller is a Diet Recovery and Weight-Neutral Life Coach who helps women find freedom from binging and weight-cycling. 

Ingrid was one of the first friends I met in early sobriety and we quit drinking just 60 days apart. 

Over the last 5 years we’ve navigated life without alcohol together (and the day this episode goes live, April 15th, 2021, is Ingrid’s 5 Year Soberversary!) 

In this episode, Ingrid and I dig into:

  • Diet Culture: what it is, how it was created and what it does to us
  • The disordered relationship many women have with food, dieting and their bodies
  • Why it’s common to fear gaining weight if you stop restricting food when you’re quitting drinking
  • Why you should let go of food rules in early sobriety 
  • The reason that trying to make our bodies smaller is counterproductive  
  • Health At Every Size, medical weight stigma, and the total liberation that comes from living outside of Diet (and Drinking) Culture

About Ingrid Michelsen Miller

Ingrid got sober five years ago and – as happens with lots of us – she discovered that sobriety was really just the beginning. 

In early sobriety Ingrid was very quickly forced to confront her disordered relationship with food, dieting and her body, and the fact that she was being told to “eat anything she wants, just don’t drink” didn’t help matters at all. But, she did what she was told and ate her way through early sobriety, all the time planning to diet again as soon as she felt solidly sober. But something changed in her after eating-all-the-foods to stay sober– she was no longer binging. 

She had unintentionally trained her body that no foods were off limits, so she no longer had crazy cravings, nor was eating certain foods delivering the ‘high’ she once felt when she went off her diet. 

Ingrid argues that we can’t be “addicted” to foods, and that the true addiction is to the dieting cycle (restriction gives us the illusion of control, and inevitably leads to the ‘high’ of eating the restricted foods). 

Resources mentioned in the episode:

The first Hello Someday Podcast Episode with Ingrid: How to Find Friends In Sobriety

Sandra Aamodt: Why dieting doesn’t usually work

HAES Health Sheets: Welcome

Podcast — Christy Harrison – Intuitive Eating Dietitian, Anti-Diet Author, & Health at Every Size Advocate – Food Psych Programs

Isabel Foxen Duke Presents Stop Fighting Food

Burnout by Emily and Amelia Nagoski

Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski

Connect with Ingrid Michelsen Miller

Find out more information about Ingrid and the work she does, head over to https://takeupspace.coach

Have questions for Ingrid, contact her at [email protected]

Follow Ingrid on Instagram @takeupspace.coach

Sign up for Ingrid’s FREE workshop where she will be  sharing everything she knows (and learned the hard way) about the science and experience of managing your relationship to food (sugar, in particular) in early sobriety.

Thursday, April 29, 2021 5:00 PM  5:45 PM

Sugar, Diets and Early Sobriety – Free Workshop: https://takeupspace.coach/workshops

Want more support, resources and tools to help you go alcohol-free?

You can Drink Less + Live More today with The Sobriety Starter Kit.

It’s the private, on-demand coaching course you need to break out of the drinking cycle – without white-knuckling it or hating the process.

Grab the  Free Sober Girls Guide To Quitting Drinking, 30 Tips For Your First 30 Days

Connect with Casey

Find out more about Casey and her coaching programs, head over to her website, www.hellosomedaycoaching.com

Take a screenshot of your favorite episode, post it on your Instagram and tag me @caseymdavidson and tell me your biggest takeaway!


The Hello Someday Podcast helps busy and successful women build a life they love without alcohol. Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life coach and creator of The Sober Girl’s Guide to Quitting Drinking, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

Whether you know you want to stop drinking and live an alcohol free life, are sober curious, or are in recovery this podcast is for you.

In each episode Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more. 

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free Sober Girl’s Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode.

I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in and read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!




Download a Transcript

30 Tips To Get You Through The First 30 Days.

Get the FREE Sober Girl's Guide


You're In! Check Your Email For the Guide.