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Sugar Addict Needs Help

(169 Posts)
TeaCupCrazy Mon 18-Mar-13 18:03:44

I am addicted to sugar...chocolate, biscuits, sweets anythings thats got sugar in it. I have always had a sweet tooth but since starting calorie counting i am seriously binging on the stuff. It got much worse when i quit smoking a month and half ago - i was substituting cigarettes with chocolate, cake etc but i managed to cut down again then bam!! i start a diet now and here i am stuffing my face with cake sad.

Any hints/tips on how to beat this would be much appreciated.

speedyboots Mon 18-Mar-13 18:15:45

I know aspartame is the work of the devil etc but if you really need a sugary taste, sugar-free chewing gum or diet coke can help. Longer term you probably need to change eating habits/examine behaviour patterns and so on, but it might help you in the short run and stop you feeling down on yourself too. Speaking as a sugar junkie by the way.

TeaCupCrazy Mon 18-Mar-13 18:24:29

speedyboots i think it is going to take me looking seriously at my eating patterns/behaviour to stop. I stopped drinking diet coke 3 weeks ago as i was drinking up to 5 cans a day. Will try sugar free chewing-gum as a replacement - has to better than 5 Oreos in one go blush.

Carrot sticks etc ready cut up or popcorn so when you want to reach for the choc you get that instead?

Mind you I am heading foe the jumbo bag of mini eggs after the dc are asleep. Run out of carrots you see....

TeaCupCrazy Mon 18-Mar-13 18:37:01

Purplehonesty i would love to say i could eat carrot sticks instead but i just don't have the willpower...the biscuits always win. And i just love mini eggs smile.
Stopping smoking was a easy for me - a piece of cake i might say - compared to giving up biscuits and chocolate!

Bonners Mon 18-Mar-13 18:37:17

I'm the same. My behavior is the same as an addicts. I always promise myself "tomorrow" and then proceed to scarf down a kit Kat chunky with my morning cup of tea.
I've heard that l-glutamine supplements are supposed to help. Have some in cupboard, still can't quite commit to it.
Aspartame and the like stimulate the same bits of our brain that deal with sugar so the physiological response is similar to that with sugar so it's not a solution to kick the cravings.
I think I have to approach it just like quitting smoking and go cold turkey. Anyone out there done that and how long did it last?

TeaCupCrazy Mon 18-Mar-13 18:45:51

Bonners i agree cold turkey will be the only way i can stop. If only i can summon the willpower to actually commit. Im a 'will do it tomorrow' person too, then on the day the craving takes over and a toffee crisp later i think what the hell its too late today i will stop tomorrow.

Would love to hear from someone who has managed.

Xenia Mon 18-Mar-13 19:34:39

Perhaps do it gradually. The work of Kathleen des Maisons is good on the topic.

ZolaBuddleia Mon 18-Mar-13 19:36:58

I'm the same, sometimes I really do feel ashamed of myself that I can't control it.

Can you give a quick summary, Xenia?

jimisayo Tue 19-Mar-13 01:11:13

Go to Youtube and check out tapping techniques. It works, like a miracle to stop a craving dead in its tracks, or just weaken the grip. I've seen the look of amazement in people's eyes as they push the now offending object of previous fixation as far away as possible. it isn't a permanent fix, but it allows enough time to work on a permanent fix. Works for cigarettes too, but can't permanently over-ride the deep seated reasons for smoking in the first place.

whosiwhatsit Tue 19-Mar-13 06:35:20

We did this - haven't had any sugar (or white bread, white pasta, or potatoes) in three weeks and don't miss it. We started by watching this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM by the paediatric endocrinologist Dr. Lustig who blames sugar for the obesity problems in the US and UK. Processed food manufacturers add sugar to just about everything in order to get us addicted to their products. Rates of diabetes are soaring as are heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, etc. Type two diabetes used to be called "adult onset" but not anymore - it has been diagnosed in a four year old in Arizona (poor kid) and is fairly common in ten year olds now. Watch the video or at least the beginning of it (it's long) and see if it doesn't improve your willpower to stop being "poisoned." Or start by reading this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-lustig-md/sugar-toxic_b_2759564.html And no this doctor is not a quack, he works for UCSF, a prestigous University hospital and everything he says he backs up with references to the scientific literature in medical journals.

As for my husband and myself, even though its only been three weeks it seems to be having a positive effect. I went to the doctor yesterday to get my blood pressure checked as it had been high and I was about to have to get back on my medication. My blood pressure was completely normal and the doc said "whatever you're doing, keep doing it!" (Google blood pressure and sugar - some studies show it's worse for bp than salt).

Basically we're following a Mediterranean diet. It's absolutely delicious. For example, for breakfast I'm having porridge with blueberries and walnuts, and the blueberries taste lovely and sweet. Lunch is a poached salmon salad with avocado, tomatoes, cucumber and baby spinach with homemade mayonnaise made with olive oil (store-bought mayo and salad dressings almost all contain sugar). Dinner will be wholemeal pasta with aubergine, tomato, a little creme fraiche and a bit of feta. I've lost four pounds and my husband has lost eight eating this way!

I find fruit tastes better now and has replaced the need for sugar in my diet. I had a mango yesterday that tasted amazing, better than any biscuits or cakes. If cravings get bad (and I have had NONE so far and neither has my husband who used to gorge on chocolate!) we plan to have a square or two of very dark chocolate which contains little sugar. But for both of us, realising how we were being manipulated by the food manufacturers was enough for us to break free. There is as much evidence against sugar being dangerous for our health as there was against the cigarette manufacturers before tobacco was finally accepted as being bad for you! I truly believe my husband and I will be sugar-free for life (with perhaps the odd slip-up here and there if it comes to it - a slice of cake per week, for example, is perfectly okay if you don't have sugar every day).

snoworneahva Tue 19-Mar-13 07:04:37

Going cold turkey works, it beats the cravings BUT you have to give up something you love long term and that is why it keeps failing for me. I am currently trying affirmations - telling myself I can control my sugar intake, I'm also training myself to eat mindfully....all my consumption needs to take place at the table, without the tv or the computer or something to read. And I keep supplies deliberately limited. Have been disappointed with the flavour of lots of sweet treats when I actually slow down to taste them - Minstrels now taste of nothing to me - just sugar, Tiffin from Costa, a previous favourite is tasteless too, I was too busy chomping it down to notice.

I am moving towards being a person who can have a sweet treat and leave it at that but I'm getting a bit pickier about what that treat is.

ZolaBuddleia Tue 19-Mar-13 07:42:30

I feel exactly like you snow, whenever I've given up Diet Coke, for example, if I have a drink of it it doesn't taste the same. And the same with mindless eating, my speciality is large bags of sweets eaten in the car.

Am going to watch that film today.

blue2 Tue 19-Mar-13 08:00:21

I've pretty much given up sugar in its purest form - ie in biscuits, cakes, sweets and chocolate. I still eat potatoes and G/F pasta from time to time, and a square of dark chocolate, too!

I am sure that I was actually addicted to the stuff, because when I do eat it (I'm no angel!) it switches on something in me, and I cannot stop.

Just - cannot - stop. I seem to lose any reason. I'm sure its chemical.

I started to cut back about a year ago, and used the following to substitute the sugary taste on cereals and porridge

- Agave syrup which you can get in most supermarkets. (It tastes lush - a bit like maple syrup) and

- Total Sweet which you can also get. It looks like normal granulated sugar.

Both those sweeteners are natural - so no artificial stuff - and they give you a sugar hit, but your body processes it more slowly, so your system doesn't get a huge sugar surge. It should help to break the cycle of wanting sugary stuff so much.

I saw the programme on sugar last night on Big Bang Theory and it gave us all an excuse to keep on eating sugar ("Our brains need it" - Oh yeah - that gave us ALL an excuse to just keep eating the stuff!)

Its not good for you in the quantities that we eat it. Some have gone as far as to say its poison.

I think we should just give our bodies a chance to rest from it occasionally!

forevergreek Tue 19-Mar-13 09:20:21

Def go cold turkey.

I'm the same now in that a kitkat tastes of pure sugar and nothing else now, same with most cakes/ sweets/ choc/ drinks/ sauces etc.

Therefore if I do eat a piece of cake out it will be a nice one off a a small independent place/ homemade stall etc rather than just every time I would pop into a coffee shop.

Soupa Tue 19-Mar-13 10:30:36

I have drunk litres of pepsi max a week, family sized bags of crisps on most days, baked and eaten a zillion cakes and munched around three to five chocolate bars a day for about the last twenty years! I like a drink too...

Not now! Although not as plump as deserved I was getting bigger and less fit but really regardless of size this diet would kill me. I didn't want that so I never buy any shit at all. If as a family we are having buttes with crisps after footy I buy the exact number of packs on the same day. My cupboards have no junk in at all.if I ont buy it I can't eat it.

However I still need yummy so I bake healthy bran muffins with fruit and no sugar, I make fruit pancakes and have lots of yummy berry fruit. Treats are hot chocolate or the muffins.

I still dive off the wagon sometimes but get back on and I only dive into the shallow end..too much homemade cake rather than industrial sized choc bars. I keep raising the standard of my diet ad now I do munch carrot sticks and love them. I no longer really crave the crap at all. I had mackerel toast on homemade wholemeal bread for breakfast and an orange it was much nicer than half a pack of biscuits.

Honestly if I can do it anyone can!

snoworneahva Tue 19-Mar-13 17:12:04

blue2 agave syrup is as bad as high fructose syrup, in that it's fructose - go google agave syrup health dangers - it makes table sugar look positively angelic!

blue2 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:23:35

snoworneahva

It says that impact of agave nectar on blood sugar (as measured by its glycaemic index -GI - and glycaemic load - GL) is comparable to fructose, which has a much lower GI and GL than table sugar (sucrose).

Therefore it does not raise the blood sugar as quickly or as much as table sugar.

There seems to be a lot of controversy over Agave Nectar, but if the claims were true, then it would come off our supermarket shelves!

Going cold turkey is obviously the best option, but wondered if the OP was up to it.

Basically we're singing from the same hymn sheet - i.e stop consuming sugarsmile

OrbisNonSufficit Tue 19-Mar-13 19:34:32

I used to loooooooooooove sugar. Then I started to pay attention to how I felt after I had sugar. (as I've never been good with rules, so couldn't stop otherwise)

So try this experiment - have a lot of sugar. Don't have any more for half an hour.

See how you feel like crap. Once I started paying attention to how my blood sugar levels were linked to my mood (and my gut, it also makes my tummy v grumpy), and how refined sugar causes massive high/low(crash) in blood sugar I stopped liking sugar. Sugar attacks you, it's not your friend!!

ProfessorDent Tue 19-Mar-13 20:12:54

Chronium Piccolate, by Solgar, can help beat sugar cravings. Also, Vitamin D3, 25 micrograms, by Holland and Barrett, I've found.

Also, gorge yourself on something else really nice, like a Full English brekkie, then get to noon and have a pre-made toastie, ham and cheese. That, all protein, can keep you going until 4pm I've found. If you've got that far without sugar, you're on the home straight.

Some sugar is worse than others, but it all takes the form of confectionary, cakes, jam, even booze I reckon.

But those Freddie the Frog choc bars aren't so bad, I've found, and also Pret's Chocolate Brownies somehow don't seem as bad for you, at least they satisfy. A lot of choccie stuff you can just devour mindlessly, it's feeding a fix.

Oh, get plenty of sleep, you don't fall into the sugar/coffee routine the next day. And, indeed, avoid the salt-sugar boom and bust thing. A lot of takeway food, I mean Pret too, seems quite salty, and of course you need some sugary thing to compensate afterwards.

snoworneahva Tue 19-Mar-13 20:27:54

Blue2 you have to decide whether you believe the negative reports on fructose - I only felt the need to draw your attention to them...clearly they are still on sale but that's not so really so reassuring - hydrogenated fats/trans fats are still legally found in food in this country in some processed foods and you won't find many people defending their use - they are cheap and give extended shelf like to baked products - but they are the devil's work when it comes to the affect they have in your health....why they are still being legally sold to consumers has little to do with their safety.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 19-Mar-13 21:38:03

The best way to stop sugar cravings is to ditch all forms of sugar and processed carbs and stop eating low fat crap (fake food, not things which are naturally low fat). That would include limiting high carb fruits and veg.

I struggled for 20 years trying to eat the recommended low fat, low protein, very high carb diet we are told to eat- was constantly failing, putting on more weight, getting ill... 7 years ago I discovered low carb dieting, have now moved to a paleo/ancestral diet, which is a further refinement of low carb... I've lost over 6 stones and gained a huge amount of health!

We did not evolve eating the kind of shit which is now regarded as normal food, a lot of which is full of very dubious chemicals and highly processed, nutrient poor grains and chemically altered fats...
One example of a "non food, food",
High fructose corn syrup is case in point - a new addition to food, its unnatural industrial maize extract, bypasses insulin and therefore stresses the liver hugely (any kind of fructose does if you eat a lot, even if its in fruit), and this is implicated in the sharp rise in non alcoholic fatty liver (the fructose can't be cleared from the blood by insulin so the liver converts it to fat and stores it in the liver).

These kinds of new, industrial, processed "foods" are making us fat, ill and dead before our time but most people believe, or want to believe, they are a normal part of a normal diet!

TeaCupCrazy Tue 19-Mar-13 22:43:15

Thanks for all the replies smile. Well i have binged on sugar again today sad and i feel awful. Really awful. And physically awful as well as mentally awful.
From all the replies here i can see cold turkey is the only way i can stop. I managed to quit smoking and drinking diet coke going cold turkey so surely i can stop the sugar consumption this way.
I think one of the reasons i have been craving/binging on sugar recently is because i started calorie counting and cutting out some carbs (bread, pasta mostly)! I was feeling so low and in need of a pick me up come the afternoon i would get a drifter from work and add that to my calorie count then that would escalate into biscuits when i got home.

Today, i am ashamed to admit i have eaten 2 kit kats, 1 curly wurly, 4 oreos, 3 custard creams and 1 toffee crisp (Disclaimer - this is a lot for me and unusual as I'm at home at the moment with DS who has Chicken Pox so the boredom of being stuck at home for 6 days now has taken over).
But thats it. I cant do this anymore from tomorrow i have to change!
Theres a lot of good advice on here so I'm going to have another read through to give me motivation and ideas on how to cope. I think i do need to eat more protein during the day for a start. I just need to see how i can manage this at work.

RawCoconutMacaroon Tue 19-Mar-13 22:58:20

More protein, more good fats (in this context, that means fat which is naturally occurring on meat, fish and poultry, cold pressed olive oil and raw coconut oil)... Full of nutrients, but more importantly, protein and fat don't spike your blood sugar the way carbs do (even "complex" carbs do), and IME stops that sugar binge cycle very fast (in my time, I could eat a LOT of carby crap and still be hungry all the time. I agree with what soe other posters have said here, sugar are added to a lot of manufactured food to make you eat more! They manufacturers are in it to make money not keep you healthy hmm

BrendaB85 Wed 20-Mar-13 09:09:18

I swear by Sweet'N Low www.sweetnlow.uk.com for my sugar fix. You can put it in your tea and also cook/bake with it.

I also love, love, love www.kelloggs.com/en_US/kelloggs-special-k-bar-chocolatey-pretzel.html when I need choco fix!

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