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Thread: Sugar Junkies - support needed

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Shop Now
    Some thoughts...

    No bad childhood here. I think stress can play a role in throwing things off, though it didn't seem to play a part for me. Round after round of antibiotics seem to have been my cue.

    PMS SHOULD NOT exist, and you should have plenty of reason to expect it to go away over time. Primal will be a huge help here, especially you get the wheat & sugar out, and what remains, I encourage you to look up Drs. Dzugan and/or Reiss and see what they have to say about balancing your hormones. Many, many women see it (and the attendant cravings) go away as they move further down the primal path to health.

    When I eat fruit instead of sweets, I crave more and more and more fruit, and have to beat back the cravings for sugar eventually, too. So I don't eat fruit except occasional in-season lower sugar ones, like berries. ***I know not everyone is like this***, but those who aren't should also know that not everyone is like them. Switching from sugar to fruit was a helpful first step to reducing sugar, but never ever eliminated the cravings. I never binge on whole fruit, but it leads to constant cravings for more, and I'd rather just live without the cravings, TYVM.

    I've only ever met one person who binged on foods that didn't involve sweets or grains. She admits she had a very unusual situation. Binges almost universally are about getting sugar (in some form, & grains transform quickly) into the body, even when the binger is unaware of this.

    After a year, I no longer have to avoid every tiny bite, but I do it anyway because sweets just don't taste good to me anymore. I do think that if I had "just one bite" say, once a week, that eventually the cravings would start up again, and it's just not worth it. I *can* do just one bite of a fruit now and then, just not sweets or grains. And ladies, really, believe me, the cravings CAN GO AWAY and the taste that you think is so fabulous CAN GO AWAY. You don't have to live like a junkie wishing for another fix, but steadfastly abstaining, for the rest of your life. There is so much more out there.
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2011
    MamaGrok, my PMS did go down a LOT when I cut the grains! But not gone. I do have a lot of other problems and they all seem to be the vague "hormonal" ones that are hard to pin down. I got diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years back and the meds for that helped my energy levels a lot. But yeah, I'm sure there are still other things going on. I will check out those doctors.

    I have had problems with depression since I was a child, which makes sense from an emotional point of view, but at the same time, the depression is always in the winter. So I think there's a vitamin D part to it. This summer for the first time in my life I'm making an effort to get sun instead of avoid it. Lots of tank tops and no sunblock (unless I go to the beach). Maybe that will help sugar cravings too, we'll see.

    MarissaLinnea, I appreciate the invite to the Whole 30, but I don't feel up to a group right now. Not sure why . . . But thanks I'll look up the 21 day detox. Any particular link?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    I know sometimes it seems like it's so easy for everyone on here to eat exactly what they're supposed to, but that's not quite the reality of forums. I know I don't post every time I blow it.

    The Boyfriend (who has way more willpower than I do) brought home a 12 pack of individually wrapped Reese's, intending to put one in his lunch every day. Some days he would forget, and it wasn't that big of a deal to him anyway. He got 2 out of the 12 and I ate the rest over the course of the week. The next week, he tried again. I don't think he got any of them at all. Fortunately, he's very supportive so he didn't say a word, just stopped buying them because he knows they're a problem for me. Yeah, I didn't exactly run to my laptop and start a thread about it. I wouldn't have even brought it up if it hadn't been for this thread and wanting you to know you're not alone.

    Right now I'm about halfway through Dr Daniel Amen's Making A Good Brian Great : Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance (9781400082094): Daniel G. Amen: Books.

    I got it because I noticed my concussions had an effect on everything - mood, willpower and even my weight when I was eating exactly how I had before when I was 20 pounds lighter. I'm having a lot of trouble with cravings now, and I wasn't before.

    In the book, he talks about how we can damage our brains enough to be seen on a scan, either through the wrong foods, head trauma or even things like an abusive childhood or combat. Like I said, I'm only halfway through the book, but it does talk about how to fix your brain so it works the way it's supposed to. It has been helpful in understanding why I can't just "man up" like everyone else seems to be doing (yet!), and it might be helpful to you as well.

    ETA: Sometimes using a stalling techinique can be effective too. Last night, The Boyfriend has been working all day, literally from 9am to 9pm, and I was home alone. As the sun started to set, I started thinking about how I REALLY wanted to go get something, ANYTHING, and it wasn't good stuff on my mind. I hadn't quite settles on what I wanted, so I told myself I was not going to get in the car and cruise around, I had to absolutely know where I wanted to go and exactly what I was going to get. And then, before I left, I was going to have to actually use my Livestrong membership and log in everything I was going to eat.

    By the time I had figured out where and what I was going to be eating, then finished up the movie I had started, it was something like an hour later and I had some leftover homemade meatloaf. I was still jonesing for something else, but nowhere near as badly as I was before.

    Also, because of my specific damage issues, I've found that supplementing with a good B-complex and 5-HTP are helpful, but I would do some research on the 5-HTP before taking it. It's probably not for everyone, but those two supplements do seem to make it easier for me to resist problem foods.
    Last edited by RitaRose; 06-10-2012 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Because I ALWAYS have more to say...

  4. #24
    I didn't think I had a sweet tooth, but it sneaks up in ways you don't realize, such as sweeteners, fake foods, etc.

    So I second/third, etc. the cold turkey approach. Avoid anything sweet, even fake stuff, even fructose for a while. This includes soda and sweeteners of any type. If you drink coffee or tea, learn to drink them black. After a while, you'll notice your tastes will change and the flavors of foods will become more vivid when you no longer have sweet covering them up. Then gradually start testing foods that have a little sweet in them like berries. You'll be amazed how flavorful and sweet they are again. Coffee tastes pretty good black too if you get a good brand especially.

    Doing this, I no longer crave anything sweet anymore. It holds no interest. I'd much rather have my fat/protein foods and veggies.

    So you're not alone, all of us have food demons to wrestle, big and small, and the killer sweet-tooth is one of the big ones.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Montreal Quebec Canada
    OP, you could have been sitting on the bus last night with me and my wife, you parroted our conversation perfectly. I am ok if I dont touch sweets, I am screwed if they pass my lips. I cant not eat everything to hand, it is like somewhere in my brain a voice is screaming, just screaming and I have to eat this to stop it. I was a messed up kid with messed up parents and cookies and cake and more cookies MORE COOKIES!!!!!! is the only thing that made me feel better.

    I dont buy them, I dont touch them I dont think of them and if I eat them I get sooo sick, how sick is way tmi. So man up bub, ( I know the op is female, so what?) admit you got it bad and fight back. I dont have much advice but we are there with ya, comfort in numbers I suppose.
    Primal since April 2012 Male 6' 3" SW 345lbs CW 240lbs GW 220lbs and when I get there I am getting a utlikilt. This one actually.

    Join me at, where all the cavemen hang out.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Western Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by MamaGrok View Post

    PMS SHOULD NOT exist, and you should have plenty of reason to expect it to go away over time. Primal will be a huge help here, especially you get the wheat & sugar out, and what remains, I encourage you to look up Drs. Dzugan and/or Reiss and see what they have to say about balancing your hormones. Many, many women see it (and the attendant cravings) go away as they move further down the primal path to health.
    This is me. 4 months in and this cycle is the first time I haven't tried to eat my way through the fridge (2 days b/f my period). It was great to see.

    I don't have the issues many of you ladies (and gentlemen) have but, I just wanted to say my heart goes out to you. I can not even fathom binging nor the descriptions you've given. Big big HUGS to all of you.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    United States
    I drink a lot of tea. This means that I used to drink a lot of sugar with a hint of tea, because I needed at least 3 teaspoons to sweeten my tea just the way I liked it. When I decided to start eating a more primal diet I had to force myself to cut out the white sugar and instead replace it with either stevia or honey.

    It has been difficult, and there was a 4 month stretch after going primal where I would continuously eat sugary foods and candy. I got rid of the grains, but upped the amount of sugar I was eating. I remember buying two big bags of Reese's eggs from Sam's Club and eating both of them (with a bit of help) in less than a month.

    What I have found is that eating sugar is a response to stress for me. If school, work, family, or my relationship was stressing me out I would find some excuse to buy a bit of chocolate or some other sweet. Since I live in NYC there are street vendors, food carts, etc. in your face all day that make it so easy to just fill up on a plethora of sweets.

    The cold turkey approach did not work for me. It would work for a little while and then something would trigger a huge sugar craving and I would binge for a week. Every person works differently, so the best advice I have to give is that you should experiment a little to see what works for you. Take some time to really think about it. You know yourself better than anyone, so what can you stick to? Think short term and long term. Even if it is a series of small steps in the right direction you'll probably start to feel much better working toward a goal.

    For me, I decided that the only sweets I am allowed to have are honey, fruits and dark chocolate. The honey is mainly for my tea or the very occasional Greek yogurt treat. I started out with a lighter dark chocolate and worked my way to higher percentages. I love to let chocolate melt in my mouth so I can savor it. I took time to understand why I liked the chocolate I was eating, and to appreciate the different flavors chocolate can have without a ton of sugar to cover it up.

    At this point in time, I seem to have lost my sugar tooth. It happened very subtly. Recently I tried to have ice cream on three different occasions and it was just not as enjoyable as I remembered. Most candy or milk chocolate is just too sweet for me now and vegetables have even become sweeter to me. When I'm stressed I will still have moments of weakness but I don't really enjoy it anymore. It is almost mechanical. Nowadays I usually stick to drinking a ton of tea in response to stress or sweet cravings and that helps. I have been adding less and less sugar to my tea also.

    Weaning myself off of sweets has been a very strange experience. I don't know if anything I've said made much sense. When your body loves something for so long and then slowly becomes apathetic to it, words kind of fail to describe the experience.

    I truly understand and sympathize with those struggling with an addiction to sugar. My childhood was filled with abuse and neglect. For a long time sweets were what I turned to if I wanted to feel good feelings for just a little while. I suppose I have just found things that make me feel even better than a sugar rush ever could.

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Perth, Western Australia
    I have sugar problems too. I can't cold turkey it - ie go without any sugar or any fruit for more than 3 days without total withdrawal symptoms and terrible, terrible cravings followed by the inevitable binge. I have to slowly drop it down and then resist having too much fruit. If I can keep it down to two pieces of fruit a day for a while sometimes I can even go without any and then I can lose weight. Replacing sugar with fruit only increases my need for more and more and more.

    Once I have been off sugar for a week then I find I don't need it in the same way as long as I don't have any sugar or grains, and a little dark chocolate that isn't very sweet fulfils my cravings.

    If/when my cravings are extreme I will, if I remember before the binge, take a little l-glutamine under the tongue and then find something creative to do - and I find that about 80% of the cravings go within 5 minutes or so. 5-HTP (a serotonin precursor) deals with the other 20% or so of cravings. I find the book "the mood cure" to be very helpful here. Neither of these is perfect and I frequently forget to utilise them, but they do help a lot.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Shop Now
    Big thank you to OP for starting this thread and for all the comments. I completely sympathize and am facing many of the same struggles. I rarely binge thousands of calories worth nowadays, certainly used to, but still lose control every now and then.

    Techniques I've found helpful have been:
    -Giving myself credit for slowly getting better rather than aiming for perfect straight away.
    -Trying to break the binge-impulse with a moment of mindfulness and saying to myself "even though I've picked up the spoon, I don't need to dig into the jar of jam" (or whatever) "I can still choose to not eat this" or "Even though I've taken one bite I can still choose not to take another one" at each step. Sometimes this works, sometimes not, but I like to think it is reinforcing the ability to say no, little by little.
    -Others have mentioned delay-tactics. I find this works especially with sweets and cakes at work. I'll tell myself I'll have a piece with my next cup of tea, then when I get my cup of tea I'll think let's see if I can wait until the next cup, and so on. Sooner or later they'll all be gone, or it'll be lunchtime and time to eat some proper food, or it'll be time to go home, or the cake has been sitting there all day looking less appealing by the minute.
    -I've been trying to incorporate IF but while I'm fine fasting for up to 24 hours it's when I start eating again that the cravings kick in and I'm prone to eating everything in sight. So this is still difficult. Does anyone have experience of fasting helping or hindering with sugar addiction?

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