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Cheeky sugar question

(12 Posts)
AgeingArtemis Mon 18-Jan-16 16:35:09

Hello, not sure that this is the right place to post, but I figured that you lot might have some tips.

I am not planning on low-carbing, but I do have a bit sugar addiction and I'd really like to cut down significantly.
I've tried cold-turkey (lasted 18 hours blush) and gradually reducing, but neither have worked, because I have no self control.

How can I stop eating so much sugar?

Destinysdaughter Mon 18-Jan-16 16:40:04

Eat more fat as it fills you up! Sugar causes an insulin spike so you feel hungry/crave more sugar when your blood sugar goes down. It's a never ending cycle I'm afraid.

Destinysdaughter Mon 18-Jan-16 16:41:54

Also if you tell us what you're typically eating at the moment, pp might have some good alternatives for you? It's a good ambition to have so don't give up! smile

AgeingArtemis Mon 18-Jan-16 17:06:27

My diet would be relatively healthy if I just reduced the sugary snacks!

Breakfast- porridge or cereal (cornflakes or something, not coco pops wink) with toast (I only eat brown bread, not white) and jam/marmalade/ or sometimes just butter.

So clearly there's a decent amount of sugar, but I think it's pretty typical of a "normal" breakfast.

Lunch: either sandwich (cheese,salami) and some raw veg like carrot sticks, avocado OR a light cooked lunch like soup, omelette etc.
Fruit and/or yogurt
Always finish with a sugary snack, can be a couple of squares of chocolate, but more likely to be several chocolate biscuits.
I have also been known to eat chocolate spread sandwiches blush

Afternoon snack - yet more sugar, in the form of biscuits, fruit cake, marzipan (yes I just eats lumps of marzipan) name it. I don't "binge" but it's clearly more than a reasonable serving.

Dinner - something like spag bol, curry, stir fry. I'm not a very "meat and 2 veg" kind of person but I do put quite a lot of vegetables in my dishes so I think it's healthy enough.
Usually finished off by another sweet treat, but usually just a little one.

Evening snack- I have to take medication in the evening and I can only manage to swallow it if I eat something. Unfortunately the "one" biscuit needed often turns into 3 or 4...

I tried increasing portions at lunch and supper, but I still wanted the sugar. It's not that I get hungry, I just am addicted to the sweet taste and I get bored and snack...
Maybe I should try replacing my sweet snacks with something savory but equally tasty, like crisps, to kick the sweet tooth and THEN cut down on snacks once I'm weaned off the sugar?

MollyRedskirts Tue 19-Jan-16 17:34:27

You won't kick the sweet tooth until you significantly reduce your carbohydrate consumption, I'm afraid. Probably not what you want to hear.

I'm speaking from experience too - your diet is very similar to what mine was like and I had a horrendous sweet tooth. I could eat family bags of fizzy sweets and quite often did, when I wasn't following Slimming World and falling on and off that wagon.

I got gestational diabetes and had to drastically overall my diet and keep to a strict carb count for each meal. I noticed that I still had a sweet tooth, but the sheer physical NEED for sugar went down as my carb consumption went down.

I found out after I had my baby that I'm pre-diabetic. I can't even tolerate 'normal' amounts of carbs, like a serving of spag bol. I don't want to develop full blown type 2 diabetes, so I've overhauled my diet and now I eat low carb because I have to.

My point is that my sweet cravings have mostly disappeared and what's left is psychological, rather than a physical craving.

If you can, have a read of Dr Briffa's Escape The Diet Trap, as it explains perfectly exactly how carbohydrates affect us and why they cause a sweet tooth.

StuntNun Wed 20-Jan-16 10:51:05

I was just the same as you - completely hooked on sugar. I was getting through a chocolate cake on my own in two or three days and telling myself it was just because I was breastfeeding. It wasn't. I think it was due to insulin resistance in my case. I was eating the sugar cake, then my pancreas was pumping out loads of insulin to deal with the glucose, but then my blood sugar was dropping too low and I would get hungry again an hour or two later. And it wasn't just hungry, it was HAVE TO EAT RIGHT NOW hungry.

If something similar is happening with you then you may benefit from cutting down on carbs to get your blood glucose more stable. The problem is that all the carbs in your diet are broken down to sugar. You say that your diet would be relatively healthy but...

Breakfast- porridge - not too bad if you're making traditional porridge but if you're using something like Oat So Simple then it will have substantially more sugar.

cereal - Corn Flakes are 84% carbohydrate. A reasonable serving (i.e. not the miniscule 30g recommended serving size) contains around 50g of carbohydrate which will be broken down to sugar. Your blood should have around 5g of glucose so that one bowl of cereal is already massively overloading your body's system for dealing with glucose.

toast and jam/marmalade/ or sometimes just butter - one slice of toast with jam is adding another 25g of carbohydrate, some of which will be broken down to fructose rather than glucose but the fructose will be immediately stored as fat. Are you overweight at all?

yogurt - what type of yoghurt? If it's low fat then one pot could contain another 20g of carbohydrate.

You then list another four sugary snacks.

I would (very roughly) estimate that you're consuming around 400g of carbs, the average would be 300g and that's for a nation where 23% of the population are obese, not overweight but obese.

I tried increasing portions at lunch and supper, but I still wanted the sugar. - Your problem is not portion size, it is the sheer quantity of carbs/sugar that you are eating.

It's not that I get hungry, I just am addicted to the sweet taste and I get bored and snack... - Sugar is incredibly addictive. You may find it very difficult to cut down.

Maybe I should try replacing my sweet snacks with something savory but equally tasty, like crisps, to kick the sweet tooth and THEN cut down on snacks once I'm weaned off the sugar? - You definitely should cut down on the sweet snacks but be aware that a packet of crisps has around the same amount of carbs as two chocolate biscuits so switching to crisps may not help.

I'm biased because I eat low carb myself, but it was the only way for me to get my blood glucose under control. Trying to eat healthily just didn't cut it. I was eating cake, biscuits, crisps and loading up on bread and pasta which just break down to more sugar. When I went low carb the sugar addiction stopped within a week, it was completely driven by insulin. Losing weight was a fortunate side effect of going low carb for me. I work from home and in November I was sitting at my desk which was littered with my kids' Halloween sweets and chocolate and it annoyed me because it was in my way. It never even crossed my mind to eat any of it. My addiction to sugar was just that, an addiction. Now that I've broken the addiction then I don't need to eat sweet stuff and I don't get 'hangry' any more.

AgeingArtemis Wed 20-Jan-16 15:12:13

Thank you StuntNun (what a great name!) you've been super helpful.

I will consider reducing carbs a bit, but I still don't think "low carb" is for me. Definitely the cornflakes need to go! I used to only eat them on weekends but they are so cheap (basics 25p version) and easy that they've become a more regular staple.

The porridge is real porridge, but i must confess I also eat 2 slices of toast, not one. I've always eaten a big breakfast, and I'm struggling to know what to eat to be honest. I can't face savoury stuff in the morning, only sweet or "neutral" like plain toast.

On the plus side, I never drink fizzy drinks (oddly one of the sugary things that really doesn't appeal to be), hardly any alcohol and my milk/yogurt etc is full fat.

It sounds like you think I need to really drastically change my diet. I'm going to find that really tough tbh- it's a LOT of calories to be replacing with fats and proteins, which are obviously more expensive. sad You'll hate me but I accidentally LOST weight over Christmas due to less access to crap and I'm not overweight so I don't want to be losing weight- what is cheap, low carb and calorific? Milk?

StuntNun Thu 21-Jan-16 13:44:55

No you don't necessarily need to go on a low carb diet, especially if you don't want to lose weight. I was just trying to point out the other sources of sugar in your diet as you consider yourself addicted to sugar. Cutting sugar and trying to get more 'real' foods will help a great deal. But the processed foods you're eating are going to cause problems with getting off the sugary treat foods because a lot of them will break down to glucose. It doesn't have to be more expensive: you can eat cheap cuts of meat (burgers, chicken legs, sausages), tinned fish, eggs, frozen vegetables, milk etc. and reduce your sugar intake drastically that way.

antimatter Fri 22-Jan-16 21:22:58

how about eggs?

scramble eggs with toast

or cottage cheese?

or avocado on toast

or make your own porridge and add a handful of frozen fruit to it for flavour

make your own soup for lunch that would not cost much at all, make sure you include some beans or lentils and not pasta or potatoes, 2-3 vegetables + some beans or lentils + a stock cube, have 2 bowls if yo uthink you may be hungry later

problem with snacks is that those which are easily accessible are pure sugar - have apple instead or a slice of cheese

leave dinner as it is for now because if you are going to try everything you may find it hard

sergeantmajor Wed 10-Feb-16 13:03:11

Cheese. Cheese is your friend.

Cheddar has a strong taste so I use it fight sugar cravings. Not the usual slimmer's choice I admit but weight's not your issue anyway. Actually even for slimmers I think that it is worth using cheese to fight sugar just to break the addiction.

I just go and hack a chunk off the block of cheddar and pop it in my mouth. Even someone greedy like me stops short of hoovering down a whole block of cheese, whereas I could inhale an entire packet of jaffa cakes without blinking. I don't keep biscuits in the house ever as I am not safe around them!

toffeeboffin Wed 17-Feb-16 12:56:53

Great post, Stuntnun.

toffeeboffin Wed 17-Feb-16 13:01:30

Seconding eating cheese. Feta is good too, I find a small bit really satisfying.

Good snacks are :

Hard boiled eggs.
Apple sauce
Cottage cheese
Veg sticks
Peanut butter and apple
Cold chicken

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