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Thread: Trying to kick the sweets habit

  1. #1
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    Trying to kick the sweets habit

    I have what i think is a real psychological addiction to sweets; i grew up eating sweets all day long, i could eat sweets and have no other food and be happy; but i turned 50 and that the muscle i have now turns into fat; plus the slower metabolism; they recommend for women a 1500 calorie intake for the whole day!

    but there is also the part where i don't like the fact that i have to find joy in this imaterial thing; that i can't do an activity without having something sweet by my side; that i plan for what treats i am going to buy; having it be my friend and confidant; would rather be eating sweets then spending time with others etc.

    its been really hard; i haven't given it up completely; i have just two teaspoons of sugar in my coffee; but otherwise thats it; but it creeps into my mind constantly; well maybe just a small bit of bulk candy; things like that; and i really have to talk to myself and say a little bit won't be enough; you will eat the whole bag

    the weekend is coming and that will be hard; plus evenings when i want something sweet to go with listening to my books on tape; but i am trying

    i know there were others who had tried to kick the sugar addiction; how have you done; are you still sugar free
    "I 'll walk where my own nature would be leading. It vexes me to choose another guide" Emily Bronte

  2. #2
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I haven't kicked the habit. Its really one of the hardest things in my life to overcome. I say I'm a sugar addict and people laugh and say "me too".........but I'm serious. I'm an addict. I think the only way to deal with it is to never eat concentrated sweets.......but that's almost impossible. I'm okay for awhile without them and then get a little too sure of myself and think "oh.....I can handle some brownies, just this once"..........and its a disaster afterwards for a long time, until I can get it under control again.

    This winter has been extra bad with the constant snow and low temps. I think the sugar raises our serotonin.
    I'm sorry I can't give you many words of advice, since I'm struggling too. Just wanted you to know you aren't alone.
    Good luck with this struggle.

  3. #3
    Mrs-M
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    I love sweets too. A lot of people I've talked to Re: sweets tell me as they age their sweet addiction becomes more acute. That's me!!!

    I took part in Violeta's sugar-free challenge (old forum) and loved it. It was good for me to have to show restraint and discipline, but slowly (ever since that challenge) I have gone back to eating sweets again- and regularly. To be perfectly honest, I'm much happier accepting my faults and embracing my habits. Thing about sweets and me is, as long as I approach my sugar intake with recognition and in moderation- I'm happy, so that's exactly how I approach sugar now. (A little here, a little there). Never overly much, but when I do desire something I have it.

    If you like Babr, if it would help you, I'd be more than happy and willing to take part in a sugar-free challenge with you. It would do me good and I think it would be a lot of fun with you! Let me know.

  4. #4
    Senior Member leslieann's Avatar
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    I struggle with this too. I have found that having a cup of herbal tea shortly after dinner fills in the sugar gap that I feel after a meal. Also if I don't let myself get too hungry then I can cope better with the sugar cravings. If I could only eat just a bit I would, because I don't firmly believe that any food is so bad for you that a bit would be deadly (unless allergic, obviously) but I can't do it. I cannot eat ONE cookie unless that's all there is and then I end up scouring the cabinets for other sugary foods. Have been known to pile brown sugar on my plain yogurt; to melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together and eat until I feel sick; other binge-type behaviours. None of this behaviour happens when I avoid concentrated sources of sugar and when I am eating a diet with enough calories and enough protein.

    So I'd jump on the bandwagon with you, babr, and Mrs. M, if you wanted to treat it as a group challenge.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Its too scary for me to consider a sugar-free challenge.
    I honestly think that some of us are triggered in a bad way with sugar. I think we put out too much insulin, and that makes us hungry.....so we keep eating.
    What's weird about me is........I'm hungrier AFTER I eat, than before!
    I was seeing a counselor once (not for the eating problem), but he happened to be mostly a drug addiction counselor. He said I was a sugar addict and had to treat it like any other addiction, and stay completely away from it. I agree with him.
    If you can eat sweets sometimes in moderation, then you're lucky. I think for some of us its just impossible. I'm not trying to give up any personal responsibility here.......its just that I've dealt with this for a lifetime and really feel its in large part a physical/biochemical thing. I'm sure Dr. Phil would disagree. haha
    But its true that so much emotionality can be involved in it too.

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    It might seem like a small thing but when I have the urge for sweets chewing a stick of sugar free gum helps me alot.

  7. #7
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    I can only keep it out of the house. Sometimes I find myself rummaging for sweet things and finding nothing. I have felt really desperate. Lately I have had lemon ginger tea and it is so good. The ginger must be talking with the "sweet" taste buds.

    I also find that I cannot eat an entire bar of 70% chocolate at one time. One square is strong enough to get the flavor and not want more.

    When we go out, I might get one cookie and usually we share. No cakes, pies, etc. After this many years, I know they won't taste as good as they look and the ones that are good are prohibitively expensive. I am pretty frugal. Would never buy a bag of Oreos because they would be gone in no more than 3 days.

  8. #8
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    I'm that way too sweetana......I just can't bring anything into the house. I've gone through so many things.....ice cream, cookies, graham crackers, chocolate chips. I just can't have any more than 1 serving of something in the house, or the entire thing becomes 1 serving. You're right about the 70+% chocolate. Its not something I want to overdose on!
    I was actually doing better for the last couple of days, but today when I was shopping, I bought a package of those Pepperidge Farm cookies. There's 8 of them in there. I planned on eating 2 a day. Well, there's 3 left now.
    I've found if I can go 3-4 days without sugar, then the intense cravings subside. But then I slowly think I can handle something and it starts all over again.
    Keeping it out of the house is a good approach. And we live 10 miles from the closest store, so that helps.
    I had the naive notion that once my hormones were gone, things would settle down. But they've gotten worse. But I'm on an antidepressant, and I'm thinking that might make it worse.
    Some people say that the glucola that you have to drink for a glucose tolerance test is awful. Well.....I loved it!

    Fortunately, I love veggies and eat alot of them. But that danged sugar is a problem.

  9. #9
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    There is quite a body of evidence that suggests it's not precisely a psychological addiction, although of course if you associate sweets with happiness and feeling good there's going to be a bit of that as well.

    The way I understand it, here's what might be going on: the spikes of blood sugar that happen when you eat a lot of refined carbs at once eventually damage your cells. Insulin has a much harder time "opening the cell doors" to let the sugar energy in (insulin resistance, or "metabolic syndrome"). Sugar can't stay in the blood, so it winds up being converted to fat instead. So at the same time you're gaining weight, you have less energy and you're damn hungry; your cells are clamoring for a high energy boost: SUGAR! Send Sugar! Send Chocolate! Send Donuts and macaroni! We're starving and we need some easy-energy right now! It might be apocryphal, but I have read that they actually manipulated glucose uptake in mice to the point where they were fat - and still starved to death. While overweight.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that sugar and starch cravings are definitely associated with insulin resistance, and it's not some moral or psychological weakness, it may be your muscle cells going hungry and begging pitifully about it while your fat cells get all the food.
    Last edited by kib; 2-10-11 at 8:15pm.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Anne Lee's Avatar
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    I know that you read that somewhere Kib, but I'd really like to see the original research on that.

    Anyway, the No S Diet (No Sweets, No Snacks, No Seconds Except for (sometimes) on Days That Begin with S) works for me, probably because you eat a reasonable amount of food three times a day and that's it. I used to have an incredible sweet tooth and now I don't. A box of thin mints and samoa Girl Scout cookies sat on my desk today and I didn't notice them.

    On No S, you don't give up sugar, you give up sweets except for treats on Sat. Sun. and special days, i.e. holidays. You also don't have to count anything. There are no officially banned foods. There are no foods that MUST be consumed before all others. You can eat dinner anywhere with anybody and not have to forbid yourself a dinner someone slaved over because it's not on your diet. So even though technically you can eat fast food three times a day (and maybe some do, boomeranging from years of self denial) I don't hear a lot of people doing that.

    It's actually a way of eating that works well Michael Pollan's rule: Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much. No S is very old school. Mrs M, I think you would get a kick out of it. Practical, old fashioned, the Way Grandma Used To... it sounds right up your alley.

    www.nosdiet.com

    I'm on the forum over there. I think you'll be able to find me.
    Formerly known as Blithe Morning II

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