Anyone suffer from sugar addiction?

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  • inertiastrength
    inertiastrength Posts: 2,343 Member
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    I think it's just a matter of adjusting to new more balanced macros. I know *why* you think you have a sugar addiction, and it's probably because you crave it and eat it... and your body is designed to do that. Before Walmarts and drive thru's there were times of scarcity over winters etc. and your body is doing what it's designed to do; store fat and consume calories when there is an abundance for those times of scarcity. But they never come, because it's 2017. Just eat balanced and appropriately for your needs, your "addiction" will go away.
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,669 Member
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    Think about this: put kale or something sweet in front of a kid or baby. Which one are they going to choose to eat each time? It DOESN'T mean they have a "sugar addiction". Adults are no different. We gravitate towards things that taste good and sugar just makes things more palatable for many.

    I love chocolate. Take the sugar away from a Hershey's chocolate bar, and I WON'T eat it cause it would taste like crap to me.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
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    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

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  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,401 MFP Moderator
    edited June 2017
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    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.

    The reason there are these debates, is because it hasnt' been shown in human models that people can be addicted to sugar. But people can have behavioral like symptoms for hyperpalatable foods.... also taking into consideration whether or not you eat any sugar, your body still runs on sugar.


    Having said that, there are two main approaches to take... and depending on your personality and behaviors will depend on your approach. You can abstain and remove all of the foods that make you binge or feel addicted or you can moderate at smaller quantities. I have to moderate because when I eliminate, I find myself binging. Additionally, I found that if I focus on calories and protein, it has allowed me to be more successful. And I have tendencies to binge on meats and cheese. In fact, I will always choose more steak or a block of cheese over desert.


    ETA: some feel better when you reduce overall carbs, but I found I feel much better by increasing protein, fiber and carbs, while reducing fats. Both there is definitely a huge focus on whole foods in my diary.
  • Hello_its_Dan
    Hello_its_Dan Posts: 406 Member
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    Has anyone ever truly suffered from sugar addiction? How did you recover?

    No
  • MommyMeggo
    MommyMeggo Posts: 1,222 Member
    edited June 2017
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    Has anyone ever truly suffered from sugar addiction? How did you recover?

    Not I.
    However...once I quit eating sweets <simply to avoid high calorie treats> I actually dont want them anymore. (Primarily cake, candy, cookies, chocolate)
    Most things taste WAY too sweet when I do partake.

    Pop over to the debate section, or do a search for "sugar addiction". There is plenty to read through if the posts are still there. Just be prepared for all the comparisons to drug/alcohol/sex/etc additions. But there are some replies you will find interesting because there are plenty who think sugar addiction is real and plenty of those who disagree. Enjoy!


    ETA: Now, pizza addiction? ...you betcha. ;)
  • PeachyPlum
    PeachyPlum Posts: 1,243 Member
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    Sugar addiction is not a real thing.

    That being said, there is some scientific evidence that gut bacteria is capable of manipulating your eating behavior. So, if you eat a bunch of refined sugar the bacteria that thrive on processed sugar will emit neurotransmitters that drive you to consume more sugar.

    Whether that's true or not, the solution is the same. Cut down on added sugar. If you can, cut it out entirely until you're able to develop some willpower. Then add it back into your diet in moderation as long as it meets your calorie goal. Simple, really.
  • Carlos_421
    Carlos_421 Posts: 5,132 Member
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    nokanjaijo wrote: »
    I am doing keto. I have gone cold turkey, no sugar. I check the ingredients of sunflower seeds to make sure there's no sugar, that's how off sugar I am. No bread, pasta. No fruit.

    Are you not eating any vegetables? They have sugar. And the carbs in sunflower seeds break down into sugar.
  • missyjg99
    missyjg99 Posts: 246 Member
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    I used to think I did, but I realized that this is what your body is used to a "processed quick fix". This is the reason I'm so heavy. I prefer sweet over salty/savory but it's a preference and I realized that eating a simple protein (look at the recipe board, lots of great suggestions) and then I'll have something sweet. I try not to buy stuff that sweet, like candy/ice cream etc. I travel for work so my diet isn't the best but I realized that offering my body some alternatives to the processed sugar actually takes care of cravings. That being said, I've found that the first few days are rough. I think this is a low grade "withdrawal" but it gets better, or at least for me. Now every 28 days the gloves come off and I look like Anna from Frozen stuffing my face with chocolate. Don't judge.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
    edited June 2017
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    I believe anything can be addicting including sugar. For example most people are addicted to their smart phones. But these aren't addicting in the same way as meth or cocaine or alcohol. Willpower is how you overcome it. Deciding what is more important. In my opinion, claiming that sugar is this addiction that you have to "recover" from is a way of giving away your personal responsibility and ability to make better choices. I think your attitude has to change. Good luck
  • lpina2mi
    lpina2mi Posts: 425 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?

    Lynn, Most responses the poster received had a combative tone. I aimed to offer support and walking in someone else's moccasins gives the poster more respect for their experiences and empirical evidence. Any thing I offered after a kind word were simply ideas to illuminate that there is a path from where the poster is today to where the poster wants to go.

    Again, what works for one will not work for another. Gradual can work for one. Cold-turkey can work for another. Going to bed early can be a strategy for late-night eating for one. Third-shift workers develop strategies to a different clock.

    Your response, like many others in general MFP posts, seem to be looking for a fight, rather than lending a hand.

    Thank goodness there are closed groups for those of us who thrive best in gentler company.
  • janejellyroll
    janejellyroll Posts: 25,763 Member
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    hesn92 wrote: »
    I believe anything can be addicting including sugar. For example most people are addicted to their smart phones. But these aren't addicting in the same way as meth or cocaine or alcohol. Willpower is how you overcome it. Deciding what is more important. In my opinion, claiming that sugar is this addiction that you have to "recover" from is a way of giving away your personal responsibility and ability to make better choices. I think your attitude has to change. Good luck

    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."
  • nokanjaijo
    nokanjaijo Posts: 466 Member
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    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    Are you not eating any vegetables? They have sugar.

    I said that checking sunflower seeds for sugar content is how off sugar I am. Avoiding veg because they contain sugar would be beyond that, I think. So, no, I eat vegetables.
    Carlos_421 wrote: »
    And the carbs in sunflower seeds break down into sugar.

    Your body can even convert protein into carbs.

    I'm doing the upper carb limit of keto which is about 40g/day net carbs. That's actaully a lot of carbs for a keto diet but it still qualifies. A lot of people like to get under 20 total carbs.

    I honestly don't understand what you are getting at in these questions. I feel like you are working from an assumption that I don't agree with.
  • lpina2mi
    lpina2mi Posts: 425 Member
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    PeachyPlum wrote: »
    some scientific evidence that gut bacteria is capable of manipulating your eating behavior. So, if you eat a bunch of refined sugar the bacteria that thrive on processed sugar will emit neurotransmitters that drive you to consume more sugar.

    Although scientifically accurate statement, a person will experience is a sugar addictiion.
  • Jruzer
    Jruzer Posts: 3,501 Member
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    I, at one time, believed I was addicted to sugar.

    I handled that belief as an addict would and completely gave up added sugar. At the time, I also gave up starchy and refined carbs because I believed I was also addicted to those.

    I lived and ate that way for ten years.

    The beginning was hard, but I gradually got used to just eating meat, eggs, some dairy, and vegetables. I found it easiest to simply not buy things that would tempt me.

    What eventually did me in was not the desire to once again have something sweet, it was finding out that they'd introduced gluten free oats to the market (I have celiac disease).

    When I ate the oatmeal and found out that I didn't feel any different than I had felt from before by consuming starch, I had a long hard think about what I had previously experienced, my own perceptions, and my tendency towards gullibility and had to admit that I had been making excuses for bad behavior in the past and had experienced "symptoms" around that behavior because what I read about sugar/carb addiction (the straw I was grasping) told me I would.

    I reintroduced sugar and carbs back into my diet, but still kept the love and appreciation for vegetables that I had found as a low-carber in my life.

    While I appreciate the desire to want to limit one's consumption of added sugars (mine is still quite low because I'd rather spend my calories elsewhere), I don't find it helpful in the long-run for most people to frame their experiences as those of addicts.

    While the issue people can have with particular foods is often problematic, writing it off as addictive can shift the blame to the food rather than the underlying behaviors and habits that need to be acknowledged and addressed in order for a healthy ongoing relationship with food to be formed.

    I do think that in the initial phase of dealing with a problem with certain foods, it's often necessary to eliminate them completely, but I think the ultimate goal should always be to address the underlying issues and to keep an eye on a long-term goal of having a sustainable way of eating in mind.

    Best of luck to you, OP.

    @GottaBurnEmAll I wish I could "Insightful", "Inspiring", "Like", and "Awesome" this post. Well said!
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
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    hesn92 wrote: »
    I believe anything can be addicting including sugar. For example most people are addicted to their smart phones. But these aren't addicting in the same way as meth or cocaine or alcohol. Willpower is how you overcome it. Deciding what is more important. In my opinion, claiming that sugar is this addiction that you have to "recover" from is a way of giving away your personal responsibility and ability to make better choices. I think your attitude has to change. Good luck

    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."

    Yeah. I guess that sounds right to me. I guess I meant something that someone enjoys doing /consuming despite it being detrimental to their life in one way or another, but does it anyway. But I guess that's most things.
  • sak20011
    sak20011 Posts: 94 Member
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    While a biochemical "addiction" to sugar in the same manner as nicotine, other drugs, may not in fact exist, I think many people are emotionally attached to sugar--it is not just the taste of it but also what it represents. For me, as a child and teen, sugar was the single greatest source of self-comfort in difficult and lonely situations. So, for me, breaking the sugar habit (not addiction, but habit) involved finding new sources of self-care and being able to face difficulty and challenge in new ways, not using food.
  • nokanjaijo
    nokanjaijo Posts: 466 Member
    edited June 2017
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    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?
  • inkpoisonedsoul
    inkpoisonedsoul Posts: 17 Member
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    I quit cold turkey for 30 days and am now able to fit in some sweets every now and again without lapsing into a binge/purge cycle. I had to be in the right mindset and had to want to change my choices before I was finally able to take control. I have done the cold turkey thing before and have always ended up bingeing in the end. This time, I have been successful but only because I truly wanted to change this time.
  • hesn92
    hesn92 Posts: 5,967 Member
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    There we go, it's a "habit" not addiction