Anyone suffer from sugar addiction?

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  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    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.

    I completely agree with the bolded. Whatever terms we decide to use, this is the key part. You aren't going to kick any kind of addiction, impulse, or compulsion without work into owning your own decisions, understanding your motivations, and coming up with a plan.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    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.

    Headaches and fatigue are commonly experienced when people try to quit caffeine, a substance in Pepsi and Coca-Cola. This is likely what was driving your symptoms.
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
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    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    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.

    Yes - we are all responsible, addicts & people with bad habits alike. But saying "I'm addicted to sugar" makes it sound like you have so little control. IMO People who love the taste of sugar have way more control than people injecting heroin.

    I'm not thinking about sugar every waking hour. I'm picky, I like my sugar but I wouldn't grab a bag of granulated sugar and a spoon. I wouldn't debase myself for sugar. I've never been fired for eating too much chocolate. I've never stolen anything to buy cupcakes.

    There are people with severe FOOD issues....not sugar issues, but FOOD issues. My 600 Pound Life is a good example.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,136 Member
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    there is no such thing as sugar addiction, so no one can suffer from it...
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    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.

    I agree with the first sentence, except that I think the focus on sugar specifically is misplaced. Maybe "foods they find extremely palatable" or some such. Generally it's specific foods with sugar that people have trouble moderating, and with the exception of soda (which also has caffeine), usually sugar+fat. It's not sugar alone or all foods with sugar.

    As for the second sentence, I assume you mean abstinence. That's the problem -- many, many foods that the person has no issues with have sugar in them (fruit, obviously, vegetables, dairy, sweet potatoes, etc.). Beyond that, to your body starch essentially = sugar, as it quickly becomes sugar upon being consumed. So short of an extreme low carb diet (which I think it usually not the right response, but on occasion I suppose it could be), abstinence from SUGAR is not really an option. Abstinence from trigger foods as one thing to consider/try? Sure, but mere abstinence is generally not all there is to overcoming an addiction (although it's an essential part, IMO), and admitting it's specific foods that are palatable to you contradicts the idea that it's a physical addiction caused by sugar (which is fine with me, I think there is such a thing as an eating addiction and that we could call this a behaviorial addiction of sorts). I'm not sure it helps to do so, but it might help some, who knows. (Just don't tell me it's worse than heroin as some will.)
    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.

    Okay, except again, I don't think you are really talking about sugar here, but sweet treats (and often specific sweet treats).

    I also think that most can manage to learn to moderate. Whether it's worth the trouble or not is a separate question, for many it might not be.
  • stevencloser
    stevencloser Posts: 8,911 Member
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    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?

    You're asking how an outside source of fake dopamine, causing your body to create less of its own dopamine, therefore making you feel like complete *kitten* when you're not on the drug causing the physical addiction; is different from your body's normal dopamine response to a foodstuff.
    I wonder what the difference is.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 10,037 Member
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    lpina2mi wrote: »
    Has anyone ever truly suffered from sugar addiction? How did you recover?

    I believe you.

    OP asked two questions. How do "believe" a question?
    You're projecting your own beliefs onto OP.
    Here are some starter ideas, since you mentioned the carb thing is a problem for you.

    Again, you're projecting. OP said no such thing. OP didn't even mention carbs (which is a larger category than sugar). OP made no declarative statements whatsoever.
    Think of things you can add to your life: a HIIT (high intensity exercise training routine); going to bed by 9:00p with a book, taking a short walk every morning before your shower, touching base with MFP friends and/or Group that will support you in your goals.

    I'm curious -- Is it bad to go to bed at 9 p.m. and just go to sleep? Is it bad to sit or lie on another piece of furniture with a book? Is it bad to read on an e-reader or read a magazine instead of a physical book? Can people take their walks after their showers?

    I think you may have missed some information the OP shared about herself in her other threads, that might be why you're confused.

    The below from the OP suggests that you're making an incorrect assumption that old posts by the OP are still relevant.
    Thanks to those who answered in a helpful manner. I honestly don't recall what I've posted on other boards because it's been a while and I've done every "eating scheme" out there.

    For those who cannot relate or say it doesn't exist, you're lucky. It's a very real thing for many people, myself included.

  • lpina2mi
    lpina2mi Posts: 425 Member
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    Yes, I have a total sugar addiction. 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!
    If I stay away from fruit completely I would probably lose my mind.

    When it's a hanger and not hunger...changing my palette works for me. I will either drink a cup black tea, unsweetened, of course, or brush my teeth and tongue. This was effective for me to break my late night eating habit.

    You have come amazingly far so fast! You may find more strategies in LCHF Group.