Tiny bit of sugar better than...?


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I did my first Whole30 in April, and it went really well. It was hard but not that hard since I generally avoided refined sugar and dairy already; was just adding a few things to the list. Since then I've been maintaining my cooking, and I cook Whole30 compliant (I do however go out to eat sometimes or eat things at parties and friends' houses).

 

Well, my sugar cravings got out of control during the Whole30. I think there was something mental involved, like because I knew I couldn't have it I just wanted more. Especially once it was over there was this mental block--like I had to have it to make up, or in case I had to cut it out again. Before Whole30 I was able to cut out sugar fairly easily. Or I would allow myself a bit of dark chocolate. Now, I feel myself eating way more fruit than I used to and eating more candy and chocolate than ever before, in other words I keep giving in--though I'm not eating just any sugar and I still only eat the things that I like that I consider delicious and high quality. I don't mind eating sugar from time to time to celebrate or enjoy, I think it's fine. But I recognize that it's a bit out of control. 

 

So my question is... did Whole30 ruin me psychologically for sugar? I still have no problem avoiding grains and dairy for the most part. The real question is, is it better to have a tiny triangle of 85% dark chocolate every day or every few days to satisfy me than to be giving in all the time to worse or larger amounts of sugar?

 

Yes, ideally I tame the sugar demon... and I'm working on it. But if I'm giving in to the cravings in worse ways, there has to be some kind of solution or weaning off. I'm no longer able to do all-or-nothing as well as I once was. I'd rather learn moderation than be confined to a strict rulebook, and I want to be making the conscious decision every time.

 

Thoughts?

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I'm not an abstainer or moderator, either.   The interesting thing about jerking the rug out from underneath yourself or giving yourself permission to have whatever...whenever,  everything changes. 

 

When you make peace with your relationship with food and tell fruitcake nutty that everything can stay....it no longer wants to.  It UP and walks out the door.  All it took for me was giving myself permission to permanently step off the gerbil wheel of dieting.  Eating all the things  or being so brutally strict right out of the chute....been there.  Done that.

 

I've made all of the same mistakes 5 or 6 times just to be sure.   Now, I am sure and food rewards don't mean that much to me anymore.   Feeling great and having energy means more.  Having the strength and stamina to complete chores  every day motivates and moves me. 

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So my question is... did Whole30 ruin me psychologically for sugar? I still have no problem avoiding grains and dairy for the most part. The real question is, is it better to have a tiny triangle of 85% dark chocolate every day or every few days to satisfy me than to be giving in all the time to worse or larger amounts of sugar?

 

Yes, ideally I tame the sugar demon... and I'm working on it. But if I'm giving in to the cravings in worse ways, there has to be some kind of solution or weaning off. I'm no longer able to do all-or-nothing as well as I once was. I'd rather learn moderation than be confined to a strict rulebook, and I want to be making the conscious decision every time.

I don't think W30 psycholigically ruined you for sugar, no.  The sugar dragon is intense though and (in my experience) tends towards ebbs and flows.  For me there are times when I am easily able to control it and other times when control is just right out of the equation.  If I had a chocolate bar in the house with the intent of eating a square of it every now and then, it would be gone before the sun went down on the first day.  Doesn't work for me.

 

You can give yourself other criteria if you want? One of mine is "no eating sugar alone" which completely curbs sneak eating or shame eating.  If I'm indulging with someone there or as part of an activity (ie, ice cream after a long summer walk) then it seems more above board and I'm better able to have it and move on. If I had a container of ice cream sitting around it would haunt me for days.

 

You may also find that after your Whole30, that your sugary "transgressions" are different? Again in my own experience, I find that my indulgences are smaller, less frequent and cleaner when possible.  But..........they seem just as huge and crazy as they ever did when I was eating entire cheesecakes by myself in the dark.

 

If you think learning to moderate yourself is going to be effective then you should do that. If you are an abstainer, that one works too but I've found that most of us abstainers have a hard time in today's food-culture where you are guaranteed to be bombarded by things that seem worth it.

 

Note also, Melissa's upcoming new book, Food Freedom Forever, is going to deal with these types of issues in depth.  Coming out in October!

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I'm not an abstainer or moderator, either.   The interesting thing about jerking the rug out from underneath yourself or giving yourself permission to have whatever...whenever,  everything changes. 

 

When you make peace with your relationship with food and tell fruitcake nutty that everything can stay....it no longer wants to.  It UP and walks out the door.  All it took for me was giving myself permission to permanently step off the gerbil wheel of dieting.  Eating all the things  or being so brutally strict right out of the chute....been there.  Done that.

 

I've made all of the same mistakes 5 or 6 times just to be sure.   Now, I am sure and food rewards don't mean that much to me anymore.   Feeling great and having energy means more.  Having the strength and stamina to complete chores  every day motivates and moves me. 

 

Yes! Love this. That's the point I want to get to. Because I do love how my body changes and I have more energy and feel more mentally able when I limit certain things. I find myself getting more and more to that point, the more I cook without sinister ingredients. I like the idea of working with my body to do what feels best for "us both" if that makes sense. Right now I am an all-or-nothing person (not sure if that's personality or what), but I hope to get to that point. Like with dairy, I don't even crave milk or cheese anymore, because I know what it does to my body and it's not worth it!! Planning to get to the same point with other foods. :) Thanks for the response!

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I don't think W30 psycholigically ruined you for sugar, no.  The sugar dragon is intense though and (in my experience) tends towards ebbs and flows.  For me there are times when I am easily able to control it and other times when control is just right out of the equation.  If I had a chocolate bar in the house with the intent of eating a square of it every now and then, it would be gone before the sun went down on the first day.  Doesn't work for me.

 

You can give yourself other criteria if you want? One of mine is "no eating sugar alone" which completely curbs sneak eating or shame eating.  If I'm indulging with someone there or as part of an activity (ie, ice cream after a long summer walk) then it seems more above board and I'm better able to have it and move on. If I had a container of ice cream sitting around it would haunt me for days.

 

You may also find that after your Whole30, that your sugary "transgressions" are different? Again in my own experience, I find that my indulgences are smaller, less frequent and cleaner when possible.  But..........they seem just as huge and crazy as they ever did when I was eating entire cheesecakes by myself in the dark.

 

If you think learning to moderate yourself is going to be effective then you should do that. If you are an abstainer, that one works too but I've found that most of us abstainers have a hard time in today's food-culture where you are guaranteed to be bombarded by things that seem worth it.

 

Note also, Melissa's upcoming new book, Food Freedom Forever, is going to deal with these types of issues in depth.  Coming out in October!

 

Thanks so much for this! Appreciate it. I do think that some of us have different styles -- abstainer vs. moderator. I think I'm more of an abstainer because it's hard for me to learn moderation... though moderation is ideal to me. I think you're right that's probably best to just keep sugar out of my life completely. I find it quite easy once I "decide" to be off it for a certain period of time -- and it does help me to have digestible blocks of time, like 4 weeks, and then I can indulge for a holiday or travel. When I think that I might be off sugar for the rest of my life, it makes me panic and overindulge :D

 

But I loved what you said about eating sugar alone. That is SO TRUE. I will overindulge when I'm alone, trying to sneak it into my mouth so as to not tarnish my image as a generally healthy person... lol. To be fair, mostly I do that because it's easier when people assume I'm not any eating sugar because they won't offer it to me or leave it around. But yes, if I feel okay with eating sugar around other people, then I think it's ok -- a celebration or something similar. But I also try to be aware of this too, since my co-workers (for example) are super unhealthy. I try to generally maintain my standard.

Thanks for your thoughts! I'll check out Melissa's book. 

 

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I started thinking about food in micro minutiae data points in high school.  Dieting turned my adult life into all binge eating all of the time and the nothing times of dieting.  Off and on, all or nothing.  In the end, it gave me nothing all of the time.  You sound like you're figuring it out much sooner than I did.

Kudos to you.   

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