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Limiting sugar intake?

dunenoretdunenoret Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
I’ve slowly but surely come to realise that I have a major problem with sugar/sweets/biscuits etc.

I was wondering if anyone has any foolproof strategies to limit sugar intake - one portion a day maybe - but actually stopping after that one which I find impossible to do!

Many Thanks 😊
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Replies

  • dunenoretdunenoret Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
    Sure.

    For me I save 200 calories for the end of the day to have my sweet snack. I portion whatever it is I'm going to have and store those servings in the freezer. I take one out and gnaw at it frozen - somewhere away from the kitchen .

    When I'm done I brush my teeth

    Then I go to bed.

    Knowing I'll get to have it that day keeps me off the other stuff, the inconvenient location and, erm, state (frozen) slows me down and I only have to exercise any real will power when I'm portioning it out to start with.

    Thank you 😊
  • concordanciaconcordancia Member Posts: 5,317 Member Member Posts: 5,317 Member
    Well, I let mine thaw first, but the freezer thing is also one of my tricks. If not the freezer, I at least measure out a portion, put the bag/box/plate away and go sit down with what I have.

    Often, I have a keto option, rather than a high carb option, but I am diabetic, so this tight control is absolutely essential.

    For ice cream, I have taken to buying bars, rather than pints. I tried the Ben and Jerry's single serve, but they crumble the chunks finer and it just isn't the same.

  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 23,867 Member Member Posts: 23,867 Member
    Another vote for upping fruit, especially high fiber fruit like berries. Both fruit and fiber helps me, so it's nice to get them together.

    Other tips:
    1. Making sure I'm going to hit my protein goal for the day. When I'm not eating enough protein, I tend to reach for snacky/desserty foods.
    2. Regular moderate exercise acts as a mild appetite suppressant for me and gives me some of those happy chemicals I might otherwise get from snacky/desserty foods.
  • HotelsmaHotelsma Member Posts: 356 Member Member Posts: 356 Member
    @dunenoret I’d start by eating Sugar free products. Same hit but less calories. I usually get sugar free sweets or candy if your American. Diet sodas etc. Slowly you can Wien your way off it
  • HotelsmaHotelsma Member Posts: 356 Member Member Posts: 356 Member
    @dunenoret failing that get some chocolate that’s in segments and tell yourself you will have 2/3 bits a day and make it last
  • g2renewg2renew Member Posts: 79 Member Member Posts: 79 Member
    dunenoret wrote: »
    I’ve slowly but surely come to realise that I have a major problem with sugar/sweets/biscuits etc.

    I was wondering if anyone has any foolproof strategies to limit sugar intake - one portion a day maybe - but actually stopping after that one which I find impossible to do!

    Many Thanks 😊

    Oh, jeez! IKR?! I am a full-blown, genuine sugar addict. For decades, I would have multiple sodas-full sugar, usually Coke- every single day PLUS a mid day treat to pull myself out of the afternoon slump at work, THEN have a dessert -or two!-after dinner. Otherwise, I would feel deprived. What crazy person feels like they 'need' this much sugar? I did! I have said for years, "I need a Coke.", rather than "I want a Coke", because that was how I felt. I had to decide to stay AWAY from all added sugars AND sweetners of any kind, choosing instead to eat whole foods, more protein, real fats, more fiber, more water, more leafy greens and vegetables. The fat and protein were important for those first few days to no feel deprived. I made sure to eat breakfast with protein, fat, and fiber (egg, oatmeal, bacon, butter-avocado, if I was lucky!) and not to allow more than five hours between meals with four being ideal. Somedays in the beginning, 3 hours was enough. Lunch was heavy on the veg and meat, if I wanted it (Med Rare steak, salad with cottage cheese instead of dressing, lots of red and yellow peppers, sweet potato or baked, butter or Extra Virgin Olive Oil). Dinner would start with a light soup, then meat and at least 2 kins of veg. Or fajitas! Yum! I did self checks to see if I was hungry or 'mouth hungry' or thirsty (I aim for 1/2 gallon of water daily). If waiting 20 min did not kill the urge for the sweet, then I sliced a firm sweet juicy apple and slathered on Natural Peanut Butter- no added sugars or salts. Mindful eating, i.e., no TV or computer, helped, too. It only took about three days before this became rather easy. Big change from someone who thought they 'needed' sweet stuff in their mouth/life! There are days I need a little more-so I choose wisely, but I get it. I use a calorie range, rather than just one goal. So for me, I aim for 1500 cal/day, but as long as I stay under 1800, I do not sweat it. After getting a grip on the sugars, the other macros have been easy! With the exception of protein! Arrgh! I aim for 100-130g per day, with a dead minimum of 50g daily. If I am not careful to eat meat or have a protein drink, sometimes I have trouble reaching my goal. Best wishes! Sugar is a HARD addiction to fight! But, I have now had almost 2 months of relatively sugar-free (except fruits/veg) and it now feels more like a way of life rather than a 'diet'. You probably know that hidden sugars are in foods you would never think of-like canned green beans-so read those labels. Or I made it easy on myself, and rarely eat/drink anything that has a label:-). Now the sweetest thinkg in my life is 'me';-D! --and my relationships with people rather than food.

    BTW- I have said this so many times lately that it is like a mantra---for me "it is easier to concentrate on what I CAN have, than what I CAN'T". Hope this is helpful:-).
    edited April 22
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,220 Member Member Posts: 7,220 Member
    I actually have done a combination of the things suggested above. Initially, I saved 200 cals (or sometimes more if I had lots of exercise cals) and had ice cream (usually) if it fit in. If it didn't, I didn't, and I found it helpful not to make it an every day thing.

    Later I did increase fruit (I was kind of moderate to lower carb initially, so basically eating 1 serving of fruit per day, and using it as an alternative to starches, I had lots of non starchy veg), and not sure if that's related, but I've basically lost my desire for sweets. I super crave fruit when it's hot out, but not a problem. I'm actually kind of moderate to lower carb again and the desire for sugary sweets hasn't returned although occasionally I crave specific fruits.

    I think one key might be strict rules about timing and cals, but letting yourself have something if and when it fits in.
    edited April 22
  • durhammfpdurhammfp Member Posts: 486 Member Member Posts: 486 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    It doesn't work for everyone (though I'm not the *only* one for whom it did): Eating more fruit helped reduce my cravings for less nutrient dense more calorie-dense sweets like candy, cookies, cakes, etc. I started with 3 servings of fruit every day, and did have to exercise some will power at first to avoid the other stuff; but after a while things like grocery store cookies weren't even appealing, just *too* sweet, and too simple tasting. After a while, I was able to reduce the fruit servings, and keep the effect. Nowadays, I like the occasional special dessert, but I don't crave the sweet snacks like I once did. YMMV, but might be worth a try.

    FWIW, this was a tip from a registered dietitian, as a strategy to try.

    This really resonates with my experience. I thought I finally had the sugar demons whipped, after I lost weight and started running. I really cut down on obvious sweets. Having thought I kicked sugar, I started loading up on vegan Clif bars since I was running 30ish miles every week. I mean, it's vegan! It's a sports bar! It's made with SCIENCE! lol.

    Anyway, I finally developed a strong sensitivity to them... not sure if it was the sugar or the highly refined soy or what but they were hugely messing with my life so I dumped them. It was only then I realized how addictive the sugar in them really was.

    So in the past 6 weeks I have become a huge fruit addict. It's fruit so it's healthy right? But I'm afraid I'm overdoing it... about 500-550 grams of just fruit every day. It's not that I feel bad but 3/4 of my close relatives have diabetes and I'm really concerned about developing insulin resistance.

    How do you wean yourself off all those apples, bananas, and dried apricots?
  • LoreleiLoreleiLoreleiLoreleiLoreleiLorelei Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    I also have a strong sensitivity to sugar now, but I don't think it's because I started eating more fruit. I used to salivate over those cake slices in the grocery store bakery... Now I walk right by them, because I know if I had more than one bite I would feel sick.
    I still eat single servings of muffins or cakes, but I make my own. I use sugar-free cake mixes and sub half of the mix for protein powder. Or use fat-free Greek yogurt as the liquid for my muffins. So they are all high in protein and low in calories.
    For candy, I only eat sugar-free, high fiber/protein ones that you can find at GNC. I used to get terrible cravings for Sour Patch Kids, now I drink the Ghost Sour Patch Kids BCAAs every day and I no longer want them.
    I think starting to exercise 5x/week now may have also had an effect.
    edited April 22
  • LoreleiLoreleiLoreleiLoreleiLoreleiLorelei Member Posts: 10 Member Member Posts: 10 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »

    So in the past 6 weeks I have become a huge fruit addict. It's fruit so it's healthy right? But I'm afraid I'm overdoing it... about 500-550 grams of just fruit every day. It's not that I feel bad but 3/4 of my close relatives have diabetes and I'm really concerned about developing insulin resistance.

    How do you wean yourself off all those apples, bananas, and dried apricots?

    How can you go wrong? Fruit doesn't usually have a high glycemic index (except for pineapple), so it wouldn't spike your insulin levels. Also, it seems like nature to eat a ton of fruit? Why would you want to break such a wonderful addiction? :smile:
    edited April 22
  • Mazintrov13Mazintrov13 Member Posts: 121 Member Member Posts: 121 Member
    durhammfp wrote: »

    So in the past 6 weeks I have become a huge fruit addict. It's fruit so it's healthy right? But I'm afraid I'm overdoing it... about 500-550 grams of just fruit every day. It's not that I feel bad but 3/4 of my close relatives have diabetes and I'm really concerned about developing insulin resistance.

    How do you wean yourself off all those apples, bananas, and dried apricots?

    How can you go wrong? Fruit doesn't usually have a high glycemic index (except for pineapple), so it wouldn't spike your insulin levels. Also, it seems like nature to eat a ton of fruit? Why would you want to break such a wonderful addiction? :smile:

    Eating too much fruit can definitely put you over your calories though, I know I could easily add an extra few hundred calories a day over my tdee just from fruit!
  • corinasue1143corinasue1143 Member Posts: 5,177 Member Member Posts: 5,177 Member
    A couple of things.
    Almonds. Often when I want sweets, it’s an urge, not a real hunger. Looks good, smells good, sounds good, I want it. 4 almonds, one at a time, and I’m doing something else and have completely forgotten about it.

    Dark chocolate, and I mean dark. 85-90% is my favorite. Doesn’t melt fast. Makes me think I’m having dessert, doesn’t trigger wanting more sugar. And I really don’t want a lot.

    Hint from dietician. Have a dessert occasionally. You are a good person, and you deserve the very best. Have only the best dessert. Do NOT waste your calories on a so-so dessert. Only the best! Save your calories until then.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,496 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,496 Member
    I don't struggle with sugar, but I love savory snacks. I will weigh out my portion, enjoy it, and remind myself I can have more tomorrow if I want some. If it's hard, I distract myself with something fun. It helps for me to make sure that I'm not trying to satisfy hunger with the item. In other words, if I have chips as part of a meal or a snack when I'm not really hungry, it usually works out. If I open a bag of chips because I'm hungry, that's riskier.

    Once I got in the habit of telling myself "I can have more later" and stopping, it got easier. In my case, this kind of self-control is like a muscle. The more I work it, the better I get at it.
  • dunenoretdunenoret Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
    I don't struggle with sugar, but I love savory snacks. I will weigh out my portion, enjoy it, and remind myself I can have more tomorrow if I want some. If it's hard, I distract myself with something fun. It helps for me to make sure that I'm not trying to satisfy hunger with the item. In other words, if I have chips as part of a meal or a snack when I'm not really hungry, it usually works out. If I open a bag of chips because I'm hungry, that's riskier.

    Once I got in the habit of telling myself "I can have more later" and stopping, it got easier. In my case, this kind of self-control is like a muscle. The more I work it, the better I get at it.

    This sounds really good - thank you!😊
  • tekwritertekwriter Member, Premium Posts: 927 Member Member, Premium Posts: 927 Member
    If you are a diabetic too much fruit is also bad for you, so all the fruit you can eat is not a good option either. Letting go of the sugar completely and also the artificial sweeteners is the best way but it is also hard to do. If you can make it through the first week it gets a lot easier. The fruit begins to taste sweeter and we are moving into the best part of the year. Once you get off the sugar just watch to make sure you don't overdo with the fruit, otherwise it is a good switch.
  • lmf1012lmf1012 Member Posts: 79 Member Member Posts: 79 Member
    I actually found it easier to just cut out all added sugars, once my body adjusted, I no longer craved sweets. I have since added 3 squares of my favorite extra strong dark chocolate (77%) to my daily meal plan. Like someone else mentioned, it satisfies the sweet tooth and I have no issues stopping with the portion I have logged for myself for the day. It is a really nice way to end my eating for the day.
  • musicfan68musicfan68 Member Posts: 881 Member Member Posts: 881 Member
    I found that changing my routine or habits around what I was eating too much of helped break the habit. I always bought a Litte Debbie Fudge Round every morning with my coffee. The store moved them, so I didn't' have that visual cue that made me want one. I now avoid the chips aisle, cookie/candy aisle at the store - I used to buy bags of mini candy bars and eat the whole bag in a day or two. If I don't have that visual cue, I don't buy them. It also helps to just do something else in place of eating what you don't want to eat. If you always feel like you need chocolate in the afternoon, get up and go outside or do something else that breaks that routine. Eventually, you won't miss it.
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