South Beach Diet - Eating/Eschewing Sweets or Desserts--What's Your Take?




tomandkara
12-06-2007, 05:33 AM
From Laurie: This post and the following ones were in a separate thread, but I thought we should bring them out on their own so more of us can chime in.

Yeah, I'd definitely guess that it's just a fancy way of saying sugar. [This part was in response to a different post] Lots of organic and natural products use "pure cane sugar" and "evaporated cane juice" because it sounds more "granola"...appeals to their target consumer I think.

Kara


pamatga
03-03-2008, 10:58 AM
I agree with Kara on this: by saying something is "natural or cane" it appeals to a crowd (like my daughter) who even though they are vegans eat a surprising amount of sugar in their diets. My daughter is 5"11" and a size 4 so I suppose the sugar is not an issue for her weight BUT she is crabby and irritable a lot. I say, it's because of mood swings caused by blood sugar swings. Just a theory from "Mom" but again......

In 2 months of being "on the Beach", I can honestly say that I can not handle any sugar. Period! End of story! That is about all I can add from my experience.

I spent Saturday going through a cookbook by Marilyn Koch who developed common "favorite" foods using Splenda. I realized that when I looked at the added information of what is considered a diabetic exchange (since this cookbook was geared towards diabetics, her step-daughter is) that I would have to "exchange" a peanut butter cookie for a slice of multi grain bread if I wanted to have one. As I told my DH, I can not "justify" giving up something more nutritious for "desserts"....of that kind, anyway.

I decided that "those kind of" desserts are out for me while I am on Phase 2 and I have a long time of being on Phase 2 also. She did have several recipes for smoothies and iced coffees which I AM going to try!! So, I won't be totally left out of the loop. Just not in the loop that can handle desserts, so matter how SBD friendly, or those other "indulgences".

Good luck :hug:

beachgal
03-03-2008, 11:21 AM
Pamatga, I really respect how you are paying attention to your body! :hug: Just please also pay attention to your psyche. If you deny yourself all "desserts" you may find eventually that you'll feel so deprived, you'll cheat. :fr: Try to be aware of those urges so that you can nip them in the bud with an SBD-safe version first, okay? :hug:

I've been on SBD for over 4 years. When I started, I was incredibly vigilant about sugar in my diet. Other than things listed in the book (like Cool Whip, FF Half n' half, and the less than 3g of sugar in dressings), I didn't let anything with sugar in it pass my lips. Period. :nono: I think that was really helpful for me at that time. But as time went on, I found that I could be less rigorous in that regard and stay on plan. I became less afraid of minute amounts of sugar in my food. This has let me feel less deprived, more comfortable in public (I don't panic if someone suddenly suggests going out for a meal and I don't have the ability to plan, bring stuff from home, etc.), and hasn't affected my ability to lose on SBD.

I also make a lot of SBD-safe versions of things, especially baked goods. I found myself absolutely craving a piece of chocolate cake with peanut-butter frosting at a friend's BBQ one weekend and was able to stave off the craving with a promise to make some at home for myself that was SBD-friendly. I actually used a cookbook by the author you mentioned (Marlene Koch's Unbelievable Desserts With Splenda) to make this (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=59319). It was worth the wait and made it possible for me to make similar "bargains" in the future. When I make a dessert for someone that is made with sugar (something I do rarely), I usually make an SBD version for myself so I don't feel tempted to snack on it.

If the dessert you substitute is free from nutrients, I can see why you wouldn't want to substitute it for something with nutrients, like a slice of multi-grain bread (assuming that's a totally WW bread, not a white bread with some grains thrown in, which would make it pretty free from nutrients). However, the nutrients in a healthy peanut butter cookie (good fats from oil and peanut butter, protein from PB and WW flour, fiber and vitamins from WW flour, etc.) could easily outweigh those in a slice of multigrain bread (some protein and fiber from WW flour and possibly some good oils in grains). :shrug: Just something to think about. There's a big difference in the nutrient profile, for example, of a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie and a pixie stick (or Lik m' aid or any other candy that's just basically sugar), even if they were both made with sugar. You know? :D

Just wanted to put in my $0.02 to say that dessert does not always equal "bad." Lots of desserts can be really healthy and full of nutrients, especially if you make them yourself. :chef:


Schmoodle
03-03-2008, 11:36 AM
pamatga and Laurie, very interesting discussion. I was also extremely vigilant about sugar for the first 8 months or so and had great success with the plan. Lately I've been experimenting because I feel like I want to transition more to something that feels like a lifestyle rather than a diet, to use an overused phrase! I'd also like to reduce use of artificial sweeteners. So, this is a difficult process, but I think I'm going to have to have treats in my life to keep going. Right now, my treats are: one ounce of dark chocolate or 1 serving peanut M&Ms, one glass of wine, 2 cups popcorn. I try to have these once a week or less, but that's the hard part isn't it?

you're so right Laurie, we have to pay close attention to our bodies and figure out what works, which is going to be different for each one of us. This is a challenge for someone who has pretty much pretended not to have a body for many years! For me this has really become about learning to eat like a normal person.

pamatga
03-03-2008, 05:43 PM
I have that same cookbook that you are talking about. I keep hearing so many of these diet books and "experts" talk about eating fruit and cheese as a "dessert". In fact, before I decided to follow SBD, I bought several of the leading diet books. It is so interesting that we Americans think that dessert means something like cake or pie or ice cream when most Europeans have a cheese and fruit plate that is shared with a cup of strong coffee!!

I know some people feel deprived if they don't have dessert after a meal. I am too trying to return to being a former thin person. I wasn't fat growing up and no we didn't have a sweet dessert after every meal. Sweets were something we had on holidays or very special occasions.

If you need desserts go for it. I am not anti-dessert and I hope that I didn't give that impression. I am just saying that I have found a different kind of freedom by going no-sugar. I have felt so much better in so many ways since I have eliminated no-sugar. I don't have any fear about eating in public. My DH and I eat out 1-2x a week. My DH has his M n M bag in the cupboard right now---after all, he's not the one who made this choice---I did.

I am just saying that I have discovered (quite by accident) that I can do without foods that I thought at one time would be near impossible for me to give up. It has even surprised me. So, if I have come this far, why return to the old way? What's the point!

No, it's not taking super human willpower to do this---just the grace from God. I plan on making some of those no-sugar desserts but I hope I can wait to Phase 3 and when I am 140 lbs. THEN, I will really have something to celebrate!! Maybe, I'll even surprise myself and have a big juicy apple instead!!

Ruthxxx
03-03-2008, 06:19 PM
This has been a great discussion and I've been biting my tongue - did you notice the blood dripping from the side of my mouth?

Some of you may have noticed that I seldom comment on SF desserts, legal sweet treats and other indulgences. As someone who has dieted since I was 20 (50 years!), my theory is that sweet stuff got me into this body situation and really is not necessary. I think making this sort of thing is just asking for trouble - if sf is OK, it's too easy to slip and have just one of the real thing.

Just my two cents. I now return to ignoring stuff like this! :lol:

GONNABE165
03-04-2008, 09:52 AM
Ruth I understand what you are saying completly. My dh is 6'1 and fairly slim except for all the muscles and he is all the time wanting cookies & brownies & ice cream and I tell him thats okay once in awhile but for me to be successful I can't have it everynight like he wants it & that goes for the SB safe deserts as well as cause i agree with you they can lead to the real thing.

beachgal
03-05-2008, 11:43 AM
Great discussion! :D I love that we can talk about this in such a civilized manner. Must be Ruth's influence. :devil:

I was an adamant "no-sugerer" myself for a long time. I, too, felt free being without sugar's influence in my life. I still do. :) However, I never gave up desserts. I lived my whole childhood with desserts only on special occasions. I want to change the way I think about that. I don't want to celebrate special occasions with food, or make desserts into something to lust after because I won't let myself have them regularly. What I learned on SBD was to have desserts without sugar, to eat things I would have scorned before (one SF Jell-o cup? one SF pudding cup? one chocolate protein bar?) as too little, too virtuous, or too plain to be worth it. I learned to be satisfied with less and to actually eat portions.

I think there's something to the issue of eating SF things leading to other eating, but I think it's more due to the intense sweetness and something it does to your body. I've never felt the need to eat full sugar things because I had the SF substitute. The SF substitute satisfies me. However, if I go to, say, Panera, for lunch and don't bring a small dessert with me, I find myself literally drooling over the pastries and feeling like a bad person because I can't have the dessert that it seems everyone around me is eating. :(

That's just how it works for me. :) Everyone's different and I think getting to know your own body and how it works (including your mind and psyche!) is so important. I love that so many people here have been able to do that. :love:

I'm especially interested in how people end up backsliding on their plans. One thing I keep reading about and seeing is that when we make unrealistic expectations of ourselves and/or completely eliminate things from our diet that we really, really want, we tend to fail. Sometimes the failure gets used as an exuse to stay off plan. Studies show that people who occasionally "cheat" are much more likely to stick to their plan and lose than those who never cheat. It sounds counterintuitive, but I think it's true, especially in a long-term situation. For some people, giving up dessert just isn't that big of a deal. Substituting fruit is a great, healthy idea! However, my entire childhood centered around my parents telling me to eat fruit when I wanted baked goods or ice cream. I know that having fruit for dessert all the time would leave me feeling really deprived. However, there have definitely been days when I've actually chosen to eat my apple from Panera as my "dessert" and been perfectly happy. Sometimes it's all in the illusion of choice! ;)

I think as long as we all stay "in touch" with our minds, emotions, and bodies, we'll do GREAT! As hard as it is for me to do, we also have to be open to change. As our lives change, our bodies change, and our stressors change, we may have to modify the way we eat, too. That's okay! Just like that oft-used metaphor, a tree that bends in the wind survives. Trees that won't bend often end up uprooted in the next stiff wind.

Okay, enough on that soapbox! :soap: I'd love to hear what others think, though! :D

femmecreole
03-05-2008, 12:22 PM
Interesting thread!

I didn't let any sugar pass my lips till I was very close to my goal size. I decided that I would eat "sugar" desserts when I really wanted to, but they could only be "special" desserts...something that was really worth it...not just a cookie or a piece of cake as in the "everyday variety". So now I will occasionally have something IF it's worth it! For instance if I am at a dinner party and a spectacular dessert is served. Last week we went to a pastry shop in New Orleans (http://www.shopsucre.com/)that has unreal stuff. I had a small caramel/chocolate concontion. It's something that I would not have an opportunity to have often. So maybe now it's once a month or so that I come across something that is a very special. In other words, if I 'cheat" it's only for something that is out of the ordinary. Not interested in brownies, cookies from a bag etc.. Only TRUE outstanding stuff.

tomandkara
03-05-2008, 02:53 PM
I was so confused when I saw this thread because I completely didn't remember starting it! :lol:

I'm still struggling with this issue. I don't love artificial sweeteners. I despise the aftertaste and worry about the long term affects of using them. However, since I'm counting calories, they are convenient as they allow me to have a sweetness in things like oatmeal and tea that I would have to "pay" calories for otherwise. I still haven't resolved that.

My other issue is that I feel like if I eat on plan, then I "deserve" something as a treat. I don't know how to get over that. I've tried telling myself to concentrate on putting good things into my body because it will work better that way, but I still pine for the sweets that (seemingly) EVERYONE else is eating. It's a mental thing. I've kicked the physical craving, but I am still dealing with emotional cravings I guess.

It's going to be a long road.

Edited to add: I have finally reached a point where I can honestly say that it's just not worth it to have some things at all. I've pretty much given up wheat, whole or otherwise, unless I can have it with a LOT of protein, because otherwise it really triggers cravings for me. I can deal without it. I'd rather not have to mess with the cravings. However, this newfound maturity with eating choices has not yet extended into the realm of sweets...

Kara

tomandkara
03-05-2008, 03:25 PM
I agree with Kara on this: by saying something is "natural or cane" it appeals to a crowd (like my daughter) who even though they are vegans eat a surprising amount of sugar in their diets. My daughter is 5"11" and a size 4 so I suppose the sugar is not an issue for her weight BUT she is crabby and irritable a lot. I say, it's because of mood swings caused by blood sugar swings. Just a theory from "Mom" but again......

Pam, I get really crabby when my blood sugar tanks, like if I'm out and can't find anything to eat and am very hungry. I've never found myself to be crabby when on a sugar high, however. I am over-affected by sugar and turn into a dancing, singing, crazy person! Once I crash from a sugar high, though, I don't get crabby. I get really tired. Maybe that's just me, but I think blaming her moodiness on eating too much sugar is a misinterpretation of the problem. While she may eat too much sugar, in my experience the cycle of how your blood sugar affects your mood is opposite of what you're assuming.

Kara

beachgal
03-05-2008, 04:30 PM
...My other issue is that I feel like if I eat on plan, then I "deserve" something as a treat. I don't know how to get over that. I've tried telling myself to concentrate on putting good things into my body because it will work better that way, but I still pine for the sweets that (seemingly) EVERYONE else is eating. It's a mental thing. I've kicked the physical craving, but I am still dealing with emotional cravings I guess.

It's going to be a long road.

Edited to add: I have finally reached a point where I can honestly say that it's just not worth it to have some things at all. I've pretty much given up wheat, whole or otherwise, unless I can have it with a LOT of protein, because otherwise it really triggers cravings for me. I can deal without it. I'd rather not have to mess with the cravings. However, this newfound maturity with eating choices has not yet extended into the realm of sweets...

Kara

I especially loved the bolded part above, Kara! :lol3: That's me, too! I figured out that I couldn't have certain things and could handle that, but giving up sweets completely makes me panicky! (my gazillion years in therapy tell me that, that means I probably should get rid of them! :rolleyes: ) My nutritionist suggested getting all the sugar substitutes out of my diet. I had the hardest time figuring out how I could handle that. I think my life would be very bland. I'd have to eat plain yogurt with fruit and nothing else to sweeten it, since we all know fruit juice is just as harmful as sugar in terms of raising your blood sugar. Oy! I'd have to drink water or plain iced tea at restaurants because I couldn't have soda. Worst of all, my dessert eating days would be over. I think the most I could hope for would be some kind of fruit compote. :p (do y'all remember those tin tv dinners that came with a "fruit compote" for dessert? :lol3: )

You know, I think we do sometimes give ourselves a much harder time than we need to. Many people think of sweets as evil or bad for you and in the case of completely non-nutritive ones like pixie sticks or lollipops, I can understand why. But if you took the ingredients in a piece of cake and just combined them in different ways, would that make them okay? What's wrong with good fats, WW flour, cocoa powder, eggs, etc? It's one thing if you truly feel that for you, sweets are a trigger food (like you feel about wheat, Kara). But for those who don't feel that way, why is it bad to continue to have sweets in your diet?

I have huge respect for all of our mods, but am quite impressed with the progress Amanda (Mandalinn82) made on her plan. Desserts are a part of every day for her and she even allots a decent amount of calories to them (like 150 or so). She makes different things, most of which I can't remember right now, but I know one of them is a cake recipe that involves very healthy ingredients. You can see a variation of it in Amanda's Fabulous Pumpkin Cake recipe (http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=127516) in the recipe forums. Amanda is a really healthy person and not only has reached her goal, but maintained it and even managed to make it to the front cover of a magazine last fall! I remember her saying something about how she knew that any plan that she would actually stick to had to include dessert. :shrug:

I think I'm rambling now... :o

Schmoodle
03-05-2008, 06:51 PM
I am really soaking up this thread and loving it. For me it was Christmas that turned me back into a raving sugarholic. I had decided to stay on plan as much as possible, but allow myself a few treats here and there, but I was overestimating my self-control and it turned into a week-long free-for-all. After I got myself back under control, I went back to the way I'd been eating before Christmas, which was NSA fudgesicles, etc. as treats, but as I crammed down the 4th fudgesicle one night I realized my old habits had resurfaced only I was using the sugar free stuff the same way I used to use the sweet stuff. So I began my mission of trying to figure out how I can have some treats and stay in control. One thing I've realized is that the sweets don't really have to be all that sweet. I love the dark chocolate with just enough sugar so that it's not really bitter. I can eat plain yogurt, water or plain tea, etc. no problem. As long as I can occasionally have some chocolaty goodness to keep me going. I bought a bag of peanut M&Ms and portioned them out intending to have one serving once/week. You've probably guessed how that worked out! My friend offered to keep my chocolate at her house, and give me one serving/week. I'm tempted but that seems kind of silly...

I'm sure it'll be a while before I figure this out. It all seems so foreign to me. I remember as a teenager babysitting, I came across a bag of mini-snickers in somebody's cupboard. Of course I wanted to sit right down and tear into it, but I knew they'd come home and find me in a chocolate coma surrounded by wrappers, so I resisted. I babysat for them every week, and for weeks I saw that bag in there, just a couple missing. I was fascinated and tormented watching how it took them weeks to finish that bag. I think I realized at that time that they were "normal" and I was not!

femmecreole
03-05-2008, 07:02 PM
Hmm, Schoodle, that chocolate saving family doesn't sound normal to me...they sound like sadists!!!

You know, my kids were all like that. They could have a basket of easter candy last forever. I couldn't ever do that as a skinny kid or a fat adult. Two days max on an Easter basket and then I'd go searching to find those last couple of jelly beans stuck to the "grass". My kids are all in their 20's and still skinny and I'm glad they are.

tomandkara
03-06-2008, 09:30 AM
Tom can do that. If he's had enough, he's had enough, even if it's in the middle of an M&M. He literally has ice cream every night and hasn't gained a pound in the past five years or so. He just knows when to say when. I, on the other hand, who like to blame my problems on being forced to finish my plate as a child, feel like I need to eat my entire serving. It doesn't matter if it's a custard-cup size or a massive serving bowl size. I just feel like I have to finish it. I've kind of gotten around this by portion-controlling things and only putting on my plate what I should be eating, but again, that doesn't really get to the root of the problem. What I guess I should do is fill up my plate and then train myself to only eat some of it. Can any of us predict where that would go???

Kara

GONNABE165
03-06-2008, 11:21 AM
I got my habits of eating from my mom when we were growing up we always got desert before bed - cookies, donuts, cake, brownies etc. and my mom is a huge junk food eater she will eat a whole pan of brownies or eat a whole tube of cookie dough but she isn't but 5 or 10 lbs overweight and hse keeps it that way only because she is active with her job and other things she does if not I swear she would be as big as her house.