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Eliminating sweets help please!

willsrebwillsreb Member Posts: 46 Member Member Posts: 46 Member
Hi everyone,

I’m naturally slim and I enjoy excercise. I gained a few pounds out of comfort eating (I think that’s what it was, anyway) ..... basically eating even more chocolate than I usually would while watching movies at night time, alone, after my long term relationship ended.

I stopped feeling sorry for myself and used my fitness pal to count calories and lose the 6 pounds I’d gained. I’m now around 120lbs which is usual for me (5ft4.5in) and I’m perfectly comfortable with my size and shape - I don’t wish to lose any more weight. However, I am deeply concerned about my addiction to chocolate (possibly sweets in general, not entirely sure) ... I’m scared about getting diabetes, I’m scared that I’m not in control of eating chocolate. Wether I’m eating 1300-1500 calories a day or my maintenance calories, about 700-800 of my calorie intake comes from chocolate. That is embarrassing to admit.

I live in England and have considered seeing my GP about this, but I’m afraid they won’t take me seriously because I’m not overweight. I told my sister that I considered this, and that I believe I must have an eating disorder and she said I do not have an eating disorder and that it purely comes down to willpower. Maybe she’s right, but I can easily restrict my calories and I enjoy doing cardio 6 days a week so I think I must be fairly disciplined so why wouldn’t I be able to cut out chocolate? It feels like it must be an addiction.

I read going cold turkey is the best way. I tried this and lasted one day!

Please, if any of you have suffered in this way and have managed to control your sweets intake please give me all the tips you have! Tell me all about your journey. I really, really want to be free from this addiction.

Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • apullumapullum Member Posts: 4,888 Member Member Posts: 4,888 Member
    I eat chocolate every day. I ate chocolate every day while losing weight, and in maintenance I do the same. Are we counting just pieces of chocolate (about 200-250 calories per day), or also chocolate protein powder/bars/PB2/etc (another 500 or so calories per day)?

    I also really look forward to my nice meal and dessert after a long run. I usually run long on Sundays and then go to the farmer's market, where there's a bakery stand with delicious brownies and chocolate chip cookies. The thought of those brownies has gotten me through quite a few double digit runs.

    Chocolate doesn't cause diabetes. Sweets in general do not cause diabetes. You can enjoy your chocolate and not worry about that.

    If you're eating so much chocolate that you don't get all your nutrients, then you probably want to cut back and/or find chocolate flavored things that are more nutritious. I like double chocolate chunk Quest bars. I also have the same breakfast every morning: nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with fiber cereal, chocolate protein powder, and chocolate PB2. Thin with milk or water if it's too thick. It's chocolatey, but also full of protein and fiber that help me hit my macros.

    If you're able to stop at one piece of chocolate, then try buying small, individually wrapped chocolates. I think Ghirardelli squares are nice for this, if you have those. They're pretty big, but they're thin, so they're only 50-75 calories each.

    Finally, I'd be more concerned about finding your maintenance calorie goal than I would be about your chocolate intake. It sounds like you don't have a good idea of how many calories you need to maintain on. Everyone has a maintenance range, not an exact maintenance weight, but it sounds like you're frequently changing your calorie intake rather than determining how many calories you need for maintenance. There are many threads in the Maintaining Weight forum about finding out your maintenance calorie needs.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,569 Member Member Posts: 7,569 Member
    I'm thinking that you might be undereating, and that can contribute to eating feeling out of control.

    I'd start by deciding what you want to be eating in a day -- your protein, veg, other nutritious sides -- and when you want to eat them, and then budget some calories (maybe at the end of the day when you aren't hungry?) to chocolate. Are there chocolate options that you feel more able to control yourself with? Choose those, or choose single serving size, or measure out some and just eat that. Sometimes people do things like grab a pint of ice cream and eat until they don't want more, and then feel like there's something wrong if they eat more than planned. That's way more difficult than is necessary.
  • FinntheVeggieFinntheVeggie Member Posts: 74 Member Member Posts: 74 Member
    I can say from experience that dieting brings out the worst in us vis a vis cravings. You sound worried, and that's understandable but once you've been back to eating your maintenance calories for a little longer the uncontrollable cravings might lessen.

    Also speaking from personal experience, I obviously don't know your whole story but if your only symptom is that you're struggling to control your chocolate intake, I don't think you have an eating disorder. Unless your anxieties about your weight/diet and fear of diabetes are controlling your life, making it hard to concentrate/eat/sleep/etc. (and if they are, definitely talk to your GP or a counselor).

    One time I wrote down everything I ate for a week and brought that to a counseling appointment. My counselor and I took a look through to make sure I was eating enough/getting everything that I needed. That helped me make some changes and feel more assured that I was eating healthy (because when you've been binging/restricting for too long like I was, your sense of "normal" gets really whacked). If you decide to see your GP, I definitely recommend doing that!

    Don't go cold turkey! Even if it works for a while, you might slip right back into the same pattern once you let yourself have chocolate again, and I assume you don't want to give it up for the rest of forever (and you shouldn't have to! Chocolate is yummy and fine in moderation!) I don't know if this would work for you, but why not get small chocolates (hershey kisses, or my personal favorite those little Dove squares) and give yourself a limit of 2-3 per day? You can put them in a weekly box/pill container, so if you want to eat more you'll have to steal them from tomorrow-you, and tomorrow-you will learn quickly that that's just setting yourself up for sadness. Alternatively, you could give the bag to your sister or someone else, and ask them to only give you 2-3 per day.

    Best of luck!

    Finn

    edited March 2019
  • fcanadfcanad Member, Premium Posts: 48 Member Member, Premium Posts: 48 Member
    From having to drop food obsessions in the past:
    •Try switching to a higher protein/fat meal plan
    •Try switching types of chocolate. Are you less out of control with unsweetened? Super dark? Raw?
  • springlering62springlering62 Member, Premium Posts: 3,798 Member Member, Premium Posts: 3,798 Member
    I totally get the chocolate thing.

    Woo me, but for some of us I sincerely believe chocolate is an addiction. My chocolate related behavior had all the earmarks of a more serious drug addiction. The subterfuge, the cunning “need” to stop off for something and just “happen” to pick up several pounds of chocolate, disguising the money spent, shopping different stores so the cashiers wouldn’t recognize me (honest!), trying to convince my husband I was still eating the same sack (four or five sacks later), not caring how it affected my own health, or, worse, was totally disrespectful to my diabetic husband’s health. It must have been torment for him to see me selfishly stuffing my face with sweets. Several times, I even tried to “overdose”- to eat so much of it to make myself so sick I’d never want it again. Didn’t work. I had a real problem.

    If you’re suffering with chocolate compulsion, I totally understand. For me, it’s a real thing.

    What helps me cope on a regular basis is a twice daily banana/cocoa smoothie. It’s sweet and it’s chcolatey. It’s enough to hold me, and I religiously budget the calories every morning.

    And for some nutty reason, simply inhaling the fragrance of the ground chocolate helps relieve the craving too. I know I sound like I’m a basket case, but it really does help.

    I do not have the strength to be like others here who can have “one” mini bar or one “square”. Give a drunk a drink......

    God help anyone who gets between me and a couple of tablespoons of raw cocoa in the morning and evening. 40 calories a day of unsweetened chocolate goodness but it’s hella healthier than the “old” days, and enough to stave off the cravings.

    Hi, My name is Spring and I’m a chocoholic......

  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,569 Member Member Posts: 7,569 Member
    I do not have the strength to be like others here who can have “one” mini bar or one “square”. Give a drunk a drink......

    Except you said you eat a smoothie with cocoa twice a day. Isn't that chocolate?

    I don't care, glad what you are doing is working for you, but it seemed pretty inconsistent.
  • RobD520RobD520 Member Posts: 420 Member Member Posts: 420 Member
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I do not have the strength to be like others here who can have “one” mini bar or one “square”. Give a drunk a drink......

    Except you said you eat a smoothie with cocoa twice a day. Isn't that chocolate?

    I don't care, glad what you are doing is working for you, but it seemed pretty inconsistent.

    I think for some of us, the precise form of the food matters.

    I deeply struggle to control myself when I start to eat potato chips. I can walk past the bag with no trouble. However, once I weigh out and eat one serving, my craving for the second is out of control.

    At the same time, I can easily eat a small portion of french fries without exciting any cravings. I admit that this seems ridiculously inconsistent; but it is true for me.

    Maybe having some cocoa in a smoothie does not have the same impact on on cravings for the OP as a chocolate square.
    edited March 2019
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,569 Member Member Posts: 7,569 Member
    RobD520 wrote: »
    lemurcat2 wrote: »
    I do not have the strength to be like others here who can have “one” mini bar or one “square”. Give a drunk a drink......

    Except you said you eat a smoothie with cocoa twice a day. Isn't that chocolate?

    I don't care, glad what you are doing is working for you, but it seemed pretty inconsistent.

    I think for some of us, the precise form of the food matters.

    I deeply struggle to control myself when I start to eat potato chips. I can walk past the bag with no trouble. However, once I weigh out and eat one serving, my craving for the second is out of control.

    At the same time, I can easily eat a small portion of french fries without exciting any cravings. I admit that this seems ridiculously inconsistent; but it is true for me.

    Maybe having some cocoa in a smoothie does not have the same impact on on cravings for the OP as a chocolate square.

    Oh, I don't think your example is inconsistent at all -- I totally agree with all that, which is why I think trigger foods is a useful concept. I'd only think it was inconsistent if you claimed to be addicted to potatoes and compared that to alcoholism. Personally, I find that I can control ice cream or chocolate no problem, but with some homemade baked goods something about knowing they go bad quickly means that if they are in the house I struggle not to overindulge.

    For me, how it's consumed matters too (probably more than the specific food, in fact) -- usually I can control foods eaten in measured amounts and after dinner, but eating them earlier from a container rather than a bowl or plate, or having a larger amount out and just expecting myself to stop makes it needlessly hard (and I understand that you don't find that to work with chips).

    One example is that I pretty much never think or care about chips (of any kind) except if I'm at a Mexican place with some really good tortilla chips and salsa (or guac) on the table, I have zero control (but only if they are good, I have excellent control with mediocre ones and anything similar in a bag).

    This is why for OP I think we could give her better advice if she gave more specifics.
    edited March 2019
  • anthocyaninaanthocyanina Member Posts: 86 Member Member Posts: 86 Member
    For me, when I'm having a chocolate craving, the kind of chocolate absolutely matters. If it's low cocoa content, I have to eat a lot before feeling satisfied because there's not much chocolate, it's mostly sugar. With a good really dark chocolate bar, however, I'm satisfied with a lot less. Trader Joe's carries a 100% cocoa chocolate bar (for eating, not baking) and I can be satisfied with 100 calories. It's made by Montezuma's and it's super good if you like dark chocolate. Chocolate pudding (made with cocoa, avocado, and dates) satisfies when I have a chocolate/sweets craving.
  • lemurcat2lemurcat2 Member Posts: 7,569 Member Member Posts: 7,569 Member
    My favorite chocolate options are: (1) brewing chocolate (I drink it unsweetened, although you can add a little sweetener, I like the way it tastes without any sugar better -- there are a bunch of options, but here's one (https://criobru.com/). I have a different brand at home but am blanking on the name. Also (2) dark chocolate may be easier to control, as others have said. I am not a fan of 100%, but one of my favorite chocolates (dark or light) currently is Chocolove 85% (it's pretty low sugar, but you need portion control for low cal, as it's high in fat). Admittedly, I find just chocolate a little one-note, so am not someone who struggles with overeating chocolate.
    edited March 2019
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