I’ve been a lurker for a long time, thinking I had nothing to post. Today, I do, and it deals with chocolate tea, HFCS, and finally breaking a life-time addiction to food.
For years, I lived with a sugar addiction. My grandfather bought me a candy every day from age 6 until he moved around age 14. I was stuck then with needing sugar all of the time. If I didn’t get my daily dose, my mood would alter, I’d have weird feelings in my arms from my nerves, and other things I can’t remember. My withdrawal symptoms resembled those of drug addicts!
I tried dieting before, but leaving sugar was impossible. I’d succeed with smaller portions, less fat, and more exercise. But I never got the “skinny” body I always wanted. I had to live with “skinny fat” in a normal BMI since I could remember.
I found out about HFCS, and saw a video that said it is metabolized differently. (“Sugar – The Bitter Truth” on YouTube). Then I found a study done by Princeton University showing that HFCS causes more weight gain than table sugar.
Add this to my weight closing in on 128 at 5’1” at the age of 23, and I just started freaking out. I had to change! Maybe these studies had the clue?
That set me to quit HFCS and to get my husband to do so. We checked everything for it, and only consumed things without it. I still had my candy, but I noticed I wasn’t getting cravings for tons of junk food like I had before. Our only HFCS would be from the bread in the buns at fast food places, in which visiting them is rare anyway. We even went to great lengths to find HFCS soda for rare treat days and HFCS-free ketchup. Whole Foods for us has been a God-send in this process, even if it means paying a bit more for just a few things.
I dared myself to try and not eat a candy for a day, just about a week later. Somehow, someway, I had made it. I hadn’t gone without some kind of daily refined sugar for years! But I still felt a void, something missing.
I. Missed. Chocolate! I’m not sure if it was the sugar, or the weirdness of seeing skinny kids at my university eating candy when I couldn’t, but some part of me NEEDED it. And then something in the back of my mind popped up.
I remembered seeing chocolate tea at Whole Foods. I immediately set out to go with my husband to buy one. Maybe this would work? I consumed unsweetened herbal teas regularly, maybe I could pull this off?
So, I did. I bought Peppermint Chocolate Tea. I had started consuming it when I had chocolate cravings, and it worked for a day or two. I then went back and bought the others that were available: Red Velvet Chocolate, Coconut Cocoa (both from the Republic of Tea), and Mayan Cocoa Spice (from Yogi). I started noticing a trend, and ended up going SIX days without candy! My drinking pattern was around 4 cups a day, and followed this:
-Light chocolate craving: Drink 1 Red Velvet
-Light craving, something different: Drink 1 Peppermint or Coconut
-Strong craving: Drink 1 Mayan Cocoa Spice
*I did this until I could feel legitimate, strong hunger. I’d eat a regular meal, and everything would be normal again. Cravings went poof!
(Note: I tried some black tea with chocolate hazelnut “flavoring” and it was awful. I’m not sure if artificial chocolate flavoring did it, or if it were the bitterness of black tea. So if you’re not much of an unsweetened tea drinker, I recommend staying away from chocolate combined with black, green, or white. Red and other herbal things are fine, though).
I ended up doing this over a month, and ended up not eating sugar of any kind, for half of the month. For a first month attempt for me, that was unheard of! I mostly chose my days to eat sugar, and had no problem sticking to one serving.
Most of all, these chocolate teas felt that need to drink something “dark” and “heavy.” The sort of thing chocolate has over other treats, which coffee has somewhat too. (I’m sure most of you have had that sugar craving that wasn’t satisfied by something other than chocolate.)
I did mess up twice, though. Each time, I had Pepsi because it came with a fast food coupon/deal of some kind. And each time, I had an intense, arm-tingling, drug-addict like craving for sugar. It took 2-4 days each time to wean myself off, using a non-HFCS candy bar to get me out of it.
I’m starting to believe that I never had sugar addiction – I just had a chemical in my body that wouldn’t let my cravings go! So I absolutely refuse to touch any soda, candy bar, or ice cream, that I am pretty sure has HFCS in it. And I wonder if this is why the US has such problems with over eating. This chemical drove me to eat until I got sick, while now I can go a long time without eating, and I can stick to normal portions. I can now do what I see foreign students do – eat a small piece of something and keep on going.
And as for results, I lost over 4 pounds in about 5 weeks, with no exercise added. For already being at a normal BMI, that seems crazy to me.
I’m sorry this seemed so long winded, but I felt someone may end up getting help from this.
And have any of you had success with either removing HFCS from your diet or adding chocolate tea?