Weight Loss Support - Are some of us just "sugarholics" from the start?




Thin Desire
05-26-2011, 01:06 PM
This is a question I've been wondering about. Are some of us just sugarholics from the start? I have always been obese and fat, actually compared to a lot of fat kids today, I was pretty near normal until I was about 11, I hit all of my milestones at the times normal-weighted kids do from about 7-10, which is amazing to me because when I was actually that age, I was told I was "so fat" and have been on diets since I was 7. I'm a guy by the way.

At any rate, my father has never had to deal with his weight, at most he got up to 210 in the army and that was a "fat time" for him. He's 174 now and has let his weight drop to 139 in the past due to picky eating habits (he's 5'11").

So, he buys donuts the other day, and I noticed he's taken a bite out of it and left the rest, and I'm thinking to myself: "Who does that?!". I didn't actually say anything to him.

This wasn't a huge fritter, this was just your basic buttermilk glazed donut. And, to me, no matter what, no matter how skinny I get, no matter how comatose, I will never be able to cut a small sliver of a single donut and leave the rest. He will nurse a single can of coke for 2 or 3 days.

I can't do that. Sugar really messes with my blood glucose levels, seems pretty standard when I say that, lol. But yet, apparently not so for him. Even if I'm cutting back I will always have one donut or a can or two of soda. Mostly I just drink water and go months without soda. So for me I just cut these kinds of trigger foods out altogether. And yet he can portion them.

I was wondering if some people are born "sugarholics" like with me, I've been around smokers my entire life, but have never felt the urge to partake, not even once. I have drank alcohol once or twice, but have never had a burning compulsive need to do it over again, so I'm thinking I don't have the "nicotine" or "alcoholic" gene. I could give or take those. But give me a donut, and I will feel a compulsive need to eat 20 more, and fight myself not to. Give me a can of coke, and I will want to drink 10 more, and fight myself not to. Does anyone else think that somehow some of us are just born with the "sugarholic" gene that makes us prone to this and others with the "alcoholic" gene or lack it or whatever? It's odd to me.


Beach Patrol
05-26-2011, 01:21 PM
I was wondering if some people are born "sugarholics" like with me, I've been around smokers my entire life, but have never felt the urge to partake, not even once. I have drank alcohol once or twice, but have never had a burning compulsive need to do it over again, so I'm thinking I don't have the "nicotine" or "alcoholic" gene. I could give or take those. But give me a donut, and I will feel a compulsive need to eat 20 more, and fight myself not to. Give me a can of coke, and I will want to drink 10 more, and fight myself not to. Does anyone else think that somehow some of us are just born with the "sugarholic" gene that makes us prone to this and others with the "alcoholic" gene or lack it or whatever? It's odd to me.

Honey, I SO FEEL YOUR PAIN! - I, too, have never felt the urge to partake in nicotine, drugs, etc. I do drink on occasion, but I can certainly take it or leave it, & most often choose to leave it.

But put a sugary food in front of my face? "Get outta the way! SHE'S GONNA EAT!!!!!" yeah, something like that. :)

And I can be eating healthy-healthy-healthy for days & days, and then suddenly, without warning, I WANT SOMETHING SWEET. Not "fruit-sweet"... ain't no banana or strawberry gonna quell that demon. Nope! Gotta be something MAJOR SWEET, like a donut, cupcake, biggggg cookie, etc. And if I have ONE, I want MORE. The trick, for me, is completely walking away, and OMG, that is SO hard to do ...I very seldom succeed, BTW, when I'm in that "sugar monster" mode. :(

Is there a special "gene" that makes us sugaraholics? I don't know. But I truly do not doubt it at all. And it's very weird how it works in families... I've been prone to chubbiness all my life, while my brother has always been tall/slim, even tho he had the sugar demon hiding in him, too. (not fair! not fair!!! :tantrum: )

What I really wonder about is... if us sugarholics had NEVER had ANY sugar from womb to present day, would we still crave it? I mean like, if we'd had only natural sugars (thru fruit & honey, etc.) ... would we still be crazy for it? Would we risk 1000 bee stings to get near the honeycomb? Would we climb every tree to get the juiciest apple?? :chin: Things that make you go Hmmmm....

tea2
05-26-2011, 01:22 PM
My answer is yes, because I'm exactly the same. I have to keep some things out of my house. Increasingly, when I have a craving, it has to be satisfied by something super sweet, like fudge, or it doesn't hit the spot. I am ok with pop, though, because I didn't grow up drinking it.


130orbust
05-26-2011, 01:35 PM
I would consider myself addicted to sugar, for me too fruits don't satisfy the craving either. I can easily enjoy two 2-litres of coke (4 litres a day!) and polishing off an entire large bag of M&M's or say three whole kit kat bars in one sitting...piece of cake...did someone say cake? *looking around* LOL

I was one of those lucky kids who could eat all that junk growing up and stay stick thin. I held physical jobs through college and was in the best shape of my life, I was always skinny but got toned too, never had to give a second thought to what I was eating. Then I got a desk job out of college. I started getting "puffy". I had some decent curves going on by my mid 20's but was still "normal" BMI. THEN I started having children and my metabolism has apparently done a 180 on me. And here I find myself fighting sugar demons daily and losing at least 1/2 the time.

I guess I think of my sugar addiction more as a lack of self control than an actual physical addiction, I have not noticed any physical withdrawl symptoms if I don't have sugar when I want it. Unlike my caffiene addiction where I get headaches, crabby etc when I go with out.

(BTW I'm 4 days caffiene free right now and doing pretty well considering!)

redhead14
05-26-2011, 01:36 PM
People in ND call it being "german", a meal is not complete without something sweet! I LOVE sugar which I get from my Dad but he didn't give me his metabolism :devil:

Learned that if I stay away from starchy foods the need doesn't seem so bad, but oh boy there are days were I just want to buy a big white cake with tons of frosting.

Being here on "3 Chicks" makes me realize that I'm not alone with my sugar addiction makes me feel better :D

Lovely
05-26-2011, 01:49 PM
I'm so with you on the "who does that?!" part. Your story reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where George picks the eclair up out of the trash. Link for Laughs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H9QPvBfMVQ)

I've stopped myself from eating a normal meal if I'm getting full, but I'll always finish whatever what served to me if it's a sweet dessert. So it just boils down to limiting when I'll have them and keeping them out of the house completely the rest of the time.

NotTheCheat
05-26-2011, 01:56 PM
I am in the yes crowd. When it comes to sugar, I don’t think I have an off switch. I really tried to eat it moderately, and I succeeded to a small degree for awhile, but it was so hard that it is frankly unmanageable. One bite is enough to send me over the edge. If there is more I will want it, whether I am hungry or not, up until the point of being painfully full.

I don’t know if this is because sugar affects me differently biologically or psychologically than people who don’t have sugar issues. Well, I know it affects me at least somewhat differently biologically now because I have crossed the line into diabetes. I have to wonder if I have always had some type of sugar issue that has lead me to this spot.

I have basically decided not to eat it, except for maybe a few times a year and under very controlled circumstances. There is a part of me that hates that this is the case, but I have finally surrendered to the fact that this is how things have to be for me. As it is, I am so much happier not eating it, that as long as I can stay in that place, I don’t feel deprived. As fantastic as the rush is in the moment, in the long run it makes me feel terrible.

bookwmn1
05-26-2011, 02:12 PM
Whenever I consider going off plan, it's always for sugary stuff. I grew up in one of those families where every meal ended with something sweet, even if it was just bread and jam.

I think some of us are wired differently when it comes to sugar (I have friends who couldn't care less about sugar, but salty crunchy fried foods are their downfall). It's best if I don't keep any kind of sweet treats in the house. I love to bake and I have all my grandmother's recipes, but now I only bake for holidays and birthdays.

Nancy

fitness4life
05-26-2011, 02:29 PM
I'm totally into sugary snacks. Occassionally I have the salty snack urge, too. Sometimes I combo both - like M&Ms and pretzels.

I am also one who will take a bite out of a snack and leave the rest.

I think this may be why I can "eat whatever I want and not gain a pound" as I am often accused of.

Here's the mental process - and I've been like this my entire adult life - I have a craving. I identify if it's sugar or salt that I crave and dig around my pantry for the suitable snack.

I take/cut off one bite. If it doesn't hit the spot 110%, I don't eat the rest. I often say that it's not worth the calories if I don't love it at the moment.

Beach Patrol
05-26-2011, 03:16 PM
I have learned (in the past) that when I get off sugar completely (except for natural sugar, like fruit) I. FEEL. SO. MUCH. BETTER! The longest I've gone w/out sugary-laden foods is 8 months. But one snickety-snack of a candy bar put an end to that. :(

I've also learned that I have a better reaction to "fatty-type" desserts as opposed to "sugary-type" desserts. Say something like... cheesecake instead of birthday cake. My sweet tooth is satiated without making me want more-more-more. If I have something like a regular glazed Krispy-Kreme donut or a piece of b'day cake, I just want another & another & another.

Also, I've learned that even tho I would much rather have candy/cake/cookie/etc instead of fruit, IF I CHOOSE FRUIT, overtime, my sweet tooth aches quite a bit less. :^: So the more I choose fruit, the less I want candy. Does that make sense? Yeah, I don't know how that works, but it does.

But then... no matter how *good* I am, when TOM rolls around? It's like the sugar monster takes over and everything I've worked so hard for just seems to die away. PLUS, the ravenous SALT-FIEND jumps in to make matters even worse. :( It's like willpower simply doesn't exist at all during TOM. And yeah, I DO feel better if I just go ahead & indulge. Cause if I don't, my mood swings become akin to a T-Rex on a hobbling caveman rampage! ARGH! :crazy:

jennylou
05-26-2011, 03:23 PM
Our society is a formula society. Guess what one of the big ingredients in formula is? Corn Syrup. And babies are supposed to be primarily nourished by breastmilk or formula for their first year of life. If people are even a tiny bit predisposed to having problems with sugar, it seems to me that formula is a major start to it. There are tons of studies that link to formula increasing the risk of obesity.

berryblondeboys
05-26-2011, 03:41 PM
I don't think we are born sugarholics, but I think some of us become sugarholics and can become that way very early on. I was (am) certainly. I'm with you. If there is a box of donuts. It's not one, but sneaking 3-4 and I could eat the whole box - NO PROBLEM. Which is so odd, because besides that sugar fix I needed (simple carbs - as that includes breads, rice, pasta) I ate really well. I love vegetables and ate a really good dinner - every night - love it, but for snacks and lunches - pure junk.

When I was told my blood sugars were out of whack, I dropped all simple carbs and I felt so much better - immensely better. AND I lost the cravings for them. I just know I can't have them as they make me feel horrible AND they start a uncontrollable 'need' for them.

I can now have 'a' small something once in awhile - like once a month and I don't feel the need for a binge or more, but that's it. I don't need it or want it.

My husband and my son can eat a square of chocolate a day. Or pass up sweets - no problem. Me???? NO WAY. (now I can, but before? Uh-uh.)

Emme
05-26-2011, 03:44 PM
I don't have an off-switch when it comes to sugar, either. I am not one of those people who can buy a bag of gummy bears, have a few, and then wrap them up for later. I bought a mondo-sized box of Nerds at a store one day and ate the whole thing in 3 hours. I was on a sugar high for quite a while! :dizzy: I would set the box down and it felt like it was literally calling me back to grab another handful.

fitness4life
05-26-2011, 04:42 PM
Our society is a formula society. Guess what one of the big ingredients in formula is? Corn Syrup. And babies are supposed to be primarily nourished by breastmilk or formula for their first year of life. If people are even a tiny bit predisposed to having problems with sugar, it seems to me that formula is a major start to it. There are tons of studies that link to formula increasing the risk of obesity.

This is curious to me. I breast fed my 4 kids. Because of over active lactation glands, with each child breastfeeding became unbearably painful.

The first child I breast fed for 1 year.
The second, 6 months.
The third, 3 months.
The fourth 8 weeks.

Formula was fed after breast feeding ceased.

My first child is not chunky but she fights her demons with food and is naturally curvy. She is not a rail by any means.

2nd child is a rail.
3rd child is even more of a rail.
4th child is chunky and self conscious and fights with his food demons and gives in almost every time. I think he'll thin out when his height catches up to his weight but he has the worst relationship with food out of all my kids.

I wonder if it's linked to him being fed formula the most. ??

shishkeberry
05-26-2011, 05:06 PM
I agree about the formula thing. I don't think it always causes problems, but it can certainly exacerbate things. One of the reasons I tried so hard to make breastfeeding work for my two kids, even to the point of exclusive, seven times a day hospital grade pumping with my youngest.

kaplods
05-26-2011, 06:11 PM
I think there is a genetic component, but it's only a component (part of the story, not the whole story).

My brother and I are adopted (and not related) and our weight patterns are very different than each others and very different than our parents and siblings. Of our two sisters (my parents' biological children) one follows the weight pattern of our mother and one follows the weight pattern of our father.

I'm the only person in the family (immediate or extended) to have been overweight as a child or before their mid to late 20's. I was severely overweight in kindergarten, and morbidly obese by puberty (225 lbs at 12 years old).

Even of the family members who were obese as older adults, no one in the family ever came within 120 lbs of my highest weight.

It does make me wonder what the weight/eating patterns of my bio-parents were.

Of those of us with sugar/carb issues, I don't think it matters why or how we got them. We're stuck with it, and have to work around it.

I'm just really glad I discovered the carb connection, because limiting and restricting carbs makes weight loss and my life so much easier. We're a carb-flooded culture, so it's not always easy to maintain the carb level that's best for me, but knowledge is power. I now know a way to keep my hunger in check and lose weight without feeling half-starved and deprived.

Karen925
05-26-2011, 06:36 PM
Of those of us with sugar/carb issues, I don't think it matters why or how we got them. We're stuck with it, and have to work around it.

I'm just really glad I discovered the carb connection, because limiting and restricting carbs makes weight loss and my life so much easier. We're a carb-flooded culture, so it's not always easy to maintain the carb level that's best for me, but knowledge is power. I now know a way to keep my hunger in check and lose weight without feeling half-starved and deprived.

Kaplods, you stated something I think as well. Some of us are more carb/insulin/sugar sensistive than others. There is some evidence to suggest a prenatal link. But the hand is dealt. I am estatic to have a way of maintaining my weight while enjoying food and not feeling starved or deprived of energy. It is a work in progress to be sure, but a work worth doing.

April Snow
05-26-2011, 07:02 PM
Our society is a formula society. Guess what one of the big ingredients in formula is? Corn Syrup. And babies are supposed to be primarily nourished by breastmilk or formula for their first year of life. If people are even a tiny bit predisposed to having problems with sugar, it seems to me that formula is a major start to it. There are tons of studies that link to formula increasing the risk of obesity.


This was not the case for the formula my son used (because I didn't produce enough milk for him). It was a milk-based formula. There are some types that do use corn syrup but it's not universal at all, and not the case for most, if not all, milk-based formulas.

And fwiw, as a formula-fed baby (some b-milk, but 100% formula by 6 months), my son was and remains underweight (he's almost 7).

And to go back to the original question, I absolutely believe that some people react differently to sugar, just like some people (alcoholics) react differently to alcohol, and that it's a chemical thing in your body.

dragonlady1978
05-26-2011, 07:35 PM
ABSOLUTELY!

Reading your post was like reading something I'd have written myself.

I don't think we're born sugarholics any more than we can be born alcoholics. We do have to make conscious decisions that lead us down that road.

I do, however, think that some of us are genetically and/or environmentally prone to addiction itself. What that addiction is depends on a variety of factors, but in the end the specifics don't matter anyway. By definition, being addicted to anything eventually poses risks to our health, takes over our thoughts and emotions, and interferes with our lives.

Sugar affects the same chemicals in our brain as amphetamines. Some people can do cocaine once or twice and never think about it again, some people get hooked first shot.

Losing weight is not a problem for me. Relapse is. I have come to the realization that I will always have to be on guard, and that I can't open that box of doughnuts and have just a piece of one without some extreme and purposeful direction and control of myself.

Once I have that piece, it is impossible for me to forget it. It will be the center of my thoughts, literally an obsession, until they are gone. I will make myself sick, physically ill, and still want another damned doughnut.

I think that a food addiction can in fact be worse than drugs or alcohol. You don't have to have crack or whiskey to live, so you can make a conscious decision to just stay away from it. You can make choices that will ensure you and the source of your addiction never cross paths again. You can't do that with food. We have to learn how to live with it as a part of our lives multiple times every day.

sacha
05-26-2011, 08:08 PM
My son could not feed from the breast (he was born with a birth injury) and had severe acid reflux and threw up all my milk. He was on Enfamil's Soy formula and yes, the stuff's #1 ingredient is corn syrup solids. Awful, awful stuff, but was really my last resort at the time (donor milk is $3-4/ounce here and it's very hard to find a donor who follows an elimination diet).

I really hope it doesn't contribute to any obesity BUT I do know that statistically formula babies have a higher rate of adult obesity, it's unfortunate. However, I wonder if there is a distinction between those who use it out of necessity and those who choose it and if that affects the environment later in life.

Hello Nurse
05-26-2011, 10:20 PM
I totally understand the OP. My mom is one of those people who is not big on sweets. She will buy a box of cookies, and eat maybe two a month, if that. It has caused family turmoil (when I still lived at home), because both my stepdad and myself and those people that if it is in the house we are GOING to eat it until it is GONE! Mom just does not understand it, because she does not have those cravings, and that mentality that if you have a little, you just keep going until it's gone.

My stepdad and I have tried explaining it to her, but she just doesn't understand. She is a smoker and has tried repeatedly to quit, but so far she has been unable. We have tried relating our drive to eat to her drive to smoke. She still doesn't get it. Case in point, she knows DH and I are trying really hard to work on our weight, and she pushes really hard for us to do so (but that is another post, lol). She came to our house recently for a visit and decided to make "healthy" cookies. Oatmeal, flax, walnuts...they really were about as healthy as cookies can get. Regardless, they are 3 WW points each and I just can't keep them in the house...I will binge. She was horribly offended that I was not more appreciative. She just does. not. get. it. :(

HappilyMe
05-26-2011, 10:31 PM
I think so. I also think some people react that way to salt, I have relatives who can't resist salty food the way I can't resist sugary sweets.

Thin Desire
05-26-2011, 11:17 PM
Thank you guys. I think there is something to that formula connection. A few points: my mom was a type I juvenile diabetic, the type children get and was insulin-dependent her entire life. (She passed away about 6 years ago.). They say babies of diabetic mothers are more suspectible to obesity and metabolic syndrome. I was a biggish baby, but not huge-ish; 9 lbs, 7 oz.

I was also on formula, I'm not sure why she didn't breast feed, I think it was a warning that her milk would make me sick or something, I'm not entirely sure. And, I think that may have helped, although when I was younger, I'm not sure HFCS was around, so I dunno what was in the formula at that time.
I think HFCS is only a 1990s and up phenomenon but I'm not sure.

Finally, obesity runs in my family, my maternal grandmother was morbidly obese as was my dad's half-brother. Oddly, my dad's father couldn't put any weight on and could eat whatever he wanted. There are times, though rare they may be, when his "genes" kick in and I can eat loads and actually lose weight, which always leaves me scratching my head. Unfortunately, these times are just flukes, but they have happened, so that's the only reason I believe the naturally thin underweight people who claim they eat and eat but can't gain weight. I wish this was my problem often, but honestly, it's hard when your metabolism goes into high gear, it's very tiring. Very, very rare that that happens to me though.

At any rate, there ya go, lol.

aggie2006
05-27-2011, 08:47 AM
hello nurse~ you just described my mother, smoker and all.

i do think its genetic. my father is a food addict. so are me and my sister and the majority of my dads side of the family. my mothers, all sticks...
they found a gene that is associated with alcoholism, meaning alcoholics pass something on to their kids that causes an addictive behavior to alcohol.
i think its the same for sugar.

the annoying thing is people who dont suffer from a sugar/food addiction do not understand it. but it is no different that any other addiction. well maybe worse, bc one needs to eat, so several times a day you are in the face of your addiction, and have to make a choice to control it. i wonder if an alcoholic had to drink 5 servings of alcohol a day if hed be able to control it so well. i think there would be a lot of alcoholism, just like obesity.

i dont understand, how my mother living with the 3 of us who are all food addicts doesnt understand its a disease. i think though, environment is a big factor as well. my mother always hid everything from us. candy/cookies. she has a sweet tooth, but felt that she should be allowed bc she was thin (5'6, 125) and we were all fat and couldnt have any. i think psychologically she messed us up. i remember raiding my fathers coin drawer to collect enough for 25cent chips and 50cent candies. he always screamed at us where all his change was, haha...

i think everything in moderation. in my husbands family, junk wasnt a gift/treat or not allowed. but rather it was an occasional thing, like sundays they would go out for ice cream and so forth. so maybe if it was more moderated in my house we wouldnt have such issues with it? but then again, i dont think any of his family suffers from addiction to food.

im very perplexed, bc i have NO idea how to go about sweet/junk with my daughter when she gets older. whats allowed, how often. i know cutting it out completely is irrational. id rather her have a better treat like frozen yogurt, baked chips,home made fries or dark chocolate, rather than proccessed candy/chips and mcdonalds fries....but how to not mess her up? can i control and prevent her also becoming a food addict?

studies show breast fed babies have lower rates of obesity in adult life. of course enviroment adds to that. maybe the syrup in formula is a factor in this? jolting their insulin early on? im not sure. i know that i was breast fed and so was my sister. but we were also given additional foods very early on. and my mom sweetened beverages for us with glucose (teas for us etc). its hard to say if that is the cause of our obesity now.

Beach Patrol
05-27-2011, 11:33 AM
i think everything in moderation. in my husbands family, junk wasnt a gift/treat or not allowed. but rather it was an occasional thing, like sundays they would go out for ice cream and so forth. so maybe if it was more moderated in my house we wouldnt have such issues with it?

I think THIS ^ ^ ^ is key, especially for those of us who are sugar addicts. I think I could do the "sunday outing" type of thing, and it would be OK and something to look forward to once a week, but it's crazy when going to an "ice cream parlor" (there's one just around the corner from my house... could walk there!) means $4.00 for two scoops, when you could buy a 1/2 gallon for that amount (or less.) So, for me, part of it is the money factor. Not just watching calories, but pennies as well!

The past couple of weeks, I have had Vanilla no-sugar-added (made with Splenda) ice cream (90 calories per 1/2 cup) and I cut up fresh strawberries to put in with it. This is part of my daily caloric value, & it is a nice yummy treat and a very good one, as far as a dessert type item goes. However, I STILL have to fight that urge to have MORE than a regular portion, or 2, 3, 4 servings. Still, I wish I could do this "only on Sundays" kinda way. But if it is in the house, then that's a "moo" point. You know, like a cow's opinion; it doesn't matter :rofl: (with a nod to Joey from Friends) :dizzy:

Also, from time to time, I will buy a Mr. Goodbar from the vending machine at work, and have half one day & the other half the next day. That's 125 calories for half a bar, PLUS, the goodness of peanuts - hey! Protein! - Yay! - also another pretty good "treat" but again... daily? I would like to get to a place in my life where I can have a treat once or twice a week & be OK with that, but I honestly don't think I can ever do that, so for me, it's either all or nothing. And while I have completely gotten off sugar twice in my dieting life, I'm not so sure that I want to completely give it up again. I mean, I know I'd certainly FEEL MUCH BETTER if I did, but doggone it! I just love it So.Very.MUCH! :devil:

sacha
05-27-2011, 11:55 AM
h
i think everything in moderation. in my husbands family, junk wasnt a gift/treat or not allowed. but rather it was an occasional thing, like sundays they would go out for ice cream and so forth. so maybe if it was more moderated in my house we wouldnt have such issues with it? but then again, i dont think any of his family suffers from addiction to food.


This is what it was like for me growing up and until I started eating in restaurants, drinking in college every night, there was never an issue with sugar or desserts. I still can easily pass on sugar and desserts. There was no emotional attachment (!) to sugar. Ice cream was in the freezer but it was no more interesting than the ramen noodles or vegetable.

On the other hand, I have noticed with obese friends, that their family dinners seemed to always include a dessert. Mine never did.

However, my sister is now morbidly obese and drinks 2-4 starbucks sugar frappe`s a day, amongst other things. I think you can start without a sugar addiction but if you succumb to constant sugar OUTSIDE the home, you can def. get addicted.