Breaking the sugar addiction - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 14 Old 03-02-2008, 10:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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....As I sit here eating PB M&Ms....

You all seem to eat so well. I manage for a good part of the day or week and then... sugar issues. How do you break the cycle? What's the best way? I'm just so sick of this cycle. I don't even know WHY I eat it because I always feel crappy when I do.

mom to one glorious sweetpea born 10/18/2007.

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#2 of 14 Old 03-02-2008, 10:12 PM
 
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Mmmmm, PB M&Ms....

I went cold turkey, it's the only way to go, IMO. I've been doing really well for over 2 months now without falling off the wagon.

For the first month, we cut out ALL sweets. AFter a month, I started allowing occasional use of raw honey, real organic maple syrup & agave nectar. I'm looking for some palm sugar (the real stuff) because I'd love to use it in my Thai dishes.

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#3 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 02:54 AM
 
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Originally Posted by blueridgewoman View Post
....As I sit here eating PB M&Ms....

You all seem to eat so well. I manage for a good part of the day or week and then... sugar issues. How do you break the cycle? What's the best way? I'm just so sick of this cycle. I don't even know WHY I eat it because I always feel crappy when I do.
Sounds just like me. Wish I had the answer . . .if you figure it out, be sure to let me in on the secret

Amy
mama to big brother Mason (Jan '05) and the littles, Adam and Holden (May '10)
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#4 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 03:15 AM
 
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I struggle with the same issue. I'm a huge sugar addict who survived one semester of school on cookie dough and Coke. Since DD was born, I have just gorged on raisins (seriously, about a pound or more per week) and maple syrup in my oatmeal. I still crave Coke and candy, but usually restrain myself.

I finally quit eating raisins about a week ago. The other night I had a sugar craving and broke into a bag of brown sugar, which is something I used to do a lot of in the past. For the first time, it tasted terrible to me.

I am beginning to see that the less sugar I have, the less I crave it. So I agree that cold turkey is the way to go.

Now if only I could make oatmeal palatable without maple syrup or raisins . . . .
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#5 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 03:29 AM
 
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I'll quote myself from the sugar-free thread... if you go back and dig through older SF threads, I say much the same thing every time.

Quote:
Really it'll take at least 2 weeks to detox the sugar from your system and stop the cravings. In that time frame, it's best to avoid ALL forms of sugar. Honey, maple, agave, dried fruit. Eat fresh/frozen fruit, use molasses, and resort to stevia or splenda or whatever you're comfortable with if you must (but only as a last resort). After 2 weeks of detox, you can usually add honey and dried fruit back in slowly. But work on portion control. Maple syrup can cause cravings on it's own, so it's best to wait on that until you feel you're on a firm SF footing.

Yes, it is difficult at first. But honestly, if you're being offered something sweet, what I have found to be the most effective way of dealing with it is to say to the person offering "I can't have sugar". Not "no thank you", not "I really shouldn't" or "I'm on a diet"... frame it as an absolute, and if necessary ask them to not offer them to you. And if you're sitting at a table with brownies in front of you, ask that they be moved to another position so you don't have to look at them. Most people are fairly reasonable about that. I've also found that saying it out loud ("can't have sugar" or even "can you put those down there") really helps with accountability, because now everyone knows that you shouldn't be eating it, and it's embarrassing to eat it in front of everyone when they know you shouldn't be.

Also, there are ways to trick your mind into thinking something is sweet. Most of us associate certain flavors with sweet, so by using those flavors our minds will think something is sweeter than it really is. For most people, those flavors include vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom. Some fresh cream whipped up with a little vanilla and a sprinkling of cinnamon served over some sweet fruit (pears, bananas, frozen cherries, etc.) can feel sweet without feeding the cravings overmuch.
I've been more or less SF for almost a year now... about 10 months. I can have a bite now and then and remember why I stopped eating it, because it does trigger me. But because I am so much healthier now in my relationship with sugar, a single bite allows me to see the effects rather than sending me into a spiral.

There is a current SF thread in the Nutrition board, if you'd like some support.

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#6 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 09:50 AM
 
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ITA, and thanks for that recap, Cristeen!

The day after Christmas I went sugar-free. I went cold turkey, and allowed no sweet thing at all for the first 3-4 weeks (dried fruit, honey, etc.). Now I allow something sweetened with a natural, whole sweetener on special days (Holy Days, birthdays...), using half the called for amount.

The absolute key for me that shored up my resolve (b/c the resolve was always there, but failed every time) was adding oodles of natural fats (butter, coconut oil, cream, whole milk...) and avoiding grains during those weeks. For me, grains trigger sugar cravings, especially white, and even whole grains. Unless they're soaked, sprouted, or soured, grains trigger cravings for me. Some people get them even with properly prepared grains. I never thought I had a grain problem till I dropped them along with sugar for those weeks. Then, as soon as I had one bite of a white bun, I could think of nothing else but eating the next bite, till it was all gone. Then suddenly I found myself thinking of how I was going to get sweets, and feeling giddy at the thought of having them. Fortunately, I could finally recognize what was going on (addiction) and know how to deal with it (cut out all grains and natural sweeteners again for a few days to a week).

I fall still. Yesterday I had a bite of ice cream which turned into half a carton. But I'm still an addict and have to remember to act like one - I tell myself over and over again that it's no more reasonable for me to have "just one bite" of a sugared food/drink than it is for a heroin addict to have "just a bit" of his fix. So when I fall, I just pick myself up and go no grains or natural sweeteners for a week again. (B/c if I don't, the next day I'll have "just a little" of this. And then the next. And then the next. Until I'm back in the spiral again.) Now I know how to stop the downward spiral before I fall in too deeply.

Good luck!!!
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#7 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tubulidentata2 View Post
Now if only I could make oatmeal palatable without maple syrup or raisins . . . .
I've been off oatmeal for a while, but I found that the following helped me have it without sweetener (or at least much sweetener): a) Letting it get really sour when soaking it. I don't know why this is the case, but the sour taste of fermentation really diminishes the need for sweets for me. b) Adding peanut butter and a little salt. c) Adding LOTS of cream.

You might try one or more of these. . . If you're still missing the raisins, maybe nuts would do? Or fresh fruit rather than dried?
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#8 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tubulidentata2 View Post
Now if only I could make oatmeal palatable without maple syrup or raisins . . . .
The carbs in the oatmeal could trigger sugar cravings, even if the oatmeal isnt' sweetened at all. You might be better off skipping oatmeal entirely until you have the sugar cravings under control.

Ruth, single mommy to 3 quasi-adults
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#9 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 11:59 AM
 
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I'm speaking only for myself, but soaked oatmeal doesn't trigger cravings for me (baked oatmeal does!!!). Thank Heavens. It's our weekday breakfast every day. I soak steel-cut 1:2 in milk (w/ the spoonful of yogurt or whey thrown in), then after cooking, add frozen blueberries or mixed berries. Then I add more milk till it's the consistency I want. That's all the sweet we need, and I have a MAJOR sweet tooth. The combination of fat (milk), creaminess, and berries provides just what I need, and leaves us all satisfied till well after noon (whether we eat it at 6 like dh or 8 like the rest of us).

I'm so grateful I can have the oatmeal, but I'm certain that others will do better without it at all.
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#10 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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lots of kombucha
tons of coconut oil
sauerkraut or kimchi or other fermented veg
cut out grains/limit fruits
fat, fat, fat and more fat

i was consuming at least 1/2 c. coconut oil at one time in smoothies. i find i now crave fermented and salty things rather than sweet. i can't stand fruit right now. i even made homemade raw ice cream yesterday with just a little organic sugar and honey and it tasted like real store bought ice cream and my husband and son loved it, but i could only have a bite b/c it was too sweet. i have absolutely no desire whatsoever for sugar or anything sweet these days. i even get the darkest chocolate i can (80%) and can only eat a little at a time.
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#11 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 06:59 PM
 
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i have been off sugar for nearly 2 years now. before that i was a total sugar addict for me it was a serious addiction affecting my mental and emotional health. i tried to go cold turkey but i went crazy - i was a nightmare to be around it was horrible. i had to take it slowly. i followed kathleen desmaisons, 'sugar addict recovery programme' it was amazing it was so easy to cut the sugar because it is a step process. there is also loads of support in yahoo groups which was so helpful. she has a website called 'radiant recovery' and her first book is 'potatoes not prozac'.

i don't follow the plan now because i feel it served its purpose in getting me off sugar. due to gut problems i needed to cut out all carbs (except fruit and veg) so i went grain and starch free and a huge part of desmaisons plan is to have protein with a complex carb like brown rice etc. however it was a huge part of my healing journey, i'm totally grateful to her for getting me off the sugar because i don't think i'd have got off it without it. i don't crave sugar in any form these days, i'm totally free of that and it feels so great! i know that many people continue to follow her programme for life and believe that if they don't they might 'relapse'. once off sugar the plan advises that all sweetners should never be eaten honey, agave, maple syrup etc. it is all about brain chemistry and how sugar changes the brain chemistry by releasing beta endorphin (she says that sugar does the same thing in the brain that heroin does) she explains all this in her books - i found it facinating! although some of the suggestions are not TF you could certainly follow the plan using TF foods (i guess you would have to soak the grains if you are trying to do it more TF) one thing the plan also helped me with was it got me cooking again so it certainly was a huge part of my move to TF.

as i'm not doing the sugar addicts plan now and am following another healing diet i've just started to eat a little raw honey (before that i would only eat non sweet fruits), it hasn't set me up for any cravings and mostly i think that its too sweet and sickly!
for me going slow really worked i've not touched sugar since and i have no desire to ever touch it again. wow just writing this has made me realise how fantastic it is to be free from this addiction. hope this helps in someway if only to tell you that i know how hard it is to cut it out.
i hope you find the right way for you to give it up. good luck!

dd 07/07/03 : ds born 07/09/09 :
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#12 of 14 Old 03-03-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cherryblossom View Post
lots of kombucha
tons of coconut oil
sauerkraut or kimchi or other fermented veg
cut out grains/limit fruits
fat, fat, fat and more fat

i was consuming at least 1/2 c. coconut oil at one time in smoothies. i find i now crave fermented and salty things rather than sweet. i can't stand fruit right now. i even made homemade raw ice cream yesterday with just a little organic sugar and honey and it tasted like real store bought ice cream and my husband and son loved it, but i could only have a bite b/c it was too sweet. i have absolutely no desire whatsoever for sugar or anything sweet these days. i even get the darkest chocolate i can (80%) and can only eat a little at a time.
I could have written this post myself except for the EVCO amount. I add it to our green smoothies but only about 1/3 of cup to feed us all.
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#13 of 14 Old 03-04-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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I've been struggling with this one for years. In addition to several of the suggestions above (including avoiding grains as well and including more fats in the diet), the thing that put me over the top was to take a combination of a strong protease (protein breaking-downing) enzyme along with oil of oregano on an empty stomach 1-2 times per day. I've discovered that I have a chronic yeast overgrowth that fuels my need for sugar, and when I simply go cold turkey on the sugar, I get die off symptoms (such as dizziness and severe headaches) from hell. Adding the enzyme/oil of oregano really helped stave this off--it was the best I have felt in years (and then I got pregnant, ate sugar over the holidays, and am now back to square one!). There is good info on this issue in the healing the gut stuff on the health and healing forum.
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#14 of 14 Old 07-22-2008, 11:32 PM
 
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I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to share my experience with getting off sugar. I was also a sugar addict for a simple reason - I am allergic to it.
What really helped me and still helps me when getting of sugar or when I do eat sugar and get the low blood sugar levels....I carry around a homeopathic remedy made out of white sugar called Saccharum officinale 6X. I bought a big bottle of it and every time I get the feeling of sugar cravings or the shaking and dizziness after eating sugar I pop one or two pills into my mouth and within one minute all the negative feelings are gone. It's safe and cheap way how to get your addiction under control.

http://www.homeopathyworks.com/jshop...d=7159&xSec=73
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