Carb Counters - how did you know when you were cured of your sugar addiction?




surfergirl2
03-01-2012, 05:09 PM
I hear people talk about how they get cured of their sugar addiction and then eating sugar makes them nauseous, or whatever. I certainly can't see that EVER happening to me! It's only been a few weeks since i gave up sugar, and i haven't given it up completely because i've eaten it when i went off-plan on the weekends. However, a few good signs:

- i really didn't have any desire to eat chips and salsa at the mexican restaurant
- fruit (which i am allowing on my plan) actually tastes really SWEET now.
- i don't constantly crave sugar.

However, i don't feel out of danger. I don't crave sugar in the way that i used to obsess about it, but set a chocolate cake down in front of me and i could easily eat the entire thing right now.

i'm pretty happy with the way things are now too--it seems that i can go off-plan on the weekends, and that doesn't send me back into sugar mode permanently; i can go right back on plan on Monday. So it's good. But just wondered what your experiences were?


berryblondeboys
03-01-2012, 05:20 PM
I don't think I'll ever be cured. I love sugar. It tastes good - period.

I eat VERY little sugar, but even still, when I went off plan in December _PLANNED_ off plan, I had no problems whatsoever of eating cookies and cakes despite not eating those things for a year - I think I had 3 times I had a single serving of something throughout the year.

What did happen though was that I held onto tremendous amounts of water weight. I gained 14 pounds in two weeks and I wasn't even binging!!!! Just eating more than normally and more carbs (sugar) than normally. In the end it seems I gained 4 pounds of fat - the rest was all water from the sugar. That was weird. My gut looked HUGE (glycogen is primarily stored in the liver).

runningfromfat
03-01-2012, 05:23 PM
Well, for me I gave up sugar for 6 months (and artificial sweeteners for most of that time too) but once I introduced it again, I definitely had some bumps along the road. I still can't keep certain things at home or they will be eating (primarily chocolate bars) but most other things I've fine with moderation and I often bake for my family (although I use natural sweeteners because they don't bother me as much).

I do have a low tolerance for super sweet things (candy, most cakes/breads here which use about twice as sweet as I'd make them) so I see that as a good sign. I also find myself craving fruit, something I never did before!

That being said, it's really a slippery slope. If I'm exposed to sugar too much I start wanting more and more. I visited a nutritionist for awhile and she said the best thing was just never keep it in the house. Always buy single portions (obviously I can bring them home but just one at a time). Doing that has really been a life saver and makes everything manageable.

So long story short, I'm not 100% cured but I feel good about where I am. Oh, and it's been over 1.5 years since I first gave up sugar. ;)


surfergirl2
03-01-2012, 05:29 PM
Good to hear your experiences! I guess i am wondering because i'm nervous that i'm going to be around birthday cake this weekend. I loooove cake (especially cake that has tons of icing on it) so what i think will happen is that i'll tell myself "i'll just have a small piece" and then it will trigger binge mode, and of course i'll be too embarrassed to ask for a second piece, so instead i'll wait until i'm driving home and stop by the gas station for two king-sized bars of chocolate. If i don't have it in front of me then none of this is an issue. But i don't really want to avoid this social gathering. It will be best to just fess up to my diet and say i can't eat any cake.

Dejavugirl
03-01-2012, 05:33 PM
Yes, sugar is my demon. lol... I couldn't imagine getting sick from it after not having it.

Though, I will say, since starting our healthy eating plan, I crave it WAY less. We used to eat a bowl of ice cream every night. I use to go to restaurants and want dessert every time.

We too have been having a "free" meal on weekends. And I have had some desserts. But small bites and tastes here. (We went to a BBQ last weekend for instance and I had a small lemon square) But tomorrow I'm going to the movies with a friend, and I was actually thinking about picking up some chocolate item to take. And then I realized it didn't even sound good. So I think I may slowly being weaning myself.

berryblondeboys
03-01-2012, 05:38 PM
But yes, I don't crave sugars like I did. Fruits taste way better. Binge tendencies are gone, etc. AND, I can have a single serving and be OK, especially if I tie it to lots of protein. But I also know that when I start to eat them more frequently it all comes back. Christmas month proved that one big time.

VermontMom
03-01-2012, 05:43 PM
I have been on South Beach diet since late January. I know that the less sugar/flour/carby things I have, the less I crave them. But sometimes I feel I could still eat them in a heartbeat!

I don't know if it will take longer for me to not want them. But I'm so unsure of my ability to resist, that I will not be making cookies for our Town Meeting Day next week, as I usually do. I'll make something main dish-y instead, because I don't want to chance a binge on homemade cookies.

runningfromfat
03-01-2012, 06:04 PM
Good to hear your experiences! I guess i am wondering because i'm nervous that i'm going to be around birthday cake this weekend. I loooove cake (especially cake that has tons of icing on it) so what i think will happen is that i'll tell myself "i'll just have a small piece" and then it will trigger binge mode, and of course i'll be too embarrassed to ask for a second piece, so instead i'll wait until i'm driving home and stop by the gas station for two king-sized bars of chocolate. If i don't have it in front of me then none of this is an issue. But i don't really want to avoid this social gathering. It will be best to just fess up to my diet and say i can't eat any cake.

Honestly? When I first started this even a small bite would have been too much. There are some people who can handle moderation immediately, I'm not one of them!

The way I thought about it was this: if an alcoholic can sober up (with a substance that's more addictive than sugar!) by abstaining, I can do the same. So I did and that meant not even a small bite at the beginning. Now I can do that. However, when I started slowly introducing sugar again at around 6 months I still struggled a lot and one bite was hard even then. Personally, I'd just politely say no. It's a lot easier to say no to one bite than to the second bite.

ETA: I normally never explicitly said that I was on a diet. I just said no thinks, I'm not in the mood or that I was already full, something like that.

Nadya
03-01-2012, 07:50 PM
I was never consciously trying to remove sugar from my diet but I think I broke away from craving it after kicking soda to the curb.

grneyedmustang
03-01-2012, 08:05 PM
------> Raises hand. My name is grneyedmustang, and I am a sugar addict.

I've been on SB since 2008, and it took a little while, but my taste for sugar has gone down tremendously. Soda was never a big issue for me, but I rarely have met a donut, brownie, cookie, or cupcake I didn't like.

Now, for the most part, I can eat a cookie (or two) and be satisfied - just as long as I'm not in a bad place emotionally, which is another part of my sugar puzzle.

But - the other side of the coin - I don't keep it in the house, I don't bring extra portions home, and I don't eat it often. If I start eating it on a regular basis, I want it more and more, and I believe - just like alcohol - you need more and more of it to get a sugar buzz/rush/high. Next thing you know, you've eaten that whole row of oreos in one sitting (and once upon a time in my life, it wasn't beyond me to accomplish that "mission").

Not too long ago, I went to this restaurant and had a slice of a smores calzone that everyone rants and raves about. I couldn't eat it -- it was too sweet. If you had informed me ten years ago that I would have said a smores calzone was too sweet later in life, I would have given you the side eye!

kaplods
03-01-2012, 08:47 PM
I try to avoid all processed sugars and other quick-digesting carbs (sugars and starches). and I avoid or strictly limit even the less processed ones (even fruit and grains).

The less I eat, the less intense my cravings, and when I do eat high-carb foods, especially grains and sugar I often do get sick, and sometimes a food that I once loved does now taste way too sweet. None of that however means that I'm cured or no longer at risk of overeating or falling right back into the sugar trap.


Sugar is more addictive than cocaine, studies have found that cocaine-addicted rats will often choose sugar over cocaine.

And I think that's because the desire for sugar isn't a "mistake" it's hardwired into our genetic code. Because in the natural world, the desire and hunt for sugar kept us omnivores and herbivores alive.

Have you read "The End of Overeating" by David Kessler. It was an eye-opener for me, and it made me rethink the nature of "sugar addiction."

Combined with what I learned from "ancestor diet" books like Neanderthin, Paleo Diet, Neanderthin, and Refuse to Regain, I began to realize that there's nothing "wrong" with those of us who have difficulty controlling carb intake (especially the sugar/fat/salt flavor/nutrient combination in most "trigger foods").

There's nothing wrong with us, because "sugar addiction" is hard-wired into our genetic code. Some people may inherit more of the genes responsible and therefore may have more difficulty than others. Some people's experience or environment may make it even harder, but the drive to prefer and therefore eat more "junk food" than healthier foods is inborn (even rats do it, and rats bred for the tendency toward obesity show stronger overeating tendencies than rats bred for the tendency to be lean).

In other words, the sugar "addiction" is biochemical. And from an evolutionary standpoint, it makes sense. In the "natural world" sugar is an extremely rare commodity.

Biologists used to believe that bears were immune to bee stings and couldn't feel the pain when they were stung in the nose and eyes, because it didn't stop them from getting at the wild honey. We now know that they do suffer from the stings (and even sometimes die from the stings), but the draw of the honey is more powerful than the pain.

I'm not that different from the honey-loving bears. Even though I KNOW that significant amounts of sugar or quick-digestion make me very ill, I'll eat the damned stuff anyway. I'll tell myself "one bite won't make me sick" but I'm almost never able to stop at one bite. Even getting sick doesn't stop me from wanting and eating more. Just like the bear, in the momentt, the sugar is more powerful than the pain.

If we lived in a natural world, this wouldn't be a problem. For the bear, the pain is a small trade-off for the survival value of the honey. The pain is worth the pay-off, because in a natural world, concentrated sugar is extremely rare,

Wild fruits that have never been selectively bred and carefully tended by humans, never reach a very high level of sweetness. There's also a lot of competition for these foods, so they get eaten quickly and usually before peak sweetness.

Calories in the natural world are in short supply, because overpopulation would normally occur long before widespread obesity. Also, even mild obesity would put both predators' and prey animals' lives aat risk. If you get fat you can't run as fast, making it easier to be eaten if you're prey and more difficult to eat if you're predator.

In a natural world, a food that combined salt/sugar/and fat is virtuallly nonexistent, but it would be a nutritional "gold mine" if it did. Our biochemistry reacts as if we've found the "holy grail" of edibles, and our instincts say "eat as much of this glorious stuff as you can, because odds are you're never going to find something this rare and valuable ever again. The problem is that our bodies tell us this stuff is rare, even though it no longer is. In the very unnatural world we've created, these nutrients (salt, sugar, fat) are no longer rare, but our bodies still act as if they do. Even if our bodies could adapt to this dramatic change in the environment, it would take tens of thousands of years (at least).

I don't think anything short of genetic-engineering or millenia of evolution is going to change the "addictive" nature of high-calorie carbs. When it comes to carb-addiction, there is no cure.

surfergirl2
03-01-2012, 08:54 PM
------>
Not too long ago, I went to this restaurant and had a slice of a smores calzone that everyone rants and raves about. I couldn't eat it -- it was too sweet. If you had informed me ten years ago that I would have said a smores calzone was too sweet later in life, I would have given you the side eye!

See, i'm of the opinion that there is no such thing as "too sweet," just as there is no such thing as a steak that is too rare :D I hope my opinion on the sweet thing changes someday.

Nadya
03-01-2012, 09:35 PM
See, i'm of the opinion that there is no such thing as "too sweet," just as there is no such thing as a steak that is too rare :D I hope my opinion on the sweet thing changes someday.

I used to feel that way about Mt Dew. My Mom was always like, "Ugh, how can you drink that stuff?!" I loved it though. Now that I've stopped drinking soda altogether though, I think about it and find myself repeating my Mom's statement - "Ugh, how can anyone drink that stuff?!" :lol:

StephanieM
03-01-2012, 10:11 PM
I don't desire it like I used to, usually happens within the first two weeks of doing Atkins for me.

I cheated two weeks in with some valentines day chocolate and I felt sick almost instantly and felt hung over the next day. Remembering how I felt really helps me stay away from it.

MissKoo
03-19-2012, 09:12 PM
I realized my low carb, no wheat eating plan is THE way to go (for me) when my sugar cravings just disappeared. The big WOW moment was when I passed the DQ a while back and just never considered driving through. This was huge for me because I LOVE me some blizzards! If I was sad? Georgia Mud Fudge. If I was happy? Oreo! If I was feeling blah? Snickers!

If I had an emotion - they had the Blizzard to match!

Now I just don't feel that driven feeling to stuff my face with sugar. Even when it has good memories - like DQ on a hot summer day with the kids. Just don't need it!

Free at last!

peachypeg
03-19-2012, 10:23 PM
Hello.....my name is Peg and I too am a sugar addict. LOL

I have been trying for 6 months to give it up......but the crave is still there. To the point I have given my daughter my grocery store card and money and told her to go buy "us" something. LOL However, I do not keep stuff in the house. If my kids are begging for cookies....I buy them real cookies and buy myself the sugar free (Murray's) cookies. I only drink diet soda outside of the house. None is allowed in the house. I try to cure my crave with popcorn or almonds......not sweet but will kick the munchies.

Honestly, I think it is like any other addiction.....you manage it but there is no cure.

Serenity100
03-21-2012, 08:17 PM
I'm definitely a sugar addict also. I find I can resist anything, but once I have just one piece, I can't stop until the entire whatever is finished. And, it's not like I am enjoying eating it when I do.

I used to make excuses why I should buy candy, such as for Easter, it is a nice tradition, and it is festive. Well, this year, since there are no small children around, I'm not buying any at all.

I always make a Easter Bunny cake in a special cake pan, and I plan on doing that for company on Easter Sunday, but then I'll give the leftovers to my father. He's 90 so he could eat all the cake he wants. lol

AnaBee
03-25-2012, 02:21 AM
I think it's good to think that you aren't ever out of danger. On atkins my carb/sugar cravings diminish, but it doesn't take much to reactivate them. I had diet coke recently after giving it up for about 2 weeks. It tasted awful at first, way too sweet. But I was attracted to the caffeine and I had it again the next day and bam, the sweetness tasted good to me again. Sugar makes me feel awful the day after but then I start to see it out again, making all sorts of excuses to do so. That's probably pretty similar to how it plays out for people with other addictions.

Low fat proponents talk about how we crave fat and not sugar. Ha. If I sat down with a block of butter and a bowl of sugar I could happily eat sugar by the spoonful and I'd happily eat sugar and butter mixed but there's no way I'm eating more than a little bit of butter on it's own. It's so filling, it's the sugar that makes it edible by the bucket load. Sugar is eeeeeeeeevil.

caryesings
03-25-2012, 12:34 PM
I am another who envies those folks who cut it out of their life and after only a few weeks say they don't even want it anymore and/or makes them feel sick. Not me. I gave up candy for 4 years before the craving for it dimmed enough to attempt dieting. Then during dieting I obviously had to cut back on other sweet stuff. Now in maintenance I find I still eat too much of sweets when I decide to eat some. Sadly for me, a serving of girl scout cookies will always be one box.

SanityNow
03-25-2012, 01:27 PM
I haven't been able to completely cut out sweets, but I've gotten much better. I don't know exactly what the key is, but a couple of things together have helped me: (1) I eat a lot of veggies, esp. leafy greens. Eating leafy greens really helps to decrease food 'urges' because leafy greens are chock full of nutrients that the body needs and sometimes when we are in need of nutrients the body expresses that as cravings and the quickest way for us to get satisfied in general is through sugar. (2) I read the packages and see how many grams of sugar are in a serving. I use 4 grams of sugar in a teaspoon and visualize how much sugar I'm putting into my system and what that's doing to my pancreas and blood sugar levels. (3) I also look at how much fat, and other usually artificial ingredients are in the 'treat', and think about what that's going to do to my insides.

Lots of animals, including us, have a liking toward 'sweet', which is good, because fruits are healthy for us. Where humans have screwed ourselves up is our unending supply of created 'sweets' coupled with reduced activity levels. We need to keep fighting the good fight !

ShannonLaRiviere
04-21-2012, 02:33 AM
I never was personally a sweets gal. My problem was fast food and other junk, but I have found after being on my diet for 6 months (with little to no sugar intake whatsoever), one small bite of something sweet is enough. It is almost overwelming.

I don't know if this experience is the same to those of you who would consider yourselves having a sweet tooth.

Buttermilk Sky
04-21-2012, 03:12 AM
I'm a sugar addict too. I crave a 'real' coke once in a while and about once a week I catch myself craving a Milky Way. Ice cream calls my name. I can stay away from cakes, pies, and doughnuts. For some reason I don't crave those foods. I do like to have a couple cookies with a cup of tea once in a while.

I'd love to overcome the sweet cravings. I have been eating only a bite or two of a Milky Way or half a coke instead of the whole thing. I hardly ever bring anything sweet into the house. That way, I have to leave the house and drive to the store to get something sweet. It helps a lot because sometimes I just don't want to go through the trouble.

i33BabyGirl33i
04-30-2012, 11:09 AM
I am really currently struggling with this. I read about using either agave nectar or stevia as an alternative and wanted to know what you guys think about it?

Annah
04-30-2012, 02:09 PM
ive been on Atkins for almost 4 weeks...Im still struggling with sugar cravings

AnaBee
05-03-2012, 12:46 AM
I am really currently struggling with this. I read about using either agave nectar or stevia as an alternative and wanted to know what you guys think about it?

I personally think staying off all sweeteners is best. Sweeteners, including stevia (I've never tried agave nector) make me want more sweet stuff, it doesn't matter if they are low calorie or not, sweet is sweet and our bodies react accordingly. Fighting those cravings is just so painful. Maybe not everyone reacts this way, but I feel like I've read a lot of posts from people who use replacement sweeteners and struggle with cravings. I'm personally trying to kick the diet coke habit AGAIN and it's making it really hard to keep on track. Sweet food makes veges taste bitter in comparison and so it's a vicious cycle.

RRB2
05-04-2012, 02:45 AM
I love this thread! Just shows me that I'm not a lone in this struggle.
After 3-4 weeks on SBD my sugar cravings are gone and first time I have some cake, I feel nauseous, but....give me a day or two and bam - I'm right back where I started.
Kicker is - I don't like chocolate, chips, crackers, soda and such - pass the cake and cookies, thank you. And impossible to have just one. I have 4 kids under 11, so these "treats" are always around.
We bake everything with 100% WW flour, but the sugar is still there and it's a daily struggle.