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Thread: Journal of a Sugar Addict - can I beat the sugar demons? page 2

  1. #11
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    Well, last night went badly. Oh, so badly!

    I basically decided to stuff it all and have a bit of a binge - by binge I had a big bag of crisps and a 100g bar of milk chocolate to myself plus a beer. Not really all that bad but still, really shouldn't have done it! DH and I have decided that we're going to give GAPS a go (for him more so than for me but I think I will get some benefits from it) so given we've had a bad week for eating we decided that last night would be an "allowable" binge as we're intending on being super strict for the next wee while. It was an awesome night - beer, crisps, huge lamb roast, chocolate and the first F1 race of the season. And to top it all off, Jenson won the race Unfortunately I had stomach cramps and massive gas (to the point of being really sore) from the food so maybe I should have stuck with the F1 and just the lamb...hmm... cheating is definitely starting to lose its shine and I think I am finally learning that it normally ends badly.

    Knowing that it makes me feel bad doesn't stop the sugar binging though. When I was out today I bought myself a wee bar of dark chocolate. It was yum but I didn't need the sugar... It just made me a bit antsy at the end of the day at work so I seriously need to cut it out again. Tomorrow is our last prep day before GAPS starts so I'd better do otherwise the weekend is going to suck - sugar withdrawals and GAPS intro!

    I've been doing a lot of reading on GAPS recently and its been incredibly interesting. DH has a lot of digestive problems, as well as concentration and learning difficulties (he's incredibly bright and excellent in a work environment but really struggles when it comes to sitting down and doing any formal learning) so we think that GAPS might help him out. I read about it here first and he was a bit sceptical but figured he'd give it a go so we ordered the probiotics before we went away on holiday. When they arrived, he had one thinking that they wouldn't have any impact but "just to check". Well...he felt completely crap for three days but over those three days apparently his digestion was much better. So, I now have a convert on my hands who wants to start properly! He really is amazed that it made such a big difference. Bit of a rough way for him to be convinced but its made my job much easier this week with the prep. We've got a big batch of beef broth made, he's doing some chicken tomorrow and hopefully the digestive stuff will arrive too (HCL something or other I think). We're going to take it pretty slow but fingers crossed it will really help him.

    Sugar is my nicotine...

  2. #12
    fiercehunter's Avatar
    fiercehunter is offline Banned
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    You need to do the leptin reset and get 6 weeks of low carbs under your belt. Once you realize you can do it you will. If you think you can't do the reset jump in with a few days of the Atkins Fat Fast. For 3-5 days force yourself to live on a little protein but mostly vegetables and butter- 800 calories a day of butter at least and the other 200 or so from protein like a few boiled eggs or a tin of sardines. MAKE YOURSELF DO IT. When you do you will realize that sugar addiction is just flat out ridiculous and is robbing you of your life.
    Atkins Article : The Fat Fast

  3. #13
    Momstinct's Avatar
    Momstinct is offline Junior Member
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    "Knowing that it makes me feel bad doesn't stop the sugar binging though"

    This is so me. This thread has been really helpful (just joined today and found it!) I'm absolutely addicted to sugar and just starting to take babysteps to get it out of my system. I've got 60 lbs to lose. :-(

  4. #14
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    Hi momstinct! I'm so glad you've found this thread useful so far. Sugar addiction is so difficult to break but I find it great to know that I'm not alone. We'll both make it eventually, provided that we just stick with it and as you say, take baby steps. I've lost 40 pounds so far so you can definitely get there The first step for me was realising that I was addicted and seeing the behaviour in my everyday life. I honestly didn't realise that I had a problem until it was pointed out to me. Now, I can see it and therefore I'm starting to learn what sets me off and how I can start to move away from it.

    I think everyone is different though and what works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for another. For me, I have to retrain my brain to accept that sugar is not going to make me happy and that bar of chocolate is not "yum!". I think that as long as my brain's first and only reaction is "I want" I'm not going to see the back of my sugar addiction because every time I see sugar, my brain is going to associate it with a reward - regardless of how long it has been since I last had it. I need to retrain myself to change my internal voice from saying "sugary things are delicious, have some!" to "sugary things make you feel ill, give you a hangover and have far too much control over you. Don't eat it!". Only at that point do I think I'll have a chance of giving it up.

    The only problem is that while I know the second one intellectually, emotionally I'm still very much at the first. Sugar does taste nice and I have had 26 years of experience to back that up. What I don't have is 26 years of linking feeling horrible with exactly the same white powder.

    I was brought up to believe that if you weren't outright allergic to a food (i.e. break out in hives or end up in hospital when you eat it) then it was fine and you could eat it. If you didn't feel well after eating something then it was either off and you had food poisoning or it was unrelated. Food intolerances were just people imagining things and weren't really real. Not getting enough of a nutrient might make you unwell, or eating too much junk and chemicals could be bad, but normal food would never cause you a problem. Sugar was only bad for your teeth and the only people that had to avoid too much were diabetics. Note that this is what I was taught by my nutritionist mother...

    Due to all of this, until I started on my primal journey, I had never once questioned my intake of sugar or whether feeling unwell regularly (what I now know were symptoms of hypoglycemia) was linked to anything I was eating. Therefore, it is taking a lot of time to retrain my brain away from the sugar.

    I think of it like electric shock therapy. Every time I over eat sugar now I note my bad reaction and the voice in my head telling me to eat it next time echoes a bit louder with a cautionary "don't eat too much". Now that I have been primal for 7 months, and largely sugar free for quite a few of them, when I eat to much sugar I feel awful and as I consciously note those feelings, my view that those feelings are worth the few mouthfulls of chocolatey goodness is rapidly changing. The reward factor is diminishing and I'm starting to reverse years of sugar-indoctrination. Right now, it still doesn't actually stop me from binging, but I'm starting to get at least an initial "hmm...are you sure you want to do this?". Its taken a good few periods of being good and feeling great, followed by binging and feeling horrible to start to move this way but baby-steps are better than no steps! I think it also helps mentally to accept that getting away from this addiction will not be a quick fix, and that even when I binge, provided I pay attention to how it makes me feel then I am actually moving further down the road. Its not a step backwards - provided I learn from it and get right back on the wagon its another step down the road. It doesn't excuse my cheating, and I don't cheat any more because of that view, but it does help me keep up moral

    Fiercehunter - I have done over 6 weeks of strict low carb (autumn last year) and it definitely helped but as you can tell it didn't solve everything! It definitely helped with my cravings - to the point where they nearly went away, but its didn't solve my inner voice issue. So, while I wouldn't go seeking sugar when I was presented with something right in front of me I still said yes and what ever it was would kick off my cravings again. I think they have improved, but even just eating too much fruit can start them up. I had to increase my carbs because of gym work that I was doing and it was impractical to give up all exercise for even longer just so I could stay low carb - that's not really a lifestyle I want to live. I've looked at the leptin reset but I don't believe that I'm leptin resistant. I lost weight easily when I started primal and am now what many people would consider reasonably slim (5'8", 145 pounds, UK size 10 - down from 185 pounds) plus my appetite diminishes quite substantially when I drop my carb intake. Even when its fairly high I don't have an appetite for more than two meals a day. Its something that I may look at in future, but for now I think I need to sort our my internal reward signals first otherwise I will continually sabotage myself.

    Sugar is my nicotine...

  5. #15
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    Today is day one of GAPS and I managed to avoid sugar again - yay! Now that we are into GAPS my self control is going to have to be immense so that I don't ruin any progress that I make. I think that helps as I know that I can't have any. Not even one little bit because its completely disallowed.

    Day one hasn't been too bad.

    Food today has been:

    Breakfast: IF
    Lunch: Beef broth with bits of beef and other "soft tissue" pulled off the bones in it, and some of the boiled meat on the side.
    Dinner: Chicken from some chicken drumsticks that DH boiled this afternoon plus more beef broth but this one was a bit lighter on the stock and I put some more flavouring in it. I also added a bit of saurkraut. Afterwards I tried some homemade sour cream.

    I've discovered that I'm not a fan of full on beef broth - its too gloopy and the taste doesn't endear it to me. I know its not for long that I need to have it largely on its own though so I'll get through it. Some veggies are allowed on stage 1 of the induction diet but dh suffers a lot from diarrhoea so we're taking the advice to start first without and then add them in once digestion sorts itself out a bit. We're hoping it will only be a few days! We're taking it a bit easy with dh and probiotic foods but we don't think I have anywhere near the issues that he does so I've been tasting them I'm quite a fan of saurkraut and discovered that putting a bit in the broth is really tasty so I had a good spoonful. We bought the first jar from an online shop who make them with people on the GAPS diet in mind so that once ours are ready, we know what it should taste like and whether they have worked or not. We did try making sour cream last night but I don't think it was on for long enough as its gone fairly creamy and slightly tart, but not as tart as I would expect. I probably ate too much of it, so I'm kind of hoping it wasn't fully done and I haven't just let myself in for lots of die-off... Fingers crossed!!!

    We've got lots of chicken and chicken soup for tomorrow which I'm really looking forward to. It smells wonderful so I think it may have been more successful than the beef.

    I've got a gym session tomorrow, first once since snowboarding. I'm feeling a bit knackered tonight so planning on an early night to ensure I have plenty of energy in the morning.

    Sugar is my nicotine...

  6. #16
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    Well, GAPS is going well and I haven't cheated once so far which means no sugar since last wednesday - one more day and it will be a week!

    GAPS is definitely tough just from a boredom and time point of view if nothing else. We make a lot of broth and eat lots of soups... The first few days were the worst as we started with no veggies at all to see if it would help DH's digestion. We're not sure if it is or not yet though. He does seem to be getting some die-off reactions but if anything things seem to be a bit worse. We decide that living on no veggies wasn't healthy as we were getting zero carbs so after 3 days of that, we've moved onto full stage one which includes some veg in the soups. It is a lot better as we now have a bit more variety in flavours, but I'm still wishing for big juicy steak and some chocolate! I've been experimenting with making ferments which has been interesting. Our sour cream is pretty awesome although the yoghurt leaves something to be desired. We tried with raw milk and it just goes very liquidy - not nice and thick like the sour cream. We might try using some organic pasteurised milk next as apparently that can give better results. Saurkraut is bubbling away as well and the first batch should be ready tomorrow. All very exciting!

    I've not noticed a huge amount of die-off. I've been working my way slowly up to a bigger dose of bio-kult. I started at 1 tablet a day a week ago, and have just gone up to three today. I don't seem to notice much from them, but my first try of 24-hour fermented yoghurt went a bit wrong. I woke up in the middle of the night feeling absolutely awful! After quickly running to the bathroom I felt a lot better, but its given me a healthy respect for taking things slowly :P

    I've not been craving chocolate or sugar which is great. I haven't been subject to any temptation though! I think at the moment it is easy to say no though as we are both being very strict in the hope that GAPS will help DH. It just doesn't seem worth cheating when its taking so much effort to have everything available for introduction - I don't think either of us really want to have to try it again!

    Sugar is my nicotine...

  7. #17
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    Ugh - sugar cravings galore!!!

    We're now on week two of GAPS and just starting to introduce foods in stage 3. I was doing really well with the sugar cravings until Saturday night and now I'm craving sooo badly. So far I haven't given in but its a daily struggle. I'm not sure what has changed but I'm determined not to give in until I have been free of sugar for at least two or three weeks. I'm hoping that if I can make it that far it will get easier and I won't want to give in then. We're eating very similar foods from day to day so it might be a bit of boredom creeping in. Another of my theories is that I'm not getting enough carbs. I've been consciously eating as many as I can, but with sweet potatoes and rice off the menu it makes it difficult. I've upped them today, and will do each day this week and see if that makes a difference.

    I think doing GAPS is helping in that we've put so much effort into it and I don't want it all to go to waste. Other than the sugar cravings, its going really well. Its quite a bit of work but I'm getting the hang of it much more and some things are starting to flow a bit better. Its a bit like when we first went primal and it took a few weeks to get into the hang of making lunches every night.

    Sugar is my nicotine...

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