Addicted to sugar

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Rezinow
Rezinow Posts: 5 Member
edited October 2023 in Food and Nutrition
Hi! I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with always craving sugar. I kept gaining weight whithout understanding why. First my nutritionist told me that it's because of the sweets (mostly different kinds of chocolate, including vegan bars and fitness bars), but I didn't realize it until I started counting calories.

Yesterday, for instance, I had about 2400kcal. From that amount about 700kcal was only from sweets and I didn't even eat that much. I had three mini chocolates after lunch and two after dinner (20g each). The whole day I ate well, mostly protein, and it ended up with 1600kcal. So basically if I hadn't eaten that sweets I would have ended up in deficit. But I craved them desperately, and it was so hard not to have some.

Yesterday was hard for me, because I was desperately trying not to eat sweats, and I still ended up having so much. I was hoping for some tips, like how do you deal with your cravings? What do you do when you need something sweet? And not just sweet as in taste (apples don't count here lol), but actually sugary, like in chocolate or cookies or cake. Anyone else with this problem? Or just knows why I have it?

Replies

  • kiteflyer105
    kiteflyer105 Posts: 137 Member
    edited October 2023
    Options
    Hi. I know the frustration involved. Did you know sugar is molecule away from cocaine? Your brain wants it's pleasure reward system lit up, lol.

    https://brainmd.com/blog/what-do-sugar-and-cocaine-have-in-common
    https://www.simplypsychology.org/brain-reward-system.html#Neurobiology of The Reward Pathway: from Perception to Behavioral Reinforcement

    How I deal with the cravings is talking back to my brain! Do I really need it? How long will it take to exercise off? I am stronger than the food. It doesn't rule me. My goal is more important than this!

    Have a list of why you don't want to eat...ready to go. Have a cringe picture of yourself ready to look at...Get out of the house.

    Make a list of activities to do when you want to eat.
    Listen to a podcast
    Read a book
    Watch a TED talk
    Paint your nails.
    Brush your teeth.
    Go window shopping.
    Learn a new skill.
    Volumteer
    Practice one of your self-care techniques
    Take a dog for awalk
    Dance to music
    Do laundry

    Good luck!


  • neanderthin
    neanderthin Posts: 10,018 Member
    Options
    Haha, good post above. Yeah, the neurotransmitter dopamine is nothing to mess with for it has as much as 6 million years of experience in humans and goes back 1/2 billion years. Willpower, sure, give it a try and if that doesn't work, you might have to find an eating solution that doesn't involve too much sugar. Cheers :)
  • evileyefirefly
    evileyefirefly Posts: 104 Member
    Options
    Rezinow wrote: »
    Hi! I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with always craving sugar. I kept gaining weight whithout understanding why. First my nutritionist told me that it's because of the sweets (mostly different kinds of chocolate, including vegan bars and fitness bars), but I didn't realize it until I started counting calories.

    Yesterday, for instance, I had about 2400kcal. From that amount about 700kcal was only from sweets and I didn't even eat that much. I had three mini chocolates after lunch and two after dinner (20g each). The whole day I ate well, mostly protein, and it ended up with 1600kcal. So basically if I hadn't eaten that sweets I would have ended up in deficit. But I craved them desperately, and it was so hard not to have some.

    Yesterday was hard for me, because I was desperately trying not to eat sweats, and I still ended up having so much. I was hoping for some tips, like how do you deal with your cravings? What do you do when you need something sweet? And not just sweet as in taste (apples don't count here lol), but actually sugary, like in chocolate or cookies or cake. Anyone else with this problem? Or just knows why I have it?

    I also have a bad sweet tooth, I've found that if I'm consistantly working out, and drinking a good amount of water (64oz+), and getting enough fiber (roasted veggies are my go to) my cravings just aren't there.
  • no1racefan2
    no1racefan2 Posts: 84 Member
    Options
    This has been a struggle for me as well and I'm still working on it, but it has gotten better. Here are some things that have helped:
    -Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The darker it is, the more bitter, so I just don't want to eat as much.
    -If there are sweets at home I'll offer to share one with my spouse. Then I can still have the taste but in smaller quantities.
    -Replacing a particular type of candy at work with M&Ms, that have less calories and fat. I'm not totally eliminating the sugar, but trying to make better choices.
    -Drinking flavored sparkling water
    -Brush your teeth after a meal.
    -Pre-portioned ice cream, such as ice cream sandwiches, instead of just filling a bowl
    -Reducing the amount of sugar in recipes. I do a lot of baking, so I've been cutting the sugar by a third, and it's really not noticeable.
    -Planning special meals that I look forward to instead of sweets. Last night I had english muffin pizzas on the menu for dinner (a favorite from when I was a kid) and I was so excited about them that it helped me avoid afternoon snacks because I was just thinking about dinner instead.

    I've only been working on this for about five weeks so I definitely still get sugar cravings, but I've noticed it's way less than before. I've also noticed when I do have sweets they are usually way more sweet than I remember, which is a turn off. I was just like you and was over my calories on snacks, so for now my goal is to cut my snack calories in half, rather than trying to eliminate them. So far so good.
  • loulee997
    loulee997 Posts: 273 Member
    Options
    Are you vegan? If not, you can try a chocolate Carb Master milk. It's sweet and chocolaty. You can have up to 8 oz for 80 calories. It has 11 grams of protein. You could have 2 ounces when you crave chocolate. You get your chocolate fix, but it lowers the calories and increases the protein. It is lactose-free.

    I have even frozen it an ice tray with a popsicle stick in it for a frozen treat. I'm going to try to make ice cream out of next summer. I'm lactose intolerant so finding a dairy I can drink is amazing. And it is sweet.

    You can also try a 100 Grand bar. Regular size. It has 2 pieces inside. It is 95 calories for one piece of the 2.


    HOW TO BREAK A SUGAR HABIT
    https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2022/june/how-to-break-a-sugar-addiction



    I
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,685 Member
    Options
    This has been a struggle for me as well and I'm still working on it, but it has gotten better. Here are some things that have helped:
    -Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The darker it is, the more bitter, so I just don't want to eat as much.
    -If there are sweets at home I'll offer to share one with my spouse. Then I can still have the taste but in smaller quantities.
    -Replacing a particular type of candy at work with M&Ms, that have less calories and fat. I'm not totally eliminating the sugar, but trying to make better choices.
    -Drinking flavored sparkling water
    -Brush your teeth after a meal.
    After eating sweets, this isn't a great idea.
    -Pre-portioned ice cream, such as ice cream sandwiches, instead of just filling a bowl
    -Reducing the amount of sugar in recipes. I do a lot of baking, so I've been cutting the sugar by a third, and it's really not noticeable.
    -Planning special meals that I look forward to instead of sweets. Last night I had english muffin pizzas on the menu for dinner (a favorite from when I was a kid) and I was so excited about them that it helped me avoid afternoon snacks because I was just thinking about dinner instead.

    I've only been working on this for about five weeks so I definitely still get sugar cravings, but I've noticed it's way less than before. I've also noticed when I do have sweets they are usually way more sweet than I remember, which is a turn off. I was just like you and was over my calories on snacks, so for now my goal is to cut my snack calories in half, rather than trying to eliminate them. So far so good.
    Some of these I do as well. I don't deny myself anything, but I DO make sure to limit how much.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 35+ years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png


  • Rezinow
    Rezinow Posts: 5 Member
    Options
    Hi. I know the frustration involved. Did you know sugar is molecule away from cocaine? Your brain wants it's pleasure reward system lit up, lol.

    https://brainmd.com/blog/what-do-sugar-and-cocaine-have-in-common
    https://www.simplypsychology.org/brain-reward-system.html#Neurobiology of The Reward Pathway: from Perception to Behavioral Reinforcement

    How I deal with the cravings is talking back to my brain! Do I really need it? How long will it take to exercise off? I am stronger than the food. It doesn't rule me. My goal is more important than this!

    Have a list of why you don't want to eat...ready to go. Have a cringe picture of yourself ready to look at...Get out of the house.

    Make a list of activities to do when you want to eat.
    Listen to a podcast
    Read a book
    Watch a TED talk
    Paint your nails.
    Brush your teeth.
    Go window shopping.
    Learn a new skill.
    Volumteer
    Practice one of your self-care techniques
    Take a dog for awalk
    Dance to music
    Do laundry

    Good luck!


    thank you for this! I heard something like that before but I'm not familiar with the details. I will take a look at the link, maybe it will help me understand better this relationship with sugar that I have!

    Also, those are great tips! I personally think the best one for me was to brush my teeth. There is something about the toothpaste that is signaling to my brain that the eating period has ended haha
  • Rezinow
    Rezinow Posts: 5 Member
    Options
    This has been a struggle for me as well and I'm still working on it, but it has gotten better. Here are some things that have helped:
    -Dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. The darker it is, the more bitter, so I just don't want to eat as much.
    -If there are sweets at home I'll offer to share one with my spouse. Then I can still have the taste but in smaller quantities.
    -Replacing a particular type of candy at work with M&Ms, that have less calories and fat. I'm not totally eliminating the sugar, but trying to make better choices.
    -Drinking flavored sparkling water
    -Brush your teeth after a meal.
    -Pre-portioned ice cream, such as ice cream sandwiches, instead of just filling a bowl
    -Reducing the amount of sugar in recipes. I do a lot of baking, so I've been cutting the sugar by a third, and it's really not noticeable.
    -Planning special meals that I look forward to instead of sweets. Last night I had english muffin pizzas on the menu for dinner (a favorite from when I was a kid) and I was so excited about them that it helped me avoid afternoon snacks because I was just thinking about dinner instead.

    I've only been working on this for about five weeks so I definitely still get sugar cravings, but I've noticed it's way less than before. I've also noticed when I do have sweets they are usually way more sweet than I remember, which is a turn off. I was just like you and was over my calories on snacks, so for now my goal is to cut my snack calories in half, rather than trying to eliminate them. So far so good.


    Oh, god... english muffin pizzas do sound amazing :wink:
    Congrats on sticking through with it for five weeks! You are amazing and keep up the good work! Honestly, I am very happy for you because I know how hard it can be... I applaud you 👏

    Also, about the calorie count. I knew sugar is high in kcal, and that it's unhealthy and all, but I never realized just how much kcal it can actually have. I always thought a little something sweet couldn't harm. Only when I started counting kcal and dividing food by sugar, protein, carbs, and fiber, did I realize it can make such a difference.
  • Rezinow
    Rezinow Posts: 5 Member
    Options
    loulee997 wrote: »
    Are you vegan? If not, you can try a chocolate Carb Master milk. It's sweet and chocolaty. You can have up to 8 oz for 80 calories. It has 11 grams of protein. You could have 2 ounces when you crave chocolate. You get your chocolate fix, but it lowers the calories and increases the protein. It is lactose-free.

    I have even frozen it an ice tray with a popsicle stick in it for a frozen treat. I'm going to try to make ice cream out of next summer. I'm lactose intolerant so finding a dairy I can drink is amazing. And it is sweet.

    You can also try a 100 Grand bar. Regular size. It has 2 pieces inside. It is 95 calories for one piece of the 2.


    HOW TO BREAK A SUGAR HABIT
    https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2022/june/how-to-break-a-sugar-addiction



    I

    I love the popsicle idea! I don't think we have the Carb Master milk in Europe but I'll try to find something simmilar. And then do the popsicle thing :)

    I'm not vegan but I'm lactose and gluten intolerant so I do end up buying lots of vegan food and just like you I found out a lot of great and tasty stuff.
  • loulee997
    loulee997 Posts: 273 Member
    Options
    Rezinow wrote: »
    loulee997 wrote: »
    Are you vegan? If not, you can try a chocolate Carb Master milk. It's sweet and chocolaty. You can have up to 8 oz for 80 calories. It has 11 grams of protein. You could have 2 ounces when you crave chocolate. You get your chocolate fix, but it lowers the calories and increases the protein. It is lactose-free.

    I have even frozen it an ice tray with a popsicle stick in it for a frozen treat. I'm going to try to make ice cream out of next summer. I'm lactose intolerant so finding a dairy I can drink is amazing. And it is sweet.

    You can also try a 100 Grand bar. Regular size. It has 2 pieces inside. It is 95 calories for one piece of the 2.


    HOW TO BREAK A SUGAR HABIT
    https://integrisok.com/resources/on-your-health/2022/june/how-to-break-a-sugar-addiction



    I

    I love the popsicle idea! I don't think we have the Carb Master milk in Europe but I'll try to find something simmilar. And then do the popsicle thing :)

    I'm not vegan but I'm lactose and gluten intolerant so I do end up buying lots of vegan food and just like you I found out a lot of great and tasty stuff.

    There are several brands of low-carb, high-protein chocolate milk. I like Carb Master because it tastes like real chocolate milk. But I'm sure you can find something similar. Some of the high-protein milks taste like chalk.

    Do a taste test and find one you like.
    They are not all equal.


  • MacLowCarbing
    MacLowCarbing Posts: 350 Member
    Options
    Some people can do sweets in moderation, and some can't.

    I tried every which way from Sunday to figure out a way to do my food addictions in some kind of moderation because I didn't want to feel deprived.

    The problem is, the minute I have even a small amount of treats with added sugar, forget it. The craving switch in my brain goes on. I even have to be very careful around artificial sweeteners because it can trigger cravings/binges.

    I got to a point where I had to accept I can't do moderation, so I do abstinence. I gave up added sugars.. if I eat something sweet in its natural form like fruit or veggies or even unsweetened dairy, I'm okay. In fact, when I don't eat added sugars or artificial sugars, those things are even more satisfying.

    Takes a few weeks to get used to but once you're used to it, I found it such a relief. The craving switch just goes off.

    I thought I would feel restricted and deprived giving it up, but when you break free of an addiction and aren't plagued by those thoughts and desires anymore, it's actually quite liberating.
  • Rezinow
    Rezinow Posts: 5 Member
    Options
    Some people can do sweets in moderation, and some can't.

    I tried every which way from Sunday to figure out a way to do my food addictions in some kind of moderation because I didn't want to feel deprived.

    The problem is, the minute I have even a small amount of treats with added sugar, forget it. The craving switch in my brain goes on. I even have to be very careful around artificial sweeteners because it can trigger cravings/binges.

    I got to a point where I had to accept I can't do moderation, so I do abstinence. I gave up added sugars.. if I eat something sweet in its natural form like fruit or veggies or even unsweetened dairy, I'm okay. In fact, when I don't eat added sugars or artificial sugars, those things are even more satisfying.

    Takes a few weeks to get used to but once you're used to it, I found it such a relief. The craving switch just goes off.

    I thought I would feel restricted and deprived giving it up, but when you break free of an addiction and aren't plagued by those thoughts and desires anymore, it's actually quite liberating.

    Thanks for sharing! I think I might be in your group too. I wrote earlier I had 2-3 mini chocolate bars. They aren't much, but I feel like if I was in control, I would be able to eat only one! And I can't. I'm not in control. As soon as I have one, I start needing another. The same is with cookies. That is why I admire so much people who can actually have only one cookie haha sounds like a superpower!

    So you think it takes time for your tastebuds to chill and get used to natural sweetness? Like in fruit. And a person only has to 'survive' this period.

    And also, cograts on sticking with it! 👏🏻
  • MamaBear5445
    MamaBear5445 Posts: 59 Member
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    I wrote about this recently as well in another thread (but I was eating thousands of calories per day in sweets). There were some really good tips there but these are the ones that stand out
    -do several jumping jacks everytime you feel this extreme need to have a sweet
    -limit your snack to snack time ONLY. I really look forward to snack time now (10:15 & 2:30) and plan my snack for that time. Looking forward to it has helped me savor the smaller sized portion of sweet I do get. I also have a protein snack during this time.
  • cory17
    cory17 Posts: 1,400 Member
    Options
    Pay attention to when & where you are craving sweets - is it after work at home? when you're driving? in the evenings? I am a stress and procrastination eater and if can get through those times being mindful about choices, am able to avoid the search for something sweet. The other thing is Do Not Bring ANYTHING home (if that's your spot) that you don't want to be eating. And have something available as a substitute.