Post # 31
Is your therapist experienced in working with eating disorders? Because that’s exactly what this is, even if you’r enot diabetic or overweight or starving or vomiting; this is disordered eating, which requires a brain solution, not a diet solution.
And this may not help, as you are probably familiar with some of the information already, but sugar is a poison in those doses. Seriously, look into it – what it does to your body, your insulin levels, your brain and gut chemistry, etc. It is pretty scary. I’m not saying never have a cookie, but after really knowing how it affects your body, you might feel differently about an entire bag of candy.
And I realize how unappealing this sounds to a sugar addict, but Dh and I recently (3 months in) went low carb. I can’t even express how much better I feel. I simply don’t have the extreme up and downs in blood sugar, so I don’t get all revved up after a meal or tired mid-afternoon, and my cravings are less. I DO still have one piece of choclate each evening (+/- 5 g carbs), and I savor it.
Post # 32
I have always been sugar crazy. I just had to go pretty much cold turkey. I don’t keep anything with sugar in the house. The first 2-3 weeks were the worst, but then my body got used to it. Your body really does crave less sugar if you don’t have it.
The only acception is I will occasionally have a super crazy stressful day and I will go to the vending machine and get myself sweets. However, most of the time I can stay away!!!
Post # 33
Oh, I agree completely. And yes, she does have experience with eating disorders (she was trained as a hypnotherapist among other things, and does a lot of work with self-destructive coping mechanisms). There’s no doubt in my mind that the sugar cravings are rooted in anxiety and insecurities, just like my other oral fixation (I’m a nail-biter too). It’s ridiculous, the only thing that kept me from fully realizing how detrimental and disordered this kind of binge-eating can be was the myth that it’s totally normal, especially among women, in times of stress (think of all the times we’ve seen the image of the woman cleaning out pints of ice cream after a break-up). My family treated it like it was cute (“You just have a sweet-tooth!”). It is not cute. And the weird thing is, it’s not even pleasurable anymore. I want to get to a place where I can enjoy a piece of cake every once in a while without immediately needing more. More importantly, I want to have a functioning liver and pancreas in my old age! Humans aren’t designed to absorb this amount of sugar, and you’re right, in those doses it is
poison. Thinking about it in that way definitely helps.
Post # 34
Kind of a weird thing: I’m finding that all this reading and writing about sugar is making me feel super sugared-out, like I’ve been eating it all the time I’ve been posting about it (even though all I’ve had in the twenty-four hours has been a couple of teaspoons in my coffee). Part of that could be due to me being a super taster (I actually taste things when I think about them). Anyway, it’s helping me stay away from the sugar-bowl! So just posting about this has made something of a difference 🙂 .
Post # 35
I literally can’t remember the last day I didn’t have chocolate or a sweet so know that I understand you. I’ve decided that moderation is the way to go for me. I’ll have a piece of chocolate or two every day but not half a cake.
When I do find myself falling off the wagon and drinking coke seemingly by the liter and cakes by the third then two things help: switching to water, and having a bag of dark chocolate m&ms by the computer. They aren’t nearly as easy to eat by the handful so I’d stop at a few instead of half a bag. A few odd m&ms seem to take the edge off.
Post # 36
I have heard that “bitter” sweet things like dark chocolate or green tea curbs sugar cravings if it’s what you have available for exactly that reason. The worst offenders for me are definitely sweet + salty treats (PEANUT BUTTER!!), because the salt feeds the sugar craving like nothing else.
I’ve definitely read that when it comes to sugar, moderation is actually often more effective than exclusion, because deprivation often results in falling off the wagon HARD rather than just straying from your plan a little bit, and it’s harder to recover from that. However, the addiction treatment model (at least in this country) demands total exclusion of the substance. Again, I think this is probably a case of everyone is different. Some methods work better than others, depending who you ask.
Post # 37
Hi! Not sure if someone mentioned this already but I work at a functional medicine lab that specializes in food and there’s supplements you can take to limit your sugar cravings. Taking oil of oregano capsules or sovereign silver would help you a lot!!
Post # 38
Hi! Unfortunately my insurance won’t cover that kind of treatment and I can’t really afford it out of pocket right now. I will look into oil of oregano, though, that should be easy enough to find.
Post # 39
It’s not that severe for me but I know the feeling well. It definitely comes back when I’m stressed out (hello 2020). Here’s what works for me:
– first i replaced everything with somewhat better options (emphasize on somewhat, I’m NOT talking about fruit) : whole grain cookies instead of oreos, organic chocolate (not dark chocolate, just the organic stuff) because they contain less additives and I realized those get me addicted. They’re still full of sugar and fat, but at least they contain less of other nasty stuff. So we’re not reducing quantities at this point, just eating a better quality candy. And yes it’s more expensive but that’s not a bad thing in this situation.
– whenever I’m about to eat something I shouldn’t, I either drink a giant glass of water or eat something else before indulging. It’s even better if you have a full meal. Start with things you like because you won’t last 2 days on salad. Get hummus, cheese, that kind of stuff.
– before buying or ordering sweets, eat a full meal as well. Even if it’s not a super healthy option, the point here is the break the pattern of giving into specific cravings.
These are what I call “damage control” tips. They’re not groundbreaking but the first step to reduce just a little bit and it will also diversify what you eat.
After that you need to do some meal planning to control your sugar levels. Don’t wait until you’re hungry, have little snacks throughout the day. And of course you need to figure out where these cravings come from. For me it’s a comforting thing. Are you bored? Did you enjoy your day? As an example (I know it’s bad) if I’m craving candy and I order a pair of shoes, the candy will easily be replaced by an apple. That obviously shows a deeper issue which I’m working on, but what I’m trying to say is that the sugar can be an instant gratification and you might need to figure out why you’re seeking it.
The most important is to remember that it takes time to get back to normal and there are days when you won’t care about any of this and that’s ok. Just take small steps to feed your body with quality food. Cooking and baking can also help since the ingredients are better and it’s a rewarding process without crazy quantities.
ETA: just readu some of your updates. It looks like you already know that it’s linked to your anxiety so definitely keep exploring the origin of this behavior. In the meantime maybe try to focus less on what you shouldn’t eat and more on what you should eat to be healthy.
Post # 40
I’m really sorry you’re struggling with this. I’m leaning more towards something biologically is out of sorts. I had the same problem, but with salt. I would lick the salt off anything in my house, suck it out of meat, etc. Most of the time I didn’t even realize I was doing it, until someone would catch me and ask wtf I was doing.
My bloodwork revealed I have an autoimmune and thyroid dysfunction. I literally thought I had this weird cringe craving. But I had no control either.
I don’t know a ton about sugar, but I know it can strip you of your magnesium stores quickly.
Sorry it’s not much of an answer, but just a perspective. Maybe this is rooted in a depletion of other nutrients.
Post # 41
If you feel that you are addicted,,the only solution is to not have any sugary foods in the house. Ever. And don’t eat out until you’ve gotten used to your new way of eating.
Personally I don’t think this is an addiction, it’s a disordered eating pattern. But it doesn’t matter what it is, or why you do it. You can explore the reasons ad nauseum with your hypnotherapist. If you’re not serious about it, you’re not going to stop. You have to really want to change in order to do so.
Pancreas and its islets of Langerhans, the liver and its glycogen aside, if you do develop Type 2 diabetes, your heart and circulatory system will be the first to go. As someone who got to mop up the results of this on a regular basis, it’s not pretty.
Post # 42
I’ve had a thyroid panel, CBC and standard deficiency test done recently, and the results were normal (I’ve been exhausted lately, my doc wanted to make sure I wasn’t anemic or dealing with something like Graves Disease—she’s very thorough). My doctor was the one who mentioned chronic dehydration as a cause of sugar cravings, and also that I might want to up my protein intake because aparently the brain can sometimes misread a need for protein as a need for sugar.
Good to know. The most immediate effects that I’ve been dealing with are definitely mental/psychological (mood swings, jitteriness), but I can only imagine what kind of shit is coming down the road if I don’t get this under control. I’ve dealt with chronic health concerns before and know how they can dominate your life, so that’s my main motivation. The high that comes with sugar consumption is very real for me. At first, it calms my anxiety and can even lift me out of feelings of depression but then I crash, and need more to lift me out of that—it’s a vicious cycle. I don’t really know how much stock I put in defining what is and isn’t an addiction, I think it’s still a poorly understood area of human health, so I don’t really care whether I’m technically
addicted. I just know this needs to stop.
Post # 43
That is all incredibly helpful, thanks!
Post # 44
I replaced the sweet treats with the ones that have no sugar and use sweeteners for my coffee that I love but can’t drink without any sugar. It helps but only if you have the sweeteners that don’t give you a flavour of grass in their taste
Post # 45
Update: Have discovered Cocomels (dark chocolate covered coconut milk caramels with sea salt). Still sugar, BUT expensive as hell and very rich, so a little goes a long way. Also a spoonful of honey every once in a while sweets me out pretty quickly in a pinch. These things are making the transition to low/no sugar a little easier so far. We’ll see how it goes! Planning to talk to my therapist about all this tomorrow.
Thanks for all of your sage advice, bees!