Originally Posted by kaplods
The "sweet tooth" is hardwired into us and all other frugivorous (fruit eating) creatures, which makes it very difficult to quell or modify our preference for sweets.
Eliminating sweets can eliminate or reduce cravings, but they'll usually rebound the moment you break your sweet fast. One bite of cake, or sometimes even sweet fruit, and you're right back were you started or worse.
That's my personal dilemma. I do great until that "one bite won't hurt me," moment. And it's not even cake that does me in, I'm too vigilant for that.
What pulls me back into the sugar trap is the sugar hidden in savory foods, sometimes even in foods that are low-carb overall, but have a sweet component, such as meat with a thin glaze or marinade. Barbecued ribs, for example are a major trigger food for me, even if the sauce is served on the side and I use it sparingly.
David Kessler's book, The End of Overeating, helped me understand my physiological addiction to the swwet/salty/fatty flavor combination, but doing so hasn't lessened the powerful hold the addiction has on my willpower.
I'm a drug addict living in a world and culture where my drug is common and pushed on everyone almost from the time we're born. That we're all born with a genetic potential for the addiction, doesn't make it any easier.
And yet we're told to "suck it up," and expected to not only watch everyone else indulge, we're expected indulge ourselves "in moderation."
For many of us, moderation just isn't possible, but abstinence is not jusy culturally expected, it's virtually mandated. If you don't participate in the group "high" you're often ostracized as a spoil sport.
Imagine giving up heroin in such an environment - if the drug were cheap, omnipresent, and use was not only accepted, but expected.
Artificial sweeteners are my methadone. I am trying to reduce my dependence on addictive sweetness by using artificial sweeteners and gradually reducing the level of sweetness in my food, but I'm very prone to relapse, especially when I feel socially pressured.
I'm not absolving myself of personal responsibility, just acknowledging me weakness in that area. I tend to isolate myself as much as possible, which probably isn't all that healthy - but all my friends and family (even my husband to some degree) are active and frequent users.
In the case of sugar addiction, avoiding the drug culture just isn't remotely possible. Even finding others who acknowledge the addictive potential of sugar is difficult.
As a culture, we sympathize with the difficulty of breaking addiction, even with even with socially accepted habits like caffeine, nicotine, and overspending, but carb and sugar addicts are pressured into using while being told to "suck it up, and use moderation."