hojo

Sugar Addict? Is it possible to actually do this?

Recommended Posts

Here comes a vulnerable post.......frustrated, sick of it....but unwilling to give up the 'feel good' feeling of sugar. It is so true when they say it activates Dopamine, etc in your brain so you want more.

I've tried Whole 30 three times. The first time I made it 14 days, the second 13 days and now I just can't get started. I 'know' in my heart that this could potentially change my relationship with sugar but every time I get a few weeks in I quit. I get 'sick' of trying, or bored with food, or any reason to just eat that cookie/banana chips/etc....and once I have a bite its all over!

I know that nothing any of you can say can 'make' me do this. It is up to me. BUT wondering if anyone has any motivational tips for me? I really want to do 30 days and I feel like I'm just prolonging my 'enjoyment' so that I don't have to 'start'.....when really I am not enjoying myself....just feeling bloated, sick of it, and down on myself.

I'm also nervous of like some other posters have posted that once you do this you can never have anything 'off plan' because your gut is so healed that it just can't handle it. And maybe that's the point....that you feel so well you won't want too.....but this way of eating is difficult in social situations too. or is this an excuse I give to myself to just stay where I'm at!

Just some history....my husband and I have been eating Paleo for probably a year. So all my meals are very well balanced with protein and veggies....BUT I eat desserts, etc in addition to this.....so its probably not 'really' Paleo when I add that other yucky stuff in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not gonna lie, I'm a sugar addict and even though I was gluten/grain and refined sugar free for 5 years before my first attempt at the W30 it was HARD. I put it off for over a year because I didn't want to give up cream in my coffee...or that's what I said anyways...it was probably really the chocolate. Truthfully, I can't give you any magic tips to getting past the 13 or 14 day point other than sheer willpower. But I can say that once you do it you will feel amazing and strong. My advice is Just Do It.

Now...a word of caution...once you get thru the 30 days and start to try a bit of "off-roading" in my experience as a sugar addict...one bite and it's all over. I can eat one meal and add a few sweet potato chips and not think about them again for weeks but one paleo-fyied cookie???? Forget it, it leads to a road of ice cream then cake and then frosting (all gluten/grain/refined sugar-free mind you)...well I'm sure you get the picture. This is a lesson I am still learning...it's a process but you CAN absolutely get through the 30 days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok so is it just the sugar part that you're having problems with? I mean was giving up grains, dairy and legumes just as hard or is it just the sugar that is causing you trouble?

I know sugar is something that is extremely hard to give up. I did an 8 week program over 6 months ago that helped me quit sugar and apart from the occasional slip or the occasional social situation where I can't get away from it I've stayed sugar free.

To be honest I think it's one of those things that needs to be done in baby steps. I know the point of the Whole30 is to go into things straightaway from day 1 but sometimes for some people that might not work, for others yes they are able to give it their all and complete the 30 days no problem.

So here are a few tips from me:

Be mindful of when you're eating these foods. For example if you get a craving for something sweet stop and think about why you're feeling this way. Try eating a piece of fruit or a handful of toasted coconut flakes instead. If you have eaten something sugary then think about how it made you feel and take not of this, write it down somewhere and look back if you get the craving again.

Think about when you're craving these foods, is it usually at the same time of day? Are you just doing things out of habit and not actually really craving those foods.

Eat more fats: When you get sugar cravings eating fats helps satisfy you and helps you stay fuller for longer. Again the toasted coconut flakes, or some coconut butter or some nuts. You won't end up eating as much since like I said fat helps you stay fuller for longer.

Try drinking herbal teas, things like chai are really great since they have that sweet flavour without the sugary badness. Licorice root tea is also great!

I know this one not everyone can do but I find even eating a spoonful of coconut oil really helps curb my sweet tooth.

And remember out of site out of mind, if you're keeping those things around the house then it's easier to get to them rather than thinking oh now I'm going to have to drive down to the shops to buy this.

Anyway hope I helped somewhat!

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes it is just the sugar, .....grains, dairy, etc were not that hard to give up. The other parts of paleo don't seem to be that hard for me. I think sugar is my happy.....and I know then that there may be some sweetness missing somewhere else in my life.

I will try those great suggestions.....tomorrow is a new day!

This forum is helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have found sugar to be the hardest to give up hands down! I am one of those poeple that needs to watch fruit intake or it sends me on a sugar-frenzy and all i crave are sugar, in the simplest forms..any form, just give it to me. for this reason i really need to watch my intake, i believe it is the hormones released as well as the psychological response we get when we eat a sugar, whether it's a chocolate bar or a piece of fruit, our brains just want that sugar and when we give in we have created the pleasure response. i am the same with nut butters, i really need to watch them big time. I have completely cut out all grains and sugar aside from fruit for the past month and am tomorrow starting a whole30 with limited fruit and nut butters, as well as cutting my coffee habit down to 1 a day, and eventually cutting it out all together. I am really finding a connection between the psychological response and my cravings.

i had a hard time giving up sweets in the evening, i have always craved a sugary treat after dinner and before bed, i just stopped eating after dinner all-together to avoid this and now i don't crave anything in the evenings, which is great bc i would just find myself in the kitchen ready to gorge on anything i got my hands on. abstinence is best and once you start it will be hard but once you feel you have control over your sugar cravings the better you will feel..

have you ever considered taking chromium or mulberry leaf extract; i read that those can be very helpful when kicking a sugar habit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hojo, Naz16 is right about making sure you are eating enough fat. Sugar was my beastly monster stalking me at every corner I turned. I too found that if I needed to I stuck a teaspoon into my jar of coconut butter, or I'd mash up an avocado and have it with some carrots or red pepper slices. Or even a handful of olives. (Watch the labels on the olives). Then I realized I needed to make sure at my actual meal times I was getting in enough fat so I wouldn't run into "the beast" in a mere hour or two. Now I'm cool with my three meals at five hours apart from each other. If I can do this I KNOW YOU CAN!!!!!!! Also are you signed up for the WHOLE DAILY EMAILS? I believe it was close to $15 but I found them to be very helpful. I would read it every morning as I sip my coffee before fixing breakfast. Chock full of helpful stuff each day to keep you going.

Good luck......and stay strong!!!!!!!! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for all your comments.....I so appreciate it and I will do this. I've got my mom doing it with me so I do feel that will help me stay accountable. I am signed up for the emails and in the previous Whole30's I've tried its been helpful....up till I bail. :) I will try more fat, I too need to have a snack of more veggies with fat rather than apple/almond butter.....I think that just sends me ready to eat something else.

I have not tried chromium, I will have to look into that and see if I can get a supplement without junk in it.

Here we go...I CAN do this!

thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will give my personal story that has helped me stick with the whole30. Sugar and junk is my downfall. I can be eating really healthy and then decide to have one serving of ice cream and then I can't stop. I might be able to stop with just that one serving after dinner, but I have to have it the next night and the next. It's a never ending battle. The part in the book that really hit home for me was "It's not as hard as quiting heroin". Unfortunately, I have two young adult sons that are both battling a heroin addiction. One had been clean for 3 months and then had a relapse and now has been clean for 3 weeks, the other has been clean for 40 days. Reading that one sentence in the book really put things in perspective for me. I admitted that I have a problem with food and I need to change it. I also felt like if my kids could kick their heroin habit I needed to do the same for my food habit. I'm not on day 29 and have not cheated or slipped and I'm so proud of myself. I plan on going another 30 and see how I feel. I have come to the realization that sugar and other processed foods cannot be part of my life... I'm not one of those people that can do the "in moderation" thing because it never stays in moderation. That's been the hardest thing for me when trying to lose weight, I will do great on the diet but as soon as I'm done and reintroduce the sugars and processed foods, I backslide and end up gaining. After this experience with my boys, just like they will have to abstain from heroin forever because one time leads to another, I will also have to stay away from my trigger foods because it will just put me in a tailspin.

I think that's the thing you have to figure out for you and then decide if it's worth it. My husband is eating like this with me and we have found some great recipes and we are loving the food. I don't miss sugar at all. The first 3 weeks I was eating way too much fruit, in the last week I have cut back and for the next 30 days, I'm going to focus on only having fruit 3 times a week so that I can slay that sugar dragon. It's tough, but if you really want it, you can do it. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to binge eat sugar as well, usually in the evening. I've found that eating enough during the day really helps, especially getting in carbohydrates. It may not happen that day, but eventually my body screams for the easiest source of calories, sugar, and the cravings are compulsive and mentally/physically very challenging to resist despite all of my best diet intentions!

Now I eat a lot more, especially at breakfast and lunch, I make sure I get carbs at every meal (fruits, sweet potato, or pumpkin), I eat snacks even though it's not recommended, I need them at this point in my life (sardines with fruit or carrots, red peppers, and sun butter are my go-to's) and I don't binge at all. My husband thinks I'm crazy the amount I eat but it's all really healthy food :) Maybe eating more during the day will help you too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could you maybe do something like this: http://the21daysugardetox.com/ and THEN try a Whole30?

I have major sugar cravings like you (I find that even fruit after a meal can set it off). Prior to this, I could literally eat 4 Reese's Big Cups or 1/2 a box of Fruity Pebbles in one sitting. That's crazy. We're starting day 15. If I can keep it up, I have faith you can too. Keep us updated! :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugar always has been my downfall too. When I started this the first time I had the attitude that I absolutely for no reason will cheat. When I had that attitude I didn't even consider it until some cake found its way into my freezer (when I was almost half way done). I thought about the cake for a few days until I ate it. Having it is the house was my first mistake. My second mistake was just taking away that attitude. Somewhere in the Whole 30 info Dallas and Melissa say something to the effect of unless you literally fall face first onto a cupcake there is no excuse. You have the ability to choose what you eat. (in other words you don't have to give in at a party to the cookies just because it is there and everyone else is doing it)

So I would say rid your house of any temptations. You are a strong person and obviously are working hard towards this. You CAN do it and don't let yourself tell yourself any differently. This may seem like a strange tactic but sometimes I think of myself being stranded somewhere like on an island or lost in the woods. I would be lucky and happy to have all of this wonderful food that I"m eating now. (instead of having to kill my own animals and survive on bugs) LOL (weird I know but it is all relative)

Also maybe try to find a few things that you enjoy as a distraction. If you are feeling the need to eat sugar go for a 15 minute walk or meditate for a little bit and think about how healthy you feel and good you feel having these healthy habits. Also try taking it one day at a time. Say to yourself "ok just make it through today" don't think about having 15 more days, just make it through today and go from there. I know it isn't easy but you can do it! Good Luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My way might not work for you, but it did for me. I started Whole 30 because I was eating way too much junk as a proportion of my total intake. For me, it was more about eating healthy food than giving up other things. So I did allow myself to eat lots of fruit. I made sure to eat a handful of nuts at the same time, but I put no brakes on fruit, and that got me through the carb withdrawals. Fresh fruit, salted nuts, and a thermos of hot water (I gave up coffee at the same time) would get me through every craving. And over time, as my system balanced out a bit, I wanted less fruit because I was full from meat and vegetables.

In other words, fruit was not a gateway for me to eat sugary junk, it kept me out of the cookie jar and after I got used to no processed foods, I was able to balance the fruit with the rest of my diet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugar is also my downfall. It is the worst thing ever. I'm discovering that I can't even deal with fruit. I start to feel a craving for more fruit and want it all of the time. Every "mess up" has been the result of me trusting that I can control sugar. I'll tell myself "fruit is healthy...who on earth gets fat from eating fruit?" Well...I do. Fruit starts the whole cycle of cravings for me. I don't care what any doctor/dietitian says...every single time I let fruit into my diet, I've lost all control. The thing is...it isn't a lack of willpower. It is a definite physical demand for sugar. Willpower gets me working out every day when I'm tired or feeling unmotivated. Willpower is what keeps me moving along a healthy path and not throwing in the towel on the paleo lifestyle. Sugar is like crack. It controls me. Sugar makes me think irrationally and make bad choices. Sugar is like alcohol for an alcoholic. One taste...and it is all over. I know I can never do the sugar thing. It is too painful every time I have to pull myself out of the addiction. The mental and physical stress are not worth it. This weekend, I allowed myself to have fruit. I felt I could handle it. Just one piece of fruit, paired with plenty of protein. Ugh...needless to say, I'm struggling. I seriously can't eat fruit. I'm sure that everyone is different...much like how some people can handle drinking alcohol...but an alcoholic can't. No one tells an alcoholic..."oh, just pair your alcohol with protein and you'll be fine." I truly feel that there are some people that just can't have sugar. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think a lot of it is your mindset - you can't give sugar up until you're well and truly ready to. And I mean abosultely NO disrespect in saying that... I've known for years my eating habits were causing a lot of my health problems but it took me literally YEARS until I decided to do something about it. It is so, so incredibly hard to break these habits. But I know that at some point your willpower will grow so strong that you will be able to do it! My tipping point was some negative news from my doctor. I hope that yours isn't the same, but at some point there will be a tipping point and you will have the resolve to get through the whole 30 days!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whew - it is so helpful to read all these sugar addict stories. I know that I'm a sugar addict too, and somehow I've made it to day 10. Today I casually ate some red grapes and WOW!! So insanely delicious and sweeet. I was ready to drive to the store for all kinds of sweets after eating a few (thankfully I didn't). After I finished them off my head was spinning and I was wondering if I was still on the wagon or what. Well, now I know that I'm not alone in not being able to do sweets, even after abstaining for 10 days. I will continue to just plug away 1 meal, 1 day at a time. Its been helpful to go to bed early instead of dealing with cravings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sugar is an insanely addictive substance! And we act like it's all innocent and (pardon the pun) sweet!

There was a brilliant book written in the early 70s by professor John Yudkin called "Pure, White and Deadly: how sugar is killing us and what we can do to stop it".

There was a BBC television program recently called 'The men who made us fat' which claimed that in the 70s the World Health Organisation was going to implement his findings and advise everyone to seriously curb their sugar intake. When the American govt. found out they sent representatives to the Who headquarters and told them that this would have a serious effect on their sugar beet industry so, if they went ahead with this, America was going to stop all funding to them. So their recomendations changed and became 'cut back fat' and we've been getting fatter and more unhealthy ever since.

The book is being rereleased. Amazon uk have it from 1st November. I lost my copy years ago but I'm going to order another one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thoroughly enjoyed this series on the impact on sugar and overall health.

I had watched this days before reading It Starts with Food, and it helped to bring the whole thing full circle for me. Between watching this series, then reading the book, it took me a total of 4 days to know I was ready to commit to the whole30.

http://www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this thread was started a while back, but I'm really feeling the pain of a sugar addiction here, right now, day 15 of my second Whole 30. My first was April of last year.

A couple of posts here really resonated with me. Along with the two below, a PP mentioned having the ice cream, and not necessarily binging because of it, but then falling right into a pattern of having to have that sweet every single day after. Unfortunately for me, I have discovered I do both. I can hit sugar hard on a binge. I can also follow a pattern--right down to the minute of the day--of daily consumption. Preceded by a slump in mood that sugar "fixes." Yes, I need a fix.

So, these spoke directly to me:

Sugar always has been my downfall too. When I started this the first time I had the attitude that I absolutely for no reason will cheat. When I had that attitude I didn't even consider it until some cake found its way into my freezer (when I was almost half way done). I thought about the cake for a few days until I ate it. Having it is the house was my first mistake.

Sugar is also my downfall. It is the worst thing ever. I'm discovering that I can't even deal with fruit. I start to feel a craving for more fruit and want it all of the time. Every "mess up" has been the result of me trusting that I can control sugar. I'll tell myself "fruit is healthy...who on earth gets fat from eating fruit?" Well...I do. Fruit starts the whole cycle of cravings for me. I don't care what any doctor/dietitian says...every single time I let fruit into my diet, I've lost all control. The thing is...it isn't a lack of willpower. It is a definite physical demand for sugar. Willpower gets me working out every day when I'm tired or feeling unmotivated. Willpower is what keeps me moving along a healthy path and not throwing in the towel on the paleo lifestyle. Sugar is like crack. It controls me. Sugar makes me think irrationally and make bad choices.

I have had the cake in the freezer. The chocolate in the cupboard. And I have obsessed about it for days until finally eating it.

Now, I have the oranges in the fridge and the dates in the freezer. And I can pound 5 mandarin oranges or (gasp) 15 dates. No problem. Well, except that I know I am getting just as much fructose as I'd be getting in any other sweet, and it is affecting my brain and body the same way.

I'd been rolling along on a great Whole 30 for the first week, and then I got it into my head to have some fruit, and within days I was just subbing fruit for another sweet.

So, two days ago I cut the fruit out entirely, at least for a while. I was crowding out more nutrient-dense choices in favor of sweet. I was acting with dates like I might act with chocolate truffles. And I am thinking it feels a lot more like Day 3 than Day 15 all of a sudden. It feels like starting over, and I am OK with that. I will eat the carrot, or the beet, or the sweet potato, as part of a meal--I'm not riding the carrot train to crazy town (been there too)--but I am feeling bleak.

Which I realize is silly, since I am on an upswing, right? I have recognized the problem and am taking the right steps to address it. But bleak because I see this in myself. Sugar is a serious poison for me, and I really need to avoid it in order to be well--not just bodily, but psychologically well. Already I don't drink alcohol and grew up in a beer-binging place, so one would think I would know how to go around not feeling bad that everyone else can have it and I can't, right? But dessert doesn't *look* as dangerous as it is, I suppose.

I suppose I am lucky never to have tried heroin. No doubt that would have gone badly.

I have the good tea, I have the mindful breathing and mediation, I have the coconut oil, the sardines, the vegetables and nuts to fall back on. But I also still have the fruit in the house (I have a husband and two kids who don't have a problem with it), which at 3PM and 7PM may as well be cake in the freezer.

Is there a way to successfully off-road for the sugar-addicted, or is it a matter of turning over and over to the Whole 30 and resetting every few months?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my goodness! We are one in the same!! I too am on day 15 and can now admit that I have been using fruit as my sugar-crutch!!! I am eating more fruit now than I ever have and I know it is because I am using it to satisfy my sugar cravings. Help! They say "admitting it is the 1st step" right? I have known this for a while but just haven't admitted it out loud. Mind you, before doing the W30, I wasn't a Snickers and Marshmallow kind of girl - my addiction is/was dried mango...the kind with a little added sugar. Since starting the W30, I have found some dried mango with no sugar added and it is very good. The problem is that I am eating an entire bag of it every night. This makes me a very happy girl who thinks she is plugging along the W30 just fine and dandy!! Insert reality: I am not. There, I said it. Arghhh!!!!!

So, once I polish off the carton of strawberries, the kiwi, the apples and the remainder of my compliant dried fruit (as well as a pantry chock full of compliant freeze-dried fruit - cuz that's better for me right??!!) I will go FRUIT-FREE! That's the plan.

But one quick question for anyone out there...what if I turn to carrots and sweet potatoes? What if I start using them as my crutch? Can I still have them with meals or will they be my new "gateway?" Any thoughts??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've avoided fruit for the majority of my whole 30, I'm on day 15, and eating carrots, beets or sweet potatoes with my meals has not been an issue, they have satisfied me but not triggered me. I too have the sugar demon, seems like many of us do! I've struggled with it for quite a while, my desk used to be a few feet away from a candy bowl, I knew if I had ONE piece I would end up with 20 wrappers in the garbage by the end of the day, a headache, stomach ache and a guilty conscience, and even knowing that there were days when I would give in and have that one. I have the same struggle with alcohol, one drink feels good and leads to two, which **temporarily** feels great, then the cranky kicks in which I want to avoid at...all.....cost....so let's go ahead and have that 3rd drink to surpress the anger, and while I'm at it, a handful of dried raisins and chocolate chips...ooooh look, marshmallows....mmmmm there's a chocolate bar in my pantry....etc., etc., etc. I find moderation extremely difficult, I do much better with abstinance. When I started this process Jan 2 I decided I was going to abstain from really sweet fruit as well as all the rest because of my sugar demon. I have had some berries a couple of times, an apple or two, very small sizes, and some grapefruit and orange slices in a spinach salad, that's all. I do think that has helped me be successful so far. Dried fruit? No, haven't touched it, to me it's candy and I love it way too much.

One thing I've noticed is that I crave sugar when I'm tired. Make sure you are sleeping enough and drinking enough water to keep cravings at bay. Beyond that, get it out of the house. That's been challenging for me, I'm the only W30 eater in my house so there is some non compliant food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we all have something we struggle with. I remember reading ISWF in October, and "wishing" I could do the whole30. I kept thinking "I want to do this, but NO WAY can I give up wine, pasta/bread, sugar for 30 days. I just couldn't". I continued to lament the fact that I felt like crap pretty much all the time. I decided I would "try" to do the Whole30, but I really didn't think I could. I was extremely wishy-washy, I mean, I drink wine pretty much every day! Toast and hot chocolate were part of my daily routine. Finally something clicked, and I realized that I had exactly two choices: 1. Do the whole30 and feel better. 2. Not do it, continue as I was and feel like crap. Those were my only two options, I made myself choose. I chose to do the Whole30. This might sound crazy, but did you sign up for the daily email? I did, and for some reason, that little message in my Inbox everyday, rooting me on, holding me accountable at the end of the day for whether I ate clean or not, made all the difference. I can't really explain it, it's such a small thing. In the book it says something about how we'd all like to think that we can eat everything in moderation, but the bottom line is our brains can't always handle it. I know that's true for me, I would constantly justify why it was okay to eat what I wanted. I never denied myself, if I was being honest. The Whole30 takes the decision making part out of the equation. If you are doing the Whole30, you don't eat it. End of story. No decision to be made. So, when I'm tempted I think "is this going to be worth throwing the past xx days out the window?" (16 days, in my case, so far). And the answer is most definitely NO. It's only 30 days. I have sweets in my house, but somehow I don't see them and I don't think about them. If I do start craving something, I tell myself I can have it in 14 more days. Cheating isn't an option. Can you somehow convince your brain of that?

You also have only two choices:

1. continue being a sugar addict,

or

2. do the Whole30 and change.

Pause each time you consider cheating, and ask yourself if it's worth it, worth throwing away all your progress.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now