Discover what's new & improved in the MyFitnessPal app!
We’re dedicated to helping you achieve your health and nutrition goals. And our newest features and updates? They do just that. Learn how we're making tracking your progress easier, faster, and more motivating than ever.

Anyone suffer from sugar addiction?

Options
13

Replies

  • quiksylver296
    quiksylver296 Posts: 28,439 Member
    Options
    Has anyone ever truly suffered from sugar addiction? How did you recover?

    Nope. I feed my "addiction" every night. No suffering here.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    Options
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    If sugar and smartphones aren't addictive in the way that an addictive substance is addictive, I'm not sure what you mean by the word. It just seems like it's a more dramatic way of saying "attached to" or "enjoys."

    An addiction is often defined as a substance or activity that you can't stop even though you want to and you notice it has deleterious effects on your life. I think that's a workable definition, but I'm interested in thoughts that disagree.

    There are people who lose everything because they gamble compulsively. They lose all their money and their families to gambling. I think it would be an understatement to say those people just enjoy gambling and feel attached to it.

    For those people, gambling has hijacked the reward mechanism in their brain. Anything that has the potential to hijack the reward mechanism in your brain has the potential to become addictive.

    We don't have to call it addiction, though I don't know why process addictions have to be off the table. Drugs manipulate or mimic your innate neurotransmitters. Even drugs are only changing how your brain already behaves which is what process addictions do. They are not completely foreign bodies. So, if you take heroin and that mimics dopamine making your brain feel full of dopamine, how is that completely different from eating a candy bar that causes your brain to release extra dopamine? Isn't the difference just a dosage one?

    I think I would consider excessive gambling to be a compulsion (like hoarding or dangerous sexual behaviors) rather than an addiction. Of course, this is an outsider saying that -- I don't have experience with any of the three.

    Might there be similarities in how the brain deals with compulsions and addictions? I think it's possible, there's a lot we don't yet know about the brain.
  • noexcuses0626
    noexcuses0626 Posts: 60 Member
    Options
    I am a recovering sugar addict. Right now I am taking a product made by TruVision Health which completely curbs my cravings and for the first time in YEARS I am no longer a slave to my sugar cravings.
  • cmriverside
    cmriverside Posts: 34,155 Member
    edited June 2017
    Options
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    If sugar and smartphones aren't addictive in the way that an addictive substance is addictive, I'm not sure what you mean by the word. It just seems like it's a more dramatic way of saying "attached to" or "enjoys."

    An addiction is often defined as a substance or activity that you can't stop even though you want to and you notice it has deleterious effects on your life. I think that's a workable definition, but I'm interested in thoughts that disagree.

    There are people who lose everything because they gamble compulsively. They lose all their money and their families to gambling. I think it would be an understatement to say those people just enjoy gambling and feel attached to it.

    For those people, gambling has hijacked the reward mechanism in their brain. Anything that has the potential to hijack the reward mechanism in your brain has the potential to become addictive.

    We don't have to call it addiction, though I don't know why process addictions have to be off the table. Drugs manipulate or mimic your innate neurotransmitters. Even drugs are only changing how your brain already behaves which is what process addictions do. They are not completely foreign bodies. So, if you take heroin and that mimics dopamine making your brain feel full of dopamine, how is that completely different from eating a candy bar that causes your brain to release extra dopamine? Isn't the difference just a dosage one?

    I'm on your team, and I think part of the mainstream researchers' reticence to take that (very small) theoretical leap between what they are observing and applying a definition of "sugar addiction" to the behavior is that then it would become a treatable disease that insurers - and by extension the government - would have to pay to treat. That's what has happened with alcohol dependence being labeled as a disease: now it costs the taxpayers. It can no longer be defined as a moral weakness or a choice. Follow the money when it comes to public health and policy.

    I have issues with sugar, I have since I was a small child and ate way too much of it unsupervised on a regular basis. Did it change my brain? Dunno. Once I start, it is exceedingly difficult to quit while there is a cookie in sight. Or Hot Tamales. Or Bing cherries.

    I have argued this point way too many times and I'm not willing to do so again, but the $$$ angle is another one to consider.
  • MommyMeggo
    MommyMeggo Posts: 1,222 Member
    edited June 2017
    Options
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    If sugar and smartphones aren't addictive in the way that an addictive substance is addictive, I'm not sure what you mean by the word. It just seems like it's a more dramatic way of saying "attached to" or "enjoys."

    An addiction is often defined as a substance or activity that you can't stop even though you want to and you notice it has deleterious effects on your life. I think that's a workable definition, but I'm interested in thoughts that disagree.

    There are people who lose everything because they gamble compulsively. They lose all their money and their families to gambling. I think it would be an understatement to say those people just enjoy gambling and feel attached to it.

    For those people, gambling has hijacked the reward mechanism in their brain. Anything that has the potential to hijack the reward mechanism in your brain has the potential to become addictive.

    We don't have to call it addiction, though I don't know why process addictions have to be off the table. Drugs manipulate or mimic your innate neurotransmitters. Even drugs are only changing how your brain already behaves which is what process addictions do. They are not completely foreign bodies. So, if you take heroin and that mimics dopamine making your brain feel full of dopamine, how is that completely different from eating a candy bar that causes your brain to release extra dopamine? Isn't the difference just a dosage one?

    I think I would consider excessive gambling to be a compulsion (like hoarding or dangerous sexual behaviors) rather than an addiction. Of course, this is an outsider saying that -- I don't have experience with any of the three.

    Might there be similarities in how the brain deals with compulsions and addictions? I think it's possible, there's a lot we don't yet know about the brain.

    Im of like mindset here.
    I think for some who care to break down the differences between chemical/substance addiction vs habit/compulsion this makes sense.
    Then, there are variable degrees of addiction.
    Furthermore, there are those who have personal connections to some addiction or another who feel very strongly in their convictions.
    My takeaway from having read too many debates on this...for many it just becomes an argument of semantics that no one really wins.

    Edited for pronoun correction.
  • nokanjaijo
    nokanjaijo Posts: 466 Member
    edited June 2017
    Options
    I think I would consider excessive gambling to be a compulsion (like hoarding or dangerous sexual behaviors) rather than an addiction. Of course, this is an outsider saying that -- I don't have experience with any of the three.

    Might there be similarities in how the brain deals with compulsions and addictions? I think it's possible, there's a lot we don't yet know about the brain.

    I would as well. In fact, I used the word "compulsively" in the post you replied to. Where we part is that I think saying something is a compulsion and not an addiction is kind of a distinction without a difference. I would call hourly cocaine use a compulsion.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    Options
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    I think I would consider excessive gambling to be a compulsion (like hoarding or dangerous sexual behaviors) rather than an addiction. Of course, this is an outsider saying that -- I don't have experience with any of the three.

    Might there be similarities in how the brain deals with compulsions and addictions? I think it's possible, there's a lot we don't yet know about the brain.

    I would as well. In fact, I used the word "compulsively" in the post you replied to. Where we part is that I think saying something is a compulsion and not an addiction is kind of a distinction without a difference. I would call daily cocaine use a compulsion.

    I can see what you mean by "distinction without a difference," but the difference (to my mind) between something like cocaine use and gambling is the actual physical withdrawal symptoms that will take place when a regular user of cocaine tries to stop. So one might also feel compelled to use cocaine, but the physical addiction with be another reinforcement to that compulsion.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
    Options
    MommyMeggo wrote: »
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    If sugar and smartphones aren't addictive in the way that an addictive substance is addictive, I'm not sure what you mean by the word. It just seems like it's a more dramatic way of saying "attached to" or "enjoys."

    An addiction is often defined as a substance or activity that you can't stop even though you want to and you notice it has deleterious effects on your life. I think that's a workable definition, but I'm interested in thoughts that disagree.

    There are people who lose everything because they gamble compulsively. They lose all their money and their families to gambling. I think it would be an understatement to say those people just enjoy gambling and feel attached to it.

    For those people, gambling has hijacked the reward mechanism in their brain. Anything that has the potential to hijack the reward mechanism in your brain has the potential to become addictive.

    We don't have to call it addiction, though I don't know why process addictions have to be off the table. Drugs manipulate or mimic your innate neurotransmitters. Even drugs are only changing how your brain already behaves which is what process addictions do. They are not completely foreign bodies. So, if you take heroin and that mimics dopamine making your brain feel full of dopamine, how is that completely different from eating a candy bar that causes your brain to release extra dopamine? Isn't the difference just a dosage one?

    I think I would consider excessive gambling to be a compulsion (like hoarding or dangerous sexual behaviors) rather than an addiction. Of course, this is an outsider saying that -- I don't have experience with any of the three.

    Might there be similarities in how the brain deals with compulsions and addictions? I think it's possible, there's a lot we don't yet know about the brain.

    Im of like mindset here.
    I think for some who care to break down the differences between chemical/substance addiction vs habit/compulsion this makes sense.
    Then, there are variable degrees of addiction.
    Furthermore, there are those who have personal connections to some addiction or another who feel very strongly in their convictions.
    My takeaway from having read too many debates on this...for many it just becomes an argument of semantics that no one really wins.

    Edited for pronoun correction.

    I agree that it does tend to become a discussion of what words actually mean.

    I think it also becomes, sometimes, a debate on how people "should" respond to the compulsion (let's say) to eat sugar. Some people think that calling it an addiction may make it harder for people who have trouble moderating their sugar consumption, that it makes people feel powerless or leads them to eliminate foods they don't need to eliminate. Other people, including some who have successfully learned to moderate their consumption of sugar, find it to be a useful framework for the discussion.

  • Ready2Rock206
    Ready2Rock206 Posts: 9,488 Member
    Options
    I love me some sugar but I don't believe in sugar "addiction". I think it is just an excuse but everyone has their own experiences/beliefs I guess.
  • nokanjaijo
    nokanjaijo Posts: 466 Member
    Options
    I can see what you mean by "distinction without a difference," but the difference (to my mind) between something like cocaine use and gambling is the actual physical withdrawal symptoms that will take place when a regular user of cocaine tries to stop. So one might also feel compelled to use cocaine, but the physical addiction with be another reinforcement to that compulsion.

    I see what you are saying. Consider this, though. Once you have detoxed a person from cocaine, they are no longer physically addicted to the cocaine. That doesn't seem to have any effect on the risk of them going out to get more cocaine once you've let them out of your site. You have to continue treating them as a cocaine addict because they will continue to behave like one.

    I had to be told when I was no longer physically addicted to nicotine. I had no sense of it, internally. Nothing changed from my point of view in terms of how hard it was to not smoke.
    I agree that it does tend to become a discussion of what words actually mean.

    I think it also becomes, sometimes, a debate on how people "should" respond to the compulsion (let's say) to eat sugar. Some people think that calling it an addiction may make it harder for people who have trouble moderating their sugar consumption, that it makes people feel powerless or leads them to eliminate foods they don't need to eliminate. Other people, including some who have successfully learned to moderate their consumption of sugar, find it to be a useful framework for the discussion.

    RIGHT. Roight roight roight.

    I think we should talk about this like as, there are some similarities in how people act with sugar and the desire to consume sugar can behave like an addiction, whether or not that's what it is. So, try treating it like one and see if that helps.

    What is all comes down to is, if you're doing cocaine every hour or finding it impossible to turn down the donuts your coworker brings, is that you have got to step up and own your life. You have got to step up and say what you will allow and what you will not tolerate from yourself. You have got to look at yourself honestly and without judgment to see what you need to do to achieve your goals.

    That may mean no more sugar. If that's the case, you have to put your foot down and decree no more sugar. If no more sugar isn't necessary, you'll probably figure it out. You're going to probably fail and eat a cupcake at some point on your first attempt to cut it out. If that leads to supermarket cakes and 2 liter cokes and circling the drain, there you go. Now you know.
  • Jriggs46615
    Jriggs46615 Posts: 50 Member
    Options
    YES! I did, and it is most definitely real. I'm not lying when I say that I would put away a 12-pack box of drumsticks, for example, over a 1 1/2-2 day period. I was ALWAYS craving something, especially sweets, and I couldn't get enough.

    In my situation, I found a vegan site called "Oh She Glows." For the record, I'm not vegan, but I've always loved veggie sandwiches and that sort of thing. I was randomly searching for a recipe one day, when I came across her website. I made one recipe, which led to another and then another. She uses products like pure maple syrup and fruit for sweetening her foods, but after a period of time, it helped me break away from the need for the sugars found in the typical sweets. About 8 months after starting, I realized I hadn't had one sugar (or any other) craving. Considering how much crap I had been putting away for YEARS, that was an amazing transformation.

    I don't cook or bake much anymore, but I haven't returned back to most sweets (or other "junk" food.) One bite or two is always more than enough to peg my sweet meter. In fact, I traded out my sugar column for fiber on this site because I tend to stay away from the stuff now. Occasionally, I'll check the report to make sure I'm keeping it in line, which I always am, but that's about it.

    I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but it changed my life...and I wasn't even expecting it. It was purely an accidental find.
  • CharlieBeansmomTracey
    CharlieBeansmomTracey Posts: 7,682 Member
    Options
    I am a recovering sugar addict. Right now I am taking a product made by TruVision Health which completely curbs my cravings and for the first time in YEARS I am no longer a slave to my sugar cravings.

    it may curb your appetite but most of the ingredients were proven non effective for anything.There have been no clinical studies done on those products and theres this https://www.fda.gov/ICECI/EnforcementActions/WarningLetters/2015/ucm464091.htm
  • stanmann571
    stanmann571 Posts: 5,727 Member
    Options
    YES! I did, and it is most definitely real. I'm not lying when I say that I would put away a 12-pack box of drumsticks, for example, over a 1 1/2-2 day period. I was ALWAYS craving something, especially sweets, and I couldn't get enough.

    In my situation, I found a vegan site called "Oh She Glows." For the record, I'm not vegan, but I've always loved veggie sandwiches and that sort of thing. I was randomly searching for a recipe one day, when I came across her website. I made one recipe, which led to another and then another. She uses products like pure maple syrup and fruit for sweetening her foods, but after a period of time, it helped me break away from the need for the sugars found in the typical sweets. About 8 months after starting, I realized I hadn't had one sugar (or any other) craving. Considering how much crap I had been putting away for YEARS, that was an amazing transformation.

    I don't cook or bake much anymore, but I haven't returned back to most sweets (or other "junk" food.) One bite or two is always more than enough to peg my sweet meter. In fact, I traded out my sugar column for fiber on this site because I tend to stay away from the stuff now. Occasionally, I'll check the report to make sure I'm keeping it in line, which I always am, but that's about it.

    I'm not saying this will work for everyone, but it changed my life...and I wasn't even expecting it. It was purely an accidental find.

    So you went from eating sugary snacks to eating snacks with fruit and maple syrup.

    How is that getting away from sweets?
  • Emily3907
    Emily3907 Posts: 1,461 Member
    edited June 2017
    Options
    Has anyone ever truly suffered from sugar addiction? How did you recover?

    Nope. I feed my "addiction" every night. No suffering here.

    Ditto.

    I used to believe I was "addicted" to sugar, years ago. What I have learned during this whole health/weight battle is that it is less of an addiction and more of a habit/emotional attachment (Celebrating? Cake!! :) Bored? Bake Cookies! :) Happy? Ice Cream! :) Sad? Pie! :) etc, etc, etc.)

    Once I accepted that I enjoy sugar and can't eliminate it (after MUCH trial and error), I just found ways to fit it into my goals.

    Win-Win.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    Options
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    If sugar and smartphones aren't addictive in the way that an addictive substance is addictive, I'm not sure what you mean by the word. It just seems like it's a more dramatic way of saying "attached to" or "enjoys."

    An addiction is often defined as a substance or activity that you can't stop even though you want to and you notice it has deleterious effects on your life. I think that's a workable definition, but I'm interested in thoughts that disagree.

    There are people who lose everything because they gamble compulsively. They lose all their money and their families to gambling. I think it would be an understatement to say those people just enjoy gambling and feel attached to it.

    For those people, gambling has hijacked the reward mechanism in their brain. Anything that has the potential to hijack the reward mechanism in your brain has the potential to become addictive.

    We don't have to call it addiction, though I don't know why process addictions have to be off the table. Drugs manipulate or mimic your innate neurotransmitters. Even drugs are only changing how your brain already behaves which is what process addictions do. They are not completely foreign bodies. So, if you take heroin and that mimics dopamine making your brain feel full of dopamine, how is that completely different from eating a candy bar that causes your brain to release extra dopamine? Isn't the difference just a dosage one?

    For one - there is physical addiction. Heroin withdrawal may be something people are hospitalized for. Heroin users may step down to methadone, there are methadone clinics. Users may go from a drug clinic to a half way house.

    Physical alcohol addiction takes many years. Yes, I know people do have drinking problems, yet aren't physically addicted. It takes more & more alcohol to achieve the same effect. Alcoholics undergo personality changes. This is why they undergo a 12 step program. There are years of "I don't have a problem" "I'm not responsible" "I can handle it" kind of thing.

    If we are never responsible.....how do we initiate change?

    I love sugar too.....but it's a habit for me. I have a relative who is an addict (alcohol).
  • FitWonderChick
    FitWonderChick Posts: 35 Member
    Options
    Yes, I have a total sugar addiction. I started by quitting pepsi/coke. I was up to 3-6 glasses a day. I even hid it in a coffee mug at work! So gross. When I first tried quitting I would literally go to drive thru's and just order my soda fix. Eventually I decided to go thru the withdrawals (which were real for me). I had headaches and felt like my body was aching for it! I did keep eating other sweets but kicking soda was my first step. First 2 weeks were toughest and I felt "back to normal" after a month. My energy and mood improved. I am on week 1 of my diet. I am eating fruit now which can be hard when I want crap sugar. Occasionally I've had chocolate but now that I am eating whole foods and I make sure I eat good food before I have any treat so I don't just binge on it and feel empty. I don't feel bad about it now because I am committed to my health. Staying away from processed sugar is my goal. If I stay away from fruit completely I would probably lose my mind.
  • Jriggs46615
    Jriggs46615 Posts: 50 Member
    Options

    So you went from eating sugary snacks to eating snacks with fruit and maple syrup.

    How is that getting away from sweets?

    Actually, no. I'm not a scientist or nutritionist, and I wasn't claiming to be an expert in my answer. I simply noted what helped me. It may not be the answer for everyone.

    These recipes did use items like maple syrup and bananas, but they were in limited amounts, a tbsp vs cups like most sweet treats. Perhaps it slowly backed my intake down over a period of time. Again, I'm not an expert. I just know that I went from constant, intense cravings for sugar and other junk to not having any at all. It's been 2 1/2 years.

    At this point, I have cut most sugar from my life. I may eat a bite here or there, but I no longer HAVE to have it. I'm no longer climbing the walls like a caged animal, if I don't have junk at my disposal. For me, I know it all goes back to when I started using those recipes.

    I went from eating BOXES of drumsticks and pints of ice cream, bags of chips, etc to never buying the stuff, and having no desire to do so.

    Doubt or judge, if you want, but it worked for ME. That's all I'm saying.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
    Options

    So you went from eating sugary snacks to eating snacks with fruit and maple syrup.

    How is that getting away from sweets?

    Actually, no. I'm not a scientist or nutritionist, and I wasn't claiming to be an expert in my answer. I simply noted what helped me. It may not be the answer for everyone.

    These recipes did use items like maple syrup and bananas, but they were in limited amounts, a tbsp vs cups like most sweet treats. Perhaps it slowly backed my intake down over a period of time. Again, I'm not an expert. I just know that I went from constant, intense cravings for sugar and other junk to not having any at all. It's been 2 1/2 years.

    At this point, I have cut most sugar from my life. I may eat a bite here or there, but I no longer HAVE to have it. I'm no longer climbing the walls like a caged animal, if I don't have junk at my disposal. For me, I know it all goes back to when I started using those recipes.

    I went from eating BOXES of drumsticks and pints of ice cream, bags of chips, etc to never buying the stuff, and having no desire to do so.

    Doubt or judge, if you want, but it worked for ME. That's all I'm saying.

    You had issues with over eating - many of us have been there. Bags of chips....not about sugar. Pints of ice cream....that creamy goodness is sugar, fat and protein (it's a recipe). This isn't sugar "addiction." But you have learned to change your behavior, you are creating healthier recipes....good job.
  • nokanjaijo
    nokanjaijo Posts: 466 Member
    Options
    TeaBea wrote: »
    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    If sugar and smartphones aren't addictive in the way that an addictive substance is addictive, I'm not sure what you mean by the word. It just seems like it's a more dramatic way of saying "attached to" or "enjoys."

    An addiction is often defined as a substance or activity that you can't stop even though you want to and you notice it has deleterious effects on your life. I think that's a workable definition, but I'm interested in thoughts that disagree.

    There are people who lose everything because they gamble compulsively. They lose all their money and their families to gambling. I think it would be an understatement to say those people just enjoy gambling and feel attached to it.

    For those people, gambling has hijacked the reward mechanism in their brain. Anything that has the potential to hijack the reward mechanism in your brain has the potential to become addictive.

    We don't have to call it addiction, though I don't know why process addictions have to be off the table. Drugs manipulate or mimic your innate neurotransmitters. Even drugs are only changing how your brain already behaves which is what process addictions do. They are not completely foreign bodies. So, if you take heroin and that mimics dopamine making your brain feel full of dopamine, how is that completely different from eating a candy bar that causes your brain to release extra dopamine? Isn't the difference just a dosage one?

    For one - there is physical addiction. Heroin withdrawal may be something people are hospitalized for. Heroin users may step down to methadone, there are methadone clinics. Users may go from a drug clinic to a half way house.

    Physical alcohol addiction takes many years. Yes, I know people do have drinking problems, yet aren't physically addicted. It takes more & more alcohol to achieve the same effect. Alcoholics undergo personality changes. This is why they undergo a 12 step program. There are years of "I don't have a problem" "I'm not responsible" "I can handle it" kind of thing.


    If we are never responsible.....how do we initiate change?

    I love sugar too.....but it's a habit for me. I have a relative who is an addict (alcohol).

    You can say all of these things about gamblers, though.

    I addressed the topic of the physical aspect in a previous post if you're interested.

    I'm not sure what you mean about responsibility. I think we're all responsible. All of us. A heroin addict is completely responsible for changing their own life. No one else can do it for you.