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Sugar addiction

post #1 of 143
Thread Starter 

Is there already a thread for this?  I totally have a problem with this and am not sure what the next step should be...DS is now at an age where I can no longer hide my sugar and chocolate. :(  And I don't want him following in my footsteps.

 

I would love to hear from others who have overcome sugar issues.

post #2 of 143

Subbing! I'm there with you! And it has to be SUGAR. Alternative sweeteners (honey for example) don't satisfy me.

post #3 of 143

lurk.gif. I sooo need help with this too.

post #4 of 143
Thread Starter 

So glad to hear I am not alone.

 

I have been following intuitive eating for the last year and a half.  (A great book if you haven't read it.)  I basically gave up the dieting I had been doing for the last 25 years.  And it has been going phenomenally well.  Except for the sugar.

 

I literally can't stop myself in the afternoons when I start eating it.  And when I can't have it, and then get it, I physically feel it in my system, calming and numbing me.  I know that sounds weird, but I am realizing it is addiction plain and simple and I need to restrict my access to it.

 

From the little I have researched, it is recommended to keep your blood sugar stable by eating low Glycemic index foods like proteins.  But sugar is my one vice...it isn't going to be pretty.  :(

post #5 of 143

I was told by my midwife that sugar craving is a result of a lack of sufficient protein during pregnancy. I would think it is the same afterward.

Also, A great resource for nutritional advice i have used during pregnancy and into breastfeeding is the book "Real Food for Mother and Baby" by Nina Planck.

post #6 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by vansiemom View Post

I was told by my midwife that sugar craving is a result of a lack of sufficient protein during pregnancy. I would think it is the same afterward.

Also, A great resource for nutritional advice i have used during pregnancy and into breastfeeding is the book "Real Food for Mother and Baby" by Nina Planck.



See, I eat a lot of protein (meats and nuts) throughout the day. It really is just a need for sugar. I get, well, bitchy if my needs are denied and have been known to eat spoonfuls of the stuff...

post #7 of 143

I'm here with you too, I have a terrible sugar addiction :(  I have kicked it before (during pregnancy) but going cold turkey (no sugar whatsoever, no fruit even...) but I don't really feel like I have the willpower for that right now :(  

 

Anybody out there with hints about reducing or kicking the sugar habit?

 

 

?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #8 of 143

hmmm..... I too am addicted to the sugar. It feels like a physical need after a meal. And, well, here's what I've been doing: When I have my midday urge to eat something sweet, I tell myself I can have it and I will. But FIRST I will have a cup of cleansing tea. My sister (who's a nutritionist and herbalist) suggested green tea but since it's got caffeine and I'm breastfeeding, she made me a mix with milky oat tops, nettle, dandelion leaf and_________. While this technique does not stop me from eating the sugar, it gives me the opportunity to think about it before stuffing my face mindlessly (which always means I eat more and don't necessarily enjoy it either). Also the cup of tea takes up some room in my belly so that when I DO eat the sugar, I tend to eat less. Sometimes the sugar urge has actually gone away by the time I finish my tea. When I do eat the treat, I concentrate on being mindful and really enjoy every bite. It's so much more satisfying this way and also, I notice, I tend to need less.

 

Trying to quit cold turkey never works. I psyche myself out and feel like I am depriving myself which backfires and I end up eating more later. This addition of an element rather than subtraction works better on a psychological level for me. And physically, I am doing something good for myself before indulging in the sugar which softens the impact somewhat.

 

Hope this helps a little. I know it's not a complete solution but I feel it has set me on a healthier path with it.

post #9 of 143

This is a bit OT, but when you guys say 'sugar', do you mean sweets / candy / sugary stuff like juices, or the actual sugar, the one you'd be putting in your tea?

post #10 of 143

I used to have a pretty terrible sugar addiction, but I'd say it's well and truly beaten.  And it's amazing what a physical/chemical addiction it is.

 

For me, the only think that worked was cold turkey.  (And it doesn't have to be "I can never again have sugar." I can eat it now in small amounts without becoming re-addicted (though I occasionally suffer mild withdrawal after too much indulgence,), without NEEDING to eat it. I can easily say no, and sometimes I can say "no more")   It takes a huge amount of willpower to stop cold turkey, and it also takes setting yourself up for success.  You need to throw out (or donate, or give to your colleagues or in some way or another remove from your house, car, office, purse, etc, from your possession) any and all sweets.  I was able to quit while still having a bag of sugar in my house for DP to make kombucha with, and other baking supplies, because I never bake sweet things except birthday cakes on birthdays.  The goal of removing sugar is to make in inconvenient to get your fix, and give you time to eat something else and remember that you don't want to eat sugar, and let your willpower kick in.  For some people, who love to just whip up a batch of cookies, having baking ingredients in the house is not safe.  For me, since I haven't made cookies in years and years, because I just never even think to, or have the ingredients on hand, or really want to (I'm not really a baker), it was ok.

 

Some people also try to not eat fruit or natural sweeteners in this period, but I found that I was fine with just cutting out refined sweeteners.  I stopped eating brown sugar, white sugar, corn syrup and it's derivatives, artificial sweeteners, and any other "chemical sweeteners". I continued to use maple syrup, honey, palm sugar, black strap molasses, and fresh fruit.  I didn't restrict my consumption of natural sweeteners, which as first was high, but as I recovered from addiction, decreased to very infrequent.

 

You will feel terrible for at least the first week or so, as your body goes through withdrawal, and crave sugar so much worse than you did before.  But after a week or so, it starts to get better.  It took about a year before eating dessert two days in row would not cause me to go through a withdrawal again, but never as bad as the first.  I started having sugar on special occaisions like birthdays (family birthdays, not for instance, your kids friends birthdays every few weeks, but birthdays a couple times a year) after about a month or two, and found that dessert on one day (but not two) didn't cause withdrawal again.

 

I recommend when the really strong cravings hit, that you eat a little peanut butter mixed with coconut oil and raisins or other dried unsweetened fruit.  It tastes sweet, like a dessert, without actually having very much sugar at all, but it helps meet the need.  That and cream and fruit helped me a lot, and when I first started, I had one or the other every night after dinner.  (Not whipped cream, because that you eat and miss the sugar, but unwhipped cream is rich and sweet.

 

In my experience, sugar cravings are a combination of three things: a physical, emotional and chemical addiction, a need for protein, and a need for healthy fats (coconut oil, olive oil, grass-fed butter, fatty fish, etc.)  Lean protein doesn't help with sugar cravings but rich protein with healthy fats does.  That's why peanut butter and coconut oil together help.

 

One of the biggest helps for me was getting "caught up" on my fats.  I had eaten an extremely lean diet all my life, and had desperately craved fats.  When I started cutting out sugar, and eating my fill of healthy nutrient dense fats, I found it helped with the sugar cravings.  As my body slowed it's fat cravings and got enough fat, the sugar cravings also slowed.  That process for the most part took about a year (wrt sugar. wrt fat, I'm still craving it somewhat, though now, 2 years later, my fat cravings/consumption are returning to a more normal consumption.)

 

I hope that helps. I'm happy to answer any questions I can about my expierience recovering from sugar addiction.  It is so worth it. I feel so much better, and am so much healthier.  I still enjoy sweets now and then, but I can eat them without craving them, and want less of them, and naturally sweet foods like good fresh carrots, seasonal fruit, and honey taste incredibly sweet to me, because my tastebuds are no longer deadened by refined sweetners.  I still sometimes crave something sweet on my period, but some honeyed toast, or seasonal fruit is enough.

post #11 of 143

I struggle with sugar and find that I really have to cut it out completely for a while to get it under control once I've been spiraling down.  I'm currently doing a 3 week total elimination diet, which is really good for my sugar issues. I had been doing well last year but got tripped up once Halloween came and then it was a piece of candy a day (which was then replaced with Christmas candy).  Once I get going on having something once a day, it's hard for me to stop.  At the beginning of January, I was eating chocolate chips out of the bag--a couple handfuls every day.  Going cold turkey for some period of time helps "reset" me. I'm finding that the elimination diet is good because I'm also cutting out alcohol and all refined grains (we're already gluten-free in our house), and those are partners with sugar in my life. I've got another week left and think that I'll be in a much better place when I finish.  I'm going to add in everything else first before trying sugar again so it'll be about a month total that I'll be completely off it this time and going to try to keep it to a single sweet per week.  It's sooooo hard---you are not alone!
 

post #12 of 143

This is an interesting thread to watch - SO few people talk about sugar this way.  I had it kicked for about a year and a half, along with several other foods I was avoiding.  Then last fall I fell back into it and haven't recovered.  Sugar hurts me and makes me mean I NEED TO RECOVER!!  And I am struggling to get back to it.  I agree about the need for fat - plenty of healthy fat is very important for success.  I ate a TON of nuts and seeds, avocados and even fatty meat (esp chicken) and that helped a lot.  Really the amount of fat I ate would scare most people yet I was so skinny people were truly concerned for my health.  I was at my lowest weight since I was 12.  Weight has never been an issue for me and I've never been afraid it would be, but a lot of people thought I was starving myself.  I just have beanpole genes and eating lots of vegetables accentuated that.  Ironically, after adding sugar and wheat back into my diet I put on 10lbs in ONE WEEK.  People were complimenting me on looking so healthy, I was very irritated.  They had no clue I was now eating almost 0 veggies and lots of chocolate.  It was not the healthy fat I'd been packing down and had nothing to show for, for the past year and a half.

Before that I was only eating Fruits and veggies, meat, rice, nuts and seeds.  Wheat is so filling, you have to eat a LOT of vegetables and protein to be satisfied, and many times during the day, it is a lot of work.

ANYWAY - the thing that has helped me through in the past is whenever I wanted sugar, I would always have almonds and raisins in the cupboards and have a handful or two of that - similar to Magalet's suggestion of peanut butter coconut oil and fruit.  I made many trips to the cupboard in a day at first.  I also agree it's really bad for about 2 weeks and then it gets MUCH easier.  Now I'm trying to gear myself up for the effort to enter my own lonely world of food again.  It's like you enter a portal - your whole world changes in ways, so many problems that plagued me my whole life simply disappeared once I let go of sugar and the other foods that hurt my body, but it is lonely and can create rifts in relationships if you are not understanding of others failure to comprehend what is going on.  That was my problem.  I think that more than anything dragged me back down.

When I first launched into the healthier way of eating, I utilized an elimination diet, chiropractic and acupuncture with a Naturopath and an amazing Chiropractor.  All were very helpful in me being able to get going the way I was.  Recently I had an allergy panel done and found I'm allergic to some fruits and veggies I never would've guessed that I ate ALL the time, and that has been helpful.

Mostly I'm hanging out here now to discover the community in admitted sugar addicts.  Thank you for your posts and stories.

post #13 of 143

I've been working on quitting sugar for 2 years now.  It's a lot more under control than it used to be, but still not where I want to be.  I do best when I wean myself.  I'll start by narrowing the window when I can have sweets.  I'll usually start by having 2 tsp of sugar in my ice tea during mid-morning and then either another cup of tea in the late afternoon or a small piece of dark chocolate after dinner.  That usually keeps me from getting headaches and withdrawal problems. 

 

My problem is being consistant.  I have yet to make it past a week without sugar.  There's something about that 1 week mark where I start feeling really deprived and my will weakens. 

 

post #14 of 143

This thread has given me the strength to not only ADMIT that I have a sugar problem (DoulaReece hit it when she said no one talks about sugar like this! If you tell someone you have a sugar addiction they're going to laugh and say, "me too" while offering you candy) but to get me to say, "Let's kick this!" It's cool that Lent is coming up...I think I'm going to give up processed sugar for Lent. If I can go 40days I can totally kick it.

post #15 of 143

subbing...

post #16 of 143
Thread Starter 

I am so glad to hear so much feedback on this!  You are right when you say people would just laugh at the idea of a sugar addiction.  Everyone except my husband, that is, who has seen me make frosting and eat it all.  Or suspects but says nothing about the fact that we buy bags of chocolate chips every other day...

 

But I have hit rock bottom.  I started making a batch of brownies in the afternoon, and eating the whole thing.  (That is a cup of sugar, and a stick of butter.)  The other day DS told me he just wanted brownies for lunch.  Ugg.  I do not want him on this stuff like I was raised.  I have to set a better example.

 

But I am slowly weaning myself.  It sounds terrible, but I am proud of going without the "hard stuff" this week, for me that is chocolate and candy.  We still have fig newmans and shortbread in the house.  My goal is that when those are gone, I will only allow honey (in my tea in the morning) and fruit (juice included.)  I will see how I do with that for awhile.

 

Part of what is making it so hard for me, I think, is the fact that I am tandem nursing and not eating that well, so the sugar cravings are intense.  I am also sleep deprived from tandem nursing all night...but that is another post!

 

Thanks for the support!

post #17 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaisy View Post

I am so glad to hear so much feedback on this!  You are right when you say people would just laugh at the idea of a sugar addiction.  Everyone except my husband, that is, who has seen me make frosting and eat it all.  Or suspects but says nothing about the fact that we buy bags of chocolate chips every other day...


You actually MAKE the frosting? I buy the container and eat it right from the tub in spoonfuls.

post #18 of 143
Thread Starter 

It isn't something I am proud of.  bag.gif  I have warped my husband's idea of women, I think.  We were watching a movie once and an upset women headed to the kitchen and pulled a bowl or something out of the cupboard.  My husband said, "Oh lady, it isn't worth making frosting over!"  I think he truly believes this is the normal reaction for a woman. 

post #19 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdaisy View Post

It isn't something I am proud of.  bag.gif  I have warped my husband's idea of women, I think.  We were watching a movie once and an upset women headed to the kitchen and pulled a bowl or something out of the cupboard.  My husband said, "Oh lady, it isn't worth making frosting over!"  I think he truly believes this is the normal reaction for a woman. 



I hope I didn't make you feel bad!!! I didn't mean to! It's refreshing to find someone else with an unhealthy frosting habit.

post #20 of 143

I so understand KDaisy about being able to eat an entire batch of brownies. Oh, and sometimes when we have really good chocolate in the house it's like all I can think of ...until I'm mindlessly eating it all !! So I'm curious... when you guys say eating more healthy fat instead of sugar helped with your addiction...did it make you gain weight? I'm already over weight and I don't want to add on more by eating more fats to curb the sugar addiction, kwim

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